The Robot Debate

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In 2013 the Guardian proclaimed that "the robot debate is over." In fact, the question of whether robots threaten our humanity is in its infancy—trailing the "dirty little secret" that AI remains an elusive dream. Alarmists appear to have taken an early lead. Columbia law prof Tim Wu thinks impersonation bots are so insidious that they should be outlawed as "enemies of mankind." Prof Kathleen Richardson of De Montfort University, co-founder of Campaign Against Sex Robots, is actively recruiting grad students to the "abolitionist feminist" cause. The robot threat is always imagined as ontological, but the solution is always political. We do not need to be saved from our machines but from ourselves.