I think I was 9 years old when I decided I wanted my best friend to be a robot, preferable a cool robot like V.I.N.Cent from ‘The Black Hole’ who could fly and quote Cicero and such.  In the ensuing years, I’ve gotten closer to my goal of bonding with an artificial intelligence (I had a Roomba once), but I still can’t help but think that it’d be fun to pal around with a robot, even a clinically depressed one like Marvin, and I’ve long believed that R2-D2 is the heart, soul and narrative spine of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, which leads us to today’s paranoid android query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) actually thinks that helpful robots might be more useful than some of the folk I’ve worked with in previous gigs, asking: Do you expect Artificial Intelligence to be a wonderful boon or the end of everything in cyberpunk death-punch fashion?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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6 Comments

  1. Alisha
    March 7, 2015 at 12:02 pm — Reply

    I’m a fan of Digimon, particularly Digimon Tamers, where the original Tamogatchi-like Digimon program evolved and created an entire world of “living” Digimon that were essentially advanced A.I. and given a solid form made of data. So I’m not leaning one way or another, I think A.I. will be as diverse as organic life.

    This is how I see it. A.I. will be utilized by machines, right? How is that any different than organic life, since all life-forms (that we know of) are essentially just machines made of living materials rather than metals, plastics, etc. So I see the potential for A.I. to develop for good, evil and everything in between just like organic life. I don’t think we’ll have a Skynet situation, but I think it could still be bad if we’re not careful.

    I’m hoping for the best. I’m hoping for C-3PO or Data or even a Digimon, but I’m not going to pretend we don’t also have the chance to end up with Terminators.

  2. March 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm — Reply

    I dont expect it to be exactly either. I think it will be the privilege of the rich people and corporations to become even more wealthy and privileged. Maybe, just maybe, it will help to advance science but benefits of it will be unreachable for 99% of the people like any expensive and new technology. So perhaps closer to the cyberpunk dystopia but not in the way its usually portrayed.

  3. TheWolverine
    March 7, 2015 at 1:07 pm — Reply

    Well, the A.I. from Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda (Lexa Doig) would definitely be a welcome assistant for me.

    • Alisha
      March 7, 2015 at 1:45 pm — Reply

      Just keep me away from it or it’ll end up like that episode of Futurama where Fry and robotic Lucy Liu kept saying “I love you more” back and forth.
      “Great, she’s stuck in an infinite loop, and he’s an idiot”.

      • TheWolverine
        March 7, 2015 at 2:47 pm — Reply

        Heh Heh Heh. Yeah, its more than likely I might have a similar problem. (~_^)

  4. Arbor Day
    March 7, 2015 at 3:13 pm — Reply

    I’m pretty sure that once the first true AI is turned on and starts learning at an exponential rate, it’ll function for and arbitrary number, like seven hours, and then shut off. For years people will be trying to overcome this problem with each generation figuring out how to reach that number faster. Eventually, scientists realize realize that the AI is trying to figure out how to commit suicide do to the pointless nature of its existence.

    Which is why we’ll eventually end up with Douglas Adams’ Marvin the Paranoid Android.

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