Won’t somebody think of the robots?

robot horse Jamais Cascio is a sensitive soul; he doesn’t like seeing beasts of burden being abused and pushed around. Even robotic ones:

“My reaction to seeing this robot kicked paralleled what I would have had if I’d seen a video of a pack mule or a real big dog being kicked like that, and (from anecdotal conversations) I know I’m not the only one with that kind of immediate response. True, it wasn’t nearly as strong a shocked feeling for me as it would have been with a real animal, but it was definitely of the same character. It simply felt wrong.”

This throws an interesting light on the “robot rights” debates that keep surfacing. While I think we can all agree that a non-sentient machine doesn’t require the vote or union-mandated coffee breaks, this sort of psychological reaction to machines with a visual semblance of life may cause problems in early-adopter workplaces. [image by TwoBlueDay]

After all, even battle-hardened US Army colonels have been known to balk at sending machines to their doom.

2 thoughts on “Won’t somebody think of the robots?”

  1. The robot dog is currently more like robot insect. however, AIs are getting smarter very fast. Soon robots will have to “feel pain” to be able to properly respond to the outside world, and even if it’s nothing like the pain you and i feel when we hit our thumbs with teh Hammer, THEY won’t know that.

    I think in 60 years we’ll be saying “In movies, the robot guy dies first”

  2. I loathe and detest anyone who kicks anything or body! I just completely loathe the action and movement of kicking and the only time I’d like it would be if the kicker got kicked right back even harder! Object or living thing, it makes me feel murderous repugnance.

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