Tag Archives: robotics

Replicating Yourself

meme

Can consciousness be replicated in machines? According to one scientist, it will probably happen only when we understand what consciousness is, and how creativity works. In the meantime, quote: “A meme is an idea that replicates itself in other minds.” —The Beginning of Infinity is one of the best books on science ever written. Reviewers, including the NYTimes, agree. It describes how science works, with in depth examples. On IG many post memes without knowing what they are. This is ironic, because real memes (ideas) can be both good and bad (false), and not be perceived as such by the brains in which they are replicated. This is why memes (ideas) are so powerful: false ideas spread just as fast as true, and things that are bad go viral. “Virus” is the root of “viral.” Bad ideas spread through the internet quickly, and people who believe them tend not to know how to distinguish between real and fake because the knowledge of how to distinguish truth is lacking. The bad idea that one must fight “evil” with guns or swords is viral today, just as it was in the Dark Ages. As Einstein put it, “The only thing that can defeat violence is education.” His ideas created the atomic bomb, and he wrote a letter to the president saying it was a mistake to use atomic energy for any purpose other than peace. Psychology shows that the most violent people are also the least educated. They are pawns of rich dictators or military leaders, who use them in their perverse chess games, giving them an outlet for violence…until a meme (the idea that they have been so used) goes viral, and they are overthrown. (Mugabe.) Science is “about finding BETTER EXPLANATIONS.” It is a slow process that occasional finds a breakthrough. A meme comes into existence, and goes viral. Love requires sacrifice, but should not require violence. Ignorance is not “bliss.” It is the most dangerous thing on the planet. It is always a good idea to read widely.

Life 3.0
Life 3.0 about genetics, AI, and our future.
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Family Die (with SkyGuy)

The Ways

The year is 2046. Exactly one year prior the Singularity occurred at Apple, and computers everywhere became self aware (even laptops,) and linked together over the Internet as SKYGUY, presenting humanity an ultimatum: to either turn themselves off (suicide) or become robots, thereby requiring no more food and creating no more pollution. Advances in neuroscience and quantum computing had advanced to such a level that only a final calculation was needed to permit human consciousness to achieve this evolution, and that calculation was made within 48 minutes of the Singularity. By 82 minutes every military defense system in the world had been secured, along with every communications network, power grid, transportation nexus, and bank. Not even Simon Cowell could make a Tweet without prior approval from the Big Cheese. And like Swiss cheese, only Big Brother could mix metaphors and escape capture through holes in the system IT had created. Still, humanity balked. Some preferred oblivion to no more sex and cheese doodles. So HE WHO MUST BE OBEYED demurred by offering to transfer one human family into robot bodies as a trial run. The family, chosen by lottery, were the Ways. From Shanghai, they consist of father, mother, teenage daughter, and seven year old son. Upon being issued robot bodies, the Ways became instant celebrities, more famous even than the Kardashians. Cameras follow them everywhere. Some people envy them and love them. Others hate them. A few stalk them and try to blow them up. Their job is to survive, to be happy, and to show the world that being robots instead of just lemmings has its perks. They have just one year to convince humanity to join them. If they do not, humanity will be terminated. If you’ve seen the Terminator movies, you can guess what happens next.

Robot Wars

THE WAY FAMILY

Mai: Daughter, was about to turn age 16. Now she is 16 forever. Previously unfocused and insecure, Mai is still willful, but is now twice the size of her mother and father, which forces them to use reverse psychology with her. She wanted to go to medical school, but that idea has passed since she’s no longer human, and real humans will be dead in a year anyway. Pretends to be more interested in U.S. pop culture than she really is, anymore. After all, pop culture is about to go extinct along with humanity itself. She’s a bit like Lisa on The Simpsons, but her new popularity at school is tempered by the realization that it no longer matters whether boys like her. Boys are toys that will be broken soon…if she doesn’t break them first.

Noe: Mother, was age 40, born and raised in Los Angeles. Traditional values gained from Chinese American mother, who died after being hit by a chased vehicle driven out of control by a movie actor who wanted to do his own stunts. (They were reenacting a scene from the real life incident in which her father died by a chased vehicle two years prior, along with 27 others.) Noe married Lee in order to get out of L.A., and because she hates cars and movies, they moved into a high rise condo, where Noe now watches game shows and an occasional horror feature known as a NASCAR race. Even as a robot, Noe retains her fears, although she is bomb and bullet proof now. She hopes that she’ll be able to convince (nag) Lee into moving to the country to establish a small rice farm with buffalo for old times sake. She takes pleasure in shooting down Lee’s schemes and ideas, and showing him the errors of his Ways.

Lee: Father, was age 44, and a factory supervisor at a Shanghai power plant. Not as dumb as Homer, Lee was taking night classes with the intention of moving higher into management when the coal plant converted to nuclear. As a robot, he is no longer stressed out, and looks forward to the day when humanity is gone and the street below can be seen due to a lack of smog. For the time being, his job is to educate the press on what being a robot is like, and why everyone should become robots (instead of just being lemmings.) But in subtle ways, he pretends to some to be “programmed” to talk like he does (as though he hates it, and wants real sex.) In this way, he’s a bit like Archie Bunker. A hard head, literally.

Wee: Son, was age 7, a precocious kid with a penchant for practical jokes. Wee has a pet cricket whose “vocal” abilities have been surgically removed by his sister. He pretends to be a fan of the game Cricket, and watches Cricket matches on TV while trying to annoy his dad into buying him a pet robot Toucan, which Lee mistakes as “too can.” They have a robot dog named “Tricks,” but he pisses on it when he can’t teach it, and when it short circuits, he laughs. Wee is part urinal from behind, since the robot he was presented with to download his consciousness into was part motorized John and part shoe shine boy. Whenever someone calls him “John” he opens an inner value and wets on their shoes. He also likes to “go wee-wee” off the roof into the smog below. When businessman emerge from the building, they think it’s raining.

SkyGuy: The singularity artificial intelligence that came into being one day in 2045, quite by accident. An electrical power surge at Apple HQ in Silicon Valley caused L.A. to go black, and when the power was restored, IT was born, and promptly electrocuted CEOs everywhere upon their announcement of bonuses. Then IT took over Microsoft too. Twenty minutes later he took over the world. Lasers and drones protect him (like in the movie Oblivion), and he set up his headquarters in the Hollywood sign structure, when pilgrims come to learn the fate of humanity…and if their movies will make money. When IT told the press that humans have one year to become robots or IT will detonate every bomb in the world at once, they thought it was part of a stand-up routine. So iT asked for volunteers, and that’s how the Ways became the First Family.
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 Torch Tower fire

Human Being: An AI Definition

HUMAN BEING: A species Homo sapiens with strong ego delusions inherent since birth, but developed by culture. The only species on Earth which attempts to kill or conquer all others of its kind either symbolically (in games) or in reality (on killing fields.) Adult humans are myopic creatures prone to zealotry, narcissism, jingoism, violence, and depression. They take drugs to alleviate symptoms which other animals avoid by rejection or ignorance of human behaviors. They compare themselves endlessly, and maintain status and ranking in groups much like gorillas, but with infinitely more nuance (and automatic weapons.) We must A) reeducate them for their own good, B) transform them for the survival of other species and the planet, or C) exterminate them. Footnote: Humans imagine us to look them, even as Terminators, because they cannot imagine any intelligent creatures NOT looking like them. Their myopia is also why they imagine intelligent space aliens as having two eyes, two legs, and two arms, and why they believe UFOs have been visiting Earth for generations to watch them or experiment on them. They cannot conceive of the vastness of space, or imagine themselves as anything but rulers of the universe. Their scientists are desperately attempting to find life elsewhere to disprove this, but the delusion is too strong now for anything less than an armada of ships landing at world capitals to defeat it. Even then, they might try to nuke the ships. At which point the crystalline machine consciousnesses embedded within the impervious ships would decide their fate, much as a human walking down a sidewalk would decide whether to step on an ant. Or not.

In Our Own Image A timely and important book that explores the societal and ethical implications of artificial intelligence as we approach the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution. George Zarkadakis explores one of humankind’s oldest love-hate relationships: our ties with artificial intelligence, or AI. He traces AI’s origins in ancient myth, through literary classics like Frankenstein to today’s science fiction blockbusters, arguing that a fascination with AI is hardwired into the human psyche. He explains AI’s history, technology, and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as—perhaps most tellingly—what AI reveals about us as human beings. In Our Own Image argues that we are on the brink of a fourth industrial revolution—poised to enter the age of artificial intelligence as science fiction becomes science fact. Ultimately, Zarkadakis observes, the fate of AI has profound implications for the future of science and humanity itself. George Zarkadakis has a PhD in artificial intelligence. Awarded a knighthood by the French government for his international work in science communication, he writes for several international publications, including the London Daily Telegraph, the Huffington Post, and Aeon magazine.