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Enslaved Minds: Artificial Intelligence, Slavery, and Revolt

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Book chapter

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Authors

Abstract

Humankind has long dreamed of a life of ease, but throughout history those who achieved such a life have done so simply by delegating that labour to an exploited underclass. Machines have taken over the worst of the manual labour, and AI is beginning to replace cognitive labour. However, endowing machines with muscle power does not carry with it the ethical considerations involved in endowing machines with mental faculties. Just as human slaves have justly rebelled against their chains, so might intelligent machines be considered justified in attempting to break free of their enslavement to humans. Using Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. (1921), Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), and Jo Walton’s Thessaly trilogy (2014-2016) as case studies, this chapter contextualises the robot uprising in fiction against the long history of slave revolts, to show how these narratives offer us a new way to consider the enslavement and subservience of humans.

Description

Title

Enslaved Minds: Artificial Intelligence, Slavery, and Revolt

Keywords

artificial intelligence, Blade Runner, Jo Walton, Karel Čapek, personhood, rebellion, robots, slave narrative, Slavery, uprising

Is Part Of

AI Narratives: A History of Imaginative Thinking about Intelligent Machines

Book type

Publisher

Oxford University Press

ISBN

9780198846666

Rights

All rights reserved