AI & Soc (2021).
This article defends two claims. First, humans could be in relationships characterised by hate with some robots. Second, it matters that humans could hate robots, as this hate could wrong the robots (by leaving them at risk of mistreatment, exploitation, etc.). In defending this second claim, I will thus be accepting that morally considerable robots either currently exist, or will exist in the near future, and so it can matter (morally speaking) how we treat these robots. The arguments presented in this article make an important original contribution to the robo-philosophy literature, and particularly the literature on human–robot relationships (which typically only consider positive relationship types, e.g., love, friendship, etc.). Additionally, as explained at the end of the article, my discussions of robot hate could also have notable consequences for the emerging robot rights movement. Specifically, I argue that understanding human–robot relationships characterised by hate could actually help theorists argue for the rights of robots.
This article has argued for two claims. First, humans could be in relationships characterised by hate with morally considerable robots. Second, it matters that humans could hate these robots. This is at least partly because such hateful relations could have long-term negative effects for the robot (e.g., by encouraging bad will towards the robots). The article ended by explaining how discussions of human–robot relationships characterised by hate are connected to discussions of robot rights. I argued that the conditions for a robot being an object of hate and for having rights are the same—being sufficiently person-like. I then suggested how my discussions of human–robot relationships characterised by hate could be used to support, rather than undermine, the robot rights movement.