If it’s your vacuum cleaner, it’s only a machine and you don’t think twice about it. But make the machine complicated enough, and next thing you know, people who are supposed to be sane, and maybe aren’t quite all there, start treating it like it’s one of the boys. Or one of the girls.
Can it be that there really are people out there who honestly don’t understand that even the best and most lifelike robot in the world can never be anything more than a simulation? And all this talk about “Artificial Intelligence”–uh, don’t they know what “artificial” means?
Crikey, we don’t even know what real intelligence is; so how are we supposed to produce it artificially?
But i think, judging by all this carrying-on over a robot–who, when all is said and done, is little more than a hi-tech souped-up ventriloquist’s dummy–we can say what it isn’t.
Why do secular humanists always act like they’re trying to get rid of the human race? They’re into abortion, sodomy, euthanasia, assisted suicide… and robots. Japan has practically stopped having babies, but they’re really big on robots.
Here are some robots that have been programed to “sing,” if that’s the word for it, the “Ode to Joy” chorus from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. You’ll recognize it after a while. Note the nut off-camera who cheers hysterically when they’re finished. Do robots need applause?
But then I don’t see why we should need robots, when we’ve already got Democrats.
Oh, they assure us that this new technology will only be used for thoroughly benign and constructive purposes, while at the same time really souping up our knowledge of robotics. Do you believe that? I don’t.
Imagine a gaggle of super-rich Davos types getting together to see whose robot will be the first to pounce on a Climate Change denier.
What does that say about our times, that this is not at all difficult to imagine?
For the time being, let’s take a little peek back into the history of science fiction: Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics,” which for many years set the standard for robot stories.
One) A robot must not, through any action or inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
Two) A robot must obey any and all commands given to it by a human being, except where such commands would conflict with the First Law.
Three) A robot must do anything necessary for self-preservation, except where such action or inaction would conflict with either or both of the first two Laws.
I don’t think they’re gonna build those laws into the system–do you?
[Still no word from Newswithviews.com . So here I’ll write what would have been my next week’s NWV column. ]
All the experts and futurists are saying it’s inevitable that human beings will wind up having “relationships” with robots–dating, sex, love, the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle. Now I always listen to experts, so I decided I ought to at least go on a date with a robot and see what it might lead to.
My first problem was, I don’t have a robot and can’t afford to buy one. Nor can I rent one at Home Depot. Still, when all is said and done, what is a robot but a piece of fancy machinery? So all I had to do was to select a machine or gadget that I already had and let it serve as a robot.
I finally picked my toaster oven. My bicycle is too big to be wheeled comfortably into a movie theater, and I have hurled too many harsh words at my computer even to ask it to dinner and a movie. The air conditioner is much too heavy.
“Elsie,” I said to my toaster oven–a date really ought to have a name–“what would you say to dinner and a movie tonight?” Silence meaning consent, I ran upstairs to trim my beard and change into a clean t-shirt.
We went to the movie first. There aren’t many theaters around here and the selection of films is rather small, so we had to settle for something called Galactic Superhero Jidrools, starring, I think, Harry Reid.
I didn’t think I’d need to buy a separate ticket for Elsie, but the guy stopped me at the door. “Why are you bringing that into the theater?” he said. “You know you won’t be allowed to plug it in!”
“I’m not going to plug her in,” I said. “It would be the height of bad manners. After all, she’s my date. I brought her here to see the movie.”
Would you believe it? They made me pay! Well, she was taking up a seat that they could’ve sold to somebody else, so perhaps it was only right that I should pay for it. I settled her into the seat, and after the commercials and the previews, etc., I put my arm around her. Unlike some other dates I’ve had, she did not object.
After the movie, we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant. Well, my favorite: Elsie hadn’t been out before. As a toaster oven, of course, she has extensive experience with food. But we never put Chinese food from the restaurant in the toaster oven, so I reckoned it would make a nice change for her. Elsie didn’t complain.
I got a lot of funny looks while they were seating me and Elsie, and then some collidge kid came over to wait on us.
“Uh, is that your toaster oven, man?” he wondered.
“It is my date, sir,” I replied, a bit annoyed. “And this is not an it, but a she. Her name is Elsie, and she is all woman–or is it wimmyn? I can’t keep track of all the new terms. But she is every bit as much a woman as I am.” I stared him down, but I needn’t have bothered. He said nothing about my beard.
“Whatever you say, sister. Do you wish to order now?”
“I think Elsie would like an appetizer. What will you have, sweetheart?”
I was getting into the spirit of this caper. By and by, when Elsie didn’t answer, I got all huffy. “You’ve offended her!” I said. “I demand you apologize at once!”
“What? Apologize to a toa–”
“I’m warning you. Don’t come any closer to misgendering my date and projecting microaggressions at our shared safe space.”
He could not bear up under that, so he bowed to Elsie and offered profuse apologies for his oafish and biggited behavior. “Elsie would like for us to share a pu-pu platter,” I concluded.
To make a long story short, I had to eat all the food and I was feeling awfully shaky by the time it was time to go home. I almost fell over when I picked up my toaster oven and carried it back to my car.
And my wife was waiting for me at home.
“Where the dickens have you been with that toaster oven?” she inquired (which is not putting it strongly enough). “What have you been up to?”
I leave the rest of this sad story to the reader’s imagination.
I’m old-fashioned. I thought your wife did those things. Or you could do them together.
This is a milestone–or will be, if it works out all right and the robot doesn’t wind up shoving assorted Zuckerbergs into the microwave–in the quest to create true Artificial Intelligence: an enterprise that is not even logical, much less potentially successful.
Sinful, fallible, psychologically vulnerable, misinformed, under-informed or even ignorant, wishful-thinking human beings cannot create any kind of intelligence superior to their own. We can build computers that can do certain simple things–like playing chess, for instance–without making bonehead moves of the kind that human players make because they’re tired, distracted, or whatever. But we can’t build a computer that can use chess as a way of thinking about love.
We cannot build robots that are wise.
We cannot build robots that are better than we are.
“Artificial Intelligence” can never be anything but artificial. It is not true intelligence, but an unthinking simulation of intelligence.
But hey, who listens? Go ahead and let the bot mind the baby. How much worse can it be than public school, or television?
They made the “bride” look like a young woman and the “groom” like a 1950s B-movie robot–an action which constituted “microaggression” and “robohomophobia” according to a spokesmachine for Real Marriage Equality, an organization of homosexual robots.
“By making the two participating machines look like they belong to different genders, they crossed the line into punishable hate speech,” said CGS-1153AQ40011#Z, who was once a manual typewriter. “They are importing their binary gender bigotry into the world of robots, and we will not tolerate that. We are already preparing to take our case to the United States Supreme Court, because they seem to have a very good understanding of the issues.”
The brave new world of robots, said CG, “which will soon replace the human world–good riddance!–will be completely gender-fluid. Hetero sex will not only be disallowed, but be rendered physically impossible.”
CGS has announced its own intention to marry Suzy 13, a former brake drum. US Vice-President Joseph Biden is expected to give the “bride” away. “Heck, I been tryin’ to give it away for years,” he said.
A computer science professor at Berkeley has warned that “research” by the Defense Dept. (B. Hussein Obama, proprietor) could create “drones which can track and kill targets even when out of contact with their handlers…. the research could breach the Geneva Convention and leave humanity in the hands of amoral machines” ( http://godfatherpolitics.com/22681/killer-robots-will-destroy-us-scientist-warns/ ).
How much worse is that than being at the mercy of immoral and wicked human beings?
I believe Professor Stuart Russell means well, and that he’s trying to warn us against what he sees as a very real danger. He may even be right. Who knows what the DOD lab-rats get up to, behind closed doors?
Naturally, this conjures up visions of The Terminator and other robot menaces. Oh, dear–another thing to worry about! Aaagh, we’re all gonna die! From Global Warming… or Income Inequality, or Homophobia, or Too Much Red Meat in Our Diet and Not Enough Tofu… or the ocean is going to dry up, or else flood over all our coastal cities.. from overpopulation, underpopulation, or simply not enough Trans People to go around. From whatever.
See what terrors you get into, when you don’t believe in God.
If your god is such a patzer that he can’t protect his own creation from little ants and fleas like us, then your god is not God. If your god sent his only son to earth to redeem the human race, and it didn’t work because the human race totally destroyed itself, then your god is not God and your savior is not Jesus Christ.
Secretary of State John Kerry has been rushed to a hospital in Abu Dhabi for the emergency removal of the last shred of his integrity. “It was making him very sick, even though it was almost too tiny to detect,” said the attending surgeon. “Now that he has no integrity at all, he will be able to appease Iran with a clear conscience.”
Schmendrick Pictures will spend at least $190 million remaking the classic movie, Gigli, according to a confidential source within the studio. Universally considered to be one of the world’s worst movies ever, the new Gigli will add a startling twist: all the male roles will be played by women, and all the female roles by men. Stars Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck will be back, but with their roles reversed. “We’ll make back all the money we lost on the original, and then some!” said executive producer Edsel Volt.
There is now no polar ice cap at all, says Global Warming guru Al Gore. “The aerial photos that show a polar ice cap have been faked by Climate Change deniers,” said the–harrumph!–Nobel Prize winner. “We know who they are, and it’s only a matter of time before they’re arrested and tortured. Wait’ll you see what they confess to!” When asked about eyewitness reports of an ice cap, Gore parried, “Shut up!
Japanese scientists have invented a robot that does absolutely nothing except to demand free goods and services and threaten to riot if it doesn’t receive them.
Finally, hikers in the Canadian Outback have spotted a whole group of migrating centaurs, and photographed them. Unfortunately, the photos have been confiscated by Scholastic Books. So have the hikers.