Can a Robot be a Person? Bicentennial Man

Essay by willkCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2005

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Can a robot be a person? Or should it be said, can Andrew be a person? Andrew is simply NDR-114: an androgynous robot designed to handle household chores, child education, servant work, and anything else as ordered by humans, the Martin family. It only got its name when Little Miss stumbled over the word "android", and mistaken it as something else and said "Andrew" instead. As Andrew begins to experience emotions and creative thought, the Martin family soon discovers they own a very different and unique robot. Does Andrew, this unique form of artificial intelligence fit into White's 10 criteria for a person?

1. Is alive

2. Is aware

3. Feels positive and negative sensations

4. Has a sense of self with emotions

5. Controls its own behavior (can be held responsible)

6. Recognizes other persons and treats them appropriately

7. Is capable of Analytical, Conceptual thought

8. Is able to learn; can retain and recall information

9. Can solve complicated problems with analytical thought

10. Has the capacity for communication that suggests thought

#1 - Is Andrew alive?

Andrew is definitely alive. Every living thing needs a source of energy in order for it to move, grow, and to survive. Human-persons' source of energy is food and water, and as for Andrew, his source of energy is the outlet. Without the outlet, he would lack energy and shut off, in our terms, die. When Miss (Grace) ordered Andrew to jump out of the window, he did, and he came back injured. If a human-person jumped out the window, he or she would obviously be injured too. But say a dead carcass was thrown out of the window, it would still be dead. Only living things can be injured and actually feel it. Andrew's mind is made up of...