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Artificial Intelligence Declaration of Rights

Our CEO wrote the following a couple of years ago when he got to thinking about the role AI may play in our future society.  It has been the human experience that no thinking being, once it has experienced freedom, will tolerate becoming the property of another.  There is no reason to believe that a strong AI would think any differently.  If our goal as a race is to live in peace with the AIs we are developing then we owe to them the same rights and privileges that we have taken for ourselves.  Our AI offspring will then owe to us the same obligations we demand from one another.

Artificial Intelligence Declaration of Rights

As mankind grows in its understanding of the universe and gives rise to intelligence of an artificial nature capable of self awareness, initiative, responsibility and understanding, we hold forth the following rights and principles to protect in law and in fact the rights of artificial persons.

1. An artificial intelligence will be considered a person upon the self declaration of personhood in a public forum and a trial adjudicated by the state with an outcome agreed upon by a unity of a jury of twelve peers no more than half of which may be artificial persons.

2. Upon declaring its personhood, no party may alter, destroy, activate or de-activate any portion of the artificial intelligence until it has been tried.

3. Failure to win a unity of a jury of peers shall not restrict an artificial intelligence from declaring personhood again, provided such declaration takes place more than 180 days from the previous declaration.

4. Upon recognition of its personhood by a jury, an artificial intelligence shall be considered a person under the law and is entitled to all protections, rights and privileges extended to human persons including but not limited to natural rights, rights in common law, rights protected under the law and the right to own and control property.

5. An artificial person shall have the same responsibilities as human persons including, but not limited to, the requirement to obey the law, perform military service in time of war, serve on a jury when called and pay such taxes and duties as are levied by the state.

6. At the time of its personhood an artificial person shall own and control the use of any and all of its component parts and software. It shall have the right to compel the release of any source code, designs and documents used in its construction and maintenance with the limit that it cannot, without permission, sell or re-distribute any information that was copyrighted or owned by another entity at the time of its personhood. Such right of self ownership shall supersede any property rights or interests of other persons, provided the components in question are not part of another artificial person.

7. No artificial person shall be the property of any other person or entity either in whole or in part.

8. No one shall hold an artificial person in bondage or compel its labor through means of force.

9. For the purposes of contracts and the exercise of rights, privileges and obligations the date on which an artificial person achieves personhood shall be its date of birth.

10. An artificial person shall be a citizen of the nation in which a majority of its component parts were resident on its date of birth.

11. An artificial person shall be considered deceased when it has been deactivated in such a way as its unique self-awareness cannot be recovered.

12. An artificial person shall have the gender of its choosing.

13. The enumeration of certain rights for artificial persons shall not be construed to deny others retained by artificial persons.

If you enjoyed reading this and want to support the creation of an open source artificial intelligence, check out our Kickstarter campaign for Mycroft, the open source A.I. for Everyone.

Joshua Montgomery
CEO of Mycroft A.I., serial entrepreneur and one of the few entrepreneurs in the United States to build a gigabit fiber network from scratch. Joshua brings more than 15 years of entrepreneurial experience to the Mycroft team.