In his post Exploring Our Matrix: Robots in the News, James McGrath points to not only the new Star Wars developments but also a couple of articles/books about robots and how we perceive them in terms of possible consciousness and relationality.
Reminds me of this quote from Ray Kurzweil’s article “The Coming Merging of Mind and Machine” (from Scientific American) where he says,
Sometime early in the next century, the intelligence of machines will exceed that of humans. Within several decades, machines will exhibit the full range of human intellect, emotions and skills, ranging from musical and other creative aptitudes to physical movement. They will claim to have feelings and, unlike today’s virtual personalities, will be very convincing when they tell us so.
As McGrath says, the issue will not be whether or not we can definitively assign agreed concepts of consciousness or personhood to synthetic systems, but whether our conscious and unconscious interactions with such systems will have already forced us to decide how we will treat them.