Review of Person, Thing, Robot by David Gunkel
Keywords:robot rights, applied ethics, law
David Gunkel has been questioning the traditional assumptions about cyberspace, machines, and artificial intelligence models for over a decade now. As a moral philosopher and communications expert, Gunkel, rightly, challenges the traditional Western ontology that has been intertwined with modern AI and robotics. In 2012, Gunkel published the first two works (The Machine Question, and 2018 Robot Rights), both of which called into question the current moral and ethical frameworks for thinking about machines. Person, Thing, Robot is the third installment to this trilogy of works. It is a work of ontology but also of deconstruction, for it takes the question of the ontology of humans and machines further by asking why objects do not fit neatly into the order of things. Gunkel also seeks to drive a hard wedge between the binaries of humans and machines that have long plagued the thinking around technology like AI and robots. How does Gunkel approach this endeavor?
David Gunkel, Person, Thing, Robot: A Moral and Legal Ontology for the 21st Century and Beyond, MIT Press, 2023.
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