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AI Series: Artificial Intelligence - A Person?

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Is it imaginable that AI systems be deemed persons? The future is nearer than we think!

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With the increasing proliferation of AI, the world now sees AI taking over what was once considered solely in the domain of human cognitive functions. Will there be a day where AI should be considered a person?

That day is nearer than we think. Most of us will remember Sophia, who in 2017, became the first humanoid robot to be a citizen of a sovereign country. Most recently in 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office had to decide whether an AI System called DABUS could be listed as an inventor (a designation that only gives recognition to human persons).

While these incidences may seem like interesting anecdotes, how governments and policy-makers decide on this matter will have very significant implications. What is personhood? Who and what decides personhood? What practical difficulties result from failing to recognise AI as natural persons? Do we ignore the personhood of AI at our peril?

Join our experts as we explore these questions and ultimately try to answer - should AI be persons?

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