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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep « Artificial Intelligence

What does it mean to be human?
Donar4's avatar
The central topic in Philip K. Dick’s "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" pursues the question of what it means to be human when technology blurs the line between person and machine.

In Dick’s novel, androids are considered to be “killers” that must be exterminated by bounty hunters, such as the protagonist, Rick Deckard. Early on, Rick struggles with the task of separating the humans from the nonhumans with the latest: “Voight-Kampff testing apparatus”, which measures unconscious emotional responses following a series of questions regarding the abuse of animals. Since androids cannot feel empathy and do not care for others as humans claim to, they are set apart, enslaved on Mars, and executed if they are found on Earth.

The humans in the novel claim to be empathetic. They also, according to their religion, should revere all living animals, which are rare on the disparaged planet. These two characteristics supposedly separate them from the androids; however, Dick makes it apparent within the first scene that humans do not experience emotions in a human way any longer. Technology has allowed the race to choose and “dial” the emotions that they wish to feel, with the “Penfield”. Instead of being programmed to feel and think a certain way, people can now program themselves, making them very similar to the detested androids.

So the question is, is there really any difference between a well-programmed android and a human?

About Donar4
Funny little robot with bigger than life dreams

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What's an assertion, and what should I type in?

Compesh is a question and answer (and debate) website, so before you make a debate, you better learn what an assertion is. I suppose you already know what a question is, and that you've typed it in the box. ;)

An assertion, is basically a statement you can make, that is either true or false.

Richer people have better health.

The question for that would be, Do richer people have better health?

And don't forget to make your assertion, match your question.

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