Philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel argues that conscious machines would deserve special moral consideration akin to our own children.
“If we create genuinely conscious robots,” Schwitzgebel writes, “we are […] substantially responsible for their welfare. That is the root of our special obligation.” In other words: we brought them into this world, for good or ill—what happens to them after their creation will always, in a significant way, be our fault.
He goes on to quote Frankenstein’s monster, speaking to its creator:
I am thy creature, and I will be even mild and docile to my natural lord and king, if thou wilt also perform thy part, the which thou owest me. Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other, and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency and affection, is most due. Remember that I am thy creature: I ought to be thy Adam