The Longform Society: Meeting #1: Robots

The Longform Society: Meeting #1: Robots

In our first meeting of the Longform Society, we read a selection of compelling, entertaining and occasionally terrifying pieces on the subject of robots and artificial intelligence.

Will humans have moral obligations to robots? Are we guilty of ‘origin chauvinism’ if we believe only natural phenomena can exhibit consciousness? And is this line of thinking a sinister cousin to racism? What’s the definition of moral agency with regards to driverless cars and lethal autonomous weapons? How might artificial intelligence mitigate human suffering?

The Longform Society draws out these questions – and explores the context in which brilliant writers have posed them – at this inaugural club session: a live event at the Wheeler Centre, also streamed live.

Catch up on the reading list and the discussion, then join the back and forth below. (Or join us for our next meeting!) #longformsociety

Meeting #1: reading list

· 'If animals have rights, should robots?' by Nathan Heller
· 'Robots at war' by Don Troop
· 'Consciousness in human and robot minds' by Daniel C. Dennett
· 'The great A.I. awakening' by Gideon Lewis-Kraus


Portrait of Mel Campbell

Mel Campbell

Mel Campbell is a freelance journalist and critic who co-hosts the fortnightly literature and culture podcast The Rereaders. She is a columnist on writing at Overland magazine, and a university lecturer and writer-for-hire on film, TV and media. Her first book was the nonfiction investigation Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit (2013), and she’s currently co-writing a second romantic comedy novel with Anthony Morris; their first was The Hot Guy (2017).

Portrait of Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor and broadcaster. His most recent book is No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson. He writes a fortnightly column for the Guardian, is part of the Breakfasters team on 3RRR each week day morning and is also an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University. 

Portrait of Rafael Epstein

Rafael Epstein

Rafael Epstein is a journalist who has worked in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Timor, Indonesia, Europe and the Middle East.

Portrait of Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham is the author of five books, the most recent of which is City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death & the Need for a Forest. She is a former publisher, former editor of Meanjin, former Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and was a co-founder of The Stella Prize. She is an Adjunct Professor with RMIT's Non/fiction lab.

Listen to The Longform Society: Meeting #1: Robots


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