The three laws of robotics, widely known and written by the Sci-fi author Isaac Asimov, say that no robot shall harm any human or allow a human to get harmed by inaction (first law), that any robot shall obey any order given to it by a human unless it goes against first law and that a robot shall protect itself unless it comes in contradiction with first or second laws.

Does copyright infringement harm humans? As our annual campaign in social media reminds each 23th of April, #behindeverybook is an author. There is documented evidence of allegedly illegal use of copyrighted works in the training of this kind of software.

So, we are #AgainstWritoids

Are these robots? They don’t have a self-moving structure, they seem to be data farms, static, heavy, threatening. But they have a way of communicating with us. And to induce us to false beliefs or to let us think that we are doing legal and ethical acts when interacting with these programs.

These robots use our data, often without our consent, and now they are building competing capacities to substitute us, the writers.

So, we are #AgainstWritoids

The sci-fi writer and scientist Arthur C. Clarke’s third law about science says that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. People seem fascinated by the outputs of robotic technologies and are using them in any kind of aspects of their daily life, including falsifying texts, dissertations, or novels. But this is no magic. This is a cheap trick. These robotic engines are what Jorge Luis Borges wrote: “a half-dozen monkeys provided with typewriters would, in a few eternities, produce all the books in the British Museum”. Writoids are incredibly fast monkeys, with the added ability to compose answers to the prompts that users give them. By no means this is intelligence, but combinatory power. Writoids don’t write, but compile.

So, we are #AgainstWritoids

We can expect that some of these robotic engines can become self-learners. It seems like this can get out of control, and there are a lot of engineers, scientists and philosophers saying so.

Robotic engines are in fact disguises for not always well intended humans. We refer to AI in singular, as if it were only a worldwide entity answering questions. This is dangerous because it puts that entity (the so-called AI) in a fake supra-human level, some kind of “god” designing our reality. Non-human doesn’t mean better than human. On the contrary.

So, we are #AgainstWritoids

This is about raising our ethical thresholds to protect ourselves and our future. Not only as writers but as citizens of (still) democratic and free countries. And not only with ethical frames but with strong and protective laws. Our governments need to look at these threats and act.

We are at a very delicate moment. The virtual world is taking over not only people’s relational, but even emotional spaces. And of course, it will take over a lot of authors’ space and jobs.

We, the writers, claim for our rights as authors and professionals. We reclaim our right to be listened, to bring onto the table the fears and doubts of millions of readers, citizens, human beings. We stand up for the liberty of us all. Technology should neither drive our lives, nor compose our dreams.

So, we are #AgainstWritoids. Are you?