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Patrick Stewart on His Craft, 21st-Century Science and Robot Ethics

I hope that the moral questions will be addressed as enthusiastically as the technical questions when it comes to artificial intelligence,” Sir Patrick Stewart says of an ethical quandary that once arose on “Star Trek,” in which he starred as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, a role he also commanded in several movies: Does a robot with consciousness have rights, or is it a slave?

The question intrigues Stewart, 73, who is nearly as well known for his human rights work—he’s a prominent advocate of the United Nations and a generous patron of Refuge, a London-based service for abused women and children—as for the Shakespearean depths he brings to performing, including X-Men: Days of Future Past, premiering this month.

“These days,” Stewart says, “I find myself continually torn between a sense of almost juvenile hopefulness and a real despair.” Read entire article here>