I am guessing there will be robots at some point. The question is not if, but how. How will they work? How will they be treated, how will their relationships with humans be like? I am looking at fiction for examples because I don’t know enough of the science here, but even in fiction there are myriads of examples.
It could go down like Terminator, Matrix or the Robocalypse and then everything is over anyways. That’d be kind of shitty and I hope it won’t happen, although knowing the human species it will only take a few years until a drone thinks itself alive and goes on a rampage. Yeah, let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
On the other hand those robots could be something good. It could be like Asimovs “I, Robot” with the rules and all. The same rules accounted for the Astro Boy universe I think. I wouldn’t mind that. Astro Boy is a badass. Even though robot workforces raise a lot of new questions and it took the people in Tezukas stories a while to actually accept their electronic friends.
I do think that this is gonna be the hardest part of the whole deal. The way they’ll be treated as soon as they actually develop a conciousness. It will be a slow and terrible process. If they ever advance that far or get the chance to go there.
I wonder if there will be a mad scientist who builds a robot to resemble his or her kid and is terribly disappointed with it. It happens in Astro Boy and it happened in a book I just finished reading called “The Mad Scientists Daughter”. A wonderful book by the way. About a girl and the robot servant she falls in love with.
So given that the robots become conscious of themselves, their surroundings and their emotions, the aren’t gonna have an easy life. It’s gonna be like a whole new pot of racism. It’s gonna suck for them. And that sucks for us, as a statement about the human race, as well. At least I think that’s gonna happen. Well maybe we have crushed the “Iron Heel” by then and advanced into a much more open society. Who knows.
“An android is a robot or synthetic organism designed to look and act like a human, especially one with a body having a flesh-like resemblance. Until recently, androids have largely remained within the domain of science fiction, frequently seen in film and television. However, advancements in robot technology have allowed the design of functional and realistic humanoid robots.” – Wikipedia
Maybe we’ll go down Blade Runner road. Or the way of vNs (von Neumann), where all those androids have been set up with a fail safe and can’t say no to anything humans tell them. It is a great book Madeline Ashby wrote there, about the struggle of those who can’t say No to anything, have to enjoy everything done to them and shut down completely if they see a human being harmed.
In the end I hope that I, personally, will be able to keep an open mind if I ever meet a robot like Finn, Astro Boy or Amy. I hope I do meet one actually, how rad that would be. And then to talk with it, or is it a he or she actually? Who knows, questions, questions!
Books/Manga/Comics you should read that have robots in it:
The Mad Scientists Daughter
Battle Angel Alita
And probably a ton more that I can’t think of right now. If you know of something I forgot please tell me about it, I’d love to read more on the subject!