California recently passed Senate Bill 1001, which bars companies and people from using bots that intentionally mislead those they are talking to into thinking they are human. Putting aside the social and legal merits of this law, Bill 1001 implicates a hitherto-abstract, philosophical debate about when a simulation of intelligence crosses the line into sentience and becomes a true artificial intelligence. Depending upon where you draw the line, this law is either discrimination against another form of sentient life or a timely remedy intended to protect users from exploitation by malevolent actors using human speech simulators. In this post for Privacy Perspectives, IAPP Research Fellow Nicholas Schmidt dives into what California's law could mean for the rights of robots in the near future.
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