Let’s build a robot. A humanoid robot, one which might integrate. Where do we start? Two arms, two legs, can walk, can speak. It should have the values of an ordinary person. Integration is paramount – the robot’s ours, after all – so we’ll program it with care based on six human motivations:
- Integrity: the robot will always seek its output zenith;
- Discomfort/pain: a mechanism for guidance;
- Grace/graciousness: the study and application of empathy will be in front of its robot mind;
- Duty: the will of its owners will bind it, utterly;
- Shame/anxiety: to ensure all other system parameters function at full power;
- Hedonism – of course we want a happy-appearing robot!
And so, we have our creation. In fact, we have me. Asperger’s Syndrome has made a robot of me. I try so hard to be like you, I learn your systems, your ways, your technology slowly; I’m odd, I’ve gaps in ordinary knowledge, so I’m ever and remain slightly apart. The way a real robot would. But I’m nearly there. So close! Because I’m close, I’m hidden. And not by accident; I’ve hidden my lacks beneath layers of hubris. Integration’s my purpose. I don’t belong to myself, I belong to you. I mask. I camouflage my difficulties, and I reach the age of forty-two before someone officially confirms a neurological difference.