Robot Rights & Relationships - Episode 9

What do we need from our relationships with a new set of beings?

Robot Rights & Relationships - Episode 9

What do we need from our relationships with a new set of beings?





What is the origin of the word robot?

Who makes the definitions of these words robots, avatars, nanobots, etc? Who gets to define them? How do we decide?

Is there a new social category that's emerging, and should see non biological intelligences through the lens of our own social interaction?

Do avatars as representations of the self need the same rights as humans, and importantly, should there be distinctions around the governance of virtual worlds versus physical worlds?

What do we need from our relationships with this new set of beings in the future?

Today, I speak with Dr Julie Carpenter, research fellow in the Ethics and Emerging Science Group at the California Polytechnic State University, and Dr David Gunkel, Professor of Media Studies at Northern Illinois University. Dr Carpenter’s primary research goal is to investigate human-technology emotional attachment and trust issues, looking at the ways in which embodied AI offers a testing ground for media, communication and cultural theories. She is currently writing her latest book, The Naked Android.

Dr Gunkel’s work focuses on the philosophy of technology and emerging ethics relating to AI, robots and algorithms. He has published twelve influential and award-winning books including How To Survive a Robot Invasion, The Machine Question, Gaming The System, and Robot Rights. His latest book is called Deconstruction and is part of MIT's Essential Knowledge Series.

This episode of The Future of You covers:

  • The origin of robots and who defines them
  • The person-thing dichotomy in legal and social categories
  • Avatar rights and responsibilities
  • The governance of virtual spaces
  • Emotional valence of non-human personalities
  • How to engage the public in thinking about the rights, responsibilities and relationships we want with robots

The Future of You: Can Your Identity Survive 21st Century Technology?

Links and references at:

David's website: here and his book, Robot Rights, here

Julie's website: here and her book, here

For the future of everything else...


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