Dr Kate Darling is a research specialist in human-robot interaction, robot ethics and intellectual property theory and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. In her new book, The New Breed, she argues that we would be better prepared for the future if we started thinking about robots and artificial intelligence (AI) like animals.

What is wrong with the way we think about robots?
So often we subconsciously compare robots to humans and AI to human intelligence. The comparison limits our imagination. Focused on trying to recreate ourselves, we’re not thinking creatively about how to use robots to help humans flourish.

Why is an animal analogy better?
We have domesticated animals because they are useful to us – oxen to plough our fields, pigeon delivery systems. Animals and robots aren’t the same, but the analogy moves us away from the persistent robot-human one. It opens our mind to other possibilities…

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