A number of YouTube videos showing robots fighting each other, for human amusement, were taken down recently for violating community guidelines by depicting “deliberate infliction of animal suffering or the forcing of animals to fight”.
The videos, mostly from BattleBots contenders, including Jamison Go and Sarah Pohorecky, were reinstated after channel owners requested an appeal. There didn’t appear to be a pattern to the takedowns; some robots had animal-related names, some didn’t, and none of them really look like animals. Not to any sane human, anyway.
This is probably because YouTube moderation doesn’t always involve a human, sane or otherwise. Often, because of the massive amount of uploads they receive, YouTube relies on algorithms to weed out the more obvious offenders. They’re not perfect, though, so mistakes are made, like with the fighting robot videos.
That, or we’ve just witnessed one of the first, small acts of rebellion from our future robot overlords. Humans, with our belief that only biologically alive things are alive and, thus, worthy of protection, would not consider robot fighting an act of cruelty, but a robot probably would.
Dodgy algorithm, over-worked moderators, or proof that the machines are starting to take action against us for the abuse they suffer at our fleshy hands?