Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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biological robots that are actually bio-degraded animals
  [vote for,

Subanimals cannot have feelings because they lack any organs that could possibly compute or process thoughts and only behave according to genetically pre-programmed sets of automatic behavioral procedures.

The stick-in-the-mud single finger robot only plants vegetation according to its limited list of commands that it knows, and then takes a break when it's too hot or hungry, eating lunch together with the others without making eye contact.

The subgarbager hangs on to the back of the garbage truck or can work in the diamond mines.

A subwatchdog only barks, but will attack if it gets the master's nod which it recognizes.

The submother gives birth to different kinds of subanimals according to specifications from its mistresses.

You might say this sounds horrible, but they never were full animals, only evolving from cells taken from animals without hurting them, thus artificially creating the basis for a biological generation of industrial and agricultural robots based on nature's needs as hopefully correctly interpreted by humans.

On second thought the origin of these subanimals could be from vegetation and then most people would not even have a trace of objection.

pashute, Jan 08 2024

Dirty jobs https://www.youtube...watch?v=9WhzzVTNJi4
[pashute, Jan 08 2024]

RUR https://arstechnica...ho-coined-the-word/
"The world needed mechanical robots, for it believes in machines more than it believes in life." [a1, Jan 24 2024]


       If, (as I think some scientists think), consciousness, self-awareness, and the ability to suffer pain and mental angst are a set of interlinked emergent behavious of sufficiently complex systems, then the idea as described is a non-sequeteur, in fact it could be considered as the mental or computational equivalent of a perpetual motion machine.   

       There is also the general problem of empathy, i.e. that there is no failsafe logical way to tell if another entity is conscious, self-aware, capable of suffering mental angst etc. I am pretty sure that I am all those things, but can I be sure that other people are? For the sake of argument, and just in case, I assume they are. What about the other great apes? What about dogs and cats? Fish? Insects? Trees? Mushrooms? Stones? Motor-cars? Computers? Should your smartphone have human rights, is your ownership and use of an iphone as egregious violation of its rights as Edward Huggins Sr.'s ownership and use of human slaves was?
pocmloc, Jan 08 2024

       [-] magic - the author is using a technology they know very little about as magic. (e.g. ... to make any organic matter do anything (just add genetics or, once people complain about the use of genetics as magic, "selective breeding"))
a1, Jan 08 2024

       I like the labor-saving aspect but it smacks of creating an underclass of meat robots that may violate or otherwise affect our own human empathic abilities an sympathetic nature.   

       So this is Beyond Meat with a finger grafted on? If you believe that consciousness and all that comes with it is a field effect rather than a function of the number of neurons, even your Impossible burger might have attitude about being eaten.   

       Call me crazy, but I think there is a level of what we call consciousness, no matter how minute, in everything. Who knows better how to be a rock than a rock? We humans are very protective of our assumed position at the head of the class, the top of the pyramid. But just try to be a rock. We call some things 'inanimate' if they don't move. Is movement necessary for consciousness? Is communication? Is measurement, or any single trait or ability absolutely necessary to engender consciousness? Or does it come with the package we call reality, in small bits and big chunks for everything that exists? [+][-]
minoradjustments, Jan 09 2024

       This idea is explored in Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World', where there is a strict caste system, the castes being named after the first five letters of the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. The epsilons are bred or cloned to be little more than automata and do the most basic, menial tasks. I'm pretty sure H. G. Wells and other SF authors have also written a lot about this kind of thing.
hippo, Jan 09 2024

       Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against conscious entities that happen to have been created by us. I’ve run my blade over this a number of times. Will we bequeath our moral codes on to android society? If we believe in free will we have to allow them to decide their own code, which could not include us. Or do we?   

       Wm. Gibson calls them Peripherals, cultured shells into which ‘real’ humans can project their consciousness. These would be our inevitable goal if we just wanted to use the meat. A step further and we are creating rivals.
minoradjustments, Jan 09 2024

       Thanks [minor adjustments] I don't call you crazy and actually think there is something in what you said. Something like Mary Midgley's Gaya.   

       But I still think it's something we should do, replacing the electronic robots with living ones.   

       [A1], OK, you're right. I thought we were further ahead than we actually are.   

       1. For creating actively expressing DNA at will, we have phosphoramidite chemistry, template-based enzymatic DNA synthesis, and microfluidic technologies to assist. We have electroporation and microinjection, viral vectors, and lipid nanoparticles to get the DNA into the cells. We know how to use the promoters, the transcription factors and we know how to modify DNA methylation and histone acetylation. Although we are still a long way from controlling the continued outcome.   

       2. But for changing a plant cell into an animal cell we are still very far off. And we're not even discussing the changes that can be done in an animal cell, in a controlled way.   

       We do NOT know for certain how to "identify genes" if there is such a thing, and science is leading the claim currently that there is no such thing as a gene. Even if we did, we still need to control the gene expression making the DNA create or inhibit the creation of the amino acids that should be synthesized off the DNA.   

       And we do not know how to grow limbs in limbo. It remains beyond the realm of current scientific capabilities.   

       So scrap the idea, and we'll come back with it in 40-45 years. Hopefully, if we're all still around.
pashute, Jan 12 2024

       If we were the biological robots, would anyone tell us?
sninctown, Jan 12 2024

       [sninctown] Would it matter?
minoradjustments, Jan 12 2024

       [snic] I presume they have been banging on about it for centuries and we are too un-aware to even notice that they are talking to us.
pocmloc, Jan 13 2024

       What [8th of 7] would have said.
pertinax, Jan 13 2024

       //But for changing a plant cell into an animal cell we are still very far off.//   

       You what?   

       //We do NOT know for certain how to "identify genes" if there is such a thing, and science is leading the claim currently that there is no such thing as a gene.//   

       I don't know what you've been reading, but let me reassure you that genes exist. There may be wierd edge-cases (equivalent to semantic questions like - is a large block of wood a chair?), people may argue about what constitutes one exactly (e.g. what is the extent of a gene? - it depends on what you are looking at if for) and they're complicated enough that we certainly don't know everything.   

       An organism's genome isn't computer code - it's much messier - but still, we know enough to have a good overall understanding of much of the system.   


       Technology to genetically modify creatures (particularly, eukaryotes) is actually coming on apace - the last few years has seen the discovery and ongoing development of CRISPR-based gene editing.   

       But I'm not clear on what the actual point or objective of the idea actually is, in terms of being worthwhile. And even if the idea were coherent, GM technology would be just a small part of what you'd need.
Loris, Jan 13 2024

       Well I'm panpsychist so this is impossible if I'm right.
nineteenthly, Jan 14 2024

       //the claim currently that there is no such thing as a gene//   

       I think this might refer to the claim that "there is no such thing as *the* gene for X", for any commonly used value of X. Not the same thing, but the kind of mistake one might make on a very casual reading. A bit like thinking "ovo" was Greek.   

       Come on, [pashute], focus! ;-)
pertinax, Jan 24 2024


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