Sentient Robot


In the research project it will inform about the possibility of building a sentient robot. It will inform the definition of a sentient robot. What challenges that will be confronted or what technology is needed to build the sentient robot. It’s will answer the type of artificial intelligence needed to build sentience into the robot itself. It will present what technology will be able to accomplish in the future in relation to building sentient robot. It will also answer the question of the type of robot that will be made due to the sentient being implemented. There is also research about the current situation or development of sentient robot. It will describe the application of sentient robot in the future and how it will help humans build their world. Overall the research looks into the possible future of making sentient robot a reality. Also the connection it has with science fiction literature.


The topic I start out in my proposal has since been changed as I research more. In the research there was limited information on the original topic that I wanted to research and also the research question was too difficult to answer. The new research question arise when I research more in depth about the topic. On question kept arising that nobody know the answers to. That is where the research question began to form. The project became clearer for me to begin in forming the presentation.

Although the research question was changed to be easier, there were a lot of information that was needed in the presentation slide. I incorporated background information about the topic so the audience to later understand the point I’m making. After the background information I would need to introduce my point which was my answer to the research question. With the research question set I was now able to provide information that would prove my point. During those slide I gave example of how it would be possible to achieve the point that I was making earlier in the presentation. After the point was proven I would then make connection to science fiction in my presentation. I would present a literature in science fiction that feature the point that I was making. The literature will provide some backup to my main argument or research question. In the final slide I would give information about the current status or the reality of my research questions. At the end I would inform the audience the “why” in my research question or argument to make my point stronger. At the end I will provide the list of sources I have used in the presentation. For all the slide I have put points to keep track of the information I’m presenting and not jumble up all the information.

In order to prepare for the presentation I have done more extensive research to answer questions that might be asked during the presentation. I also create some flash cards to keep myself in track and organize my thoughts during the presentations. Presenting so much information at a short amount of time would require me to pace myself really well in order to get to the end without getting cut off.

Download (PPTX, 7.1MB)


Class Notes 5-18-17

Important information:

The presentation will be 5-6 minutes long, information about final research project can be found here. Remember you’re suppose to provide a argumentative research presentation. Contact Professor Belli by email if you need help with the research project.

Tuesday presentation

  1. Carmen
  2. Alyssa
  3. Pedro
  4. Jessie
  5. Aneita
  6. Ryan
  7. Kelz

Thursday presentation

  1. Jaraad
  2. Jay
  3. Jorge
  4. Hunter
  5. Jennifer

Presentation tips

It is important to pace yourself when presenting because it is a 5-6 minutes long presentation, you don’t want to finish too early or too late. Organize your thoughts, not only will it help improve the presentation but also help the audience understand your point. Finally, know what you’re presenting because question will be asked.

Class notes

Lightning presentations

  • Pedro on cyber-genetic and how humans can enhance themselves with prosthesis.
  • Alyssa on steampunk and architecture, exploring the complexity of machine with use of simple parts such as gears.
  • Aneita on space, humanity exploring the unknown in space and the infinite possibility of space.
  • Carmen on female character in science fiction and female playing a lead role in science fiction literature such as being a protagonist.
  • Jessie on Hive-mind, a higher power controlling society to be efficient in accomplishing the higher power end goals.
  • Kelz on robot, their application and uses to help benefit humanity and the impact the robot has in the future.
  • Jaraad on artificial intelligence in video game and their ability to learn to challenge the player.
  • Jay on artificial intelligence and the effect it has on humanity, the negative and the benefits it brings.
  • Ryan on planet colonization, the exploration of different planet and living on other planet using their resources.

These are just a one sentence summary of each person lightning presentation in class and I understand that it is not what most of what is presented this is just a snip of what was presented.

Humans Effect on Sentient Robots

The things I’m up to are finding more sources to help further my research project. I planned out some of the sources I will be using below and also the research question I formulate with explanations on how I got up to this point. Also some sub questions I have made to help make the argument stronger.

Research Question: What effect will humanity have on the development of sentient androids moral principles?


Will humanity seek control of sentient androids?

Humans will control the sentient robots, humans are always seen as power hungry and will take what ever chance they got to rule over any beings. Often control will provide them with a sense of security and that they won’t be destroyed. They will likely prevent them from knowing or learning and keep them at a manageable level of intelligence. Humanity will consider that it is morally right to control their own creation. The enslavement on robot is often seen in many science fiction literature. Humanity will impose their own moral on the sentient robot because it will benefit their own cause.

Is it morally right for human beings to create a whole race of sentient androids?

One of the four basic principle of moral is to follow what nature intended. Building a race of sentient android is not natural. Humanity will be going against its own moral principle. Furthermore, it create life out of inorganic material which all life in nature is organic. The building of sentient android will ultimately change the basic moral principle that humanity follows. If moral principle that humanity has changed then so will the sentient android moral.


(1) Anderson, Michael, and Susan Leigh Anderson. “The status of machine ethics: a report from the AAAI Symposium.” Minds and Machines 17.1 (2007): 1-10.

The article discusses issues that may arise in future when artificial intelligence. It also explain how human should approach artificial intelligence to minimize the risk of any danger. It shows human’s ethical assessments on artificial intelligence and how the moral status of artificial intelligence is different from humanity moral status.

This article will be useful to help determine humanity’s moral stand point on artificial intelligence. It also provide the different path can take in terms of ethical assessments. Since the main focus of this research is about the moral of human when a sentient android, the article talk about the ethical issue surrounding artificial intelligence. Sentient is not programmable, artificial intelligence is. The article does provide many ethical issue that are still relevant to sentient android. It will serve as background information to the research.

(2) Sullins, John P. “When is a robot a moral agent.” Machine Ethics (2006): 151-160.

The article shows to the extend of what sentient robots can accomplish. It discusses a wide range of task that sentient robot are capable of. The interaction between human and sentient robots. It also discusses to what degree of sentience the human are able to make the robot feel. It shows the wide range of real world application that sentient robots are used for.

The article is mainly background information to help introduce the research in the presentation. It will help the audience understand what sentience is and what it can do. It will be mainly used in the research to define what sentient robot is for the audience to understand.


The comment given by my peers and professor was very helpful. It help me to narrow down the research I have been to doing. One thing the comment I have recieve have in common is they are asking about the research question. When I formulated one, the questions received from the peer review help a lot in forming what my whole research should be about and it help with forming the research question. Overall the project is overwhelming, but also I find it fun to do because I haven’t done proper research for a while.

How do we Treat Sentient Robots?


As technology continue to evolve and in a few centuries there is no doubt that we will be able to build sentient robots. Sentient robots are intriguing since they will also be able reason and feel like a human being. Some of the science fiction theme when it comes to sentient robot is that they either come out as evil or humans imposing restriction on them. Sentient robot might or might not have the same mentality as a human being. The question is do we treat the robot the same as we treat other animals or species that are not related to us,? such as hunting them, making them pets, and even enslaving them.

Sentient robots might even take on human form and become an android. It is only when sentient robots has taken the form of a human being that we begin to question the ethics of sentience in robots. Questions is it morally right to create a whole race of sentient robot without any consent at all? Just like human being, sentient robot might also be unpredictable. Through all these drawbacks why create sentient robot at all and not just robots? It is because one day human creativity, intellligence, and uniqueness will become obsolete and who will fulfill that role, sentient robots. That comes back to the question of “do we have the right to control sentient robots, even when they feel ?” One thing is for certain, if sentient robots are self aware of their situation they will always obey their creators similarly to a child that must obey their parent.

In the emotion department, sentient robots will be able to feel what normal human would feel in certain situations. Emotion could be consider as a flaw for the sentient robots. Is it right to be able to tell the robot what to feel and how to react. This come to the moral dilemma of nature versus nurture. Do we implement our own ideas into the robots or do we let them think for themselves and learn for themselves? We can also think of the sentient robots as a child being shown a world that can be wonderful or a disaster and it mainly depend on how we treat the sentient robots. Questioning the moral status of the sentient robots, one direction human can go is treating the sentient robots just like livestock. The situation is very similar to the race with the human species. Encountering foreign things no matter if they only slightly different, human always tend to stray on a dark path and exploit the weakness of other beings. No doubt if sentient robots are introduce questions about ethics would be raised and sentient robots would maybe impossible to conceive due to human ethics. It would also raise the questions about “is it just creating life itself, just in different form than the flesh and blood that we human are?”There is a lot of ethical issues regarding the sentience of robots. One day it might come true, due to human curiosity.


In the writing of the revised proposal, I have changed many aspect of it from the draft. The draft proposal contained to many ideas to follow and it was just to general. In the revised proposal I have narrow it down by doing research based on the advice given in the comment in the proposal draft. The ideas I have came up with was more complex and more focus. In order to write this proposal I took one question from the proposal draft and expanded on it by doing research. The research led me to a more general ideas of sentient robots. As I began to dig more into the sentience of robots I found a good understanding of what the research should contain. In the process of the research, the idea of robot rights and ethics of sentient robot kept popping up. Though the research did led me where I wanted to be, it also showed other intresting topic to investigate. One thing that the research challenged was my patience. After getting used to every necessary information hand to me, the idea of research really tested my patience. There is always dead end and I for most of the time did not know what I was looking for until it was right in front of me. In the writing of this proposal I have ditch the idea of humanoid, because that is a subject on its own that need researching. While doing the research, I have come across many irrelevant ideas in google scholar but still manage to find sources that I was able to use. In city tech’s online library I was able to modify my search more narrower and find what I need. In the process of compiling the proposal I have ditch many of the ideas I have research because it wasn’t focused enough to be used. The proposal was all written in my own word though some ideas were taken from researching and used to make my point a bit more clear to the audience. Though still at this point I’m uncertain if the research was enough.


Robots and Artificial Intelligence (draft)

If robots are build with enough artificial intelligence that they become sentient, the world would change. Robots are interesting, to be able to preform task that normally human would do. There are wide range of robots that are used to accomplish task set forth by humans. The type of robot that interest me the most is humanoid robots or androids, because they are the most versatile robots. Humanoid robots has human’s physical characteristic to help it operate in a world that is build by humans.Humanoid robots combine with enough artificial intelligence that make them sentient, will question the value of life.

Will sentient humanoid robots ever replace humans and human’s unpredictable actions? For example if  sentient humanoid robots were created and we sent them to war, labor camp, and enslaved them. Is it morally right to enslave a sentient being that we created? Will one day sentient humanoid robots replace human, due to human becoming inefficient? Humanoid robots will require immense amount of work to create, from the sensor such as human touch and feel to motor movement of fingers and the small expression human make due to emotions. Humanoid robots are mostly perceive to be dangerous in many science fiction literature, if the robot is sentient anything can be expected.

The article, shows that we are closing the gap in making a functioning humanoid robot. They develop the robot to mimic human speech and the human physical feature. This robot will soon transform into something indistinguishable from human.


What is Westworld

Westworld in the context of the show is a theme park with a western setting. The theme park unlike any other, everyday the park resets and repeat the day again. The theme park consist of automatons that are controlled and programmed to do specific actions. Guest are mostly in control of the automatons and can due what ever they want. Guest seek out automatons for adventures, similar to a regular theme park where guest seek out rides.

The main attraction of the theme park is the automatons. The automatons in the theme park are constructed in a lab which can be seen on 15:28 – 15:58. The process of how the horse is constructed from the inner part of it to the outside of the skin then to a fully functioning automaton. It shows that they are capable of creating life like beings. Furthermore the andriods in the park does not have consciousness. When Dolores was asked a question about reality, she answered “no” (2:20 – 2:40). The automatons are unable to think for themselves and act only to what they are programmed for. The one rule when creating automatons that is seen in all sci-fi films is that they  cannot kill (13:22 – 13:26). The andriod shoots at the guest multiple time and recieves no damage, android are limited when it comes with interactions with humans and their programming puts that limit on them.

The guest in the theme park is just like any customer, they get to do what they want as long as they pay the fee. The guest interact with the automatons in the park and is similar to going on a ride in a regular theme park. In 24:26 the new arriving guests interact with an automaton and agreed to go hunt the bandit. In 26:28 we can see the guest are hunting for the bandit, but the women also came along like it was no big deal. The automatons interaction are just like the rides in a normal theme park with the guest going along with the rides. Furthermore the guest has more control and freedom in the theme park. At 53:20 the guest is able to kill the automatons without any consequences and just laugh out loud. The guest are able to get their way and do what ever they want in the theme park. The guest have the ability to change storyline and change how the day progresses. The day starts out the same but as the guest interact with the automaton throughout the day the story changes and the automatons goes with the guests interactions.

The first episode of Westworld was just interactions of the guests and the automatons. It was difficult at first to distinguish the androids in the theme park from the actual human beings. The plot just help with the introduction of the character and also how the people controlling the park deal with the defective automatons. The beginning of each day is the same, which can be confusing seeing the progressions of the story. Although it is confusing the actual story is enjoyable, to see how each and every character interact with changing scenario. The ending where the mysterious man is on a cliff trying to find answers by kill the automaton, now that is a cliff hanger.

Weakness and Strength of Lauren’s Hyperempathy

In “Parable of the Sower,” Lauren’s hyperempathy play a big role and ultimately determine some of her descisions. In a world of pain and suffering, Lauren’s hyperempathy is a weakness and Lauren herself agrees on it. From the reader’s point of view Lauren’s hyperempathy can be seen as a strength, which make her realize the cruelty of the world and prepares her. Hyperempathy for Lauren help her understand people pain, that can be in a good or bad way depending on many factors such as situation, internal or external pain. Hyperempathy is helpful and useless for Lauren, it help her survive but can also be the cause of her death.

As Lauren travel along with Harry and Zahra, her hyperempathy can be see a as strength. In a way Lauren hyperempathy help her out in situations that would hurt others. When Harry asked about his relative after the raid Lauren responded with “I didn’t see your parents”(170). Leaving the question open for Harry to interpret it. If Lauren told the truth she would have felt the overwhelming emotion and render Harry a liability to the group. Through hyperempathy Lauren is able to learn new skills that would help her. When Lauren was attacked by a dog, she shot the dog and “The dog drop without a sound. I dropped”(209). Lauren in a prone position was able to shoot better and scared away the dog. The hyperempathy benefitted Lauren so that she could survive in the harsh world. Every step Lauren take (metaphorically), she has to consider the emotion of other.

Lauren hyperempathy is consider a weakness in the world that she lives in. Even though Lauren can understand others through her hyperempathy is useless and holds her back. When Harry was being attack, Lauren throws a rock and “brought it down with all my strength on the back of the intruder’s head. And I brought myself down”(188). Hyperempathy make Lauren vulnerable when she injure someone. After Lauren  injured the attacker she made herself useless to the group at the moment. Lauren even see that her hyperempathy is a weakness. When Harry said “what if I broke my arm?”, Lauren responded with “then I might not be much good to you”(193). Lauren knows that her hyperempathy limits her ability to function and help other in tough situation. Even Lauren’s hyperempathy is seen as a weakness to Harry and the group. The group understand if one of them is in serious pain Lauren will go down with them and the group can easily be picked apart that is why they allied with the Douglas.

in a world of pain and suffering, Lauren’s hyperempathy can either destroy or help her. Hyperepathy for Lauren is seen as a weakness, but from a larger perspective it can be seen as a strength rather than weakness. Lauren can either understand others through the pain or emotion she feel from other or she can suffer the pain of others. In the end Lauren had gotten very far because of her hyperempathy keeping her in check, making her realize the pain of what the world is and she must prepare for the pain.

Religious Value (Earthseed)

Religion is shown to have a big affect in Parable of the Sower. Earthseed, the religion is practiced by Reverend the community’s preacher and also by the community. Religion show to have an impact in Lauren’s life and the diary she is writing. From Lauren point of view she preceive what the religion Earthseed mean to her.

Lauren’s father Reverend Olamina sees that religion is a big part of his life and his family life, it keeps the community together. Reverend being a preacher and also act like the leader of the community feel that is his duty to establish a code within the community. That code is religion, people that share a common belief are less likely to attack each other and help each other out, which also separate them from the savages. Reverend even “insisted on fresh, clean, potable water for the baptism”(13). Water is expensive, but Reverend value religion over the welfare of his family and community. Reverend know the importantance of the religion, it is a thing from the past that was past along to him.

On the other hand Lauren define her own religion through his father’s religious belief. Being the daughter of a preacher, Lauren also hold religious values similar to her father. Lauren own religion differ from her father, but is subjected to her father religious belief to avoid any conflict. Lauren states that in her dairy saying, “I let my father baptize me in all three names of that God who isn’t mine anymore”(7). Lauren does not hold similar religious value as her father does. The reader can assume that it because of her hyperemphaty that changes her. Lauren seem to think that “God Is Change”, which is mention through out the book in her poems (3). In a way Lauren want god to change the world, because of her hyperemphaty she feel the pain of world around her including her own. Through out each poems in the book Lauren is defining her own religious belief and what she sees god as. Lauren’s father may influenced her in a way, her father even told her to hide the pain away from other.

In the gated community in which Lauren live in most of the people share the same religious value. People dislike other in the community who don’t share the same religious belief. Lauren describe Mrs. Sim saying, “She didn’t like the Hsu family because they were Chinese and Hispanic, and the older Chinese generation is still Buddhist”(22). In the community people value their own religion and those who believe in them and those with different belief are outcasted by some. Overall the community value religion a lot and would take risk to practice their belief.

The religion Earthseed are mainly from Lauren point of view maybe in the of other the religion value can very well be different. It is interesting to see how Lauren’s own religious value and belief develop through out the novel. Also how Lauren’s hyper empathy changes her and the diary she is trying to write.

The Expriences and Research I Gain in the Archive

The visit to the science fiction archive was a new experience for me. Although I have been in and out of the library I have never heard of an archive or visited one before. Now that I understand that an archive is where historical document are kept and preserve. It makes it more interesting for me when I visit the library, but an appointment is needed. The only draw back of the archive is that it’s badly positioned in the library. Throughout the visit we learned about the history of the archive and the content of the archive. We also did some research in the archive to help us understand more about the history of science fiction.

In the first half of the class we were presented with the historical background of the science fiction archive. The archive was donated from anonymous donor. What stood out to me was the person life works of collecting all of the science fiction work was just given away like that. If it was me who did that I would of sell it for some profit. Nonetheless it was the person hobby to collect these science fiction article, and he/she enjoyed it. It is really a great collection of work. If it wasn’t for the donor we wouldn’t have had an archive to research about science fiction. I have also learn that it was a great deal moving all those article of science fiction from one side of the country to another required.

We researched as a group about our science fiction magazine. The first thing I notice about the magazine was that they are different from the magazine of today. The research provided  information about what the book was made of, “pulps.” They where cheap wood paper that was used to print the magazines. It was also known as the “pulp era”(1896-1950s), since science fiction articles was very popular, to keep up the demand they were made with cheap materials (pulps). The pulp era correlate with the golden age of science fiction, the period was from 1938 to 1946. World War II (1939-1945) was a great affect on the golden age of science fiction. The golden age of science fiction left an impression in history. The result of my research was confirm when I went into the archive and found an enourmous amount of science fiction magazines, books, and many more.

The science fiction archive is enormous, one shelf was filled with the same author and there are many different author. The name of these author are really  intriguing, seeing that people from around the world with their different ideas of science fiction. Sadly we were limited by time and did not get to see the full extend of the archive. We hope to return to explore more of the archive.

The visit to the archive greatly improve my understanding of what science fiction as a genre is.  It made me more curious about the history of science fiction and the different types of science fiction out there.

Julia’s Role in the Novel

The role of Julia is very complicated in the novel. Julia is not a true rebel as Winston thought she was at first, she is also not for the government/party either. Julia role is to fulfill her own desire and feel free but still, want the government control. Julia acts like a basic citizen of Oceania, but her impulses drive her to rebel.

Winston’s relationship with Julia begins to build more, their difference toward the party unravels. Both Winston and Julia rebel against the party (Big Brother), but their ideas and thoughts differ from each other. Winston’s thoughts on Julia ideas as, “accepting the party as something unalterable, like the sky, not rebelling against its authority but simply evading it”(134). It describes Julia as a person who thinks nothing can defeat Big Brother and just simply want to fulfill her desire, not caring about the party. On the other hand, Winston seems to want a rebellion, to experience a future when the party is not in control, wanting the life that was taken from him before the revolution. Julia and Winston show their rebellion by having the desire to be with each other whenever they have free time to do so. Julia wanted what she cannot get, she said “If you kept the small rules you could break the big ones”, she used the small rules and kept following them through so no one would suspect her of breaking any rule, which gave her a chance to break other rules(132).

Furthermore, Julia does not want to really rebel against the party and rather live her own life within the party. Winston asked Julia about rebelling against the party and Julia responded with, “I’m not interested in the next generation”, she does not care much about rebelling (159). Julia only cared about anything that is relevant to her and just break the rules of the party to fulfill her desire. Julia does not care about truth or lies as the narrator said, “the difference between truth and falsehood did not seem important to her” (157). Julia believes what she believes and don’t care about what the party spew out. Julia is conscious of the party, unlike the society which is brainwashed by fake or altered news by the party and the government of Oceania.

Throughout the beginning of the story, Winston, and Julia are very cautious when going about with their everyday lives. Winston even suspected Julia to be a spy, but when they meet they seem less cautious than before. Trying to meet whenever they can, they acted like real couples and not the one in which the party arranges the marriage. The narrator said: “They did not discuss the possibility of getting married. It was too remote to be worth thinking about” (134). Julia and Winston are in love with each other and did not care if they were married or not.

Overall, Julia does whatever she desire during her free time and follows the party’s rule whenever it is necessary. Julia is not really against the party, but she feels oppressed by the party, even saying that the party tries to steal away “pleasure”. Julia is in between, she is not a true rebel and dislikes the function of the government/party.