The Future of Mankind

A Question of Limits




Copyright Meghan McCracken, Jeff McGee, Marianne Pike and David Wheatley, 2004

Can robots act morally? Can we, without absurdity, treat robots as moral agents?


Kurzweil's "The Age of Spiritual Machines" Timeline

"The ultimate machine is an intelligent machine"; consequently, the great fear is not that it will harm us "but it will supplant us." Isaac Asimov.

"Assuming that some future robots are sophisticated to the point where, generations of robots having constructed generations of robots, they know more about their own needs and capabilities than we do, it would be logical to give them decision-making power sufficient to safeguard their functioning. And at the point, however unlikely to be reached, that machines would know more about men then men themselves, it would be logical to transfer the control of men to them - for the sake of human fulfillment." Laszio Versenyi.

"In the game of life and evolution there are three players at the table: human beings, nature and machines. I am firmly on the side of nature. But nature, I suspect, is on the side of machines" Dyson.

"When machines are seen as able to replicate human action and thought in ways where it is difficult or perhaps even impossible to differentiate them from the 'real thing', the human body is often viewed as subject to crisis and redundancy." Bryan Bloomfield, Theo Vurdubakis.

"Death gives meaning to life – without it, life is just the endless passage of time." Ray Kurzweil.