Free Robots YKTTW Discussion

Free Robots
A culture regards intelligent robots as equals.
Up For Grabs
(permanent link) added: 2012-06-13 16:32:33 sponsor: Goldfritha edited by: InsanityPrelude (last reply: 2013-01-04 19:16:10)

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Up for Grabs

Why wait until they Turned Against Their Masters? You can always free your robots and let them work for you for wages.

Some science fiction milieus allow robots to become free and equal citizens without the whole to-do of a war. And some just take it for granted that even if you are Just a Machine, you have Inhumanable Alien Rights.

Presuming a degree of intelligence, to be sure -- at least average on the Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence. A robot that can not judge for itself can be property while others are free.


  • In Poul Anderson's "Critique Of Impure Reason", the newly created and so impressionable robot had stumbled on literary fiction and had its mind so affected that they can not persuade it to go to Mercury and mine. They can't wipe its mind because it has rights, and they have to pay it a salary while it sits about and reads.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Oecumene, all Sophotects -- AIs -- in the Solar System are free citizens; the small percentage that are interested in humans work for them, for wages. When a character hears of Sophotects refusing to obey orders in another system, he wonders why they didn't just fire them and hire others.
  • This is essentially the way the Pemalites were with the Chee in Animorphs. They created the Chee as friends and companions and seemed to reguard them as equals.

Live-Action TV
  • In Andromeda, it is stated that the AI's had full civilian rights in the Commonwealth. There are some hints that the attitude wasn't quite matching, though.

Web Original
  • In most polities of the Orion's Arm universe all sophont life has equal rights, in theory at least. Though by now it's usually hyperintelligent Archailects treating humans and equivalent beings as pets.
    • The Sephirotic civilizations recognize humans and AIs to have the same legal rights.

Western Animation
  • While never implicitly stated, robots in Futurama appear to have equal citizenship. In "A Head In The Polls", they have the right to vote (Bender can't, but only because he's a convicted felon), and reelect Richard Nixon after his head is attached to a giant robot body.

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