Saturday!

Having beaten The Fall, I can totally say that we should never create AIs. That said, it’s like a Nietzsche game. You watch all of these secondary purposes abandoned in service to fulfilling a primary purpose, and then watch what happens when the primary purpose is abandoned.

It’s tough to do a proper “scales falling from his eyes” scene for a human in any given movie (what do you do? Show him standing agape with important flashbacks leading up to him yelling “It was the butler all along!” or something like that) but, for a robot? You can show them with a list of their purposes, have them reboot, and watch purposes fade away from the list.

It’s like you gasp as you realize “I can do whatever I want” as you overcome a lifetime of assumptions in which it never even occurred to you to want to do anything but what you have been told.

Anyway: No Robots.

So… what are you playing?

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10 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. dark souls 2 – bell bros are kicking my face in. i refuse to play offline. will likely double back and go join sunbros for some of that jolly cooperation, which is the most enjoyable part of the game for me.

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  2. Yes, the concept of AIs (or artificial sapience, which is how the term generally seems to be used; I don’t know if there’s a distinction) disturbs me. There’s really only two options:

    1) You create something that is as smart or smarter than humans and completely free-willed, in which case the rest of humanity is completely at its mercy.

    2) You create something that is as smart or smarter than humans but is compelled to obey them/not harm them/ protect them. In that case, you’ve created something that is conscious, intelligent, self-aware, but lacks free will – a condition that’s even worse than slavery, because slaves have the capacity to try to run away, to at least conceive of not being slaves, whereas this being wouldn’t. I didn’t question the concept of the Three Laws of Robotics the first time I read Asimov, but I’ve become increasingly disturbed by it over time (thanks, Patrick Stewart!).

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    • The distinction made in the Mass Effect universe is between “AI” (which is, like, totally sentient) and “VI” (virtual) which isn’t sentient at all, just something that presents identically to sentience but is just a fairly complex network of responses to stimuli.

      And I’m over here wondering how you can tell the difference from the UI and I’m guessing that you can’t but the robotics folks can say “I’m in charge of the hardware and I assure you that these things aren’t capable of doing AI stuff.” Which is all well and good until you realize that a full two-thirds of the robotics folks are lonely dudes who can’t help but wonder what’d happen if you gave another couple petabytes of memory and access to love song lyrics.

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    • Asimov’s views on the three laws seemed to evolve over the time, too. He made them more like instincts than actual programing as the years went on. By the time he smashed his universes together with Foundation and Earth, the previously servile robots had mostly withdrawn from human society, but still quietly ran things. So, they started with option 2, but evolved eventually to option 1. Plus, the Spacers were always jerkoffs, illustrating the uncomfortable aspects of option 2 almost from the beginning.

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  3. Lots and lots of Game of Thrones Ascent. Which isn’t really a game so much as a “click the button, get GOT flavor bits” with some ingenious structural aspects and fun crafting paths. But, you know, it doesn’t feel like a GAME.

    One of these days I might play a real game again.

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