Autor Wątek: Pirx and robots  (Przeczytany 8225 razy)

innate

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Pirx and robots
« dnia: Październik 25, 2005, 05:37:51 am »
It looks like Terminus was written first, then The Hunt and The Accident, and later The Inquest.

In Terminus, Pirx seemed to treat Terminus as a mechanism, albeit a mysterious and interesting one. To me, Terminus seemed to be a tragic and 'human' figure. The cat associated with him, and he was later searching for it. His method of letting the mice drink suggested some affinity. (I also wonder whether some of these images had meaning that I just couldn't figure out.) And, of course, he was capable of a sort of psychological damage from what he'd been through. I'm not sure of Pirx's intentions in having him scrapped. I...felt sorry for Terminus.

Then things turn for the better:

In The Hunt, Pirx had the idea that the Setaur (in English, at least) identified with him and was trying to protect him. And he felt guilty for having killed it.

In The Accident, he felt that the robot (given as Aniel) had felt the humanlike desire to challenge itself.

In The Inquest, though, Pirx seems ambivalent at best toward them. This one particularly surprised me because the idea of the robot as lacking emotion and lacking intuition -- and of it being malevolent -- are very much what you'd expect from average science fiction. (And now a small rant because I am always annoyed when science fiction trots out the idea that these things make humans very, very special.) First of all, I think that emotion is simply sensible programming. We have emotion, I think, because it's unimaginably easier for natural selection to give us some things to want or to avoid and let our brains work out the details 'at runtime' than it is to try to give us instincts to cover every possible contingency. I believe that another intelligence would be constructed similarly. As for intuition, I suspect it is nothing more than the inability to calculate what is best. Perhaps you have only some of the facts or only the time to traverse part of the decision tree (to put it in computational terms). Partial knowledge, partial solution, still supplies something like a fuzzy or smeared distribution of possible outcomes. Another intelligence would be just as capable of using partial information.

And so, ummm, it interested me that they were represented quite differently in different stories.

Terminus

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Październik 26, 2005, 02:23:21 am »
Cytuj
It looks like Terminus was written first, then The Hunt and The Accident, and later The Inquest.

I'm not sure of Pirx's intentions in having him scrapped. I...felt sorry for Terminus.


So did I, however, to me it seemed like Pirx didn't want Terminus to exist any more, because he felt sorry for 'him' himself. So maybe he did it just out of compassion.

We have already been talking about this aspect of robotics/AI in the Polish section, precisely in the thread about SF movies. I stated there, while decribing the move 'AI', that it is a terrible responsibility of the constructors to turn any machine off at some time or another, so it is unwise that machines have human-like features. Whereas, when it came to 'AI' the "features" mentioned by me were mainly visual (I mean the way robots looked), here in Terminus we feel sorry for Terminus because he is tutelar (the cat), dutiful and polite, like a waiter, who even though you kicked him almost to death still wants to serve you. But then, it's just a consequence Terminus' programming, he is a human creation. I believe that creation of AI would be a terrible burden for humanity, one I'm not sure we're capable of bearing. That is not because the TOOL - machine is good/bad in any way. It's just a tool. You don't speak about the morality of a hammer or a wood driller. But when it  comes to AI, it's something human-like that we incorporate in it, hidden behind the very "I" letter, and despite all the artificiality of it, it's still marked with a death sentence that we ourselves will pursue.

Note that nobody makes hammers that would resemble, for example, human legs or whole human figures. The way hammer is used would make the user feel unconfortable.  

Even though Terminus wasn't, which can be easily evaluated, very intelligent - he remains similar to humans, and that's why  his final journey to the scrapyard would not be a joyful one. I feel for the human (the personality) I sense in Terminus, one that serves people and takes care of the cat, even though nobody shows him gratitude.
But who "put" this human inside Terminus? Who made him what he is?

Pirx, which I can only guess, was rather aware of all the abovementioned. Therefore, it was just a matter of scrapping a machine for him... of course he felt for Terminus  like we all do, but  nothing changes the fact that it was a malfunctioning machine.
« Ostatnia zmiana: Październik 26, 2005, 02:27:44 am wysłana przez Terminus »

innate

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Październik 26, 2005, 06:31:05 am »
It is strange that it can seem monstrous to shape something to serve your ends even when it is constructed in such a way that it would not 'desire' any other arrangement and would not be suited for it. I'm reminded of the genetically engineered cow in Douglas Adams' second Hitchhiker's Guide novel.

We do face the responsibility of 'turning off' our fellow lifeforms on occasion, and it's a bit surprising that we are quick to end the suffering of a nonhuman animal but will not accept the idea of ending the suffering of a human early. Of course one should feel much greater responsibility in the case of something one has chosen to bring into existence in the first place.

(btw, today is the first time that I have ever seen the word 'tutelar'!)

Terminus

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Październik 26, 2005, 01:31:18 pm »
Seriosly, you guys... ::)

Well, I just found it in our little dictionary:
http://portalwiedzy.onet.pl/tlumacz.html?qs=tutelar&tr=ang-auto&x=0&y=0

Seems it wasn't such a bad idea, since it'a also here:
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=tutelar

I've never seen it before eihter ::)
« Ostatnia zmiana: Październik 26, 2005, 01:32:38 pm wysłana przez Terminus »

Socrates

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Październik 26, 2005, 02:58:03 pm »
Interesting ideas floating around here.  If we truly construct intelligences in machine/synthetic form, do we have any claims over them?  Do parents have claims over children because they gave them birth?  Is there a significant difference between a child an an AI, aside from the minor fact that one is biotic and one not?
Cheers, Socrates

Terminus

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Październik 26, 2005, 03:54:17 pm »
Mind that we are biotic as well. Do you treat chatbots with rescpect because they simulate AI? Do you hesitate when you have to switch them off?

innate

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: Październik 27, 2005, 05:40:55 am »
I suppose that we treat children better because we need our genes to propagate. Sadly, even children are not necessarily treated well. They are cheap workers in agricultural areas, and in modern times people sometimes reproduce because the government pays them more money as their family grows larger.

Perhaps an AI would be a greater responsibility. A child will grow up and become independent, but it might not be very easy for an AI to provide for itself and protect itself in a world of humans. (more difficult if not, umm, embodied)

Probably the only way to protect it would be to put it in a cuddly body with fur and big eyes if it isn't very intelligent and to put it in an attractive humanoid body if it is. Humans do not accept things that are out of the ordinary.

Ah, I thought of an advantage for AIs: they are never brought into existence unintentionally.

Deckert

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: Październik 27, 2005, 09:40:57 am »
Will AI be more responsible than us? That depends on the level of AI. I suppose we discuss the best possible level. If so then I can only say that they can be a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit , it's not my problem.   ;)

Now seriously, I think that responsibility in the manner of AI, can be devided into two groups:
1. Embodied responsibility controlled somehow by algorythms precreated by human beings.
2. Self-developed responsibility created as the effect of self-learning process.

The first one seems to be constrained by some rules - sounds like Assimov rights. The second option is far more dangerous because we won't be able to forsee the reaction.
Yet setting up barriers is simply limitating the process of development. Moreover, we would not be able to say what's hidden in the mind of such an artificial being.

CU
Deck
« Ostatnia zmiana: Październik 27, 2005, 03:25:51 pm wysłana przez Deckert »

innate

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #8 dnia: Październik 27, 2005, 11:30:30 pm »
Yeah, we're not smart enough to understand all consequences of our actions--and if we were smart enough to know what would result from what we can do now, we would just unbalance everything again because we'd be capable of yet more complex action. I can't imagine that we'd be able to make something with any sort of interesting intelligence whatsoever if we constrained ourselves to what we understood perfectly... I'm not an AI specialist, though, so I speak from my biases and hunches.
(Actually I always speak from my biases and hunches, but that's a secret!)

The SL4 folks have been discussing these matters for years, by the way. I skim through their archives once in a while.

Deckert

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #9 dnia: Październik 28, 2005, 09:42:46 am »
Thanks for this link innate - a lot of things to read. On the main webpage of SL4 I found a mention of transhumanism, which was also discussed in Polish section in the thread called Homo Eutyphronicus. Do You remember if SL4 guys were taking also about eutyphronics?

CU
Deck

innate

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Październik 29, 2005, 04:16:11 am »
I'd never heard of eutyphronics. Putting this word in a search engine only brings up a few pages, all of which are by Poles.

One page says that it has something to do with "pure-minded ethics", but I don't think I understood the description. How would you describe it?

Terminus

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #11 dnia: Październik 29, 2005, 12:14:12 pm »
   You won't find any better google hits, because the term was recently created by a Polish philosopher (Joseph Banka (Józef Bańka)), and in my opinion it didn't spread yet - if it ever will at all.

 What it means is somehow connected with the phrase 'pure minded ethics', except that I would rather exchange words to make 'simple minded'. What it means is that this "eutyphronics" is a region of philosophy that deals with the aftermath of human vs. high-technology crash. So it concerns issues such as: "Do Internet chats and cellphones make people less social? Do they lack the ability to contact eachotcher personally, because they get used to do it virtually." and so on. It also deals with computer games - what do they change pernamently in your mind.

  And to sum it up - it also creates the term homo eutyphronicus to describe a man, who, despite of the cellphone in on of his pockets, and a palmtop in the other, is still social, talkative, resolute  and what's more important - appreciates the value of being able to contact others in person, knows the basic moral rules of life, and is not 'damaged' by longlasting use of technology in any other way. It is a man, whose ethical values are superior above the possibilities of technology.

This, I guess, puts it all in place.
Cheers.

 
« Ostatnia zmiana: Październik 29, 2005, 04:19:05 pm wysłana przez Terminus »

Deckert

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #12 dnia: Październik 29, 2005, 03:39:15 pm »
Terminus has already answered your question innate. Below is my part:

Eutyphronics - science describing psychological aftermaths of using latest generation machines in human life. It defines computer's influence on the basic value systems accepted by human beings. People drawn into the computer world can experience a specific social isolation. They can take over efficiency of computer logics, in which there is no place for good and evil - efficiency and rate of effectivness are all what matters.

Eutyphronics is a voice of opposition against transhumanism. Homo Eutyphronicus is a pure minded person who should stand on guard of old traditions and centuries-old values in the high-tech world. Behavioral patterns and values which repeatedly proved correct in the past should make Homo Eutyphronicus to exist in a suitable and proud manner and without being exposed to problems generated by rapid expansion of modern technology. When the relation between human kind and technology is unbalanced, what can be represented by a situation when human beings are dominated and submited to high-tech system requirements, a pure minded person should be able to reinforce the weaker side (human side). Such a person could restore a proper and stable balance between technology and social behavior in human society.

CU
Deck

innate

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #13 dnia: Październik 29, 2005, 11:59:51 pm »
The idea that we can and should use our tools rather than either becoming the tools of our tools or abandoning them is certainly one I'd agree with.

I've never really looked into transhumanism (the little that I read gave me the impression that they do not tend to keep the constraints of physical law in mind) -- is it impossible for them to fulfill their dreams while retaining the ethical values that one should minimize harm to others?

BTW, Pan Moderator, is spam about flowers really considered okay? I can see that you might not mind the translation service spam, but...

Terminus

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Re: Pirx and robots
« Odpowiedź #14 dnia: Październik 31, 2005, 03:32:23 am »
I've just had this idea to write to innate in two languages ::)

Hihi. No, Mrs.  Innate, flower-spam is not welcome, so I flushed it down the toilet. And whoa! Where have you seen spam-adverts of translators? You mean  the inmodest moments of our beloved China-Based Socrates? EEe... don't mind that ::)  

Or... waitaminute - You don't mean Your own adverts ::) ?
(ones You may be plotting :) to post )
--

Hm, przyszło mi do głowy, zeby napisać do Innate w dwu językach ::)

Hihi. Nie, pani Innate, kwiato-spam nie jest mile widziany, więc spuściłem go do kibla. I hej! Gdzie tu Pani widziała spam na temat tłumaczy? Ma pani na myśli nieskromne momenty Socratesa? Eee... nie przejmować się...

Chyba że... chwilkę - nie myśli Pani o swoich własnych?
(tych, które może zamierza pani wysłać ?)
« Ostatnia zmiana: Październik 31, 2005, 03:35:30 am wysłana przez Terminus »