According to CNBC, by the year 2025, robots and machines driven by artificial intelligence (AI) are predicted to perform half of all productive functions in the workplace.

But should these robots have rights – and is that an issue that the corporate world will have to tackle?

Yes – we’re serious.

“Few are considering this trend from the perspective of the rights of our automated coworkers. What legal standing should the robot in the cubicle next to you have from a labor, employment, civil rights or criminal law perspective, and as a citizen? There are still far more questions than answers,” according to CNBC.

“Can a robot be programmed to be racist? Can a robot sexually harass a co-worker, human or non-human? Will humans discriminate against the machines? Will workplace violence or intolerance be tolerated against robots? Will robots at some point be able to feel pain, stress, anxiety, a lack of inclusiveness or overt discrimination? How might it affect their productivity? How might it affect the culture of the company?”