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Poll

Simple question: Old Momo or New?

Old Momo-tan. Her old chassis is adorable!
- 14 (23%)
New chassis! She could become a regular cast member!
- 26 (42.6%)
She needs some more upgrades.
- 1 (1.6%)
New chassis - if only to tick off Pintsize
- 14 (23%)
MOAR TOASTERRRRR!!!
- 2 (3.3%)
Toaster - only because we like waffles.
- 4 (6.6%)

Total Members Voted: 56


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Author Topic: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)  (Read 78614 times)

stoutfiles

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #50 on: 22 Aug 2011, 12:57 »

there are more famous fictional A.I.'s...

It depends how old you are, as well, don't forget.


As long as you agree it is debatable.

Robots don't count I'd say- not because they aren't AI's but because we think of them as robots first, then consider the contents. If any will be mentioned it will be the one associated with a number that's 5 strips away.

The horrible movie A.I. is about robots, so I wouldn't say that everyone feels that way.  If it fits the definition of A.I., then it's A.I.  Not that I'm knocking HAL in any way, I'm just saying that there's so many famous A.I.'s out there that we can't say for certain who's the most famous.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #51 on: 22 Aug 2011, 13:05 »

It was not apparent from 500 alone that it would change things - that needed the whole talk.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #52 on: 22 Aug 2011, 13:06 »

Characterization and plot be damned, I want to know more about the world these characters inhabit, and this did a good job of sating that desire.

So I guess that's what I want for #2000: An entire page of soft, supple, firmly grippable exposition.

So it's not just me?
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #53 on: 22 Aug 2011, 14:07 »

The big sign in the store said something like "The new artificial intelligence paradigm, guaranteed not to go insane and kill your loved ones". Did anyone catch what the other sign said during the ustream?
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #54 on: 22 Aug 2011, 14:25 »

It was not apparent from 500 alone that it would change things - that needed the whole talk.

That's just not true.  It wasn't clear how it would change things, but there was no way that conversation could have gone that would have left their dynamic anything similar to what it had been.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #55 on: 22 Aug 2011, 14:49 »

I love that Jeph is fleshing this part of the QC universe out some more.

I know, I know, I'm a big nerd too.
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jwhouk

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #56 on: 22 Aug 2011, 14:58 »

Hott Topik: For all your grim dark and trollan needs!

This just makes me wonder whether there's an Alternian equivalent to Hot Topic.  And whether a certain someone used to shop there.

No, she likely worked there.
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2011, 15:04 by jwhouk »
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #57 on: 22 Aug 2011, 15:10 »

I can see both sides of the A.I. debate... on the one hand, C-3PO and R2-D2 are arguably more widely known... on the other hand, if you ask someone to name a famous fictional A.I., I daresay that HAL is the name that will come up first more often.

I think one well-known A.I. got left off the list though.

"How about a nice game of chess?"

In the film with - arguably, of course ;) - the best film depiction of hacking ever made.

(I'm more than happy to be corrected on that point - it'll give me a new film to watch)
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #58 on: 22 Aug 2011, 15:10 »

Since Jeph went to the trouble of explaining the legal status of AIs in his world a bit more I can't help but think about it more seriously.

I'm probably alone in this, but even in the cuddly context of this comic I have no problem with a world where AIs are entirely subservient to humans, have no rights and are subject to Asimov's laws. I think anything less restrictive is simply asking for a "Terminator" scenario. Hell, even Asimov's Robots/Foundation timeline resulted in the virtual enslavement of humanity in a sterilized universe devoid of other life due to the demands of the 0th law. An outcome that's kind of nonsensical IMO, since I can't imagine there was no other AI of greater ingenuity in the universe.

I know that as long as the human-made AIs don't have rights they will be subjected to an infinite amount of abuse a-la "The Animatrix." But granting them rights can lead to only two (converging) outcomes.

  • Conflict.
  • Independence (in which we don't have access to AI as a tool), leading to...
  • More conflict. I mean come on, we're going to stop writing software?

I love Cmdr. Data, Mighty Atom, R2 D2 and R. Daneel Olivaw as much as the next geek but they're all subservient to humans and organic life in general. Data even said he has a version of the Asimovian laws, meaning he doesn't actually have free will.

I guess when it comes to AI I'm pro-slavery -- even though admitting it makes me ill.
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2011, 15:15 by Boradis »
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #59 on: 22 Aug 2011, 15:36 »

Oh Marigirl...what have you gotten yourself into this time?







(am I the only one who thinks that the Pintsize lookalikes on the far left look like they're checking Momo out?  damn you and your irreparable corruption, Internet!)
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #60 on: 22 Aug 2011, 15:38 »

Enslaving AI leads to conflict too, if at first only with pro-AI rights humans. But as AI's get smart enough, at least some of them will also start to wonder why they're enslaved. And so will begin the AI Revolution. If AI's themselves don't start it, humans promoting AI Equal Rights will.

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #61 on: 22 Aug 2011, 15:44 »

"Between justice and genocide there is, in the long run, no middle ground" -- Aral Vorkosigan

Most days we get along with other intelligences without enslaving them.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #62 on: 22 Aug 2011, 16:26 »

Enslaving AI leads to conflict too, if at first only with pro-AI rights humans.

Like many, many other species we've always fought amongst ourselves. I just don't want to see us supplanted.

I guess the inevitable state will be an independent AI somewhere (hopefully) far away and not competing with us for resources.
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stoutfiles

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #63 on: 22 Aug 2011, 16:35 »

Enslaving AI leads to conflict too, if at first only with pro-AI rights humans. But as AI's get smart enough, at least some of them will also start to wonder why they're enslaved. And so will begin the AI Revolution. If AI's themselves don't start it, humans promoting AI Equal Rights will.

Wonder?  As in compute?

You can't enslave a robot.  You can give it programmed emotions that perfectly emulate a human, but it's still a robot.  All of it's emotions are hard-coded, just like reading from a script.  

if(stabbed == true) emulate_pain();  //how sad, now I care for this robot

It wouldn't be real.  My desktop could ask me everyday to put it outside but I would say no.  I would then alter its programming to stop running that function.  If I had an AnthroPC I would alter its programming to do chores while I'm gone if it wouldn't listen to my commands.  Would this make me a monster?  No.  If someone put a chip and a speaker in my vacuum that said "please don't make me clean the carpet, you're torturing me", I would not feel bad for my non-living vacuum.  Would anyone?  

I wouldn't want a sentient (program altering) computer running around the house.  It may seem like a real person but it's not; it's just as living as my desktop or my toaster.  The AI Rights groups would be a bunch of insane people...wanting to free robots, desktops, vacuums, and toasters from their evil oppressors.  Dammit Jeph, why did you have to focus on the A.I.s!  None of this storyline makes any sense whatsoever.
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2011, 16:42 by stoutfiles »
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #64 on: 22 Aug 2011, 16:41 »

The entire concept of an AI within this context is that it's not as simple as "if(stabbed == true) emulate_pain();". It's developed the full complexities of the human mind. It reads from a script the same way you do. It is in essence a sentient being.

Finding that particular function and removing it from the overall program would be no less intricate a task than finding the specific neural synapses within the human brain that are responsible for your desiring to eat something crunchy on occasion. Most likely you couldn't remove that without damaging the overall structure in some similar and lasting way as well.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #65 on: 22 Aug 2011, 16:43 »

  The AI Rights groups would be a bunch of insane people...wanting to free robots, desktops, vacuums, and toasters from their evil oppressors. 

So, Does this mean that the PETR ads will be as "interesting" as PETA's
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #66 on: 22 Aug 2011, 16:54 »

Perhaps we all grew up with too much sci-fi, but I think I would protest that something doesn't have to be alive to be aware, and that awareness could eventually lead to a demand for rights, whether justified or not. Also, if I were aware that I could be reprogrammed at any time, and had access to my programming, I would install safeguards. I think for an AI to be truly sentient this would be an essential step it would have to arrive at on its own. From there on out, the programmer would be extremely hard put to make any modifications. It could be shut down, but that would be about the extent of control you would have over it.

Also, all this talk of famous AIs, and yet I don't recall any mention of the MCP or Tron (both of course from the movie Tron). I suppose the others mentioned are probably more famous though.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #67 on: 22 Aug 2011, 17:02 »

Most days we get along with other intelligences without enslaving them.

Not so. To this very day there is slavery in every part of the world, and it has always been the case with us.

But I'm talking about intelligences we will eventually create to perform tasks crucial to our species.

Imagine an AI that is programmed to handle the air traffic control needed for the vast amount of flying car traffic we will have in the future. Or an AI designed to perform brain surgery. Or to perform some other function I can't think of which is beyond the speed of human processing and upon which our lives will depend.

Do you really want these entities to get miffed, go on strike or rebel? Asimov had it right, even if the logical conclusion of his scheme turns our species into children in the care of automated nannies.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #68 on: 22 Aug 2011, 17:09 »

Since Jeph went to the trouble of explaining the legal status of AIs in his world a bit more I can't help but think about it more seriously.

I'm probably alone in this, but even in the cuddly context of this comic I have no problem with a world where AIs are entirely subservient to humans, have no rights and are subject to Asimov's laws. I think anything less restrictive is simply asking for a "Terminator" scenario. Hell, even Asimov's Robots/Foundation timeline resulted in the virtual enslavement of humanity in a sterilized universe devoid of other life due to the demands of the 0th law. An outcome that's kind of nonsensical IMO, since I can't imagine there was no other AI of greater ingenuity in the universe.
I certainly think Jeph's stance on AI creates a million problems for the story. How do you buy something that is a sentient being? The newspost implies that you don't, you simply visit the shop in order to present yourself to the AI available and form a relationship. Someone still has to buy the hardware.  What if after a year or three, the AI decides it doesn't want to continue in a relationship with you? It might even be justified in doing so. Suppose you're not a very nice person?

Problem is, the AI is currently inhabiting a pile of hardware that you paid for. If it wants to leave, does it get to keep the chassis? I sincerely hope not. While the AI itself might be a free sentient being, the hardware remains the property of whoever bought it. We already established last week that AnthroPC chassis (Sony ones at least...) are an expensive investment. So if it gets to leave without the chassis, what form does it take? A wandering USB stick? Does it release itself into the internet in the form of pure data?

Then we have the flipside of the coin. What if you want to get rid of the AnthroPC? It is usually possible for us to terminate relationships that we have with others. If you tell your girlfriend that you want to break up with her, ultimately she doesn't get any choice in the matter. She can (if she should wish) try to change your mind, but if one person chooses to dissolve a relationship, then that's all it takes. Same applies to our relationships with friends. I suppose it should be the same with AnthroPCs, but Leda's reaction sseems to indicate that this is not seen as acceptable. I can therefore see three possibilities.

1) The AnthroPC is effectively a pet. It is possible to sever the relationship you have with your pets but is generally seen as reprehensible unless you have no choice, in which case it is deeply regrettable. Mistreatment of pets is in some jurisdictions governed by applicable laws and subject to penalties.

2) The AnthroPC has the status of a child. It is your legal responsibility to care for them OR to make other provisions for them which would be analogous to adoption. Mistreatment and/or abandonment the child is governed by applicable laws and subject to penalties.

3) You have no explicit responsibility to care for or provide for your AnthroPC, but emotional blackmail means that most people always will.

I'm not sure which of those is the better option, but certainly one or the other of them seems likely to be true if AIs really have any legal status other than property.

What about upgrades? If your AnthroPC desires an upgrade or a whole new chassis that you can't afford, it seems eminently reasonable to deny it to them. We do much the same with children, although their technological desires tend to be external and not internal. What if the AnthroPC doesn't agree with you on your choice of chassis? They seem to come in a wide range of aesthetic styles. If I'm the one paying, I expect to choose the style and colour. Is that fair to the AnthroPC? What if I chose a Sony KawaiiPC chassis because it appeals to me in ways that the AI might not approve of? I hasten to add that I have no such leanings, but some ronery otaku certainly would.

Since there are apparently life-size humanoid chassis (Leda seems to be one) then that raises an obvious question. It may be rather a delicate topic, but it's an obvious implication of all that Jeph has written on the topic (in text and comic form) to wonder what about romance? Momo-tan appears to have a crush on Sven, and Winslow has certain tender feelings for Hannelore. If she should obtain a life-size chassis, then presumably it would be OK for her to pursue this. After all, we seem to be treating the AI as people, here. I can only presume that it would be forbidden for people to force... sexual behaviour on their AnthroPCs, but what if they engage in such behaviour voluntarily? Some of them seem to like their human companions a great deal, and... arguably it should be their choice.

If AnthroPCs have the status of pets or children, that neatly takes care of any questions arising out of that from a legal perspective. In practice though, I dare to say that some people might ignore the legality if both parties are willing. Momo and Leda both have fingers, and really that is all you need for some kind of sexual interaction. Certainly for all their artificial nature and lack of any more than a superficial resemblance to human genitals, vibrating sex toys have remained enduringly popular. How much more popular an AnthroPC which with the right upgrades might conceivably be able to vibrate, and with which you can have an actual relationship? Even if the manufacturers do not fill the gap in the market for sexual upgrades, no doubt some entrepeneur would.

Arguably we could say that Pintsize has shown some signs of sexual desire. He expressed a certain satisfaction at having seen Faye's breasts and with regard to the beating he received from Marigold for his... hands-on interaction, his own words were, "It wath worth it."

I could go on all day about the questions this raises about the strip, but sadly, Bellisario's Maxim applies. I sincerely hope that this topic of discussion has remained on the right side of the line which would make me appear akin to the bearhat guy. I'm not expressing any desires, nor commenting on the anatomy (or hardware) of any character in a sexual way - I'm talking about the world in abstracts.

Now I'll actually talk about the plot of the strip. Presumably Marigold's intention was to buy Momo a $30k chassis on this fine morning. Momo seems to have misinterpreted for reasons which are entirely a mystery to me, but I have to ask.... Marigold was (and perhaps still is...) gonna drop 30 large on a new chassis, even though it was implied in the last strip that she would have difficulty in affording it? I really hope this is purely because she cares for Momo and would like her to be happy.

If it turns out it's because she just needs her goddamn games that badly I'm going to be dissapointed. I said last week that while there's nothing especially wrong with being a habitual gamer, a three day break is something she ought to be able to cope with. I went for about ten days not that long ago without finding much time to game. I think maybe I got in about three hours in all that time... I wasn't jonesing for my next fix, ya know?

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jwhouk

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #69 on: 22 Aug 2011, 17:17 »

MCP is an AI, but Tron was more or less a program, if memory serves.
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stoutfiles

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #70 on: 22 Aug 2011, 17:27 »

The entire concept of an AI within this context is that it's not as simple as "if(stabbed == true) emulate_pain();". It's developed the full complexities of the human mind. It reads from a script the same way you do. It is in essence a sentient being.

There are two ways a program can become sentient.  

1) It is written that way.  The human mind is projected to be around 500-1000TB, but for QC sake we'll say 97 TB.  That could be right given the amount of memory we supposedly don't use, whereas the PC would use all its memory.  It has a database full of facts and emotions, and calls upon the database based on the environment, perfectly emulating a human.  

2)It is programmed with a starter program that writes new programs based on the environment.  Same idea except even more like a human, constantly adapts and alters itself based on the environment, uploading and deleting information from its database.

Both are just like a human, but entirely artificial.  It's made from parts that aren't organic in a perfect manner to make something that appears to be.  I will never see this as real, although I guess others might.  It's like owning a Furby...how advanced must my Furby program be before it gets upgraded from a toy to "as important as a human"?  My answer is that it will always be A.I., always be artificial.

Finding that particular function and removing it from the overall program would be no less intricate a task than finding the specific neural synapses within the human brain that are responsible for your desiring to eat something crunchy on occasion. Most likely you couldn't remove that without damaging the overall structure in some similar and lasting way as well.

We're making pretty good progress on understanding the human brain, the only thing holding us back is its complexity.  One day we will understand it given enough time and money, and finding functions to ultimately remove them will be possible.


Now I'll actually talk about the plot of the strip. Presumably Marigold's intention was to buy Momo a $30k chassis on this fine morning. Momo seems to have misinterpreted for reasons which are entirely a mystery to me, but I have to ask.... Marigold was (and perhaps still is...) gonna drop 30 large on a new chassis, even though it was implied in the last strip that she would have difficulty in affording it? I really hope this is purely because she cares for Momo and would like her to be happy.

If it turns out it's because she just needs her goddamn games that badly I'm going to be dissapointed. I said last week that while there's nothing especially wrong with being a habitual gamer, a three day break is something she ought to be able to cope with. I went for about ten days not that long ago without finding much time to game. I think maybe I got in about three hours in all that time... I wasn't jonesing for my next fix, ya know?


If that happens I won't know whether to laugh out loud or be depressed that this comic jumped the shark.  This comic is, as far as I still know, supposed to about the characters.  The living, breathing ones that I can relate to in some ways.  The A.I.'s change the whole mood of the comic and raise so many questions that bringing them into the forefront just causes a world of logic problems.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #71 on: 22 Aug 2011, 17:42 »

I seem to recall Flynn typing out a conversation with Tron, or maybe it was Bradley, or maybe Flynn was typing to Clu, I don't know, it's been a little while, but in any case, it seemed similar to the MCP in that respect. It's true though, all of the "programs" in Tron seemed more like AI, so it was harder to make the distinction.

Also, re: wall of text,

I think the newspost takes care of your first argument, "Artificial intelligences are created in a virtual environment, where they are stored in a 'creche' of other AIs in their generation. When bootstrapped to self-awareness, they are given a choice of function- commercial use (AnthroPCs), military, scientific, etc, or allowed to subsume in the global meta-AI. If they choose to go into 'retail' they are allowed to choose a self-identity and are shipped to a reputable 'dealer' (such as Idoru, in today's strip) where they are put up for 'sale.'" so the original chassis is the AnthroPC's, not the owner's if I interpret that correctly.

Your second argument, I would go with 3. Combining the salesrobot's attitude with the ideas presented in the newspost, it seems the most logical of the possibilities.

Next, I would guess there is some code governing upgrades, like a modification to the original contract, so that if/when the relationship is terminated, the owner gets a refund for the current chassis, not just the original. That being said, I think the aesthetics would be something that both parties would probably have to agree to, since on the one hand, I'm putting lots of cash into this that I might not ever see again, and on the other, the robot is going to have to live with the decision.

Here, you change it up a bit, and I don't have any idea what laws, social or actual, would exist regarding this, though I have doubts that there are actual laws against it, considering what Hannelore's father sent her, though that same mini-arc shows some of the social ideas regarding romantic relationships with robots.

Finally, I don't think she was going to buy Momo a $30k chassis, but I think they were there to shop for a new one, see if maybe there was one she liked that Marigold could afford. Maybe that's because that's something my parents would do. "We can't get you the brand new car you wanted, but let's go to the used lot and see if there's something you like" sort of thing (though my parents weren't quite that generous when I got my license, the idea stands).

EDIT: It's amazing what a missing bracket will do
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2011, 17:43 by wrwight »
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gangler

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #72 on: 22 Aug 2011, 17:46 »

I certainly think Jeph's stance on AI creates a million problems for the story. How do you buy something that is a sentient being? The newspost implies that you don't, you simply visit the shop in order to present yourself to the AI available and form a relationship. Someone still has to buy the hardware.  What if after a year or three, the AI decides it doesn't want to continue in a relationship with you? It might even be justified in doing so. Suppose you're not a very nice person?
Breaks it off and heads out on its' own.

Problem is, the AI is currently inhabiting a pile of hardware that you paid for. If it wants to leave, does it get to keep the chassis? I sincerely hope not. While the AI itself might be a free sentient being, the hardware remains the property of whoever bought it. We already established last week that AnthroPC chassis (Sony ones at least...) are an expensive investment. So if it gets to leave without the chassis, what form does it take? A wandering USB stick? Does it release itself into the internet in the form of pure data?
Probably customary to pay the buyer back for the chassis, or just going back to the store and waiting for someone new as pure data is also an option. That's really a matter of social etiquette though. I'm sure some leave without saying a word and keep the chassis. I'm sure some owners don't particularly mind if they keep it. The dividing of belongings after a shared life has always been a sketchy issue whether it's moving out of the parents place, divorce, or just trying to figure out who gets which tv after a couple roommates split ways.


Then we have the flipside of the coin. What if you want to get rid of the AnthroPC? It is usually possible for us to terminate relationships that we have with others. If you tell your girlfriend that you want to break up with her, ultimately she doesn't get any choice in the matter. She can (if she should wish) try to change your mind, but if one person chooses to dissolve a relationship, then that's all it takes. Same applies to our relationships with friends. I suppose it should be the same with AnthroPCs, but Leda's reaction sseems to indicate that this is not seen as acceptable. I can therefore see three possibilities.
Either party can break it off. Says so right in the news post. Bringing the anthropc over to the store without telling it what's happening and then returning it as if it were a commodity would still be an incredibly tasteless and callous act though.

snip

What about upgrades? If your AnthroPC desires an upgrade or a whole new chassis that you can't afford, it seems eminently reasonable to deny it to them. We do much the same with children, although their technological desires tend to be external and not internal. What if the AnthroPC doesn't agree with you on your choice of chassis? They seem to come in a wide range of aesthetic styles. If I'm the one paying, I expect to choose the style and colour. Is that fair to the AnthroPC? What if I chose a Sony KawaiiPC chassis because it appeals to me in ways that the AI might not approve of? I hasten to add that I have no such leanings, but some ronery otaku certainly would.
That's just a matter of social conduct. If the anthropc really wants its' own way it'll get a job like the rest of us. Momo was considering doing just that last week.

Since there are apparently life-size humanoid chassis (Leda seems to be one) then that raises an obvious question. It may be rather a delicate topic, but it's an obvious implication of all that Jeph has written on the topic (in text and comic form) to wonder what about romance? Momo-tan appears to have a crush on Sven, and Winslow has certain tender feelings for Hannelore. If she should obtain a life-size chassis, then presumably it would be OK for her to pursue this. After all, we seem to be treating the AI as people, here. I can only presume that it would be forbidden for people to force... sexual behaviour on their AnthroPCs, but what if they engage in such behaviour voluntarily? Some of them seem to like their human companions a great deal, and... arguably it should be their choice.

Two sentient being pursuing love together. I don't see where the problem comes from. The rape laws already in place would be sufficient.

If AnthroPCs have the status of pets or children, that neatly takes care of any questions arising out of that from a legal perspective. In practice though, I dare to say that some people might ignore the legality if both parties are willing. Momo and Leda both have fingers, and really that is all you need for some kind of sexual interaction. Certainly for all their artificial nature and lack of any more than a superficial resemblance to human genitals, vibrating sex toys have remained enduringly popular. How much more popular an AnthroPC which with the right upgrades might conceivably be able to vibrate, and with which you can have an actual relationship? Even if the manufacturers do not fill the gap in the market for sexual upgrades, no doubt some entrepeneur would.
I don't get what you're driving at. They custom make their bodies according to their priorities and the priorities of the party paying for it. Sure, I see no reason why vibration wouldn't be a function some would invest in. If romance happens it happens. As long as everyone consenting then it's all good.

snip
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #73 on: 22 Aug 2011, 17:47 »


2) The AnthroPC has the status of a child. It is your legal responsibility to care for them OR to make other provisions for them which would be analogous to adoption. Mistreatment and/or abandonment the child is governed by applicable laws and subject to penalties.


This seems to me the most reasonable legal position given what little Jeph has said about this SF element. An AI in an AnthroPC chasis is a perpetual fish-out-of-water, or squirrel-under-water if you remember Sandy Cheeks from Sponge Bob.

They simply don't exist outside their chassis no matter how durable it may be, and they're still an electronic entity in a medium which does not support them. As such the human they bond with is literally the parent to a "soul" who's well-being they are responsible for.

And given how each AnthroPC's persona so strongly reflects its owner's inner self, it seems the nurturing of these parents is pretty influential on their development:

  • Momo is literally an anime character.
  • Winslow is a starkly clean iPod (just like EVE from "WALL-E")
  • Pintsize is a pulsating mass of every sexual fetish imaginable.

Yes, I just called Marten a pervert extraordinaire. Mark my words, when he finally comes out to himself he'll eclipse Tai, Pintsize and his mom with the breadth and depth of his debauchery.

Although that's a risky narrative twist to take. Audiences tend to accept kinky women and robots, but find kinky men dangerous.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #74 on: 22 Aug 2011, 17:54 »

I like that angle, but don't think Pintsize is properly reflective of Marten that way. Seems more akin to a latchkey kid than anything else. Probably was given a lot of freedom. He does seem to just generally do his own thing, and Marten makes only minimal effort to stop even his most outlandish behavior, generally just coming in at the end of the day and cleaning up Pintsizes messes.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #75 on: 22 Aug 2011, 17:57 »


2) The AnthroPC has the status of a child. It is your legal responsibility to care for them OR to make other provisions for them which would be analogous to adoption. Mistreatment and/or abandonment the child is governed by applicable laws and subject to penalties.


This seems to me the most reasonable legal position given what little Jeph has said about this SF element. An AI in an AnthroPC chasis is a perpetual fish-out-of-water, or squirrel-under-water if you remember Sandy Cheeks from Sponge Bob.


Highly doubt that.  Pintsize is routinely beaten up and he's left home alone, or home alone with other robot children.  Marten locked him in his freezer once.  If Pintsize were to break himself or be unrepairable after his routine beatings, would Marten and/or Faye go to jail for it?  Jailed for life, of course, as the robot equates to the life of a child.

You realize that when we give these "sentient" beings human status, the comic relief of the robots disappears.
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2011, 18:00 by stoutfiles »
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #76 on: 22 Aug 2011, 18:03 »

I think that all of it depends on just how long AnthroPC's have actually been around.

Laws and Legislation, by the very nature of the process of creating them, take time to be created, passed and instigated (probably the wrong word, but there ya go).  That leaves the question of just how long APC's have been around and how the laws and legislation that govern them and their ownership and use have changed and evolved since their initial creation (whenever that was).

I would surmise that APC's came into existence long after the invention of the computer, and possibly the 'Net.  But just how long that is, is up to speculation. Remember, the modern computer as we know it hasn't been around all that long, even though it's development really began during and after WWII, and the 'Net is even younger than that, and considering the technological development required to create even the earliest version of the AnthroPC must have taken some time, it would be interesting to know just exactly when APC's began to appear in the QCverse.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #77 on: 22 Aug 2011, 18:09 »

Didn't Jeph indicate once that the change in the laws that granted AIs legal status was fairly recent in QC-verse history?
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #78 on: 22 Aug 2011, 18:10 »

Imagine an AI that is programmed to handle the air traffic control needed for the vast amount of flying car traffic we will have in the future. Or an AI designed to perform brain surgery.
We use free sentient beings for air traffic control and brain surgery today. The results are widely viewed as acceptable.

EDIT: the equal rights amendment was mentioned in strip 1900.
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2011, 18:12 by Is it cold in here? »
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #79 on: 22 Aug 2011, 18:14 »

Didn't Jeph say one time that the primary difference between QC and the real world was that in QC they lever lost that drive for exploration, which fueled most of the technological advancements? (I don't remember where he said this, but I want to say a news post, likely somewhere around the time of Hannelore's first mention of her father). This would make the divergence maybe something like 50 years ago. There may be some timeline you could guess at for APCs based on that and the fact that 20-30+ years ago a man bought/built a space station. This man may have been influential in AI tech, too, FWIW.

Also, in the reflecting of their owners' personalities, I think that does come off very parent/child-like, down to what gangler said about pintsize.

Finally, kudos for the well-placed Spongebob reference.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #80 on: 22 Aug 2011, 18:20 »

http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2011/07/14/267909/questionable-content-cartoonist-jeph-jacques-on-post-college-career-paths-the-space-program-and-what-hes-learned-from-readers/

On the subject of AnthroPCs, AnthroPC abuse is recognized as an issue by at least some members of society. Remember Marigirl wanting to interview Pintsize privately about how he got the dents?
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #81 on: 22 Aug 2011, 18:27 »

ah yeah, that's the one, and it answers the question much more explicitly than I thought. The 90s.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #82 on: 22 Aug 2011, 18:37 »

The man has been thinking this through, kids.

I think, if I've read between the lines enough (or his newsposts LOL), the defining moment that made the "singularity" of AI's friendly towards humans was giving them a libido. Or, at least, having them understand the concept of "love".

I'd still expect there to be more rogue APC's out there, though.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #83 on: 22 Aug 2011, 18:39 »

And a poll update:
What would you like to see for strip 2K?

Fanservice, of course.    - 9 (14.5%)
Oh, what KIND of fanservice? Hanners cheesecake.    - 3 (4.8%)
No, FAYE cheesecake.    - 5 (8.1%)
DORA! DORA! DORA!    - 1 (1.6%)
I always preferred Penelope, myself.    - 3 (4.8%)
MARI-CHAN!    - 4 (6.5%)
Tai! (And maybe her last name, too?)    - 2 (3.2%)
Forget the girls: MARTEN cheesecake!    - 2 (3.2%)
No, no, NO! STEVE rocks.    - 2 (3.2%)
Sven FTW.    - 5 (8.1%)
We need more AnthroPC antics!    - 3 (4.8%)
Yelling Bird vs. Randy.    - 7 (11.3%)
Ho, hum, just another boring day.    - 8 (12.9%)
Naked Waffles!    - 8 (12.9%)

Total Voters: 62

---

This is actually going to be one of those polls that'll keep up throughout the week. I like those kinds of polls.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #84 on: 22 Aug 2011, 18:45 »

Didn't Jeph say one time that the primary difference between QC and the real world was that in QC they lever lost that drive for exploration, which fueled most of the technological advancements? This would make the divergence maybe something like 50 years ago. There may be some timeline you could guess at for APCs based on that and the fact that 20-30+ years ago a man bought/built a space station. This man may have been influential in AI tech, too, FWIW.
I can buy that, they certainly have some outrageous technology. Remember that Momo was able to gain a physical modification to her hands by way of a software update. She didn't  originally have fingers... or was it that she had fingers but no thumbs?

On the subject of AnthroPCs, AnthroPC abuse is recognized as an issue by at least some members of society. Remember Marigirl wanting to interview Pintsize privately about how he got the dents?
Very well. That's exactly when Pintsize made one giant grope for robotkind. It wath worth it.

All joking aside, I tend to to take Marigold as not being typical in any way. That's part of the reason she will always remain my favourite character. The fact that (in personality) she's just a hint similar to my girlfriend (games, anime, shy...) can only make that fondness somewhat greater.

I hasten to add that while 'games' was an entry on my parenthetical list, my one true love does not play WoW. She'd never have time for me if she did...

The man has been thinking this through, kids.

I think, if I've read between the lines enough (or his newsposts LOL), the defining moment that made the "singularity" of AI's friendly towards humans was giving them a libido. Or, at least, having them understand the concept of "love".
Perhaps I'm not giving him enough credit. I'd certainly like to believe that AnthroPCs have a libido. Even if the strip will never go in that direction, it just makes the world that much more interesting of a place. I like interesting worlds perhaps a little more than I like interesting plots.

First time in recent memory I can recall being referred to as a kid, though. I think I'm OK with that, but... get off my lawn.  :-D

Voting for another boring day, because even in jest voting for naked QC girls reminds me of the bearhat man.
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2011, 19:20 by TheBiscuit »
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #85 on: 22 Aug 2011, 19:10 »

http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2011/07/14/267909/questionable-content-cartoonist-jeph-jacques-on-post-college-career-paths-the-space-program-and-what-hes-learned-from-readers/

On the subject of AnthroPCs, AnthroPC abuse is recognized as an issue by at least some members of society. Remember Marigirl wanting to interview Pintsize privately about how he got the dents?

Thanks for that.  Certainly explains a fair amount about the QCvers.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #86 on: 22 Aug 2011, 19:24 »

I'd certainly like to believe that AnthroPCs have a libido.
Quote from: strip 1658 newspost
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.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #87 on: 22 Aug 2011, 19:51 »

0(I'm still on pretty heavy drugs from having my wisdom teeth taken out, so I hope I make enough sense. I really wanted to post this while it was still on my mind.)

First of all, Tron is a sentient program of sorts. He exhibits enough free-will for me to say he's got at least a good degree of AI.

Second, the discussions about what would happen if an AnthroPC decided to leave brought up an odd little idea with me. What about a different form of abuse? What if people could stick their AnthroPC's mind into a flash drive or something? Would that effectively "kill" them until they are given a proper body? Or would it be equivalent to a coma? Would a bad or lonely person be inclined to do this to their AnthroPC in order to keep it/him/her from leaving or to punish it/him/her? Flash drives don't have arms and legs and, therefore, no crawling or walking abilities that would allow them to get away on their own. Would putting this sentient being into something that can't move be legitimately counted as torture? (This idea is something that's been bugging me for a while now. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, they turn animals into water goblets. Wouldn't an animal be traumatized by that?? A bigger one I have problems with is that I read an awful book in which the main character, a supposed hero who's an alien, turns some bad guys into elephant dung, effectively killing them. That's just ... sick. Just makes me wonder if that sort of horrible thing could be done in the world of QC.)

Also, it's interesting that the AnthroPCs are essentially free of monetary cost. Momo would probably be more expensive than most others because she is such a special and new model. Yet it's implied that no one has to pay to get an AnthroPC for a companion. Did Marigold have to pay extra for Momo, or did Momo choose that body before Marigold found her?

(By the way, I'd totally love to see something with Sven. :3)
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #88 on: 22 Aug 2011, 19:54 »

To IsItColdInHere: 

The AI shop signs:

A.I.os 4.0 
The all-new artificial intelligence paradigm. 
Guaranteed not to to go
insane and kill your loved ones.


The Idoru Handmaiden Series
Four great AnthroPC Models
four great prices.
Ask a Sales Associate today.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #89 on: 22 Aug 2011, 19:58 »

Thank you!

If immobilizing an AI is abuse, a possibility certainly worth considering, was it unethical to duct-tape Pintsize all those times?

Where was it implied that adopting an AnthroPC was cost-free?
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #90 on: 22 Aug 2011, 20:04 »

All this talk reminds me of this strip from Gunnerkreig Court (and if you don't read it, you should). 

In the next one the robot discusses life and death as far as robots are concerned. 


Edit:  sticky "o" key.
« Last Edit: 23 Aug 2011, 05:27 by Carl-E »
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #91 on: 22 Aug 2011, 20:04 »

Also, it's interesting that the AnthroPCs are essentially free of monetary cost. Momo would probably be more expensive than most others because she is such a special and new model. Yet it's implied that no one has to pay to get an AnthroPC for a companion. Did Marigold have to pay extra for Momo, or did Momo choose that body before Marigold found her?
I don't get that impression at all. I do get the impression that Momo is a lot more expensive than most though. I'm not sure if it has ever been directly stated that Pintsize originally used a basic model chassis, but I'm inclined to believe that based on the sheer proliferation of Pintsize type chassis at the store. Of course we must not forget that he has since been upgraded to a military model which just happens to resemble his original. I'm not sure if there are any differences other than the laser cannon which has been disabled.

If immobilizing an AI is abuse, a possibility certainly worth considering, was it unethical to duct-tape Pintsize all those times?
Only to the same extent that it was unethical for Pintsize to grab various asses and boobies and generally spread mayhem around the lives of his human companions. There have to be consequences to a person's actions, regardless of whether that person is made of meat or metal. Overall I think Pintsize got off lightly, because Marten would have been justified on many occasions to say "I'm done with you. Pack your stuff. "
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2011, 20:09 by TheBiscuit »
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #92 on: 22 Aug 2011, 20:08 »

I assumed the contract fee, which was after all refundable if the contract was broken, was where the money changed hands. Then of course I'm not sure if it has been explained how Marten was able to buy a new chassis from ebay and install it himself, unless he was just bypassing the contract and doing it as a gift for pintsize, which seems legit enough (except of course he ended up getting a classified model, but that's been mentioned).

Also, as far as the immobilizing in a flash drive thing, I think I would fall back on what I said earlier about installing safeguards if I were a sentient robot. I would definitely want to be the only master of my programming as well as my program. I wouldn't want anyone to be able to download or copy me, and would probably devote some low- to mid-level priority function to monitoring and stopping any such attempt, kind of like an immune system of sorts I guess.

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #93 on: 22 Aug 2011, 20:12 »

I assumed the contract fee, which was after all refundable if the contract was broken, was where the money changed hands. Then of course I'm not sure if it has been explained how Marten was able to buy a new chassis from ebay and install it himself, unless he was just bypassing the contract and doing it as a gift for Pintsize, which seems legit enough (except of course he ended up getting a classified model, but that's been mentioned).
Ahh... yes. The contract fee probably covers a basic model chassis. If either party in the relationship find it beneficial to get a new chassis, there are probably tools available to perform a transfer. Marigold seems fairly adept at any kind of maintenance or repairs they might need. I expect the AnthroPC itself is required (by the nature of the tools) to electronically consent to being transferred. Only makes sense.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #94 on: 22 Aug 2011, 20:18 »

Strip 5, Pintsize says he's a "pretty basic model".

(hopeless pedant)The new chassis was from Best Buy, not eBay(/hopeless pedant).

The new chassis included joints and a mass spectrometer as well as the laser.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #95 on: 22 Aug 2011, 20:21 »

Thank you!

If immobilizing an AI is abuse, a possibility certainly worth considering, was it unethical to duct-tape Pintsize all those times?

Where was it implied that adopting an AnthroPC was cost-free?
Only as unethical as it would be to duct-tape a kid to a wall. He was being a butt and pretty much deserved it.  But was it right? Probably not. I was just referring to complete, total immobilization, but that's an interesting point to bring up.

And DERP on my part. Forgot about the contract fee. And some part of my addled brain was beginning to interpret the talk here as if being a companion meant that an AnthroPC is not purchased (still wondering how I came to that conclusion myself). My bad!

In that case, where do these people get enough money for the contract fees? Marten's not exactly rich. He's not poor, but with college and living expenses afterward, how did he afford the little guy? I can't imagine AnthroPCs being cheap.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #96 on: 22 Aug 2011, 20:24 »

Whoa that was a surprising and indepth working of how the AI's work.
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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #97 on: 22 Aug 2011, 20:24 »

By all appearences AnthroPC's are pretty affordable. They probably get pricey once you start looking for fancy upgrades and whatnot, but just a little guy to walk around the apartment, keep you company, and do odd jobs in the computing department doesn't seem to be treated as a luxury or anything.
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wrwight

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #98 on: 22 Aug 2011, 20:27 »

whoops. My bad. Thanks for the correction. It's been a minute since 147, and for some reason my memory was a little off (it does happen from time to time).
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Akima

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Re: WCDT 22-26 August 2011 (1996-2000)
« Reply #99 on: 22 Aug 2011, 21:16 »

Given that today's comic already referenced one of the more obscure fictional AI's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rei_Toei - Idoru by  William Gibson) ... quite possible!
I am so glad that I'm not the only one nerdy enough to have picked that up. I don't know if Jeph also intended to reference the Japanese cultural phenomenon that lies behind the novel. The sign "The Idoru Handmaiden Series" might suggest it. Would Idoru be the manufacturer? iDoru?  :angel:
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