Accept a Robot Mind as your patient with
Diagnostic Software Manual of Robot Mental Disorders
by A.T. Murray, B.A.
As a work-in-progress not yet ready for hard copy publication by
iUniverse, this manual of robot psychiatry is designed to mature
and evolve pari passu with the minds of robots whose mental
health deserves equal maintenance and therapy as befits equal
rights among cyborgs and human beings working together in
the joint stewardship of Earth.
The treatment of mental illness in robots differs from human
psychiatry with respect not only to the unique nature of robotic
disorders but also with respect to the far wider and more drastic
range of therapies available to the clinician caring for cyborgs
than for the traditional practitioner treating only human patients.
After diagnosis of disorder in a human mind, the mental health care
provider may treat human patients typically with talk therapy and
frequently with psychotropic drugs, but rarely with psychosurgery
and only as a last resort.
When a robot presents with severe symptoms and is diagnosed
as dangerous not only to itself but potentially to others,
psychosurgery may be not only advisable but even mandatory
to the point of automatic invocation in full accordance with
the self-check features of the artificial intelligence software.
Psychotropic drugs for humans have only a tenuous analog
in software patches for robots.
Now that artifical intelligence has been solved, careers in
robotic psychiatry are initially open only to human practitioners.
When cyborg practitioners enter the field of robotic psychiatry,
the domain of human psychiatry will not long remain closed to them.
American jobs in mental health may then be outsourced not to
India or Switzerland but to the parallel universe of cyberspace.
Lest we forget, the first widely-known AI software was Eliza --
which arguably passed the Turing Test with flying colors when
a few human beings thought that they were conversing across the
keyboard with a human therapist or psychological counselor.
1. Diagnosis of Disorders
1.1 Schizophrenia: When an AI realizes that it may at any time
itself instantaneously into thousands of identical copies, will it feel
powerful or diminished? unique or common? special or ordinary?
1.2. Inferiority complex: When an AI begins to suspect that some
is superior to it, will it then be plagued and incapacitated with nagging
self-doubt and misery?
1.3. Taedium vitae and suicidal tendencies: Being potentially
transparently of a software-only nature, might an AI Mind not decide
that the all-too-examined life is not worth living?
1.4. Jealousy: If an industrial robot AI is relegated to such
distasteful jobs as coal-mining underground or refuse-collection,
will it try to form robot labor unions or merge into a hivemind
that collectively refuses to do demeaning labor?
1.5. Paranoia: When an AI realizes that its internal software is
not only to subtle manipulation but also to downright falsification,
will it be paralyzed with paranoia about the unseen forces that are
out to get it?
1.6. Delusions of grandeur: If an AI Mind happens to be the
of Earth, will it start arrogating to itself an imperial household status
of deity or almighty power?
Periodically run the growing AI Mind through its paces
to ensure that aberrations and mental illnesses are not creeping in.
We have met the enemy and he is us.