“Robotifying” Scarlett Johansson

My thoughts in Slate: What the Scarlett Johansson Robot Says about the Future.

…could lead to giving stronger property rights to celebrities in their images, with respect to robots. This would shift U.S. law by placing less of an emphasis on hard work, and more of an emphasis on threats to personhood and dignity. Or it could lead to the conclusion that people shouldn’t make robots that look like other real people, at all. Human slavery is often held up as the quintessential illustration of limits on property ownership, both inherently destructive of personhood and fundamentally immoral. What about robotic slavery, wherein the Scarlett Johansson robot feels for all purposes like the human actor you cannot legally enslave?

Inspired my my conversation with April Glaser of Wired, for this earlier article.

“There’s no doubt that as the robotics technology democratizes, we’ll see an increase in attempts to make your own personalized Kim Kardashian, for example,” says Ohio State University law professor Margot Kaminski. “And there’s also no doubt in my mind that this will have a gendered component. Siri’s a woman, Cortana’s a woman; if robots exist to perform labor or personal assistances, there’s a darn good chance they’ll be women.”