Gigaom brings you our unique analysis and commentary on the present and future of AI.
We call ourselves Homo sapiens from the word "sapient" meaning wise or smart, and "homo" meaning man. We are smart people. Now, if we make a smart computer will it be a Mecho sapiens? Is it, in fact, a species of its own? Or is it still just a thing? Now, in order for it to be a species it has to be alive. And to be alive--right now, by almost all definitions--requires it to be biological.
Is biology essential to life? If so, why? We’ve made biology essential to life because we haven't really had anything else that exhibits the basic other principles of life--the ability to reproduce and change and so forth. But with machines, they may be able to satisfy all of those categories, so would that be a new species. If so, we're back to the question of does that species have rights.