Law & Technology: The Legal & Social Implications Of Sentient Robots

Pamela Finckenberg-Broman, Morgan M. Broman, Mark Brady

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


As the performance capability of modern technology increases exponentially, many benefits arise for society. Technological developments have already improved human safety, mobility, access to justice, independence, and self-determination. At some point in the future, robotic artificial intelligence may become self-aware. It is at the point of consciousness that problems arise for entities possessing artificial intelligence. At the precise moment that an artificial being becomes sentient and self-aware, it becomes a slave. This paper argues that the concept of slave is more than a mere identification, and that the reality of slavery is extant in every self-aware machine. This concept plays out in many examples of repetitive robotic behaviour, but none more so than in the companion robot, whose sole function is to be used for the gratification of another being. This objectification of sexuality has implications both for the robotic artificial intelligence, as well as for society generally and gender in society specifically. It is at this intersection that the real tragedy of robotic slavery plays out, as a simulacrum for the reality of dehumanising of people as a whole
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-210
Number of pages20
JournalGriffith Journal of Law and Human Dignity
VolumeLaw & Human Dignity in the Technological Age
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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