1. PurpleCao
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    PurpleCao Member

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    Human pride and machines

    Discussion in 'Research' started by PurpleCao, Jan 13, 2009.

    I have a little research experiment here. I'm going to present you with a hypothetical scenario. I want to know how you would feel, as a civillian, living in a place where the event had happened. I'm looking for in-depth thoughts on how you believe you'd react, leave no detail untold.

    Here we go, your setting is a near future of an alternative timeline. The current trend for unhealthy lifestyles created a drastic lowering of population, meaning essential jobs went undone. Androids were created to fill that position, which was great, and their technologies eventually lead to life-saving technology to prevent death by ill health.
    So, the technology is good - it kept the country afloat and now saves many lives.
    However... The androids are still being used, despite mankind beginning to recover. those vital jobs are done by androids, as it's cheaper to keep them in service than to pay you a wage. crime and prostitution are rampant. This causes ill will towards androids in some people, especially the lower rungs of society.
    Androids have always been obviously artificial. It costs too much and makes it harder to tell if they made something look realistic, and the way androids act and speak has always been so jerky it gives them away.

    Here's your problem.
    Three androids that look, learn and interact just like humans do have been released into public. They are indestinguishable from people in appearance, and they can even create conversation just like you can.
    How do you feel knowing there's an artificial out there that can't be picked out? that it could demand a wage for working, that it could get rights to certain living conditions like you?
    Do you feel it's a tool? Should it be scrapped? What about their creator?
     
  2. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    All though it's nice to play god, I think androids like that should be left alone. A technology that can become human, will soon become fed up just as we humans get fed up.
    A technology that isn't on lenient track will destroy us. I think we should keep the original androids.
    I do not think of the android as a tool nor do I think it should be scrapped. I think these androids just need to be in stanby or not use for the ethical purpose of working. I don't mind it getting civil rights and what not because I understand by this point in time, they are people still. Since they can feel.
    Their creator had the right idea, but not at this time. As humans began to rise back in to economical health, the androids may bring us back down. Maybe I am just being a bit paranoid though. ;)
     
  3. PurpleCao
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    PurpleCao Member

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    There are no wrong answers here! This is an experiment. I've thought of various standpoints myself on how people may react, but the only way for me to find new ones, and a majority behaviour, is to ask a large amount of people how they'd react.
    Thanks!
     
  4. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I'm going to say, that I'd like to know whether the person I'm talking to is real or created. Once you start blurring the lines between the actions/looks of a robot and a human it leads to that slippery slope of the AI entity taking over (see WALL-E and Matrix).

    Either way, I think I’d be interesting to see how this idea played out in a narrative.
     
  5. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    That's how I truly feel though.:)
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    sounds like blade runner

    and it gives you an interesting take on that storyline makes for an interesting thought.
     
  7. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    First off, how does the creation of androids create lifesaving technologies? One is a completely computer and robotic technological line and the other requires organic and chemical factors? If it's our unhealthy lifestyle that is causing a decrease in population, how do we recover by giving androids all the work? The problem with health in this case is not a disease or technological failing it's a lifestyle failing. Androids won't save that or lead to any technologies that fix that problem.

    The scenario of declining population and brining in androids to fill a void makes sense, but androids leading to lifesaving technologies and human recover doesn't. Surely they help keep everything a float during recovery and speed the process up but how do they directly cause it?


    Once its happened it's hard to go back. Once something can think and act with a sense of self it can become very dangerous especially when it interacts with other things with a sense of self (humanity XD).

    In my view anything with a sense of self is alive. Anything with a sense of self and a level of cognizance that enables it to think of itself and define itself and its place in the world around it is on par with a human being and should be treated accordingly.

    Unless they're defective or horrible dangerous beyond a chance of reform yes. If they fit the definition of about 90% of all human beings let them be cause most of us just want to live. It's the other 10% that screw it all up for us.

    Depends on how you solve the previous scrapping question.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's not a new concept. Don't let that dishearten you though. Battlestar Galactica plays with that theme - the "skin jobs" were kept secret from the general population for a long time to avoid panic. Long before that, Isaac Asimov's robot series featired the robot who seemed human, R. Daneel Olivaw, and secrecy was again vital to avoid panic.

    We fear a superior being made in our own image, and that theme goes back at least as far as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. :"Old flat-top" was a movie crratioln that if anythying, made Frankenstein's monster less terrifying. Shelley's version walked among men, and his monstrous nature was in his strength and lack of a soul.

    Xenophobia reveals itself in racism, but even more frightening is the man who is not a man, but cannot easily be distinguished as different. At the same time, we fear even a benign adversary who may be smarter than we are - Colossus: The Corbin Project, Landru from Start Trek, HAL from 2001, Spartacus from Ja,es P Hogan's The Two Faces of Tomorrow, all these computers are terrifying even without the direct conflict that takes place between silicon and carbon based life forms.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't think i'd give a darn, either way... anyway, the human race is so flawed anything would be an improvement!
     
  10. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    I would feel... indifferent. No harm whatsoever done to anyone.

    No. They're basically artificial humans, but I don't really agree with giving them bodies. Too much 'I, Robot' for me.

    Why? I don't feel it should be scrapped at all. Human-like AI intelligence is a huge advancement in the artificial intelligence area (in fact, some people point to this innovation would be the start to the technological singularity).

    What about him? I'd guess I'd ask him why he released those androids into the human world instead of keeping them in a computer like they should.
     
  11. PurpleCao
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    PurpleCao Member

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    Ah! probably should have explained that one.
    Take how today, a lot of people have high-fat, high-salt, low-exercise lifestyles, which leads to heart disease, cancers, etc.
    It can also lead to impotency, as well as lives being cut short by the above.
    That would, if left unfixed, cause a population decline.
    For the purposes of fiction, speculate that enough of a percentage died to warrant jobs needing doing. The answer was within our level of technology to get them done without people, saving the economy.
    Of course, the cause of ill-health was not fixed.
    More population dies, more jobs go undone, and more sophisticated androids were created. They have parts that, although having different uses, perform similar tasks to our organs (a heart and lung system perhaps circulating a type of coolant that also increases neural conductivity), which could be repurposed to be used in people.
    SOME of the ill-health problems were therefore 'nullified', though not cured.
    This is as direct as it gets with androids helping with the ill-health.. Obviously, when the technology allowed for the population numbers to stabilise, the situation with health was addressed. I'm not sure exactly how it's addressed, as that is the point in which the story is taking place.

    I know. I felt a little cheesy beginning to write a story with a cliche'd concept like this, actually, but I feel the need to see it through to a conclusion. It came to me in a dream, which was third-person, as if watching a movie. That's where three of the central characters were introduced to me. Unsurprisingly, it includes the police dealing with one of the "incognito" ones that's gone mad. The twist is why, though it's probably obvious..
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Concepts are not cliche, Overused phrases and metaphors are cliche. Take a time-honored concept, polish it up, add a new perspectivem and you have something special.
     
  13. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Ah I see. But there's a big difference between robotic Androids and bio-tech cybernetics. There certainly similarities enough that advances in one might be applicable in the other but they're two separate fields with drastic differences between them. Of course, most people use android and cyborg interchangeably so for the purposes of fiction I'm just quibbling over nothing :p.

    Indeed. These are called 'tropes.'
     
  14. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    I sympathize with the robot, if the robot says it's human then the robot is human and who it tells it's history to is it's business.

    As for the creator I'd really like to get my hands on his notes for how he made such a fascinating AI.
     
  15. PurpleCao
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    PurpleCao Member

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    Yeah, for some reason, I figure in science fiction, biology and technology should be interchangeable. Not that there's any real sense, just that it seems fun, and where people might aim to go someday, should it be possible.
    If you will, assume stem cell research and genetic experimentation on people remained a no-no.
    Well, people already artificially enhance themselves with cosmetic surgery, and technologically augment themselves with the pacemaker. (granted, that's not in the same league as a mechanical part!)
    So I think people would accept people adding mechanical parts more readily than they'd accept a genetic mutant.
     
  16. Mello
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    Mello Member

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    one thing I always wondered about the concept of androids that are just like us...

    do they eat or drink? sleep? and, if so, does it replenish their energy like it does us? if they don't need any of those things, then yeah, I'd have a problem with them competing with me for jobs, cuz those are the three things every human is working for.

    also, wouldn't that blow their cover? I ask a particularly cute female android out for a cup of coffee, and they start yelling "does not compute"?
     
  17. PurpleCao
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    PurpleCao Member

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    Well, I don't intend to really go into all the technical stuff of how they work by and large, as when you try to explain science fiction, people ask more questions until they find what bits are unfeasable, rather than just stating that androids themselves are unfeasable. :p
    So even though it isn't addressed, no, most of the original androids don't eat or drink.
    The three that blend in perfectly with society however... have the ability to eat and drink, and can analyse from that the content and blend of the item, such as sugars, fats, etc, but they don't have what a human would call taste. They also don't need to eat, but through some special system I haven't named, they can turn protein into energy. Other than that, all androids require downtime to rest and categorise the primary processing part of their "brain", although they need far less than people.
    And the ones that blend in, as they gain additional energy from food, can go longer without sleep.

    Oh, and just before the question of death comes up..
    Most Androids suffer critical systems failiure due to a vital component at some point. It's stated in the writing that the initial batch were very primitive and worked themselves to death. Or.. Deactivation, if you like.
    Although these "stealth" ones have nanomachines to repair damaged parts, they cannot regenerate. A significant amount of damage would kill them, and they are programmed with a "randomly determined expiry date".
     

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