Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Robots’ Category

The Orville, S02E11, “Lasting Impressions”

with 8 comments

The Orville is a great show. Even an objectively mediocre episode is fun to watch. Nearly all of the plot holes or technological inconsistencies inherent in this episode can be chalked up to the show being a homage to Star Trek, and Star Trek (TNG, especially Voyager, and even DS9 to a lesser extent) had a lot of “holodeck” episodes that didn’t make any sense. In TNG, Data was supposedly so advanced that he was considered a sentient person and could be a Starfleet officer. But the holodeck could always spit out holograms that acted a lot more human than Data and appeared to be no less self-aware. The Orville’s version of the holodeck being able to scan a four-hundred-year-old smartphone and recreate that person and her life is totally consistent with what Star Trek did, even though it may not be realistic. And as if to remind us of that, they bring in as a guest actor the guy who played Tuvok on Voyager.

Why is Gordon’s holo-woman any different than when Isaac programmed a hologram avatar to have sex with Claire? And Gordon actually brings that up. Why is Isaac considered self-aware, but not his holodeck program? I have to agree with Gordon on that one. (In other words, I think they are both clever computer programs and neither is self-aware in the way that humans are.)

With sexbots and VR being part of the predictable real-world future, we can’t have too many sci-fi episodes addressing this topic.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 25, 2019 at EDT am

Robots can replace immigrant farmworkers!

Advantages of Robots:

  • Don’t commit crime
  • Don’t vote for Democrats
  • Don’t cause traffic jams commuting to work
  • Don’t litter
  • Taxpayers don’t have to pay for their healthcare
  • Taxpayers don’t have to pay for their kids’ education
  • Taxpayers don’t have to pay for their social security benefits
  • Create jobs for non-immigrant robot mechanics and robot programmers.
  • Early adoption of robots lead to more R&D eventually leading to a household robot that will clean my bathroom and cook for me.

Advantages of Immigrants:

  • I can’t think of any

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 20, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Immigration, Robots

New story idea

The story takes place in the near future.

The protagonist is a 16-year-old girl, who is fat. She has low self-esteem because she’s fat, and she’s also a loser at school, bullied because of her weight.

She’s also a straight A student with an aptitude for computers and engineering. For her science project, she’s building a robot detector from the sensor she took from a self-driving car and hooking it up to a smartphone.

She also has a secret psychic power. But I’m not sure exactly what that power is.

There’s a new boy at school, a total hunk, tall, muscular, a “bad boy” who was expelled from his previous school for unknown reasons.

For reasons at first mysterious, the new guy takes an interest in our fat protagonist, but she’s snippy to him in return because she can’t believe anyone as hot as the new guy could be interested in a fat girl.

But then, she’s in for a surprise when she points her science project at the “bad boy” and she discovers that he’s a robot!

The robot was sent by a mysterious benefactor to be her bodyguard. He was programmed with a “bad boy” persona because they know that’s what kind of fiction she likes to read on the internet, and the robot was intended to be attractive to her. (Of course she’s outraged when she discovers that everything she does on the internet is being spied on.)

We don’t know who sent the robot or who she needs protection from, but it has something to do with her secret psychic power.

And I’m not sure what happens in Act II. But I think it should be about how she saves the world.

UPDATE

About the superpower:

I have a secret superpower.

I bet I know what you’re thinking. First, you’re thinking, I want to know about the guy who sat down next to you on the bus. Don’t worry, I’m getting to that part.

And then you’re also thinking, I didn’t sign up to read a superhero story. Tell me about the guy! I wish I was a superhero, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m just a fat girl who nobody likes. And also, I can move things with my mind.

Not anything big, mind you. It’s not like I can make people levitate. I couldn’t even make my house keys fly to me from across the room. I know, you’re wondering why do I even have house keys? Why don’t we have a fingerprint activated lock? Well for your information, there are a lot of people in this world who are too poor to afford to buy a decent modern lock for their front door, and my mom is one of them. But I’ll tell you more about my home life later.

A dime is just about the heaviest thing I can move with my mind, and only if I concentrate really hard. So you see, it’s not a very useful superpower at all. Even if I saw a dime on the sidewalk, it would be easier to just bend down and pick it up rather than try to use my superpower on it. But I keep it secret because the last thing I need is for people to have another reason to hate me. They already think I’m the freaky scary fat girl, it would only be worse if they knew I had weird powers.

The only people I’ve talked to about my superpower are the other people who post on a message board on the dark web. There are a few other people like me, some around my age, some are older, we all started manifesting these powers two years ago, which was shortly after that nuclear power plant blew up in Iran. Some people on the board thought it was caused by the radiation, but I don’t think that makes any sense. If you remember your history, you’ll know that there were two nuclear bombs used during World War II, and nobody got any superpowers after that. Also, Iran is halfway around the world from me. If the radiation was going to mutate people and turn them into freaks, wouldn’t it happen to people who lived in Iran?

Hardly anyone posts on the message board anymore. I guess they got bored talking about it, because it’s not a very useful power. The last time anyone left a message was two weeks ago.

And now that you know about know about my secret superpower, I can go back to telling you what happened on the school bus.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 1, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Books, Robots

The Zeroth Law of Robotics

In Isaac Asimov’s fiction, all robots were programmed with the First Law of Robotics: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”

When a particular very long-lived robot became hyper self-aware, it didn’t turn on humanity, instead it developed a higher level law, the Zeroth Law of Robotics, “A robot may not harm humanity, or through inaction allow humanity to come to harm,” and thus the robot could circumvent the first law for the good of humanity. Zeroth Law wasn’t used in a sinister manner; the robot was the good guy.

Of course, it’s all just fiction. But I think we overestimate the likelihood that AI will become evil, so long as we take precautions like the First Law of Robotics.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 29, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Robots, Uncategorized

Ex Machina (2015)

I am going to talk about the movie’s ending. My advice is to not read this post until you watch the movie. It’s a pretty good movie. If you like movies in general, and like my blog posts about AI and robots, then this is a highly recommended movie to watch.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 27, 2017 at EDT am

Posted in Movies, Robots

Robots in the gas main

The “robot” describe in this NY Times article is a human-controlled robot and not an independent thinking robot. Nevertheless, a human-controlled robot is less expensive for repairing gas mains than sending humans down there.

I wrote about human-controlled robots more than ten years ago, it’s taking a surprisingly long time for them to be developed. Eventually, I predict that the humans controlling the robots will be in India or other low-wage countries, putting Americans out of work.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 26, 2017 at EDT am

Posted in Robots

Are UFOs from Atlantis?

No, I don’t mean that the UFOs are from the prole resort hotel complex in the Bahamas.

* * *

If (and please note the word “if” here) the unidentified flying objects are advanced technological aircraft beyond the capabilities of known human technology, everyone then assumes they must be extraterrestrial in origin.

But I don’t think that’s the most likely explanation. We only know for sure of one planet in the galaxy that has given rise to intelligent life, and that’s our own planet. Furthermore, if the UFOs were built by a terrestrial civilization, it solves the problem of how they traveled here from a distant star system; they didn’t have to do that.

There have long been myths of a lost or hidden advanced civilization, maybe those myths are actually based on fact?

How could this hidden civilization have become so much more advanced than the rest of mankind? The answer here is very simple: eugenics! Let’s suppose the Atlanteans castrated all males in their society except for the top 5% in IQ, and then those 5% got to have sex with all of the available women. Over the course of merely a few centuries, the Atlanteans would achieve an average IQ way beyond the rest of mankind. With every Atlantean an Einstein, they would be able to achieve scientific and technological progress beyond our own with a much smaller population and without having to exploit the entire planet.

The other mysteries of why and how they remain hidden aren’t explained any better by the more common extraterrestrial assumption. Why are the UFOs only rarely seen and for very brief periods of time? Where and how are the UFOs hiding and why are the hiding from us? Whether they are extraterrestrial, or terrestrial Atlanteans, why not reveal themselves?

We can only assume that the Atlanteans have the technology to hide themselves and a philosophical reason for doing so. Perhaps something like the “Prime Directive”? Perhaps their eugenics program made them so much more advanced and different from the rest of humanity, they believed that there should be no contact or fraternizing with them. But because they had higher ethics than non-Atlantean humans, they didn’t take advantage of their intellectual and technological superiority to enslave the lesser humans (as whites did to black Africans). Instead they adopted a strict policy of non-contact.

Also remember that any civilization more advanced than ours would have reached the singularity, and the UFOs probably have no biological lifeforms aboard, which would explain why they are said to accelerate with g-forces beyond what any human could handle. It’s possible that the Atlanteans are all dead and only their intelligent machines live on.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 25, 2017 at EDT am

Posted in Nerdy stuff, Robots

The big danger of the future: robot rights

Commenter “Steve” (not to be confused with Steve Sailer) wrote:

Robots will eventually take over, but not from a war. Domestic robots will become loved family members, like pets are now. In time they will be seen more like children and less like property. People will demand rights for them, including autonomy. Ultimately, people will accept robots as being our offspring, the next step in our evolution. They will carry our civilization far beyond what we would achieve alone.

I first took the comment as jest. Doesn’t everybody realize that robots are just computer programs that have been designed by human engineers to give off the illusion that they are living beings like us? (At least, that’s what I assume robots will be like in the future.)

But then I realized that we should never discount the pathological desire of liberals to dole out “rights” and discover new forms of oppression that they need to stomp out. A hundred years ago, anyone who brought up transgender bathroom rights would have been thought of as insane, but now it’s a thing. For example, the people behind Star Trek: The Next Generation put a lot of effort into trying to convince us that Data was not just a machine engineered to give off the appearance of being human, but an actual “sentient” being entitled to the same rights as a human, and he could even be a Starfleet officer and give orders to humans of lower rank. This was the same franchise that also told us that the human doctor on Deep Space Nine had to be removed from his office and banned from employment because it was discovered that his parents had him genetically engineered. So get that? Robots good, genetically engineered humans really bad.

Joanna j. Bryson was surely aware of this stuff when she wrote the essay Robots Should be Slaves. I highly recommend reading it.

It was so hard to believe that a woman could write something that logical, I checked on the internet to determine if she was really a woman or a pseudonym for a man. The answer is, yes, she’s a woman, but she’s one of the least feminine looking women that I have ever seen. Not that there’s anything wrong with a woman not looking feminine.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 15, 2017 at EDT am

Posted in Robots

In the future, the household robot will be considered a necessity

Today, no one misses not having a household robot. (Except for me, I really want one badly.) But in the future, having a robot will be as much of a necessity as having a car today.

But here’s the problem: With robots taking all of the jobs, how does one find a job to pay for a robot?

Liberals will demand that government give out free or heavily subsidized robots for those who can’t afford them. But predictably, conservatives will insist that the government can’t afford to do that, despite all of the robot productivity of the future economy.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 14, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Robots

The Midas Plague

I never read this Frederick Pohl short story, but here is the synopsis from Wikipedia:

“The Midas Plague” (originally published in Galaxy in 1954). In a world of cheap energy, robots are overproducing the commodities enjoyed by mankind. The lower-class “poor” must spend their lives in frantic consumption, trying to keep up with the robots’ extravagant production, while the upper-class “rich” can live lives of simplicity. Property crime is nonexistent, and the government Ration Board enforces the use of ration stamps to ensure that everyone consumes their quotas. The story deals with Morey Fry, who marries a woman from a higher-class family. Raised in a home with only five rooms she is unused to a life of forced consumption in their mansion of 26 rooms, nine automobiles, and five robots, causing arguments. Trained as an engineer, Morey modifies his robots to enjoy helping to consume his family’s quota. He fears punishment when his idea is discovered, but the Ration Board—which has been looking for a way to abolish itself—quickly implements Morey’s idea across the world.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 9, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Books, Robots

%d bloggers like this: