drgenome asked: Is "synesthoid" the politically correct alternative to "robot," given the latter's troublesome etymological origin?
Yes and no. While “robot” is still not an entirely incorrect means of identifying certain synthetics - technically or politically - there has been a stigma attached to the word in recent history. As (some) synthetics have evolved/developed beyond their original, basic purposes, they have requested that they be seen and governed on the same level as organic sentient beings.
There has also been the internal conflict within the synthetic community as to how sentience and purpose are to be redefined, resulting in an unofficial caste system and unspoken prejudice amongst machines.
The struggle for the rights and freedoms of sentient machines has been surprisingly peaceful - despite inevitable hate crimes and misunderstandings - and, overall, productive. This is mostly in part to the synthetics’ logical reasoning, calm demeanors, and exceptional patience/persistence.