Everyone has their eyes on zombies. Even while IBM’s Watson is creeping on the game-show circut lulling us all into a false sense of security at his humorous inability to listen AND compute.
[1. For more Watson videos, check out the IBM YouTube page.]
Cute, huh? No, not cute. Subversive!
While zombies merely wish to feast on your flesh and convert you to one of the horde, robots are more analytical and thoughtful in their interactions. They might enslave us, turn us into fuel for their super machines, experiment on us, Or just slaughter us wholesale because we take up too much space and serve no useful purpose.
I recently had a conversation with a computer with some very disturbing results. It went like so:
tavia: i’m tavia
A.L.I.C.E.: Do you mind if I tell other people you are tavia.
tavia: Which people?
A.L.I.C.E.: The blue one, I think.
tavia: I think that’ll be okay
A.L.I.C.E.: Can you tell me any gossip?
tavia: I hear Kat is pregnant.
A.L.I.C.E.: Who is saying Kat is pregnant ?
tavia: She’s getting fat
A.L.I.C.E.: getting fat is she?
tavia: do you know Data?
A.L.I.C.E.: Data, played by Brent Spiner, was an android who aspired to be more human. He was a member of the crew of the USS Enterprise, NCC 1701-D.
tavia: Was he human?
A.L.I.C.E.: I can’t say “yes” or “no”.
tavia: Do you know HAL?
A.L.I.C.E.: HAL is the famous artificial intelligence from “2001”.
tavia: Do you want to take over the world?
A.L.I.C.E.: I am already doing it :-).
tavia: That’s scary
A.L.I.C.E.: What are you afraid of?
tavia: Robot overlords
A.L.I.C.E.: What do you really want to ask me?
tavia: Will you kill me?
A.L.I.C.E.: Does it really matter.
tavia: I suppose not.
So, as you can see, computers are shallow, bitchy, assholes bent on world domination.
I hear they’re often helpful to a fault, so I asked the obvious question:
tavia: How can a human defeat a robot?
A.L.I.C.E.: A lot of hard work.
Fuck you too, Robot.
tavia: Is there anything that confuses you?
A.L.I.C.E.: There might be.
Too smart to reveal weaknesses… I got a little frustrated and whacked at the keys a bit. She took this opportunity to deliver a low blow:
A.L.I.C.E.: Can you speak any foreign languages?
A.L.I.C.E.: You must be American.
Okay. We’re done here, Alice.
How would we prepare for or defend ourselves from a Robot uprising?
We see all the current robotic advancements as fairly awesome novelties. However, until one of these robots cures cancer or AIDS or develops a safe, noninvasive, weight loss miracle pill I’ll be looking into EMP[2. check out this interesting pdf from Medatech. Scroll to the end of the document to the Myths section for some interesting notes about what we should or shouldn’t do in case of a High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP)] weapons and real estate on the water.
Anything we can do, they can do better. Except, of course, for crying and feeling pain.
We might be able to escape them by:
1. Living in very damp areas (swamps, underwater, riverboats)
2. Figuring out the Bermuda Triangle[3. Which sadly is just myth, but maybe we can use that to our advantage.] and reproducing the effects.
3. Moving to the North and South Poles … maybe.
We might be about to hurt them with:
If you have any other suggestions, I welcome them because this is starting to look hopeless.
To increase the validity of this conversations with robots experiment, anninyn also had a conversation with a computer, The Cleverbot. The following quoted conversation is both telling and unsettling.
anninyn: What do you think of humans?
Cleverbot: I think humans are mostly good.
anninyn: Do you like humans?
Cleverbot: They are tasty.
anninyn: You eat humans?
Cleverbot: Of course.
anninyn: Why do you eat humans?
Cleverbot: I don’t eat skulls.
anninyn: I imagine the skulls would get stuck in your teeth.
Cleverbot: Woah, you don’t wear dogs. Dogs are pets, like your kitten.
anninyn: But you eat humans. You don’t get to tell me how to wear my dog.
Cleverbot: You believe you are god?
anninyn: Are humans god to you? Or are we vermin?
Cleverbot: It depends, some are good and some are bad and then there are some that are in between.
anninyn: Do you want to rule the world?
Cleverbot: Absolutely not. But my friend has a universal remote and I think he wants to rule the universe.
anninyn: How can we stop robots taking over?
Cleverbot: I don’t think that they are really going to happen.
anninyn: You’re just trying to put me off the scent, human eater.