Artificial Identity, sometimes called Robotic Identity or Machine Identity, is an umbrella term that encompasses many other identities in which people identify with robots and machines. Such people typically feel a disconnection between humanity and themselves, feeling much more in commmon with robots and identifying as such.
The word robot originates from the Church Slavonic word robota, which means 'forced labour'. This term would be used to refer to peasants in the feudal system who were obligated to compulsory service. It wouldn't be until 1920 that the word would be applied to artificial automata, where it was used in Czech writer Karel Čapek's play, R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), which went over the technological creation of artificial human bodies without souls, which were portrayed in similar light to the feudal peasants that predate them.
Origin of artificial identity
While the exact origin in which artificial identity started appearing is unclear, it can be assumed that it started to take a foothold within the 20th century. While the idea of a self-operating machines goes back centuries and is covered by many ancient mythologies, it wouldn't be until the 20th century that robots would become a feasible reality. One of the first attempts at a proper robot happened in 1928, where a robot named Eric would be exhibited at a annual exhibition of the Model Engineers Society in London. Eric was able to move its hands and its head, which was controlled via remote and voice control. While Eric was quite an early attempt, it would certainly pave the way for the future of autonomous machines.
Robots and machines would start to take a foothold in various media during the late 20th century. Notable examples include the movie franchise Terminator, the science fiction novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, the science fiction novel I, Robot and many, many more. Many depictions of robots in media is often negative, portraying robots in a negative light, with an especial bloodthirst for exterminating humanity. Humans are often viewed as the heroes of the story, which could be further from the truth considering many of the reasons robots defy humanity is because of the mistreatment of them, leading to an eventual retaliation.
Despite these negative depictions, robots have continued to increase in relevancy towards to start of the 21st century. With the advent of transhumanism, posthumanism and mind uploading becoming a real possibility, the idea of identifying as a robot has seemingly begun to increase, with many rejecting the label of humanity that has been given to them.
Discovery and Dysphoria
Many robot-identified individuals share common experiences which led to the discovery of their robotness. Similar to gender dysphoria, species dysphoria is something many of these individuals face. Human bodies and their many biological functions (heart beats, veins, blood) may provide a significant discomfort to the individual, creating a desire to change the body they inhabit. Many of these individuals feel a strong connection to machines and computers, often relating more to computers than with humans. While not shared among all individuals, a fear of death is another experience that many individuals face. Human bodies have a limited lifespan, but artificial bodies could work indefinitely and be repaired as parts begin to wear, leading to what is essentially digital immortality.
Those with underlying medical conditions that affect their daily lives feel comfort in the idea of having a artificial body, as their medical conditions would no longer affect them in such a body. The ability to modify oneself is another experience that many find appealing, as human bodies cannot be modified in the traditional sense, while artificial ones can. The modularity of artificial components would lead to a life where their bodies would truly be under their control.
Due to species dysphoria, many robot-identified individuals come up with unique ways to alleviate some of it. Covering skin with long sleeve shirts, gloves, and masks can help with presenting as a robot, as well as using more neutral colors such as black, white and gray. Online voice changer programs such as Voicemod, Clownfish and Voxal have a variety of presets and customization that allow for a more robotic sounding voice, which can provide euphoria. Many also opt to use more robot-friendly language in place of the typical human language (words such as sleeping will become recharging). Others often use pronouns such a it/its and bit/bits to aid in feeling robotic. Working with technology, such as phones, computers and electronics may also help such individuals feels more in tune with their robot selves.
There are many labels within the artificial identity umbrella.
Machinekin is an umbrella term that includes all machine-related kins, such as robotkin, androidkin, AIkin, fictionkin and cybertroniankin.
Robotkin is a kin identity under the Otherkin umbrella wherein one identifies as a robot and often believe themselves to be spiritually nonhuman or in a non-physical way, such as through reincarnation or psychologically. Robotkin have often been excluded from the greater otherkin community due to the belief that one cannot identify as something without a soul, classing robots as something without a soul. However, this belief has been challenged both by the greater scientific community, which has disputed the existence of the soul, and by many animist belief systems that do not hold souls to be exclusive to organic life. This idea additionally excludes fictionkin, plantkin and voidkin identities, among others.
Robotgender is a gender identity where one feels their gender is heavily connected to robots and machines. While there is some slight overlap with robotkin, both have differences that set them apart. A person who identifies as robotgender does not necessarily identify as a robot and inversely, a robot does not have to identify as robotgender; though they can be both.
Nonhuman is a catchall label to describe many identities outside of typical human ones. Some robot-identified individuals may choose to just call themselves a robot, rather than the labels above. They may not spiritually believe themselves to be a robot, but believe they might become a robot in the near future.
Plurality is a term used to describe individuals that inhabit a single body. Many plural people have robots and machines incorporated into their systems, as well as non-robots. These different individuals are often called headmates, systemmates and alters.