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Poll

Pancake!Roko! What happens next? (Choose two)

Roko has to deal with a low-spec temporary body until Faye and Bubbles can somehow fix her original chassis
- 14 (21.2%)
Spookybot: "I can repair her although she may find the specification of the replacement a bit more... cutting edge."
- 10 (15.2%)
"Bubbles, that's not a humanoid chassis, it's a Transformer. A 30-foot tall one too!"
- 2 (3%)
Roko in Momo-tan
- 10 (15.2%)
Roko in iWinslow
- 3 (4.5%)
Roko in a robo-girlfriend prototype chassis
- 7 (10.6%)
Roko in an immobile sensor & communications pod that ends up being carried around by a main character
- 10 (15.2%)
Uploaded into the experimental town data grid. She now IS Northampton
- 4 (6.1%)
Other (specify in comment)
- 6 (9.1%)

Total Members Voted: 39


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Author Topic: WCDT strips 3606-3910 (31st December 2018 to 4th January 2019)  (Read 7689 times)

BenRG

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Roborat

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I love how her accent comes out when she is startled.  As another has said, perhaps she could explore what is available on the secondhand market, maybe she will get lucky and find her old chassis available?
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Inconsequential

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If we think back to the time May accidentally ripped her face skin off, we'll see that humanoid AIs in the QC-verse, even ones in janky, low-rent government issue chassis, have very elaborate facial myomers that closely mimic human facial muscles.

The rest of May's body is basically abstract blue plastic (she was shirtless during the repairs, and was, uh, even more featureless than a Barbie doll), but her face and the ability to make expressions is the one thing that works well.

From this, I'd deduce that facial expressions in AIs are very, VERY well developed, and the colorful dermals might help erase the last of the uncanny valley effect. Plus, if people could choose skin colors, why wouldn't many of them choose something bright or bold?

Momo is the one character we've seen who has life-like translucent caucasian skin, and she's been mistaken for a human more than once. Even so, she still has pink hair and "big ol' anime eyes".

Humans (and AIs) are VERY good at reading expressions and body language, so facial myomers aren't really necessary to be understood. Several characters have more abstract faces (Pintsize, O'Malley, Punchbot, Arthur, Swordsmary, "Punkbot" - does he have a name?, etc.) with varying degrees of mobility and features.

Interesting stuff to think about.


So anyway, where's this week's Overthinkers Anonymous meeting? Down the hall and to the left?
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Morituri

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I dunno.  Big ol' anime eyes are a pretty strange look IRL.  Have a look at Rosa Salazar in one of her recent roles.  It's a film adaptation of the anime 'Battle Angel Alita.'  The main character is drawn with eyes the size of grapefruit, and in the role Rosa's eyes are digitally altered to about the size of mandarin oranges.  Juuuust on the edge of 'uncanny  valley girl' territory.

Nobody ever remarked on her eye size in the anime itself; it was just art style.  But, since the character's not entirely human, there's at least a justification for the arresting look to be translated into a live-action film.







I think she gets my vote for 'uncanny valley girl,' or at least as close as we're likely to see in film for this year.
« Last Edit: 04 Jan 2019, 21:13 by Morituri »
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Cue storyline regarding identity & body/gender fluidity.

Yes. Trans people should be able to identify with the psychological trauma Renko feels.

Yes, I was wondering about that - Jeph's handling of this arc so far seems to support 'our' (=wcdt) speculations that AI appear to have kind of a "body-map" that tells them what should be where and how everything should 'feel' at a very deep-down, 'firmware' level.
Some do. Some would be ok with trading what they have for a jet fighter chassis. It varies. See Momo's reaction to her upgrade.

Quote
If I recall your posts & citations correctly, we humans have something like such a map, too, the configuration process starts already in the womb, and mismatches between that internal map and the physical body is what we call gender-dysphoria?
You do recall correctly. There is a variability of degree though. Some women who have radical mastectomies have severe psychological trauma from it. Some people who lose legs below the knee likewise. To others it's just a bloody inconvenience
.
Quote
It would be nice if Jeph used this arc to try to highlight this particular aspect of the *trans experience - just like many other SF-authors have used their stories about the future to give us tools/analogies to better understand our present.
Concur. On the other hand, sometimes it's better to not look at the big picture,  but to just care about individuals as individuals.

Those who fight monsters must beware they too don't become monsters thereby. Look at the big picture and forget the personal one, and the abyss stares into you.  So in order to do the big picture stuff, to be an effective activist, one must first remember to be a decent human being. Then you can state into the Abyss, and have it blink.

Yes, I know it's a comic, with fictional characters, but I'd rather see them as individuals not stereotypes. If their experiences mirror a big picture, well and good, but only if it's incidental, I'd prefer them not to be conscripted into serving a cause. Even one I passionately believe in. Enough of the stereotype is true for such conscription not to be necessary anyway, alas.
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There's a danger in universalising one's own experience, but sometimes anecdotes can be useful in aiding understanding.

A very good friend of mine who I've known for over 40 years visited us on new year eve. He's vehicularly challenged, and was staying here in Canberra with some other friends. They came around at 7pm to take him home.

They're really good people, and it was great to meet them. Both had medical training, and as we were nattering, I mentioned in passing that I'd had my face burnt off a few years ago. They were disbelieving, till I showed them some medical photos, and drew their attention to a small patch on my face that had healed imperfectly. The general consensus was that I'd been extraordinarily fortunate, by rights I should have at least lost my nose.

Their disbelief made me feel good for no logical reason. They asked me about the few patches of keloid scarring I had on my right forearm, and I was right with those, they gave me no psychological distress at all. They were me. They'd both seen that phenomenon before. (And we ended up talking wayy past midnight and into the new year).

So here I am, an example of where body map was really emotionally important in one area, but of negligible importance in another. People vary, neurology varies.

I hope Ms Roko Basilisk finds her new circumstances comfortable. Maybe it might take a second hand chassis of her previous model, or a customisation of the replacement to replicate the parts that were crucial to her being her. She has friends who are skilled in that kind of thing (and could do with the work...). 

Funny. I wish I could talk to her about it. But then, I wish I could be on Spookybot's ethics review panel. I feel she must have one, for quality assurance. I rely on friends too, to tell me when I'm being assholic. I don't have godlike powers though, so it's a nice-to-have rather than utter necessity.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
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Is it cold in here?

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So anyway, where's this week's Overthinkers Anonymous meeting? Down the hall and to the left?

The room down the hall and to the left is moving with the Earth's rotation and orbital velocity and the Sun's' galactic orbit. It will be necessary to parallel those exactly to get there, and even if you manage that you can't get in legally if there are too many over thinkers for fire code compliance, not at all if the room is physically full. The building might have been destroyed by the end of this week, that's another possibility.
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The meeting of the proudly un-anonymous overthinkers, otoh, is right here.

Or rather: The permant steering committee ...
« Last Edit: 05 Jan 2019, 08:48 by Case »
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Baleanopter

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Thinking about Roko's body integration and seeing some of the discussion of varying degrees of that in humans, and "bocy maps" (there's a name for your sense of your place in space and your sense of your shape, but I don;t remember what it's called - it is categorized as a sense, like smell or hearing or whatever though).

A few years ago, at the age of 51, I somehow contracted the childhood ailment "hand, foot, and mouth disease". I know where I got it - a toddler a roommate was babysitting had a diagnosed case shortly before my symptoms developed, though I didn't know that for a while after I got sick - but since I hardly ever interacted with the little poo-larva it was a shock. Until I found out what it was, it rather terrified me (I was broke until payday and didn't want to incur a massive ER bill for what probably wasn't life-threatening, so didn't see a doctor.) My hands and feet were literally completely covered in a very painful, deep red rash that turned shades of purple and black before it subsided, and the roof of my mouth was - fortunately - less so. (The onset fever was no joke either.) In the aftermath, thick bits of skin gradually sloughed off - the peeling was heavy enough to be almost as terrifying as the active infection.

The point though - up until fairly recently my perception of my hands and feet was altered. For a few years I would very often notice an uncomfortable sense that my hands and feet were skeletonized, or otherwise insubstantial (like thin porcelain or even cheap plastic), or even much, much smaller in actual dimensions - even though after the new skin toughened up everything was objectively perfectly normal. To this day I am unsure if it was from temporary nerve damage giving feedback my brain wasn't expecting or some sort of dysphoria brought on by the very disturbing progress of the original illness.
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(there's a name for your sense of your place in space and your sense of your shape, but I don;t remember what it's called - it is categorized as a sense, like smell or hearing or whatever though)

Proprioception.
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SpanielBear

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I wonder if observing that one does not have the latest model, with the slightly upgraded sensorium, the $20K extra on the price tag, and the really nice emblem on the butt would be the AI equivalent of chas -- er, body-shaming.

It might get a similar reaction to the difference between buying an off-the-peg suit as opposed to a tailored one from Saville Row.

And would matter (or not matter) to similar types of people/entities.

There'd also be another layer of difference between an AI like Momo, who's chassis is a matter of aesthetics and practicle choice, and AI's like Roko and May for whom the nature of their embodiement is an existential question. You could insult May by telling her her Chassis looks ugly, and it would be like telling someone their shoes sucked. Saying that to Roko would be wounding on a very different level.
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BenRG

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Poll Results Post
Pancake!Roko! What happens next?

1. Roko has to deal with a low-spec temporary body until Faye and Bubbles can somehow fix her original chassis - 14 (21.2%)
=2. Spookybot: "I can repair her although she may find the specification of the replacement a bit more... cutting edge." - 10 (15.2%)
=2. Roko in Momo-tan - 10 (15.2%)
=2. Roko in an immobile sensor & communications pod that ends up being carried around by a main character - 10 (15.2%)
5. Roko in a robo-girlfriend prototype chassis - 7 (10.6%)
6. Other (specify in comment) - 6 (9.1%)
7. Uploaded into the experimental town data grid. She now IS Northampton - 4 (6.1%)
8. Roko in iWinslow - 3 (4.5%)
9. "Bubbles, that's not a humanoid chassis, it's a Transformer. A 30-foot tall one too!" - 2 (3%)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Interesting that a lot of people wanted Roko to experience a definite down-grade, even if only temporary. Did people want her to learn empathy by walking (or being carried) a mile in another AI's shoes? Or did they just like the thought of Roko trying to adapt to being a different woman (or not even a woman at all, on a physical level)?
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Inconsequential

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I dunno.  Big ol' anime eyes are a pretty strange look IRL.  Have a look at Rosa Salazar in one of her recent roles.  It's a film adaptation of the anime 'Battle Angel Alita.'  The main character is drawn with eyes the size of grapefruit, and in the role Rosa's eyes are digitally altered to about the size of mandarin oranges.  Juuuust on the edge of 'uncanny  valley girl' territory.

Nobody ever remarked on her eye size in the anime itself; it was just art style.  But, since the character's not entirely human, there's at least a justification for the arresting look to be translated into a live-action film.


I think she gets my vote for 'uncanny valley girl,' or at least as close as we're likely to see in film for this year.


OK, wow, I looked up a trailer and yeah, that is a very, uh, interesting look in live action when she's mingling with humans. Looks like it could be a really groovy movie, too.

Anyway, back to the QC-verse, Momo was described as having "big ol' anime eyes" https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3014 (and her eyes are the same pink as her hair), but I don't think her eyes are actually drawn any bigger or at a larger proportion than anyone else's.
Dunno... she seems to look surprised or more emotional at times... https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3853

If anyone has "big ol' anime eyes, it's Claire... maybe it's the glasses that magnify things, and the intense blue of her eyes?
https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3857

Close-ups sort of remind me "oh, yeah, it's a cartoon". When Bubbles and Faye were spooning after, uh, y'know, round 1, something in my brain went "dang, they sure do got biiiig ol' eyes."
https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3747
https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3748






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Theta9

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I thought for sure that the movie Elysium would have ended Cameron's Battle Angel project.
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Mr_Rose

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I thought for sure that the movie Elysium would have ended Cameron's Battle Angel project.
Why? Itís not like Armageddon stopped Deep Impactís production, or vice versa.
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