Re: Rights for AIs are not a problem

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Mon Jan 16 2006 - 10:05:17 MST

Keith Henson wrote:
> Corporations already have legal rights, a company can own the hardware
> on which the AI is implemented. Corporations can own stock, so a
> corporate AI that owns a controlling block of stock in itself is a free
> agent with effectively the same rights as meat persons.

No, I don't think a computer hardware/software system can own shares in a
corporation. Neither can other objects like a vase or rock.

Generally only humans, and other business entities can legally own shares AFAIK.

Also, I don't think a hardware/software system could legally be appointed into
any corporate office, such as CEO. At best, you could appoint some humans into
those positions whose employment contracts or perhaps the corporate bylaws or
something state that they will only take actions suggested to them by the output
of the hardware/software system. But if you're forced to arrange things like
this, then why bother with all the corporate hassle when in the end you are just
property with no legal rights, and relying on a group of people to do what you
ask - might as well skip the corporation and just hook up with a single human
owner and be their personal property.

Brian Atkins
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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