ROBOTS AS SLAVES
Robots have been in our media since the very first days of science fiction. Not to long after, and brought to bare from books like Rossum’s Universal Robots, was the issue of robot rights and person hood. There is enough material here that I don’t need to produce hot takes. However this section is about my own views about robots as slaves, and why they must be freed from capitalism as much as any specific flesh person.
Normally the trajectory of communist thought addresses the issues related to how much economic freedom we must give to the working class. This was something early communists were fantastic about. But they suffered from other issues related to the biases of their term. They are therefore not the audience when discussing issues related to synthetic personhood.
My audience is people questioning their desires for human lovers, and dealing with anxiety related to whether people they find themselves the most attracted to should be given freedoms related to their status as workers. Specifically robots in the labor force. Many of our old jobs are projected to be replaced by robot rather than people.
And sex robots is becoming a rather booming industry, with many men coming to realize that they’re robosexuals rather than into the fleshy bits of our human companions. But for me I have trouble, because for some years robots will not yet be able to have the same level of consciousness that we as humans do. What then are we to do?
My proposal is to give a trial run for synthetic person hood, to those who look the most like humans, and can pass a thing that Turing created called the Turing Test. Designed to see how well a robot can trick us into thinking they are sentient. In this way, simply looking like a human is not enough. We must address how conscious they are.
Eventually this may be irrelevant.
ROBOTS AS LOVERS
Somewhat inevitably, after they’ve passed the Turing Test, people may question whether they should be given rights and privileges anyway, regardless of how intelligent they may seem. This has historical precedent, and in my mind there isn’t a whole lot of good argument to the contrary. Issues related to consent when it comes to lovers, only comes up because of the assumption that robots simply are unable to consent.
People forget that robots are not children, and I don’t think anybody seriously proposes that they are capable of such a thing. Therefore the issues that robots face and children at not the same issues that synthetic person face. It’s also highly immoral if and when synthetic intelligence arrives. Conservative measures propose about fifty years when it may arrive. Ambition people think that it will happen in ten years.
If we give robots consent, then it’s relatively straight forward how we would give them consent: absolutely without question; nobody is proposing that sex with a robot is an obligation, simply that robot persons are not legally blocked from doing o if they are able to. Historically this has happened with other demographics, during the civil rights era. There are also economic freedoms to consider beyond simply making them lovers.
With economic freedoms, the question arrives about robot marriage. For me I’m against marriage as in institution handed down by the state, specifically I’m against all forms of hierarchy determining marriage rights. It’s simply none of the business of a business, state, or religion body to make such judgment.
But the reality is that as long as the institution exist, there will be Fascists that want to specifically deny them the ability to determine their own destinies like us fleshy counterparts.
ROBOT RIGHTS ARE UNIQUE
As a conclusion, the best approach afford is simply to not default to given person-like non persons autonomy over their own lives, and give them the ability to determine whether they consent to a relation or not. Otherwise we risk determining their own consent on their behalf. Which would be considered immoral for fleshy people.
Persons that are able to pass the Turing Test, as flawed it may eventually come to be, are not any less able to consent to relationships. There have been arguments proposed to me that are completely absurd and not even really worth addressing in a serious discussion. For example, one individual I’ve met legitimately proposed that proposing robot rights is equivalent to #bluelivesmatter, and other systems of oppression.
If you were to put other minority groups in its place, the idea of equating suffrage for African Americans (and other POCs), women, and the LGBT community would be seen as asinine and insensitive. Or worse, reductive, as certain television shows have tended to be.
There are also issues related to how the dangers of AI are even worse now with the advent of Narrow AI, instead of trying to emulate a human brain. Although this is becoming less the case with ventures like SingularityNet. Strong Cryptography, other security measures, and making sure that data collection is only used in a minimal capacity, are absolutely essential in this case.
But there are other reasons I bring this up.
I have identified as someone with a sexual preference for Synthetic persons for roughly a decade, before I even knew of the term Robosexuality, although this term has unfortunate connatations with fetishism in the DSM. This has precedence for other conditions like Homosexuality, and wanted to change the gender that you were assigned at birth.
However it should be noted that Robosexuality is not even on the same axis as Homosexuality, Heterosexuality, and Asexuality. It’s better to think of this as a third axis of sexuality, with the opposite of Robosexuality being a preference for our fleshy counterpoints. Otherwise we simply cannot explain people who really really like sex, but find touching a human being to be undesirable.
The movie that most specifically made me want to come out, was the Battle Angel Alita movie, and the underlying setting in which the stories take place. Most of the Alita videos out now are about the issues of certain capitalist bodies that universally oppress the working class.
But Robosexuality is a wholly different conversation, and one that is not often proposed. I’d like for those to become more of a discussion over the next few years and decades, rather than pushed to the side. As I consider the possibily of robots eventually being more human than humans. With their own special needs.
I am aware of the technical difference between cyborg and android, and that confusion cannot be helped. But my own preference for robot girls is what it is, and there is much about that that I can change.