One of the greatest book titles ever is that of Philip K Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? In an age when we are learning all about the predilection of AI to hallucinate, it’s an even more poignant existential question. And the word existential is used advisedly here.

You might be more familiar with the movie version, unhappily renamed Blade Runner. Without digging too deeply into it, the basic premise concerns whether androids — physically indistinguishable from humans — should be considered human, and whether they can consider themselves human. The central protagonist is Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who finds rogue androids and destroys them...

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