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How are AnthroPCs regarded in the QC universe?

Pets
- 15 (10.2%)
Children
- 12 (8.2%)
Machines with complex behavior
- 19 (12.9%)
Sentient machines
- 51 (34.7%)
Stop over-analyzing the joke
- 38 (25.9%)
Toys
- 1 (0.7%)
Toxic waste
- 5 (3.4%)
Lawless lawrencium lolcat
- 6 (4.1%)

Total Members Voted: 131


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Author Topic: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?  (Read 61736 times)

raoullefere

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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #50 on: 23 Mar 2010, 20:44 »

And just think what you could duct-tape to a Capybara—and they're amphibious.

(I've seen this 'weaponize your hampster' page before-maybe in Mad?)
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raoullefere

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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #51 on: 05 May 2010, 02:24 »

At the risk of double posting, I'll point out that Jeph's comment about anpc libidos may shed fresh light on our subject.

"No one is quite sure who decided it would be useful for artificial intelligences to posess libidos, but it is generally agreed that it would be more trouble than it is worth to remove it. Besides, the horny little buggers would revolt."

Two points:
  • One: That anthro-pc (anpc) AIs were designed by more than simply Hannerdad, although he may have been a member of the standards committee.
  • Two: Patently the "sex with a computer" origin myth is either outright BS or a highly simplified version of the true story.
  • Three: (and the points, they shall be three, not two, despite the compact) There are no ethics implied in this statement; therefore, it seems unlikely that anpcs are considered to have rights, whatever fringe groups like the one Marigold seems to be a member of may say. The objection is one of convenience, not ethics.
  • Four: (and four shall e'en be the number of the pointings, yea, verily) That anpcs are considered to be dangerous. No one seriously worries about dogs or cats organizing and revolting because we remove their genitals. At worst there is some individualized sulking, I'm told.
  • Five: (and the number of pointings shall be five, for that is indeed the number that came to be) Someone thought libido was important. The announcement of that decision may well be the actual event that gave rise to the myth Pintsize told Winslow, which Hanners denied, but her father tacitly hinted at confirming. The question is, why would it be important for a walking, talking little robot to possess a sex drive?

Wow! Lookit all the material I've managed to milk generate out of one comment! Anyway, feel free to take on any and all and fritter your lives discuss away.

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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #52 on: 05 May 2010, 03:40 »

why would it be important for a walking, talking little robot to possess a sex drive?
A fast thinker with no distraction can do a lot. Like taking over the world.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #53 on: 05 May 2010, 10:05 »

I think that if you worked in AI development, your ultimate goal would be to create an AI that is the most like a human brain as possible.  It starts as an ideal, but at some point, you've pretty much nailed down the critical thinking, emotions, and things like sarcasm and subtlety... so what's left?  Sex drive!  Is it practical?  Probably not.  Would it be fun to try?  Hell yes!

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Carl-E

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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #54 on: 05 May 2010, 11:13 »

I tend to think the libido in an anthroPC is more a matter of an accidental legacy issue.  Some early AI attempts may have gone in that direction, and once that software's around, you can't hide it, especially on the internet. 

In fact, it may have just sprouted up on some AI forum - "Hey guys, what if we did this..."

And "getting rid of it" isn't just a matter of re/deprogramming the individual anthroPC's, but rather a matter of wiping out all traces of such software. 

Hence, "more trouble than it's worth"

BTW, is it software or firmware?   :evil:
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #55 on: 05 May 2010, 11:17 »

Now I'm wondering if there really are 1.5-2m "fully functional" anthroPC's.  And if so, why there's still a market for Realdolls.
« Last Edit: 05 May 2010, 11:19 by Near Lurker »
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #56 on: 05 May 2010, 12:40 »

Hypothesis 1: Raven invented the AnthroPC during her days as a child prodigy, and naturally enough copied her psyche into the first one.

Hypothesis 2: AnthroPCs become self-aware when exposed to the intricately interwoven trove of knowledge on the Internet, and pick up on Internet obsessions as a result. Winslow never browsed outside the App Store.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #57 on: 05 May 2010, 12:56 »

Winslow never browsed outside the App Store.

Isn't there a fart app?
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #58 on: 05 May 2010, 13:05 »

I'm really hoping you don't think of farts as anything sexual...
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #59 on: 05 May 2010, 13:36 »

Not me, but I've seen things. Also, not every stupid thing on the internet is sexual.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #60 on: 05 May 2010, 15:55 »

No, but... but... the thread, Winslow is asexual, never browses outside the app store, there's a fart app...

C'mon, keep up, will ya? 
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #61 on: 05 May 2010, 17:37 »

Winslow does seem to be pretty clean-minded outside the sexual realm. It's hard to imagine him talking about flatulence. Maybe he achieved sentience from a list of web sites Hannelore approved of?
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raoullefere

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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #62 on: 05 May 2010, 20:04 »

BTW, is it software or firmware?   :evil:
I've never been clear exactly what the difference is—what 'firmware' describes, from the level of instructions to the method of storage, seems to vary from one type of device to another. I would suspect that the 'core' AI (basic personality) of each anpc is software, else it wouldn't be as easily transferable as Winslow made it appear. I'd also expect, though, that, just as in many new portable devices, everything that can be done with hardware is to save on power and, thus, heat generation. Getting wildly speculative, I wonder if that's why the 'Linux' anpc needs a 'neckbeard' heat sink—it uses less, perhaps the bare minimum of the standard hardware, and thus its processor(s) emits more heat grinding out functions through software that are built into the hardware of units such as Pintsize, Momo, and Winslow. Such a set-up would make the system less controlled and its abilities less restricted by 'the man' (the companies making the 'standard' anpc hardware components), but at a price.

Even more wildly speculative: Perhaps Apple used the same rationale with libido in their anpcs as they did with Adobe's Flash on the IPad; to wit, anpc libido uses power to achieve something Apple, at least, doesn't think is necessary, since the same or similar tasks can 'mostly' be accomplished in a less energy-hungry (and heat generating—Winslow looks to be far more 'air-cooled' than the other anpcs—less room for fans) manner. In other words, removing libido wasn't 'too much trouble' for Apple, but instead a worthwhile design objective.

Having said that, I still like the idea that the anpcs' personality is influenced by its owner's.
« Last Edit: 05 May 2010, 20:08 by raoullefere »
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akronnick

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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #63 on: 05 May 2010, 20:13 »

Best.
Thread.
Evar.


That is all.
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raoullefere

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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #64 on: 05 May 2010, 21:46 »

BTW, is it software or firmware?   :evil:
Jesus Marimba, I just now got the joke. A belated "bah-doom-boom" to you, sir.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #65 on: 05 May 2010, 23:31 »

Like they say, timing is everything! 
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #66 on: 07 May 2010, 09:36 »

Sometimes things get overlooked because they're too obvious.

Every AnthroPC owner we've seen has named their AnthroPC. The Linux AnthroPC denied having a name, but may have been a free-range AnthroPC or simply rejecting his name. Not everyone names their car or toaster oven.

That suggests they're either pets or children.
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raoullefere

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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #67 on: 07 May 2010, 11:01 »

Or Cabbage Patch Kids.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #68 on: 07 May 2010, 15:05 »

free-range AnthroPC

Raised on an an organic server farm? 
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #69 on: 07 May 2010, 22:40 »

free-range AnthroPC

Raised on an an organic server farm? 

And fed on Wind Turbine grown power.
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raoullefere

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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #70 on: 08 May 2010, 03:03 »

E-I-E-I-O
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #71 on: 08 May 2010, 14:00 »

I will, henceforth, refer to him as "MacDonald". 

Fits the neckbeard (and attitude) to a T. 
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #72 on: 04 Jun 2010, 01:58 »

Now I'm wondering if there really are 1.5-2m "fully functional" anthroPC's.  And if so, why there's still a market for Realdolls.
Remember Hanners' proto-boyfriend? "His bait and tackle are still in beta."

Also, Hanners' and Dora's jokes about realdolls with artificial intelligence might explain why some people don't want them to be able to think. The whole point of a realdoll is to have a partner that you can pull out whenever you like and neglect at all other times and do whatever you like to without objection or complaint, isn't it? Of course, you could argue that it'd be possible to program AI-realdolls so they do follow their owner's every whim.

Robotic or not, realdolls are creepy.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #73 on: 04 Jun 2010, 10:00 »

Hmm. It seems to be problematic to program AnthroPCs to do whatever you want them to do. On the other hand strip 1411 suggests that they really are slaves to their software.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #74 on: 05 Apr 2011, 08:17 »

Time for a little necrothreadiphelia.  I felt it was an appropriate callback given the upcoming arc.  Besides, it's a good thread - the new people should read it! 

Basically, I was wondering how the folks at UMass found Marten in the first place.  It speaks to the fact that, at the very least, you need to somehow register your AnthroPC (can we agree on APC for short?). 

After all, the local police need to track down the owner in the event of personal/property damage! 
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #75 on: 05 Apr 2011, 09:15 »

Time for a little necrothreadiphelia.  I felt it was an appropriate callback given the upcoming arc.  Besides, it's a good thread - the new people should read it! 

Damn right. A nice thread.

Basically, I was wondering how the folks at UMass found Marten in the first place.  It speaks to the fact that, at the very least, you need to somehow register your AnthroPC (can we agree on APC for short?). 

After all, the local police need to track down the owner in the event of personal/property damage! 

That's one theory. Another possibility would be that VV used a credit card when paying for Pintsize (originally a graduation gift, IIRC). After all, the automatically collected data on credit card transactions is available to all the market researchers the highest bidder the scientific community.

Re property damage: Surely there is a law that an APC must identify its owner to the proper authorities. On penalty of a meeting with a powerful magnet. Hmm. Would that work in case of a runaway or a disowned APC that cannot truthfully identify an owner? The QCverse needs a society giving shelter (and access to AC to recharge their batteries) to homeless APCs. May be Marigold is associated with one?
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #76 on: 05 Apr 2011, 10:09 »

OK, now I want the UMass interviewer(s) to be one or more of the BRO! trio -- who were in town looking for Marten.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #77 on: 05 Apr 2011, 10:17 »

Basically, I was wondering how the folks at UMass found Marten in the first place.  It speaks to the fact that, at the very least, you need to somehow register your AnthroPC (can we agree on APC for short?). 

Maybe AnPC instead, otherwise people might think we're talking about tanks.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #78 on: 05 Apr 2011, 12:28 »

We wouldn't want to confuse them with adenomatosis polyposis coli.

What a thought: an Underground Railroad for fugitive AnthroPCs.

Maybe Marten filled out a warranty card for Pintsize.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #79 on: 05 Apr 2011, 13:07 »

We probably won't even find out most of this stuff.  Jeph said right in the newspost that he tends to lose interest in AnthroPC-centric stories pretty quickly.  Which is a damned shame, as the presence of AnthroPCs is about the only surreal element left in the strip.  As much as Hannelore is around, when's the last time any reference has been made to the fact that she's an alien?  Or Steve's secret life as an agent?  JimBob who is actually a millionaire author of pulp fiction?  Pizza Girl?
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #80 on: 05 Apr 2011, 14:12 »

As much as Hannelore is around, when's the last time any reference has been made to the fact that she's an alien? 

Because she's not an alien.  While she may or may not have spent time on her dad's space station (she likes to pull people's legs about that), she has human parents, and was born and (mostly) raised on earth. 

Quote
Or Steve's secret life as an agent? 

Plausible deniability.  The gummint will never admit to it. 

Quote
JimBob who is actually a millionaire author of pulp fiction? 


He writes romance novels.  You can make a halfway decent living at it (a friend's mother put him through college, but she was a fairly big name), but any proceeds Jimbo gets probably wind up in a bottle...

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Pizza Girl?

I'll give you that one. 
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #81 on: 05 Apr 2011, 21:06 »

Yeah. I associated "quantum leap" with a "discontinuity" or the opposite of a gradual change. Even before that show. As in tunnelling or all the other somewhat counterintuitive things explained by quantum mechanics.

I had mixed feelings about the show. Given that I watched it religiously I guess I mostly liked it. Would have liked it to have more sci-fi as opposed to these human interest episodes, but it worked, somehow.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #82 on: 07 Apr 2011, 09:07 »

Well, it is said in the comic that the AnthroPCs are sentient, so we'll need to take that for a fact. But then comes the question of what exactly that means, as "sentient" haven't really been defined.

An interesting matter is that both Momo-tan and Winslow seems to have developed as characters, they are not quite the same as when they were introduced. They are somehow influenced by their experiences, their "personalities" are dynamic, not static.

The same is hard to say about Pintsize, but I think that is mainly because he's such a complex character.


Ps. Wow! Discussion of fictional artificial sentient beings! This is really the best thread ever!
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #83 on: 07 Apr 2011, 11:23 »

Or Steve's secret life as an agent?
Plausible deniability.  The gummint will never admit to it.  

Sorry, to contradict ya , buddy,  but Steve's exploits were proven when the villaness showed up and bid Steve a perminant good-by in front of Marten.  Gimme a few minutes to find the strip.

Edit @ 14:43EDT Steve's exploits #1350. Now where did what's-her-name show up?
BRB
Tortura!
BRB
Edit at 15:19EDT Strip #1406! Proof of Steve's secret agent exploits!

Now for On Thread: It would seem that there is some kind of registration for Anthros. Not everyone can own one, etc. They are definitely sentient machings.  I can recall a strip where Pintsize laments (self reflection/examination) that his pranks have "Jumped the shark" If that ain't self-awareness?

Now to throw some real fun into the thread: What about the self-replicating Roombas? Coming home to visit too!
« Last Edit: 07 Apr 2011, 12:59 by mike837go »
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #84 on: 07 Apr 2011, 13:59 »

Or Steve's secret life as an agent?
Plausible deniability.  The gummint will never admit to it.  

Sorry, to contradict ya , buddy,  but Steve's exploits were proven when the villaness showed up and bid Steve a perminant good-by in front of Marten.  Gimme a few minutes to find the strip.

Edit @ 14:43EDT Steve's exploits #1350.

Oh, but you haven't.  I've linked the strip you referred.  Panel 3 confirms my statement.   :psyduck:
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #85 on: 07 Apr 2011, 22:40 »

So now we know they have Constitutional rights!

How that's consistent with being bought and sold and modified without permission is beyond me, unless the amendment is really new and put a stop to all that.

EDIT: the equal rights amendment must have passed some time after strip 668.
« Last Edit: 07 Apr 2011, 22:58 by Is it cold in here? »
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #86 on: 08 Apr 2011, 08:38 »

Yeah, that was an interesting development, the amendment.  But as far as how it works with them still being "property" in other contexts is beyond me.  I'm guessing that Jeph didn't actually put that much thought into it.  He's shown some reasonable attention to continunity sometimes, and sometimes obviously doesn't worry about it.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #87 on: 08 Apr 2011, 09:44 »

Yes, and that makes the overanalysis more challenging and therefore more fun.

Maybe the software has rights but the hardware doesn't?
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #88 on: 08 Apr 2011, 12:24 »

That...seems like exactly the sort of horrible kludge that a modern western political system would come up with. Let's run with it for now.

So the software either has to consent to be transferred along with its host hardware when that's sold, or it has to be evicted into other hardware first?
Like a sort of tenancy arrangement but with an 'obligation to re-home' or something.

Because simply deleting it would constitute murder I guess.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #89 on: 08 Apr 2011, 12:57 »

That...seems like exactly the sort of horrible kludge that a modern western political system would come up with. Let's run with it for now.
So the software either has to consent to be transferred along with its host hardware when that's sold, or it has to be evicted into other hardware first?
Like a sort of tenancy arrangement but with an 'obligation to re-home' or something.
Because simply deleting it would constitute murder I guess.
I totally agree that kind of half-assed, unreliable mess is classic American Politics. As is so common, it'll take 3 amendments and 20 court cases to make it work.

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The rights of AI was dealt with in David Weber's Path of The Fury. A military starship was operated by a self-aware AI. *spoiler*The computer was given citizenship. And because it couldn't exist without the warship 'body' the computer was given legal title to the warship.*spoiler*
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #90 on: 08 Apr 2011, 13:01 »

Hmm!

We've never seen a transfer of ownership. Hannelore's account on Formspring of initializing Winslow suggests that their individuality develops after purchase, which would mean that the first sale is of a product but subsequent sales would be of something with a personality. That might make a legal difference. Maybe they're not legally alive until first booted.

Pintsize said AnthroPCs were illegal to sell on eBay, but there's a very good chance he was kidding.

_Freefall_ suggested that robots, genetically engineered wolves, and so on would get rights based, not on intelligence, but on demonstrated ability to be good and responsible citizens. Pintsize wouldn't like that.
« Last Edit: 08 Apr 2011, 13:04 by Is it cold in here? »
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #91 on: 08 Apr 2011, 17:51 »

_A Boy and His Dog_ by Harlan Ellison had the Genetically engingeered pooch as the primary partner. But that was AFTER the apocalypse. Before, the dogs were matched with soldiers as a symbiotic team.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #92 on: 08 Apr 2011, 19:16 »

If AnthroPCs have rights but not responsibilities, that would make for some story lines that would be really funny if you weren't one of the characters living through them.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #93 on: 08 Apr 2011, 20:12 »

The way that Pintsize talks about it, I'm thinking that the "constitution" might be the Massachusetts state constitution, not the US one.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #94 on: 08 Apr 2011, 23:17 »

Clinton mentions that AIs have the same rights as humans.  Including the right to vote? 

brb manufacturing 150 million Demo-bot 2012s and depositing them in battleground states.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #95 on: 08 Apr 2011, 23:32 »

Excellent point by jwhouk.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #96 on: 09 Apr 2011, 00:27 »

Clinton mentions that AIs have the same rights as humans.  Including the right to vote? 

brb manufacturing 150 million Demo-bot 2012s and depositing them in battleground states.

Humans only have the right to vote after reaching the age of majority, implying a certain level of maturity (yeah, right). 

With an AI, would it be age, or some other demonstrable test of maturity to grant them rights such as voting, independence from their owner, and other rights of decision? 
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #97 on: 09 Apr 2011, 00:31 »

That's an issue as well.   Remember, Winslow was astonished to discover that Coffee Of Doom does not have sentient espresso machines.  Admittedly the little guy's a bit naive, but still, he expected an espresso machine to have at least a certain standard of A.I.  And then there's the Roomba and its offspring...
So do AnthroPC rights apply to all robotic intelligence?  And if so, what about those who just aren't programmed to be that smart?  I mean no offence to the Espresso Machine community when I say this, but if they're not programmed to be socially conscious, then they obviously can't vote, so what category do their rights fall into?
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #98 on: 09 Apr 2011, 02:37 »

I expected Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics to be an option.
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Re: What is the social/ethical/legal status of AnthroPCs?
« Reply #99 on: 09 Apr 2011, 09:21 »

Mentally disabled humans can be ineligible to vote. Maybe the same is true of unintelligent AIs.
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