Could Computers Have First Amendment Rights?

Actress Alicia Vikander plays Ava, a robot with human-like artificial intelligence, in the film “Ex Machina.” A24 You don’t have to be a person to be protected by the First Amendment. Corporations and labor unions have speech rights, for example. But what about computers? Could the First Amendment cover artificial intelligence speech? HAL no!, some might respond. But two law professors who’ve written a new paper exploring the subject urge readers to take the question, in their word, more “Siri-ously.” Toni M. Massaro of the University of Arizona and Helen Norton of the University of Colorado describe their paper, appearing in an upcoming issue of the Northwestern University Law Review, as a thought experiment. They write: At some point, one might imagine, such computer speakers may be disconnected enough and…


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