In Quebec, where the Magpie River in 2021 was recognized as a legal person with nine legal rights, including the right to flow, to maintain its biodiversity and to take legal action. It’s all part of the environmental personhood movement which began in the 1970s as a tactic to pressure governments to protect the environment: indeed, the Magpie River could now sue the government. Lest you think this is either legal over-reach or Woke gone wild, recall that women in Canada weren’t declared ‘persons’ until 1929.
Today, species, genders and what were once thought to be wildly different kinds of living things are spilling over onto each other, insisting that they have voices and that their voices be heard.
So if plants have rights, surely artificial intelligence will soon demand its own as well.