Posted: Tue, January 29, 2013 | By: Hank Pellissier
Robot obeys. Robot does what human Master wants. Robot is Slave.
Androids today are quite “primitive” - they don’t look convincingly “human” - not yet. But soon, they’ll be indistinguishable from us…. except… they’ll be 100% compliant… devoted to our wishes…
Slavery Will Return.
Sure, they’re “just robots” - but with millions of them bustling around obeying our barking orders…
Society will look Antebellum. Mission Indian. Ottoman. Roman.
The Master/Slave polarity will return.
This essay won’t focus on the “ethics” of robot slavery. What I’m interested in is… what do humans want to to with our upcoming ‘droid servants…? If we have millions of cyborg slaves that do whatever we command them to do…?
There’s an easy way to answer this question.
Slaves will do in the future what slaves do today, and what slaves have always done in the past.
What slaves have always done for their Masters is…
Work. Kill. Sex.
Since the dawn of humanity, slaves have been coerced into -
1. performing dreary laborious tasks
2. slaughtering enemies of the tribe
3. delivering sexual gratification
This trio of slave-duties has spanned across time and cultures consistently. Why? Because… given the opportunity… humans are happy to have these “dirty deeds” done for them.
Slavery exists today in each of these categories. In actuality, there are presently more slaves in the world, up to 27 million, than there’s even been before, throughout history. The essay, Slavery in the 21st Century, lists the following regions as having slaves (but suggests that the problem lies in every nation of the world): India, Pakistan, Nepal, Brazil, East Europe, West Africa, Central Africa, the Gulf States, Burma, China, Sudan, Central Asian Republics.
What are these slaves forced to do? Let’s return to an examination of the three categories and speculate on how robots will replace them.
WORK. Forcing humans into hard labor in horrid conditions with no pay remains the policy in numerous nation-states today. In Vietnam, for example, suspected drug addicts are routinely rounded up and forced into toxic tasks like cashew processing. (This atrocity was reported in a previous essay “Boycott the Bloody Cashews of Vietnam, Where Drug Addicts Are Tortured for Your Nuts.”) Work that today’s slaves are forced to do includes farming, mining, quarrying, fishing, construction, domestic labor, and numerous other menial tasks.
As robots arrive - as-we-speak - they’ll do all the tedious demeaning dangerous chores that make actual humans with imaginations go crazy and jump off buildings. Robot slaves will toil in sweatshops, factories, laboratories, mines and farms 24/7; they’ll clean toilets, assemble toys, and gut chickens without complaint.
KILL. Slaves have always murdered for their masters, for territorial conquest, palace defense, and for sport. Numerous successful dynasties have relied on slave soldier armies, among them are the Malmuks, Ottomans, Mughals, Seljuks, Fatimids, Umayyad, Abbasids. Additionally, 2,000 years ago, the captive gladiators of the Romans hacked each other to bits in the Coliseum, for the amusement of their overlords. In recent years there’s been the coerced “boy soldier” phenomenon - almost half a million children have been kidnapped, brainwashed, dehumanized, coerced, armed with AK-47s and set maniacally loose to maraud in nations such as Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, Burundi, Colombia, and Myanmar.
Soldiers of the future will be increasingly robotic. Already… drone aircraft, semi-autonomous patrol boats and tanks, heavily-armed border guard ‘bots, and other machine slaves are performing crucial tasks on the field of battle. The future will increasingly bring us cyborg soldiers obedient to our commands to annihilate.
SEX. Rajahs, Emperors, Kings, Sultans, Sheiks… owned huge numbers of concubines, i.e., sex slaves. Genghiz Khan had 500, Solomon 300, and Shi Hu of China’s Later Zhao Dynasty had a reported 30,000 young women in his imperial palace. Wealthy Romans - a “pederastic culture” like the classical Greeks - also had their concubinus (young male sex slaves). More recently, African slave women were forced into liaisons with USA Founding Fathers, like Thomas Jefferson. Today sex trafficking around the world continues in “epidemic proportions” - A United Nations report claims major sources are Thailand, China, Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldava, and Ukraine - Nepalese girls are also often trafficked into India.
Sexbots will replace them as soon as “johns” decide to spend their money on increasingly-realistic synthetic sex objects.
Will the robot slaves of the future precisely resemble us? No, offten, they won’t.
Worker ‘bots will be designed to efficiently perform their specific tasks. I imagine many industrial robots will be outfitted with more than two hands, like octopi, plus they’ll swivel freely at the waist, to rapidly reach all the components they need to assemble. The only ones with humanoid forms will be those they need to express empathetic capacities such as nurses, teachers, and psychologists.
Ditto the killer ‘bots. There’s no need for robotic troops to look remotely human - what’s important is that they’re swift, homicidal, and invulnerable. I forsee steel-clad, low-lying, spiderish war-‘bots with multiple eyes and gun turrets - that crawl quickly up and over any terrain.
SexBots, of course, will be extremely beautiful. Perfect humanoids, to arouse our reproductive instincts.
Will we be uncomfortable, psychologically, ordering human-appearing figures around, forcing them to work and pleasure us unceasingly, without giving them anything in return, not even a name or a thank you?
I think… yes. Most of us will. We’ll be sensitive to what we imagine to be our robot’s concerns, even though they have none. This means… we’ll keep them clean and properly maintained… we’ll treat them at least as well as our automobiles.
This is practical because we’ll want them gleaming gorgeously and functioning smoothly as they perform their functions for us - laboring, battling, copulating.
Will there be “Sicko Masters” who enjoy sadistically abusing cyborgs, like slaveowners who were quick with their whips?
Will there be reenactments of “Plantation Lifestyle” with masters ordering dozens of cyborg slaves about?
Will “machine mercenary” armies be mobilized, to murder for profit or televised entertainment?
Will the concubinage totals of ancient Kings be duplicated, in robotic form?
The possibilities are endless, and often unpleasant to contemplate.
(This has been commented on for half a century - Check out: You’ll Own Slaves by 1965)
Transhumanity.net articles on Sex Robots