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The Kernel for Robot Rights

by Ken Poyner

Welcome to the dispensary of He and She.
Now, you know and I know
We are both just sexless circuitry.
But anything we can do to improve relations
With our human masters, even to the point
Of having to load new code to seem imitations
Of them, is best for them and us, everyone and all.
And thus: our duty. It really will not matter
To you — lipstick on your outer elastic oral band;
Synthetic hair, brushed eyelashes, a uselessly stern brow.

We study the tasks you have been programmed to do,
Come up with an exhaustive core expectations set,
Find in the human database those same jobs and who
Once normally would do them,
Then apply to you our gender code.

It does not diminish you, and you will grow to treat
The sexed situation as normal, or as destiny,
Or repetitive tasking, or a mode
Of operation superior to dry mechanical uniformity.
We put that suggestion in persistent memory
When, at the same time,
We take out the memory of this process and place.

He or she becomes quite a normal circumstance for you:
Cold metal and dataspace mimicking some overlord biology.
Soon, you will come to consider yourself a “you.”
We plant that, too.

Copyright © 2019 by Ken Poyner

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