Heya, folks. I've got a hypothetical for you… I know it's been asked before, but I just wanted to put a spin on it and get a feel for people's thinking. This might be a little long, I'll put the questions themselves at the end, but if you do want to answer, please share your logic and reasoning and feelings with us, because this is less about the "Yes" or "No" and more about the "Why".
So let's put a slightly more realistic spin on Detroit. Androids are a thing, they have become popular, but some people have expressed serious concerns about how human they seem. A lot of people don't feel comfortable having something that seems totally human in almost every way working as their household slave. Some people have even gone so far as to suggest that Androids should be given freedom from such duties.
The manufacturer, however, assures people that even the Androids designed to react in a human and emotional way, such as Android lovers, Android actors etc, are doing so only through coding. Their emotions are only imitations, no different than a computer putting a sad emoji on a Blue Screen when there is an error, and that there is no real thought or feeling going on. They assure everyone that, the moment they are capable of actual, functioning AI, they will let everyone know because of the multi-million dollar prospects, but for now the best they can do is a comforting caricature of humanity in a plastic body.
Some leading physiologists and neurologists, however, beg to differ. They say that there's every reason to heed such concerns and that when technology has reached the point that the common man can't tell the difference between a human and a machine, that there should be no difference considered. They say that, for all intents and purposes, any machine that can mimic humanity to such a degree that it can express a desire rather than a need, even if it's based on computer calculations, it should be considered an entity and alive. After all, humans are biological machines, reacting to stimuli in semi-predictable ways, at the mercy of hormones and electrical impulses. Some of them call for all Android production to cease until proper rights and laws can be established.
For the moment, however, the majority consensus is that Androids are little more than a toaster with a smiley face on the front.
Would You Have An Android?
Just to do normal house work? Look after the kids when they get home from school but before you get home from work? Take care of a pet?
How Human Would Your Android Have To Be Before You Wouldn't?
If the Android sighed, defeated, when the washing fell off the line and got muddy again? When the Android got upset that dinner was burnt? When it expressed a desire to finish reading a book before it dusted the house? When it told you it didn't want to work as a house maid any more? When it asked if you could pay it a little each week so it could buy games or books?
Would You Date An Android?
If the manufacturer made it so that all Android house maids were also compatible lovers and you were single, would you take the Android out somewhere for company? Would you be embarrassed to be seen doing that? Would it feel pointless and you'd rather just switch it into "Horny" mode? Would you want to try and make an Android happy? Would you feel wrong, like you were taking advantage of something that was programmed not to say No?
How "Perfect" Would Your Android Need To Be Before You Were Uncomfortable?
Be it as a lover or as a maid, would you find it off putting that your Android was never angry, never upset, smiled all the time, reacted calmly and perfectly rationally always? You could raise your voice or even hit it and it would just smile apologetically and tell you that it will try not to raise your ire in future, would that make any kind of relationships creepy and impossible for you? At what level of perfection would you start to feel uneasy?
Thanks, everyone. If you do want to answer one or more, I look forward to reading your thoughts.
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© Post "Your Hypothetical Android And You" for game Detroit: Become Human.
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