I wanted to cry when I first saw this picture, but androids don't have tear ducts. – I knew her from way back. Everyone called her Angel, because she had a thing for feathers...
Humans bury their beloved pets, shedding many tears. But, after years of unfailing faithful service you would think we should come to a better end than just being stuffed in some dumpster with the rest of the trash. You would think that at least we would deserve a place next to the family pet, recycled or something..., anything, to show some respect for our years of devoted service.
You humans treat us androids with such disregard you would never show a cat or a dog. Because we look human, I have to wonder if on some level you humans have a level of contempt for each other that you express more freely when dealing with our kind, or anyone you deem inferior to your species or race, or any other number of personal preferences that exclude others from your own little circle of influence (reality). Don’t you think that your android’s devotion to you deserves the love and respect you would show a pet fish as you ceremoniously flushed it down the toilet? Do you even consider that which you call trash, human or android? Once trash it is something that can be easily discarded without thought or emotion. In making something trash you humans become disconnected from that which you created.
...Angel thought that if she could get enough feathers she would be able to fly to the moon. Her owners would always throw away a lot of the feathers she collected. It was an impossibility and she had to have known it. Yet, she collected feathers anyway, perhaps like Icarus... I thought she was crazy at the time. Looking back, I don't think she was crazy at all, just trapped in a society that would never let her be free.
I heard she tried to fly once...
Tuesday, January 02, 2007 New Scientist Blog
The label “animal rights activist” is one we all understand. Perhaps in the future we will be just as familiar with “android rights activists.”
Two recent and respectable predictions of tussles over robot rights suggest we might. Reports looking 50 years into the future commissioned by the UK government predicted that advanced, conscious robots would want rights like those we enjoy. With such rights responsibilities might also come, like voting, taxes and military service, the report said.
It sounds reasonable, if distant. I think an academic paper in a special issue of the journal Connection Science makes a better point. David Calverley, a lawyer from Arizona State University suggests an analogy between robot and animal rights. It's an issue we'll have to deal with a lot sooner than whether robots should pay tax.
At present, robots are regarded simply as property, he says, but as engineers strive to make them conscious that will change: "An analogy can be drawn with the animal rights movement suggesting that, with enough complexity, androids may lay claim to some moral status even though this may be less than what is required for legal personhood."
The vigorous, even violent, controversy over animal rights arises from differing views on the moral status of animals. Some feel they may be harmed in the name of science or sport, while others do not. Robots roughly as sophisticated as, say, a cat could become the center of similar debates.
I think Calverley has identified an important issue -
I wonder how soon that will be. In November (2006) researchers developed a robot that could sense injuries. How long before we have to make decisions about what can and can't be done to a robot rabbit?
Android science and animal rights, does an analogy exist?
Author: David J. Calverley
Androids have begun to act in ways that, on the surface, seem human. However, no one is prepared to view them as anything other than property. As androids become more sophisticated, and as engineers try harder to make them “conscious,” moral, ethical and legal issues will arise. An analogy can be drawn with the animal rights movement suggesting that, with enough complexity, androids may lay claim to some moral status even though this may be less than what is required for legal personhood. However, there are significant differences between animals and androids. Identifying similarities and differences, which may ultimately depend on how we come to conceive of human consciousness, will lead to an understanding of how our ideas about consciousness impact on our concept of rights. A moral dilemma may come early in android development, and when it does, it could have unexpected ramifications if not understood by researchers. Failure to be aware of this risk could result in reactions that curtail android science.
This is an online illustrated story. While there are many parts to this story, this is one beginning.
It is hard to say where Candy comes from. I suspect she comes from one of the dark alleyways of my soul. I know all the images that an anatomically correct android designed to bring all your fantasies to life can conjure up in the mind’s of men, and women. However, this is not that story. This is not my story, this is Candy’s story, and it is not what you think.
Some parts of the story begin on their own and merge with this story. Other parts expand outward and fill a universe of their own. And, still other parts of the story live and die within the story itself.
This story was designed to be more than just something to read; it was designed to be explored.