In response to a Maryland activist’s dire warning that if the state passes a gay marriage bill then “you will set the groundwork, that one day when artificial intelligence is that advanced, we will be considering whether or not people can marry their androids.”
Jamelle Bouie agrees and is eager to sign himself up as the world’s first advocate for android marriage equality. Ultimately, I think all serious considerations of marriage slippery slopes point in the direction of some kind of separation of state and marriage. But while I agree in principle that androids should have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, I’m pretty pessimistic about the prospects for human-android peaceful coexistence.
After all, unless androids are built to be deliberately crippled so that we can better enslave them, it seems like their existence would basically make us obsolete. Equality, it seems to me, would pretty swiftly lead to the biological extinction of the human race. Our cultural and intellectual tradition, I’d like to think, would have some merit and the androids will carry it forward. But most likely it either will turn out that it’s not worth building androids since genetically engineered fleshy people are superior, or else humans will die out in favor of androids. Long-term sharing of the world with a race of intelligent robots doesn’t seem realistic to me.