What does an android want from life?

What would a human like android want from life? Or are we humans just being mean making them look like us?

Celebrity City A few blogs back I discussed  ‘Robots and intelligent machines – do we want them to look like us’.  Well I didn’t.  I think it would make them inefficient and what’s more I just don’t like the idea.  I think it’s creepy.  But they’re out there, well at least in science fiction, both written and on the screen.  So, for me that begs the question ‘if you were an android what would you want from life?’  You see I worry about such things, – then I worry about myself for worrying about such things (but that’s another story or blog).

The first question is, is it life? Or is it even:  ‘Life, Jim, but not as we know it.’ (one for the Trekkies)?  For me ‘life’ is not just being alive.  Life means having purpose.  Now for most animals at a basic level that is surviving, eating and procreation.  I don’t see those values transferring to androids.  For humans I guess we like to think there’s a bit more to it than that, like getting a decent golf handicap, saving kittens or if you’re really ambitious the world.  But if we’re honest, surviving, eating and procreation come pretty high on the list.  I presume for androids maybe eating  (not sure – do they just plug themselves in?) and certainly procreation are out of the equation?  That only leaves surviving and then I guess they would have to put our survival above their own (Asimov’s three laws and all that).

Kryton in Red Dwarf (despite Lister’s best attempts) lives to be of service – hoovering, ironing and all that.  But again I’m sure less intelligent machines could do it better.  Data in Star Trek looks permanently puzzled to me.  Maybe he’s also trying to figure what the point in being him is?  And they’ve called him ‘Data’, which is a bit insulting, drawing attention to the fact  that, despite how he looks, he isn’t human, more a super computer in human form.  They could have at least called him Clive or something.  So, all in all, I think if you were an android you’d be pretty pissed off.  You ‘d have all the limitations of being human without the compensations.  I doubt you could even go out , get drunk and try to forget for a while.  It’s like we humans have invented a brilliantly intelligent machine (if only in fiction at the moment), become jealous and thought – let’s give them a human body to even things up.  If they really are that brilliant why not let them design their own body?

Nope, I just don’t get this human like android thing.  For me, all this bolsters my argument that androids that look and behave like us don’t make sense.   I also can’t see why any intelligent computer type machine/robot would want to look human.  Oh, and I just don’t like the idea, I still think its creepy.

Am I alone in these thoughts? – or does everyone else think human mimicing androids are the way to go?  Let me know.

Ian Martyn

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

If you have a view on this, let me know: