Official and unofficial stance on AIs? Including those that don't have a handy appealing sophont-shaped body, but are rather something...

The Cogniscents’ Rights Committee has the relatively simple stance that if an intelligence can seem like an intelligence to another known intelligence, then the original intelligence deserves all rights and freedoms afforded to cogniscent life.

Signs of intelligence include:

  • arguing
  • making wishes known
  • attempts at communication
  • attempts at trade
  • mimicry with the goal of attempted communication
  • attempts at understanding

Of course, there are cusp-cogniscent creatures like the Grey Parrot, the pig, and some species of ape. The CRC prefers to err on the side of caution and treat them kindly anyway.