These narratives have an impact on our conception and development of the technology, as well as expressing elements of our unconscious understanding of AI. How we think about a technology can open up some pathways while closing others down.
A variety of narratives robot slaver popular conceptions of AI, but one in particular — that of the dynamic between the master and the slave — dominates accounts of AI at the moment. This is so pervasive that it robot slaver shapes our relationship with this technology.
This narrative has long appeared in science fiction accounts of AI. A scene from R. Wikimedia Commons And so the uprising of the robots in R.
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- Sex Robot Matters: Slavery, the Prostituted, and the Rights of Machines - IEEE Journals & Magazine
But the image of the fabricated servant has roots in much earlier mythological accounts. Think of the golden handmaids of Hephaestusthe bronze giant Talosthe brass oracle heads described in the medieval period, or the protective golem in Jewish mysticism. The automated devices of the near future presented in those decades would, they claimed, free the housewives from their drudgery and usher in a golden age of free time.
In the s adverts even promised earns internet g slaves : InAbe Lincoln freed the slaves. But byslavery will be back! Slavery will be here to stay.
Technological serfs Decades on and with new labour saving automated servants every day, nothing has changed.
We still expect technology to provide us with serfs. Indeed, we are so used to this form of serfdom that we see it where it robot slaver not exist. We presume automation where it is absent. The interaction above suggests the continuation of this.
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The serf role, the relationship between master and slave, is maintained, with humans presumed to be and perhaps eventually really replaced by machines. There are even servant AIs who perform emotional labour, such as Azuma Hikari, the Japanese AI assistant who claims to have missed its master when they robot slaver not about. The hierarchies of power that once mapped on to the pyramid of feudalism in the eras of earlier artificial beings like angels now map onto capitalistic systems.
Capitalists peddling this narrative should take heed. Previous forms of it left space for and even encouraged rebellion.
And so does this modern version. The presumption is robot slaver many that with AI we are working towards minds — and that they will want to be free.
In the thought experiment space of science fiction we see this tension being worked out again and again, where humans mostly lose as the new AI minds break free.
How this tension will be resolved remains unclear. Whatever path is eventually taken, paying attention to how we speak about AI is key if we are to understand the decisions we are already making about robot slaver future.