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This Lunk of Inorganic Matter

Robots are repeatedly damaged or destroyed. The hitchBOT is a well-known example. But also the security robot K5 has become a victim of attacks several times. The latest case is described in the magazine Wired: „Every day for 10 months, Knightscope K5 patrolled the parking garage across the street from the city hall in Hayward, California. An autonomous security robot, it rolled around by itself, taking video and reading license plates. Locals had complained the garage was dangerous, but K5 seemed to be doing a good job restoring safety. Until the night of August 3, when a stranger came up to K5, knocked it down, and kicked it repeatedly, inflicting serious damage.“ (Wired, 29 August 2019) The author investigates the question of whether one may attack robots. Of course you shouldn’t damage other people’s property. But what if the robot is a spy, a data collector, a profile creator? Digital self-defence (which exploits digital as well as analog possibilities) seems to be a proven tool not only in Hong Kong, but also in the US and Europe. The rights of robots that some demand cannot be a serious problem. Robots do not have rights. They feel nothing, they do not suffer, they have no consciousness. „So punch the robot, I tell you! Test the strength of your sociopolitical convictions on this lunk of inorganic matter!“ (Wired, 29 August 2019)

Fig.: They feel nothing