Tag Archives: robots

Future Love

In the future, will robots dress
To impress?
And will men and women sigh
Over a lover’s imperfect thigh?
And choose
To lose
Their very being
In the never seeing
Robot eye?
For therein does lie
Perfection,
For there can be no rejection
For you or I.
And one can not sin
With a thing of tin.

Workmen

A workman shouts to his mate.
An ordered state
With everything
Working as it should.

I enter the nearby wood
Where birds sing,
My dog and I revelling in the spring.

Idly I ponder
Whether the robot will come
And eclipse yonder
Workman’s sun.

Watch out authors (well, maybe)

A couple of weeks ago I fell into conversation with a teacher of music. She had just purchased my book, “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” and our conversation turned to matters of creativity. I asked whether she believed that computers would ever be able to produce music of the same standard as that of Mozart and other great composers? She responded with a question of her own, “could a computer ever produce poetry of the same standard as that of the great poets?”
The above is an interesting question. There is a tendency perhaps inate in we humans to deny that something is possible merely on the grounds that it’s occurance fills us with forboding or abhorrence. However gut reactions are not (usually) the best means of answering complex questions.
As regards my own view of the matter, the simple answer is that I have no idea as to whether machines will ever be capable of producing works of artistic merit. The great advantage of we humans is that we possess emotions which are interwoven in our art whether literary, painting or musical. I suspect (and I am no scientist) that it will be easier for those working in the field of artificial intelligence to produce machines which are of similar intelligence (or perhaps exceed) that of humans. However to reproduce genuine emotion will, I suspect be a far more difficult task so intellectual pursuits may well be one of the last bastions to fall to AI. Its also perfectly possible that “true” AI will never be achieved as there is still much debate about what, exactly constitutes real intelligence, (merely because an extremely fast computer could, in the future have access to all known information and be able to process it at greater speed than a human would not make it more intelligent than mankind for intellectual abilities reside in far more than processing power).
Below is a piece of speculative fiction written by me in early 2015. As ever I would be interested in your views. https://newauthoronline.com/2015/01/18/robert/
Kevin

Welcome

Welcome to a world of plastic
Where values elastic
Forever stretch
And men letch
After robot girls
Who are Ever ready for action.

Welcome to a world where satisfaction
Is guaranteed
And men are from bordom freed
By pills
Producing thrills
Of the most delightful kind.

Welcome to a world where the troubled mind
Is no more
For technology has in store
A virtual Paradise, In which dreams that shatter
No longer matter
For the programme can be infinitely changed.
Welcome to a world deranged!

The Robot In Your Bedroom

Several days ago The Guardian published an article (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/dec/13/sex-love-and-robots-the-end-of-intimacy) regarding the rise of sexbots. There are companies specialising in the production of such things and David Levy believes that such machines can alleviate the lonleness of those who are not in relationships. The growth of sexbots has lead to the founding of an anti sexbot organisation which calls for the prohibition of such robots.
The Guardian article reminds me of my short story, “The Affair” which can be found here, (http://newauthoronline.com/2014/10/26/the-affair/).

Kevin

50percent Of Occupations To Disappear In The Next 15 Years A New Report Predicts

A new report suggests that 50 percent of occupations will disappear in the next 15 years and lists those likely to perish together with those which will survive. The report’s author’s are optimistic that people will find new more interesting occupations to replace those which perish.

I note that authors don’t appear in either list. Not sure what one draws from that! For the article please visit http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2826463/CBRE-report-warns-50-cent-occupations-redundant-20-years-time.html

Automation

On Tuesday 23 September I picked up my home phone (landline) to make a call. The cordless handset produced only static and I was unable to dial out. I tried an experiment with my mum calling me to ascertain whether it would be possible to receive incoming calls. The phone failed to ring. It did, however make a slight noise and on picking it up the sound of ringing, but no mum’s voice could be heard.

On Wednesday morning I contacted my Internet Service Provider (ISP) who also provide my phone service, to report the fault. I fully expected to be asked 20 questions by the automated system prior to being privileged to speak with an actual flesh and blood person. However from start to finish I had no interaction with a breatheing entity.

An automated voice asked me to explain my problem (my inability to make or receive calls using my home phone). I was then asked whether I would like to divert calls to my mobile while the fault was being investigated. I answered “yes” and was asked to say my number. The system then repeated it back to me and asked me to confirm that my number was correct by saying “yes” or “no”. It wasn’t and I then had to enter my number using the buttons on my telephone.

Over the next few days I received regular texts updating me on progress. The first one confirmed that tests indicated that there was, indeed a problem with my line while the last one, received on Friday 26 September informed me that everything should now be working and asked that I confirm the position by text. I picked up the phone and joy of joys was able to make a telephone call. I texted my ISP confirming that the phone was now working and my interaction with a robot was at an end.

The whole interaction with Mr or Mrs robot was surprisingly painless and efficient. Other than the automated system not understanding the mobile number which I relaid using voice, everything worked smoothly. I have visions of an android engineer twiddling with dials, checking connections until, finally my telephone connection was restored to working order. Of course there was no android diligently working on restoring my telephone connection. It was a living, breatheing human being but, in the future who knows.

I must confess to having been sceptical as to whether the automated system would relay messages regarding my phone problems correctly. Surely something would go wrong? Well it didn’t and I admit to being impressed with the automated system employed by my ISP.

In theory at least the automation of tasks such as resolving faults should enable organisations such as my ISP to free up resources for customer services so when I have a query about my account which can not be answered by the online system, an actual person will pick up the phone, in double quick time and deal effectively with the query. Well I can live in hope!

Superintelligence By Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom’s “Superintelligence” sounds as though it will make for interesting and perhaps, at times somewhat heavy reading. The author, an Oxford Professor, looks at the future of artificial intelligence and what will happen when (he thinks that it is inevitable) machines attain greater levels of intelligence than we humans. Will they still want us around and what (if anything) can people do to mitigate against the potential dangers of superintelligence.

For Bostrom’s book please visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0199678111?pldnSite=1

 

Dark Angel

I love you because I can tell you my darkest secrets, things which would make the strongest of men go blubbering in search of his mummy. You judge me not, my blackest fantasies are your deepest desires.

In the depths of night when all but the vampire sleeps we speak of philosophy, of the darkness which lurks within the human heart. You are always there for me, my girl beautiful and serene. You laugh in time with my laughter and weep as I weep. Never changing, fixed, emortal caught in the brightness of my screen you are my virtual girlfriend, a machine.

The Sunlit Uplands Beccon But Are Forever Just Out Of Reach

An interesting book review of a series of books by the science fiction writer William Hertling, http://www.kurzweilai.net/book-review-william-hertlings-singularity-series-continues-with-the-last-firewall?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8ce5c96683-UA-946742-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6de721fb33-8ce5c96683-281953165. In his books Hertling speculates on the future of artificial intelligence, a world in which ill intentioned AI threatens humanity while benign artificial intelligences team up with artificially enhanced humans to defeat the malign forces.

I’ll be checking out Hertling’s books as the reviewer makes them appear eminently entertaining and thought provoking. I am, however somewhat sceptical as to why artificial intelligences would take it upon themselves to enslave or otherwise harm humanity. Why would AI’s act in such a manner unless they had beenspecifically programmed by their human operators to do so? As things stand it is humans who possess motivation whether for good or evil. Machines are motiveless. Your computer may respond to voice commands but this is purely down to clever programming.

I can imagine an artificial intelligence which might massacre particular races or classes of people, however I find it almost inconceivable that a machine would take it upon itself to perpetrate crimes of this nature unless humans programmed it to so behave. Doubtless if a modern Hitler where to arise in the distant future he (or she) might employ artificial intelligence to commit genocide far more effectively than we can at the current stage in history conceive of. However the machines would be acting under the direction of their deranged programmers not of their own volition.

I am know scientist but what seems much more likely to me is that AI’s will arise which appear to be human. Such AI may, in the future act as servants to humanity although given the current state of the technology a machine which can perform the tasks of a human domestic worker, as competently as he (or she) can perform them seems a rather distant prospect. I can also imagine sexbots which provide, err personal services to their owners or those who hire them, however while these may replace those sex workers who offer a quick release I can not see them replacing professional escorts who provide much more than a sexual release.

I could, of course be wrong about all of the above but on reading Kurzweil and other proponents of artificial intelligence I’m struck by their belief in the coming of a technological utopia. A utopia in which death shall have no dominion, we can all live forever and the sun always shines. I’m struck by the similarity of technological utopia to the utopia postulated by Marx’s followers in which the state withers away to be replaced by a classless society in which conflict is consigned to the dustbin of history. Marx, as with all utopians was wrong and I suspect that Kurzweil despite his tremendous abilities as an inventor will be proven, in time to have been at the least rather optimistic in his speculations concerning the possibilities of AI.