Living with Robots —by Paul Dumouchel and Luisa Damiano

Living with Robots is a fascinating exploration of artificial intelligence that draws on mimetic theory to understand the phenomenon of social robots that exist in the real world, with real bodies, and interact with humans. The book is deeply philosophical and contemplates the possibility that we are at an inflection point in human evolution due to the ability of robots to have what the authors refer to as “artificial empathy.”

What are the rules governing social behavior? Human desire, according to Girard, is one of the most powerful forces guiding human behavior. If that is true, then designers of AI cannot ignore the impact of mimetic desire and the role that it plays in making us uniquely human—and mimetic.

This book is particularly concerned with the “moral behavior” and ethical concerns of robots, and explores the possibility of robots having agency. This is a fundamental text for any exploration of the relationship between mimetic desire and freedom.