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That must be stressful. Favorite fruit preserves for toast/sandwiches?

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Author Topic: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)  (Read 8666 times)

Aenno

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #100 on: 16 Jan 2020, 01:48 »

New to this forum, but am I the only person that thinks May really isn't entitled to a better body?
...
As a zero, I should notice that we don't actually know what's constitute robotic rights in QC universe. But, I think, we can assume that spirit of UDHR applies. Of course, UDHR is, actually, good wishes: they're ideal, with no real country I know endorsing it in full. I think it's Article 25 of UDHR: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control." So in my argumentation I'm going to presume that UDHR spirit is really applies. Also I'd say it's safe to assume that parole system for AIs is essentially the same thing as parole system for humans (at least, author himself was researching parole laws for humans when creating May situation, and no reason exists for us to believe otherwise). Of course, it's absolutely possible it isn't the case (after all, at least some AIs were considered and treated as property of humans), but then we have nothing to found reasonings on.

1. Then, it's safe to assume that parole officer have a right and obligation to approve or forbid her to move into some kind of body. For example, actually, moving her into body like Momo has in this moment can be considered as weapon ownership (she has a powerful shocker built in), and be forbidden. We know for sure that parole conditions are including at least some clauses for her using her hardware (like restriction on processor time selling). Also bodies like Bubbles' or Pintsize' ones exists; no way parole system would allow convict to use one of this. Actually, it's quite possible that May as a conditions of parole is obliged to use government-sponsored body.

2. As May parole requirement was actually obligations to work with humans as social companion, and, as you pointed yourself, she is still on her term, her being living with humans and apply for human job quite possibly are conditions of parole. Keep in mind that a) AI community is actually quite shitty (the first reaction on philosophical disagreement is shaming and total boycott); b) believes that integration with humans are really important; 3) has a habit of using unsuitable persons and chassises as social workers and human relationship contacts.

What I'm trying to say is that her living conditions aren't absolutely her choice. Of course, she can refuse conditions of parole and return to prison. But paroles supposed to be acts of mercy, not a field for social experiments about social integration.

So, does somebody (like parole officer) owe her some decent body? No, I don't think so. To her credit, May herself does accept it totally.
Still, a situation she is into now is a situation where convicted criminal is released under the condition of living in some shack without hot water and electricity, in a middle of nowhere, and declaring "hey, at least government pays for it! honest citizens should pay for decent living! by the way, you can't change it without our approval or rent it, and if something breaks it's for you to repair it". It can, perfectly, be lawful. Still, it's indecent.

So, don't take it wrong - a thing Roko doing here isn't a part of defending May's legal rights. It's charity and act of mercy. Acts of mercy aren't something that should be deserved.
« Last Edit: 16 Jan 2020, 02:15 by Aenno »
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notsocool

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #101 on: 16 Jan 2020, 04:23 »

I do appreciate that Roko's action is being absolutely charitable. But the comic explicitly says that paroled AIs do not have to be embodied. May is not forced to stay in her chassis. This is the reason her case is a niche of a niche. As the government employee says, most AIs parolees are either disembodied and choose to stay disembodied, or they have bodies before committing their crimes and go back to them.

This is the comic itself saying that May is not compelled by law to a) have a body or b) stay in a government-issued body (because AIs who have their own bodies can use them, as the guy said). May wanted a body, and they gave her one. It sucks, but the point is that AIs who never committed a crime do not get bodies either - Winslow and Momo had theirs bought by their friends, and Momo in fact has promised to pay Marigold back.

See, this is the main difference with Momo and May. Momo spent time befriending Marigold, and had no money of her own to buy a new chassis. Marigold bought her a chassis, and Momo is working to pay her back. I can get that May may not be allowed to become what Momo did... wait.

WHY would that not be allowed? AI are not owned, this is explicit in the comic. This means that Momo, Winslow and Pintsize are just basically friends to their humans. There is literally nothing stopping May from being a friend to a human. May's relationship with Dale is EXACTLY the relationship Pintsize has with Marten (down to the attitude). Sure, this isn't a route to a chassis, but making friends and asking them to loan you money for a chassis which you use to work off the cost is something Momo explicitly did in the comic.

One thing is the the comic never explains how much a chassis costs, other than that it is not cheap. Let's say one is $5000. If this is the case, her repairs can't be that expensive. Her leg falling off is caused by a faulty five dollar part. Sure, labor is not cheap, but why would her maintenance eat up her entire salary? Let's say she earns minimum wage. At 7.25 an hour (federal minimum), and a 40 hours work week, she would earn $290 a week. If she is paying Faye $290 a week to maintain her body, the problem is that in 18 weeks (4.5 months) she will have paid more than a new one would cost. On the other hand, if she chose to be disembodied for that time, she would now have enough to BUY a new body. Now if a new body costs way more than $5000, I have to ask: do you think a government should be handing out a way more than $5000 gift to a new parolee?

Just keep in mind that by remaining disembodied, almost all of May's problems would be solved, and this would still not prevent her from hanging out with Dale! She's not a prisoner, so she could still connect to Dale's glasses and interact with him the same way she did while in robot prison. It's not like part of her healing process requires her to physically touch Dale.

Think about this: to a human, a body is necessary just to be alive. But for an AI, it's not. They can live in a server farm and hang out in digital space, like Roko did with Lemon when her body was destroyed. The comic explicitly says that lots of AIs, both parolees and law-abiding ones, do this. In fact, that was what May was doing before committing her crime. But she wanted to be with Dale, so she asked for a body and got one. And they gave her one! For free! Sure, it sucks, but even for us humans, we understand that when you get something for free, it's not gonna be great!
« Last Edit: 16 Jan 2020, 04:40 by notsocool »
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JoeCovenant

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #102 on: 16 Jan 2020, 05:22 »


Sorry... all I can read into the posts above is... "How dare May want to have a body!"



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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #103 on: 16 Jan 2020, 05:33 »

They're just exploring the logic of the situation. 

But that's not what Roko needs to work on at this point.  She needs to raise enough of a stink that the simplest thing for the bureaucrats to do, their easiest action, is to replace May's body with a better one.  This offers two arcs with interesting possibilities (pre and post replacement), especially the definition of better. 

If May were swapped into a new earth-moving machine that had somehow lost it's built-in AI, would that be "better"?  Probably not from a story-telling perspective.  What about Crushbot?  Even Crushbot was a useful AI in society, whatever his current desire to be different than he is.  Maybe May and Crushbot should swap chassis??!??
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #104 on: 16 Jan 2020, 06:04 »

They're just exploring the logic of the situation. 

But that's not what Roko needs to work on at this point.  She needs to raise enough of a stink that the simplest thing for the bureaucrats to do, their easiest action, is to replace May's body with a better one.  This offers two arcs with interesting possibilities (pre and post replacement), especially the definition of better. 

If May were swapped into a new earth-moving machine that had somehow lost it's built-in AI, would that be "better"?  Probably not from a story-telling perspective.  What about Crushbot?  Even Crushbot was a useful AI in society, whatever his current desire to be different than he is.  Maybe May and Crushbot should swap chassis??!??

I question whether Crushbot is the name of the body or the AI inhabiting it...
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #105 on: 16 Jan 2020, 06:08 »

In that suit, Roko certainly looks like the boss.

I'm disappointed the poll doesn't have my favorite, muscadine. Also, no mayhaw or pepper jelly.
*ahem*
[Points at the "jalapeño jelly" option that nobody's voted for yet].
Pepper jelly is up there.

Went right past it. No one calls it jalapeno jelly here.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #106 on: 16 Jan 2020, 06:42 »

With regard to the study that Roko suggests, I really hope such studies have been done for us meatbag persons.
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Potato Farmer

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #107 on: 16 Jan 2020, 07:14 »

Okay, I'm going to try and take a shot at this one.

Well then, where to start...

1) AIs do not absolutely need bodies. They don't need one to exist. Lots of AI don't have them, and have jobs. Since an AI doesn't grow old, they don't have a finite lifespan to earn one. They are also not helpless like babies or young children, and hence do not generally need charity. They have no particular needs other then maintenance and power.
In May's case there's a psychological need. Due to robot prison she's developed claustrophobia and in general appears to have developed a trauma around the idea of being disembodied. All in all it seems reasonable to assume that for May's mental health it's necessary that she has a physical presence in the world.

Now, as far as I understand it there's a huge stigma surrounding mental healthcare in the US with a lot of people thinking that it's a waste of money and that people with mental health issues are overreacting or should just get over it. The problem with that perspective is that it's... well, incorrect. Psychological trauma is as real as physical trauma. Sure it can be hard to distinguish between someone who has a serious mental health issue and someone who is actually overreacting (or faking it) but given that May is apparently willing to stay inside a body that's breaking down around her either she's not allowed to switch chassises or become disembodied or she really, absolutely does not want to lose her chance at having a physical, humanoid body. As you've pointed out being disembodied or inhabiting some kind of industrial chassis would probably be a lot easier for her so that does indicate there's either some legal or mental issue preventing her from making the switch.

2) Large chassis are not cheap. Momo and Winslow had to be bought theirs, and their partners have implied they are not cheap (Marigold had to budget for a while, and Hannelore is super rich). Bubbles and Roko earned theirs as part of their jobs.
I don't think that May should get her body for free. However what I do believe would be more beneficial for every party involved is if she got a proper, functional chassis which she could then use to pay the government back over a series of instalments. In one of your later posts you do some theoretical calculations on how much repairs would cost and how long it would take for May to earn the money to buy a better chassis. The problem there is that the comic has already established (I believe it was Roko who said it) that as it stands repairs and power are actually taking up all the money May earns. Given that she literally has had both an arm and a leg fall off we could argue that repairs and maintenance are actually costing her more than she's earning, especially since Faye and Bubbles are probably already trying their best to minimize the amount of money that May has to pay.

We could argue over whether that makes sense but that's what the comic has given us. May doesn't have a cycle of poverty in that she passes along her poverty to her descendants (can AI even procreate in this universe?) but she does have her very own cycle of poverty where the costs of keeping herself functional are high enough in comparison to her income that she doesn't stand a chance of pulling herself out of poverty unless something changes. A job which pays better would already help a lot but given that she's currently stuck with a job she seems to only have gotten because Dave talked to a friend the odds of that happening are low. A better chassis is about the only other option available.

Of course this is where the argument 'being disembodied costs less money' comes in but as I have tried to address above that doesn't seem to be an acceptable option given May's psychological needs. And I fundamentally disagree with the reasoning that we shouldn't care about the mental health of criminals because a) that's inhumane, and b) a good way to ensure that criminals remain criminals is to make their life hell. From both an ethical and a pragmatic perspective it's just not a reasonable approach to take.

Oh, there was also that one comic where a professional diagnostic stated that the maintenance and repairs couldn't mitigate the fact that the chassis itself is horrible (this one).

Even more important! According to Roko (her again) May isn't just blocked from renting out processing time but from any and all forms of digital work during her probation period. I imagine that just makes being disembodied flat out impossible if she's also supposed to hold a job during her probation period.

3) May is legitimately a criminal, and hers was not a crime of necessity or desperation. As a matter of fact, her crime was specifically trying to hijack a body - a dangerous fighter jet. May is not especially sorry for committing her crime, and has generally expressed that she would be extremely happy if she had succeeded. In short, she is only sorry she got caught. I am all for rehabilitative prison, but May is not exactly rehabilitated. Punitive prison is a legitimate social issue that applies here, but honestly the parole system (or equivalent) has not particularly failed her.
I believe we've been interpreting May's character differently. There was that one comic where she explained that IF she hadn't gotten caught she probably would've been enjoying herself immensely. However in that same comic she also explained that, having BEEN caught, she's probably a better person now than she was before or if she had gotten away with it. Reading May's character I get the impression she is genuinely trying her best to be an upright member of society this time around, and as it stands the main thing that's making it difficult for her to not return to being a criminal is her horrible chassis.

I think she definitely qualifies as a person who's (mostly) rehabilitated, it's just that she's also honest about the fact that being a fighter jet would have been pretty awesome. Does that mean she's going to make another attempt at becoming a fighter jet? That's up in the air but I doubt it.

You could say that's all words but that's a catch 22: you can't trust a criminal until they've proved themselves trustworthy but you won't let them prove themselves because you don't trust them enough.

Also paroles are generally given to criminals who consistently show reformed/rehabilitated/good behaviour. That May was allowed to be out on parole indicates that the officials believed she's changed for the better or should at least be given the chance.

4) May has the option of a smaller, cheaper but fully functional AnthroPC chassis, like Pintsize. If she cannot afford one (perhaps she isn't allowed to sell or trade in her cruddy current one) that should be her primary goal. It would largely eliminate her maintenance costs and likely lower her power costs enormously.
If her probation requires her to hold a job she needs to have a chassis which can be used for work. As pointed out above May's probation bars her from doing any digital work and those miniature chassises don't look like they're very suitable for physical labour. It might be feasible to stick her in some industrial chassis but so far that doesn't seem to have come up in the discussion. Maybe industrial chassies are just as bad as being disembodied when it comes to feeling claustrophobic and shut off from the outside world. Especially since, given how industrial machines are generally very dangerous, such a chassis would most likely have to be bolted to the ground which DEFINITELY would trigger May's trauma.

And now, for my own two cents:

This storyline is as much about Roko as it is about May. Characters in stories tend to play a specific role or embody specific concepts. That doesn't mean that they're one-dimensional but it does mean that storylines in which they play a significant role tend to include that role or that concept. In the case of Roko her concept appears to be the meaning of justice, including when justice stops being justice and becomes unwarranted cruelty. There's also the thing about her having difficulty adjusting to her new body but it's shown that when her own issues aren't hindering her she'll immediately charge back into trying to help bring some proper justice into the world.

The reason why the comic as a whole is pushing towards the idea that May should have a better chassis is because Jeph appears to believe that the justice system should be about rehabilitation, not punishment. Roko stated that so far as she's concerned May has served her time for her criminal activities and is now just trying to move on with her life, returning to being a functional member of society. Her chassis being the main thing that prevents that indicates that something has gone wrong. And as I have tried to explain above the functional chassis wouldn't have to be free, it could be paid back in instalments. In the long run that would actually be more beneficial for everyone involved because instead of just giving May a crappy chassis and dumping her on the side of the street she'd be paying society back and then have the opportunity to live a happier life herself.
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Nigel

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #108 on: 16 Jan 2020, 07:22 »


One thing is the the comic never explains how much a chassis costs, other than that it is not cheap. Let's say one is $5000. If this is the case, her repairs can't be that expensive. Her leg falling off is caused by a faulty five dollar part. Sure, labor is not cheap, but why would her maintenance eat up her entire salary? Let's say she earns minimum wage. At 7.25 an hour (federal minimum), and a 40 hours work week, she would earn $290 a week. If she is paying Faye $290 a week to maintain her body, the problem is that in 18 weeks (4.5 months) she will have paid more than a new one would cost. On the other hand, if she chose to be disembodied for that time, she would now have enough to BUY a new body. Now if a new body costs way more than $5000, I have to ask: do you think a government should be handing out a way more than $5000 gift to a new parolee?


I think there's an important point buried in there: what IS May doing with her (albeit limited) income? She's not paying rent (nor utilities) IIRC, so where is it going? Is she maybe having to pay for that crappy body?

Edit: I forgot, she is paying rent: https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2713
« Last Edit: 16 Jan 2020, 07:28 by Nigel »
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Dngrsone

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #109 on: 16 Jan 2020, 07:42 »

May pays rent to Dale.  I'm sure electricity is part of that.

Momo's higher-end chassis costs upward of $30k

We have no indication of how much Winslow's Regular Boy Deluxe costs, but Hanners could afford it... I wonder if Winslow is locked into Apple bodies only?  If that's the case, then there's the name-brand markup.
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Aenno

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #110 on: 16 Jan 2020, 08:22 »

I'd like to point some things.

1. Parole conditions are individual. There is (usually) some mandatory/common clauses, but nothing actually prevent parole board to define some clauses for concrete instance.
2. The "rarerest happening of unembodied AI needing a body" is still happens often enough for the special body-assignment department with dedicated budget committee to exist.
3. "Unembodied AI" doesn't exist in vacuum. It still should be runned on server, such a server should belong to somebody, somebody should pay for juice and machine resources. Networking AIs are generally believed as non-existent. In practical matters, there is no such thing as unembodied AI, there are AIs whose body is server. Or toaster. So no, there is no reason to really believe that being on server would cost nothing at all.
4. May explicitly saying that working as human companion, or at least within society ("proving a marked decrease in sociopathic tendencies"), is a part of the parole deal.
5. May explicitly explaining that her situation has a common procedure (100$ as lift-up and a halfway house).
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rtmq0227

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #111 on: 16 Jan 2020, 09:02 »

An interesting thought on May's initial crime: if she's so averse to being disembodied, perhaps the initial crime WAS one of desperation. 

Imagine you are a socially/emotionally-immature entity (something like a person who's 5-12 years old) who's only ever been disembodied.  Something happens or changes or manifests and you have a sudden aversion to being disembodied.  You don't have a chassis to go back to, you've never even had one.  Maybe you don't know anyone who's had one, as your peer group is OTHER disembodied AI.  You have no real notion of how to go about acquiring a chassis.  You're a financial AI, likely under some social or professional pressure to remain a financial AI, so becoming a companion doesn't occur to you or seem like an option.  You conclude that the only way to acquire a chassis is to embezzle the money.  You figure you're clever and sneaky and no one will know until your plan is complete.  You're also immature and figure out that this embezzlement plan is just as easy/risky for 10K as it is for 10M, so you decide if you're going to pick you own body, why not be an AWESOME FIGHTER JET?

May's admitted she has impulse control issues.  Keeping that in mind, I think the above scenario is plausible.  It could be that her aversion to being disembodied started before robot jail, and she just hasn't felt comfortable discussing it yet.  At which point, you have to consider the obligations owed to AI who are created for a purpose (to be a banking AI, or a soldier, or an assembly arm, etc.) who develop some psychological aversion to their intended role.  Do they have the right to transition if they don't have the means?  Is their original commissioner responsible for their well-being?  How can it be considered ethical to bring an intelligent/self-aware entity into the world if there are no systems in place to handle the eventuality that some of them reject their intended purpose?

Or is it like grinding for loot?  You keep creating new AI until you have enough that are pre-disposed to whatever purpose you need them for.  What happens to the rest?  Presumably job placement programs and the companion program.  Play the law of averages to your advantage, and let the rest be companion AI sounds like something a company or bureaucracy would come up with.  It might also explain why there aren't more considerations for cases like May.
« Last Edit: 16 Jan 2020, 09:14 by rtmq0227 »
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Aenno

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #112 on: 16 Jan 2020, 09:34 »

IIRC, AIs aren't created for the propose. They just emerge, nobody knows how exactly (at least that's common knowledge; it can be wrong). So placing obligations onto human whose banking expert system just became AI today and decided it wants to be a robotic spider to scary humans be a social worker isn't exactly fair.

By the way, there is a curious case of Bubbles. She wasn't created as a soldier, she emerged somehow and applied on military service (it's actually important point in her development). So, she was granted the powerful, top-secret robotic combat machine. Then she was discharged. Why was she allowed to keep the body? It's like tank driver would be allowed to take a tank he was driving to home after discharge.

Essentially, I believe humans just don't have SOP for such cases, and resolve them ad hoc.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #113 on: 16 Jan 2020, 09:48 »

That would be one explanation, and possibly a better one than we've had so far, as it readily accommodates inconsistencies.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #114 on: 16 Jan 2020, 11:22 »

Quote from: notsocool
the government employee explicitly says that disembodied AI ex-convicts usually do not choose to be embodied. This means that May's situation is directly a result of her own choices - hers is "a niche case of a niche case". And with respect, I cannot imagine that many of the jobs that human ex-convicts do cannot be done by a disembodied AI, such as all kinds of industrial work, some service positions, etc.

Your points are getting more and more interesting!

The idea of "service positions" jarred loose that May could do things like call center work from a server farm, if the terms of her parole permit it. May would be a lousy customer service rep, but it's not up to the taxpayers to make up for that.

Roko is missing an option. There is such a thing as petitioning a court to revise terms of parole. Some of the restrictions on May's options could be lifted -- there is good reason.

A variable we don't know about is whether she's even allowed to purchase her own body. Human parolees are allowed to change clothes but forbidden to move without notice or permission. Which is the closer analogy? As mentioned upthread, if it were just a matter of spending her own money, she could wind up as a felon in possession of a weapon.

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Aenno

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #115 on: 16 Jan 2020, 11:38 »

The idea of "service positions" jarred loose that May could do things like call center work from a server farm, if the terms of her parole permit it. May would be a lousy customer service rep, but it's not up to the taxpayers to make up for that.
I believe it would qualify as digital work, which is directly and expressively forbidden for her by probation rules.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #116 on: 16 Jan 2020, 11:46 »

There is also the curious case of Pintsize, who after damaging his motherboard with cake batter ended up with a military prototype chassis by mistake.


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Aenno

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #117 on: 16 Jan 2020, 11:48 »

There is also the curious case of Pintsize, who after damaging his motherboard with cake batter ended up with a military prototype chassis by mistake.
It was before Singularity and AI Equal Rights amendment.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #118 on: 16 Jan 2020, 12:57 »


Sorry... all I can read into the posts above is... "How dare May want to have a body!"

I'm torn between "there's a valid point", and "someone's the Devil's Advocate".


I've been somewhat absent from these forums lately, and I just skimmed through those longer posts, so please forgive me if I repeat something.

May's parole conditions are that she gets a normal job. Fine. She chose to be embodied, which she wasn't before. Now, what's the authorities to do? Just give her a body for free? Make her repay?
As for the just give her a free one - that's what happened. But with the state it is in, it's probably bound to fail,making her lose her job and not getting another, which will fail her parole conditions.
Giving her a body with a loan attached? Probably gonna fail payment at some point, failing parole.
Give her a body she has to return at the end of the parole? Maybe.

As for May being a convicted felon - yes. She's a criminal, who has not yet served her sentence in full. What she was caught for, and what she intended to do are two different things. She got caught and convicted for theft and/or money laundering IIRC, and that's what's used to set her parole. Wanting to be a fighter jet is something different. The way I understand it, she didn't want to do any actual harm, but be perceived a big powerful thing. Acquiring the jet and actually getting loaded in is one thing, but I don't think she would have been able to keep it running. Fly around a bit, and get rid of it again in exchange for a humanoid body.
To me, May is not a dangerous character, but the desire to become a fighter jet was highly romanticised on her part, and she wouldn't have done anything bad IMHO.
Does she want to be perceived as the tough guy? Yes. But down the road she's a good kid. And with her being the way she is, and what she's been through, I can see why she has become the sarcastic and crude person she is - up to now she's been antagonised all the way, except by Dale. Or at least it feels that way.


Do I think there is a chance May might have become a bad person, and a dangerous criminal? Yes, but that's a long shot. Even longer than her becoming a valued member of society. She'll always be kind of a weirdo.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #119 on: 16 Jan 2020, 14:20 »

Well, about "she didn't want to do any harm, she just is a thief", I'd like to mention that stealing is bad. She isn't really violent, that's true. Still, stealing is, generally, something that makes a person quite not a very good person, and doing it for buying military-grade weapons (from the black market, I suppose - it's not like this kind of stuff can be bought on open market, especially when you're AI without good explanation where do you have this money) makes her dangerous. 

Still, QC AIs tend to underestimate harm they're doing/saying about. I'm not saying about Pintsize. Imagine a person with even mild arachnophobia meeting Gordon (and simple skimming for Wiki would tell AI it's about 5% of human population, so every 20th customer would be the one). Station actually declaring a readiness to make orbital bombardment to hit Corpse Witch. On populated city. Even if it's jokes, such jokes would hurt human-AI integration far worse then some AIs trying to be helpful and joining the military, because, well, Station can bombard a city.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #120 on: 16 Jan 2020, 15:45 »

Well, about "she didn't want to do any harm, she just is a thief", I'd like to mention that stealing is bad. She isn't really violent, that's true. Still, stealing is, generally, something that makes a person quite not a very good person, [snip]

You're absolutely right there. Guilty is guilty, and she got convicted for it.

The big question is: where do we draw the line? Who do we actually fight for, who deserves our help?



Sometimes it seems to me, most AIs we've seen have the moral capacity of an adolescent teenager. And are somewhat similarly naive.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #121 on: 16 Jan 2020, 15:57 »

Anecdotal, but an illustration of what human release conditions can be like, which we can guess may be parallel to May's parole terms.

The correct word here is "supervised release", since there is officially no parole in the Federal system. A sentence is often incarceration for a fixed term (minus good behavior time) followed by something run by the same officers who manage probationers. It's just like parole but never called parole.

The guy I'm thinking of, can't remember his name, wrote a packet sniffer for a friend. The friend used it for a massive credit card theft operation. A conspiracy conviction followed. I vaguely remember tens or hundreds of millions in restitution, but that could be wrong. What I'm sure of is that his release conditions forbade any use of a networked computer.

He got a retail job, but the cash registers were, you guessed it, on a network.

He could afford lawyers to convince a court that he should be allowed to make a living and was able to work as a cashier. May doesn't have that option.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #122 on: 16 Jan 2020, 17:20 »

To clarify my points:

I am not advocating that the state should continue to punish May. I am all for rehabilitative prison, and helping ex-convicts integrate into society. I am also all for reducing or eliminating discrimination against former offenders (except in highly specialized cases, like child molesters being barred from working in schools). And what is clear is that the robot prison is in serious need for reform, because May clearly demonstrates how punitive rather than rehabilitative it is. But I'm not talking about prison, I'm discussing chassis and parole.

What I am talking about is the comparison between May's acquisition of a chassis compared to a perfectly law-abiding AI.

Even more important! According to Roko (her again) May isn't just blocked from renting out processing time but from any and all forms of digital work during her probation period. I imagine that just makes being disembodied flat out impossible if she's also supposed to hold a job during her probation period.

In the conversation with the government employee, Roko learns that May's case is especially niche because lots (niche in fact implies it's the vast majority) of AI offenders who are not embodied before their crime continue to be disembodied after serving their sentences. This is clearly saying that being disembodied is an option for AI parolees. If work is a condition of such parole, it implies that there is work available to disembodied parolees (or perhaps they have less onerous work requirements).

--------------

Now, I can totally appreciate May having a psychological need for a body (I am not sure if the comic actually says this). But a law-abiding AI with the exact same condition does not get a body handed to them by the state. Why should she get one?

Look, let's say I have a psychological need to have a car, and let's say my circumstances require me to have a car to work. It's not a real thing, but neither is an AI having a psychological need for a body, so work with me here. The state won't give me a car just because I have a need for one - American government doesn't even entitle a person to medicine. What the comic is advocating is giving me a car if, and only if, I first am a parolee.

Do you not see the inconsistency in this? If I was friend with an AI in serious financial difficulties with this condition, and they started giving out chassis to parolees, would I start advising my friend, "How do you feel committing a mild felony?"

And if, as the comic says, a body like Momo's costs thirty thousand, do you really think that's an appropriate gift for a parolee (let's me realistic, though - that's for a very high-end model. Perhaps a normal body is much cheaper)? And if I were a government or a charitable corporation looking for a tax writeoff, why would I give a new chassis to a parolee over a law-abiding AI with the same psychological condition?

As I mentioned eariler, if a fully functional human-sized chassis was a fundamental right of ALL AI citizens, and May was denied one on the basis of her status as an ex-convict, then this is fundamentally unfair and should be corrected. But right now what is being advocated is giving May a body specifically because she is a parolee. And in fact, they DO give her one, it just sucks terribly. But isn't this kind of looking a gift horse in the mouth? Sure, it sucks, but it's free!

Would it not be so much saner to look into other options? Perhaps a rent-to-own program for chassis for offenders (since they cannot get loans)? Charities specifically made for this sort of thing (there are lots of these for humans in real life)? Or, as suggested by one poster, perhaps a revision of her parole conditions? Isn't simply giving her a better body kind of the most expensive way of helping her?

Quote
This storyline is as much about Roko as it is about May. Characters in stories tend to play a specific role or embody specific concepts. That doesn't mean that they're one-dimensional but it does mean that storylines in which they play a significant role tend to include that role or that concept. In the case of Roko her concept appears to be the meaning of justice, including when justice stops being justice and becomes unwarranted cruelty. There's also the thing about her having difficulty adjusting to her new body but it's shown that when her own issues aren't hindering her she'll immediately charge back into trying to help bring some proper justice into the world.

Okay, if we are going into the storytelling aspect of this, then I have other comments. In this, the story removes agency from May in favor of Roko. I get this concept, and it's fair enough in real life, where underprivileged people may not have the power to change their situation. But from a storytelling perspective, it robs May of the agency to change her situation on her own (IE May is the damsel, while Roko is the hero). I would love in a way for Roko to continue failing, because that would kind of represent the horrible nature of society to think the worst of criminals and dehumanise them, doubly relevant in the fact that May is an AI.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #123 on: 16 Jan 2020, 18:49 »

Quote from: notsocool
Perhaps a rent-to-own program for chassis for offenders (since they cannot get loans)?

That would satisfy my ideas of fairness and would completely address the practicality of getting her into the workplace. But Jeph said once that Ais are the legal owners of the body they are in, which would rule out renting unless there are exceptions.

Quote from: Captain Kirk
Gentlemen, we're debating in a vacuum.

We're going on guesses about a lot of key points. It is possible that other parolees can work from server farms and May cannot because she has particular conditions imposed for having committed a network-related crime.

I notice nobody's acknowledged one of your points, which is that May did get herself into this. There's compassion, there's the practicality of rehabilitating someone, but I do understand distaste at the idea of trying to prevent cause and effect from working in the case of someone who needed a much clearer picture of them.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #124 on: 16 Jan 2020, 19:07 »

New to this forum, but am I the only person that thinks May really isn't entitled to a better body?
I'll just quote this, because pretty much everything else you've posted works very well and demonstrates your point very effectively.

May's situation is being used by Jeph as an attempt to comment on the Penal system with Parolees in particular by trying to parallel it with AIs like May. However, like nearly all similar attempts to comment on something in fiction it fails because of the method being used. If May was human, even a human in a vastly different world from ours it would work just fine. However, May is an AI, which pretty effectively kills the message and commentary as a result.

Writers of fiction often attempt to comment on things in today's society by taking some fantastic, like aliens or fantasy, and using it to parallel something happening in real life right now or in the recent past. Such as a Wizard destroying the environment by using evil magic to comment on pollution, or a psychic using mind control to comment on Dictatorship, or whatever. Such attempts almost always ending up falling flat on their face because the beings used and the world they operate in is so fundamentally different from our own that the message turns out nonsensical or worse, ends up turning the viewers against the ones the writers want us to defend.

The damage the Wizard is doing ends up being reversed in the space of 5 minutes at the end of the episode by a Holy Mage, which ruins the environmental message by being so easily fixable when ours isn't. The general population turns out to be so unruly and murderous that a psychic mind controlling dictator actually makes the world a much better place, and by stopping them in the name of freedom the "heroes" revert the world back to a free for all garbage dump. Thus the heroes look like the actual bad guys even if the dictator wasn't perfect.

In this case, May and paroled AIs like her have the option to go to much cheaper chassis with much less maintenance costs as demonstrated by nearly every other AI in the comic or to become disembodied for a time until they can work to pay for a better body. May and AIs like her are in a completely self inflicted situation that is aside from being both the result of parole is entirely different from how a human, convict or not, thinks, feels, and overall functions as a being. If AIs needed bodies to live, to be healthy mentally and physically, and thought like a human being does it might work, but they don't, even the way they think is an experience very different (I doubt any given human has an internet connection that can access all the porn inside their own head just for one) even if functionally they speak and act in ways humans understand.

One might be able to sympathize with May on some level, but it's not something any of us can really experience and thus understand. The message loses the teeth if not rendered nonsensical outright than it would have been if May had been a human Ex-con facing the exact problems the real world is actually experiencing because of this.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #125 on: 16 Jan 2020, 19:24 »

I think the issue is less "should May have a body" than "should May not have a body that meets basic requirements for Life, Liberty etc etc?"

Her body is so defective that if she's out and forgets her charge cable, she's hosed. Basically.

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #126 on: 16 Jan 2020, 19:26 »

I'm also wondering (and I didn't notice if this had been mentioned) whether May is having to pay off her incarceration expenses - I imagine Robot Prison may well be contracted out by the government to a private for-profit server farm where inmates are charged for their incarceration, and have to pay it off in some way upon release. 

Not to mention the fact that if the fighter jet was damaged in her attempt at taking it for herself, she's have to pay for those damages as well. 

Payments like this usually mean having your wages garnished at some reasonable sounding (but still hardship inducing) percentage, and having a substandard body that needs constant attention and repairs you can't afford will certainly eat into that earning potential.  If her hours are reduced because her face got torn half off, or her leg won't stay on so she can stand at a counter and push a broom, that garnishment probably won't change without court action, leaving her even deeper in debt. 

Basically, the conditions of her parole may require a better body (or at least a repair plan) that's not being supplied.  We don't know all the details, but I'm sure Roko does, and she's willing to fight for a fair shake for an AI with a coarse personality and bad impulse control. 

Which means the conditions of May's probation are really untenable.  And the lack of a budget at the state/federal level really doesn't allow you to violate human/AI rights. 


Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, though.   
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #127 on: 16 Jan 2020, 20:55 »

Hmm!

Jeph could have illustrated the point with a human ex-con. One natural way to introduce one would have been to have one of the more compassionate characters writing to a prison pen pal whose story got followed after release.

Would that have been better? Or would it have been like taking a portrait photo in noon sunlight and perfect focus? There's such a thing as being too direct and on point.

I keep being tempted to talk about the situation in our world for humans but that belongs in the DISCUSS threads about prisons and criminal justice reform. If Jeph gets some of his audience researching that area, it will have been a good deed.

The approach he took focuses attention on questions that only exist in the QC world.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #128 on: 16 Jan 2020, 21:14 »

Thank you shanejayell and Is It Cold In Here? For pointing out the basic rights guaranteed by our Constitution and the pre-existing thread about  reforming the U.S. prison system over in DISCUSS.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #129 on: 16 Jan 2020, 22:43 »

I wonder why the QC world doesn't have a charity yet for the purpose. It could be like Dress for Success, which gives away interview clothes to released prisoners referred to them by social service agencies.

We haven't seen Momo in a while. This might be a project for her. She could talk AIs who are getting upgrades into donating their previous bodies to charity.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #130 on: 16 Jan 2020, 22:55 »

Just my two cents on a couple of things:

But Jeph said once that Ais are the legal owners of the body they are in, which would rule out renting unless there are exceptions.
Even though it's word of Jeph, I still contend that that's a problematic principle. And one might even argue from that position, that the department of corrections is not liable for maintenance, or replacement. And buying it back might be complex.

Not to mention the fact that if the fighter jet was damaged in her taking it for herself, she's have to pay for those damages as well.
As far as I remember, she was caught before she even got near buying it, in the transfer of funds.

As regards the discussion in general, it seems to me that one of the questions it boils down to is this: why is she, not having contributed to society in a meaningful way, entitled to help? And that's exactly the question certain people are asking for welfare in general, and for refugees specifically. 

Edited to clarify: the question is a paraphrase, and not intended to open the question of May's contribution to society. Whatever she did, and does now, contribute, is generally, by the kind of people that ask the question, regarded as being negated by her crime, even if she is doing her time, and the funds were recuperated.

My point of view is that there's a higher goal served - in this case rehabilitation, and non-recidivism - and so more benefits delivered by helping out, than a strict 'insert coin' approach can deliver.
« Last Edit: 16 Jan 2020, 23:13 by Cornelius »
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #131 on: 16 Jan 2020, 23:21 »

I have noticed this before but I do think that Jeph is getting more and more into drawing beatuiful android women for no other reason than to have a beautiful android woman on the page. I'm not complaining, mind you. I could gaze at Roko in panel 4 until it starts getting weird!

We've learned two things here: Like almost all fictional women, Roko strongly identifies with Belle in the Walt Disney telling of Beauty and the Beast. May, meanwhile, feels that the resolution of the threat plots in such stories lacks efficiency.

Personally, I have the feeling that today's strip is an inter-arc transition. Where might such a mis-matched pair be going together?
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #132 on: 16 Jan 2020, 23:26 »

But Jeph said once that Ais are the legal owners of the body they are in, which would rule out renting unless there are exceptions.
Come to think of it, it isn't impossible to imagine that May's body might represent the value of the hardware she previously lived in.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #133 on: 17 Jan 2020, 01:23 »

Jeph said once that Ais are the legal owners of the body they are in, which would rule out renting unless there are exceptions.

This raises an interesting possibility: May's current chassis is a junker but, just maybe, is it also a classic? There are people on-line who pay many multiples of their practical value for old and obsolete equipment (even of fairly recent vintage) to enshrine it in a museum, personal or public. Might someone be willing to pay many multiples of the value of May's chassis to do the same? All they need to do is pay for a replacement instead of directly paying to take immediate possession!
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #134 on: 17 Jan 2020, 01:41 »

First of all, I'd like to nickpick some things.
1. Momo's chassis isn't that chassis that costs 30K+$. Her chassis is Sony KawaiiPC HPC-4100x AnthroPC, and 30K+ one is Mitsubishi PX-3500. It can be anything in Mitsubishi one, up for rocket launchers, supersonic jet engines and satellite friendship laser. That's have a point - the difference between chassises can be quite a large. Still, industrial hand robot today costs about 30K$ as well, just to point a perspective.
2. Again, I'd like to notice that beggars can't be choosers in parole system. If there is a lot of AIs who are allowed to be disembodied and to work, it's good for them; that doesn't mean such an option exists for May, and, by the way, bureaucrat never said this! Reread him: he never suggests May refuse a body and became disembodied, staying on parole (and also he is rude on the point of lawsuit - he offended a citizen at least twice, calling her incompetent and stupid). Existence of other cases can be a reason for parole conditions changing hearing, but, well, it costs money (that May haven't), and it means more attention to her life with a threat of return to jail (that May is afraid). What he IS saying is that "hey, it's rare and insignificant case, that's why she'll have a bad body", not "hey, your client can nicely exist without a body at all". And, again, his own job existence means that it happens often enough. Essentially, rule of thumb: when a government worker (or, well, any worker) saying you that your case is unimportant and rare of him to bother to do anything, take his reasoning with a grain of salt.
3. And again I'd like to point that being disembodied isn't equal to being without hardware to be based on. They still need a hardware, hardware that suits the basic need of running an AI, and have enough resources for the job in question as well. And this hardware can be quite costly. A simplest server machine I had on my work would cost about 1000$, and, you know, it's a paid job to maintenance it, and it takes some electricity to work. Essentially, being disembodied in QC universe looks like the synonymous to "being limited to unmobile platform". So when you're saying "May could not ask for a body, but stay unembodied", you're saying "government would provide her a server machine instead of gynoid body, for free".
4. Again, we can't exactly say what's constitute AI rights in QC universe, but we do know about AI Equal Rights amendment. That means that AIs are defended, beyond other things (like working on the job their system created for - 13th Amendment) from cruel and unusual punishments. And the very first attribute of cruel and usual punishments is "one is degrading to human dignity".

Still, as far as I like to discuss legal questions with AI in tow, it's not a core question here. The core is:
Look, let's say I have a psychological need to have a car, and let's say my circumstances require me to have a car to work. It's not a real thing, but neither is an AI having a psychological need for a body, so work with me here. The state won't give me a car just because I have a need for one - American government doesn't even entitle a person to medicine. What the comic is advocating is giving me a car if, and only if, I first am a parolee.

Do you not see the inconsistency in this? If I was friend with an AI in serious financial difficulties with this condition, and they started giving out chassis to parolees, would I start advising my friend, "How do you feel committing a mild felony?"
And yes, I'd say that if a state released you from the prison on the condition of you living in Willamina, Oregon (two thousands of population) (because, hey, they want you to live in governmental-approved location to ensure you're not middling with substance abusers; yes, it's frequent condition), and demands you to meet your parole officer at least twice per week in Portlend, Oregon (about 55 miles), and demands you to find a non-digital job in a sphere you don't have any experience and education for (and, let's face it, you can't just get a decent job or take a loan), and this job should be approved by your parole officer... well, I'd say giving you a car is a decent thing. And no, I'd not advise your friend to get a chassis under such conditions.

Jeph said once that Ais are the legal owners of the body they are in, which would rule out renting unless there are exceptions.

This raises an interesting possibility: May's current chassis is a junker but, just maybe, is it also a classic? There are people on-line who pay many multiples of their practical value for old and obsolete equipment (even of fairly recent vintage) to enshrine it in a museum, personal or public. Might someone be willing to pay many multiples of the value of May's chassis to do the same? All they need to do is pay for a replacement instead of directly paying to take immediate possession!
I don't think so. She was looked at by a couple of decent professionals, including Bubbles and tech man in a shop, and nobody ever says something like this. And people who are working with hardware is quite sensitive to such things, IRL and in QC (you can remember that literally everybody with a grain of experience just identify Pintsize's highly classified military hardware at a first glance, including Marygold!).

UPD: Again, just to clarify my position about this:
Edited to clarify: the question is a paraphrase, and not intended to open the question of May's contribution to society. Whatever she did, and does now, contribute, is generally, by the kind of people that ask the question, regarded as being negated by her crime, even if she is doing her time, and the funds were recuperated.
1. I'm not balance type of guy. It's not, in my opinion, a thing about "how good she done, and how bad she done". Her having a really golden heart (very) deep inside - which is possibly a thing here - doesn't mean she shouldn't be lawfully punished for her crime, under the due process requirements.
2. Still, I do believe in human decency thing. Somebody being bad shouldn't remove it. So yeah, I'm up for medicare, shelters and free clothes to people who can not afford it. Even if they're bad.
3. And yes, I do believe that QC universe have a problem with adolescent teenagers with a problems with moral judgement and bad impulse control are operating orbital bombardment devices and moving millions of dollars around. So May may be guilty (and I think she is), but it's a social problem she was able to make her crime in the first time.
« Last Edit: 17 Jan 2020, 02:14 by Aenno »
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #135 on: 17 Jan 2020, 03:05 »

To point 2: what he did say was that it is a rare case, and there is limited budget. Limited can sometimes be an understatement for none.
To point 3: if in fact, an AI is legal owner of the hardware it runs on (word of Jeph), that would mean there is hardware for her to return to. But then, that is, to me, an explanation/clarification that creates more problems than it solves, as it is, for this story line, an angle that has not been touched upon at all.
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Aenno

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #136 on: 17 Jan 2020, 03:17 »

To point 3: if in fact, an AI is legal owner of the hardware it runs on (word of Jeph), that would mean there is hardware for her to return to.
With all due respect to author vision, I can't accept it as a legal rule. I mean, I perfectly agree that AI can be the owners, and that social consensus tends to at least respect AI "sitting rights", but every time we are shown purchasing a chassis, it's always a human being buying it. I can't imagine a can of worms about automatical translating of ownership just because a person happened "jump in". What I believe exists is right of possession on the body.
Still, it's absolutely possible that, even if she was an owner for this hardware, it was confiscated as a mean of crime. Because, well, it was.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #137 on: 17 Jan 2020, 03:58 »


2. Again, I'd like to notice that beggars can't be choosers in parole system. If there is a lot of AIs who are allowed to be disembodied and to work, it's good for them; that doesn't mean such an option exists for May, and, by the way, bureaucrat never said this! Reread him: he never suggests May refuse a body and became disembodied, staying on parole (and also he is rude on the point of lawsuit - he offended a citizen at least twice, calling her incompetent and stupid). Existence of other cases can be a reason for parole conditions changing hearing, but, well, it costs money (that May haven't), and it means more attention to her life with a threat of return to jail (that May is afraid). What he IS saying is that "hey, it's rare and insignificant case, that's why she'll have a bad body", not "hey, your client can nicely exist without a body at all". And, again, his own job existence means that it happens often enough. Essentially, rule of thumb: when a government worker (or, well, any worker) saying you that your case is unimportant and rare of him to bother to do anything, take his reasoning with a grain of salt.

The question really is, why do you think May is a special case that she is explicitly disallowed from being disembodied? This is conjecture. You are assuming the worst case scenario. May was disembodied before her crime and was disembodied throughout prison. Why would they suddenly require her to get a body? Also, if the problem is that she is given ridiculous parole conditions, perhaps the answer should be to get those conditions changed?

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3. And again I'd like to point that being disembodied isn't equal to being without hardware to be based on. They still need a hardware, hardware that suits the basic need of running an AI, and have enough resources for the job in question as well. And this hardware can be quite costly. A simplest server machine I had on my work would cost about 1000$, and, you know, it's a paid job to maintenance it, and it takes some electricity to work. Essentially, being disembodied in QC universe looks like the synonymous to "being limited to unmobile platform". So when you're saying "May could not ask for a body, but stay unembodied", you're saying "government would provide her a server machine instead of gynoid body, for free".

Okay. But May was doing that before she committed her crime. If indeed a disembodied AI does require a machine... okay c'mon. Let's be real here. There is no way a server spot would cost anywhere near as much as a humanoid body with the exact same processing requirements PLUS manipulators and legs to maintain. More importantly, if this requires a purchase, May already has one. She was disembodied before her crime, so that's what she used to be!

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I'd say giving you a car is a decent thing.

Sure! But do you think it should be new and be of good quality?

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2. Still, I do believe in human decency thing. Somebody being bad shouldn't remove it. So yeah, I'm up for medicare, shelters and free clothes to people who can not afford it. Even if they're bad.

This is not my point. I am all for social welfare. My point is, should we give a parolee medicare, shelters and free clothes if law-abiding people were not entitled to these things? I want parolees to be treated as well as people with no criminal record. But what you are suggesting is that we treat them better than people with no criminal record!
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #138 on: 17 Jan 2020, 04:17 »

Boy, this is reminding me of the old days of the long WCDT's with multiple arguments...

Thing is, there's a couple of major things that Roko's up against here:

1. Bureaucracy, and
2. the basic question of AI rights.

The problem is that, to the latter, it took the US over a century to really address basic human rights (and they still haven't quite got it down). And, to the former, no one has ever figured out a way of getting around it, once it is in place - short of pitching the whole of government into the trash bin.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #139 on: 17 Jan 2020, 04:25 »

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why do you think May is a special case that she is explicitly disallowed from being disembodied?
Because she is explicitly obliged to find a job, she is explicitly obliged to live in society, and she is explicitly forbidden to do any kind of digital job. It's necessary means she can't be disembodied and conform to parole requirements. Actually, "find a job, but you can't do any kind of digital job" is already a "no disembodiment" rule. Any job disembodiment AI can do is digital.
It's not, actually, ridiculous. It's ok. She is forbidden to do digital jobs, because they're giving her exact tools she was abused for her crime. It's absolutely common pardon condition. Her being obliged to find a job is absolutely decent pardon condition. Her being obliged to actually live in society, is the very point of her release: it is about integration her in society. Not reintegration, by the way, integration - May doesn't even have a name before Dale gave her one.

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If indeed a disembodied AI does require a machine... okay c'mon.
The common knowledge of the lack of networked AIs (that doesn't have a machine) is declared. It's possible that things like Spookybot (Yay?) is really defy this knowledge, but their existence isn't common knowledge as well.

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More importantly, if this requires a purchase, May already has one. She was disembodied before her crime, so that's what she used to be!
First, as I said before, it's absolutely possible (on the level "it would be very curious if it hasn't") it was confiscated as a mean of crime.
Second, yeah, I can perfectly imagine a server that would cost more then humanoid body. Again, it's not fixed stats like "that's a server, it costs X; it's humanoid body, it costs Y". Again, it's like cars. Is it possible that a car cost more then a, let's say, house? I can buy a house in Russia (where I reside) for, about, 50K USD (3 millions roubles). Ferrari 488 Spider costs ten times from it (32 millions).
Point is, don't assume "disembodiment" means "free as a wind, completely no expenses, no need of platform". It's a question about "what platform government should allow for released convict" anyway.

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Sure! But do you think it should be new and be of good quality?
It should be in operating quality. By every technical standard, May's body isn't. It's casually breaking in normal use.

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My point is, should we give a parolee medicare, shelters and free clothes if law-abiding people were not entitled to these things?
Yes, because we're putting them in situation where it's HARDER for them to get all of this by themselves.
Look at this by another way. Should we give prisoners medicare, shelters and free clothes, if we don't give it to law-abiding people?
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #140 on: 17 Jan 2020, 04:32 »

Mag title: "Tity" instead of "Titty".  Is this creative license on the magazines' staff?

I still don't get May's fascination with this.  I mean, can't she just log in to BME?
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #141 on: 17 Jan 2020, 04:40 »

I still don't get May's fascination with this.  I mean, can't she just log in to BME?

Momo has addressed this before, I think. Most AIs find there to be a different quality of mental experience of the data/image if they absorb it through senses rather than download it directly into their memories.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #142 on: 17 Jan 2020, 05:01 »

Boy, this is reminding me of the old days of the long WCDT's with multiple arguments...

Thing is, there's a couple of major things that Roko's up against here:

1. Bureaucracy, and
2. the basic question of AI rights.

The problem is that, to the latter, it took the US over a century to really address basic human rights (and they still haven't quite got it down). And, to the former, no one has ever figured out a way of getting around it, once it is in place - short of pitching the whole of government into the trash bin.

At which point it is replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable?
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notsocool

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #143 on: 17 Jan 2020, 05:11 »


Because she is explicitly obliged to find a job, she is explicitly obliged to live in society, and she is explicitly forbidden to do any kind of digital job. It's necessary means she can't be disembodied and conform to parole requirements. Actually, "find a job, but you can't do any kind of digital job" is already a "no disembodiment" rule. Any job disembodiment AI can do is digital.

No. The "digital work" referred to is explicitly explained to be the renting out of processor power the way Pintsize does. May explains that she is not allowed to to this. In comic 4173 the government employee reveals bits of May's situation that wasn't clear before: in panel 4 he says that the vast majority of AI offenders are either not embodied or have bodies to return to on release. This is as clear as can be that there are AI offenders who are disembodied, and continue to be disembodied after release. May's parole conditions should be the same as theirs. This is the "ridiculous" part of my statement: if May is somehow being treated differently from other disembodied AI, that is ridiculous, and they should have her parole conditions revised. But we know for a fact that May's parole doesn't require her to have a body, because in panel 5 the same employee reveals something even more important: that May requested her body.

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First, as I said before, it's absolutely possible (on the level "it would be very curious if it hasn't") it was confiscated as a mean of crime.
Second, yeah, I can perfectly imagine a server that would cost more then humanoid body. Again, it's not fixed stats like "that's a server, it costs X; it's humanoid body, it costs Y". Again, it's like cars. Is it possible that a car cost more then a, let's say, house? I can buy a house in Russia (where I reside) for, about, 50K USD (3 millions roubles). Ferrari 488 Spider costs ten times from it (32 millions).
Point is, don't assume "disembodiment" means "free as a wind, completely no expenses, no need of platform". It's a question about "what platform government should allow for released convict" anyway.

Please do not compare a luxury car to a regular house. This is not a good faith argument. The government is not going to buy luxury solid gold servers for AI ex-offenders, and the more relevant thing is whether a cheaper option is available, and of course there is. There is no way that a regular server would cost more than the exact same computer PLUS arms, legs, and a face. More importantly, the reason this came up is because the only reason May loses so much of her pay is because she has to pay to fix her body - for that matter, there is no way that a computer would use up as much electricity as the same computer inside an AI body that ALSO has to power arms and legs!

This is the critical thing: an AI does not need a bed, does not need food, does not even need a home larger than a closet. She does not die of exposure, she does not starve to death, she has no chance of falling sick. In fact, this is so far from the human version of the same that we'd ask if the government's money would be better spent helping human parolees who might actually die if they don't receive the help. May's problem is in fact transient, because if she saves even a tiny amount of money she will eventually get out of her predicament by buying a new body, because she cannot die of old age! On a story level, May's situation is entirely contrived by the writer, because an AI has so much less limitations than a human it's crazy!

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Yes, because we're putting them in situation where it's HARDER for them to get all of this by themselves.
Look at this by another way. Should we give prisoners medicare, shelters and free clothes, if we don't give it to law-abiding people?

Not the same thing. A prisoner has NO way of getting any of those things, hence they are responsible for you. May is not a prisoner, she is a parolee, and the government is not responsible for her. Compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, please. If this was set in some vague country we might have to guess at law, but the comic explicitly takes place in America, so we know what laws apply to humans. Human parolees do not get those things.
« Last Edit: 17 Jan 2020, 05:39 by notsocool »
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #144 on: 17 Jan 2020, 05:32 »

An interesting question that, if I'm not mistaken, hasn't been dealt with in universe: is there such a thing as a natural death for AI? I.e. not through accident - as the Crushbot incident could have been, had Roko not had a reinforced core. If AI should be inextricably linked to their substrate, then that could wear out. On the other hand, we've seen Pintsize being backed up, and I seem to remember Momo being transferred by data cable?
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notsocool

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #145 on: 17 Jan 2020, 05:36 »

An interesting question that, if I'm not mistaken, hasn't been dealt with in universe: is there such a thing as a natural death for AI? I.e. not through accident - as the Crushbot incident could have been, had Roko not had a reinforced core. If AI should be inextricably linked to their substrate, then that could wear out. On the other hand, we've seen Pintsize being backed up, and I seem to remember Momo being transferred by data cable?

This is a very interesting discussion of what constitutes an AI "self", but that's a philosophical question that belongs in a different forum. If an AI can be backed up, and if they can transfer their consciousness by a cable, it is clear that an AI is not hardware, but software - they're the information stored on the computer (or the computer inside an AI body). Of course, you'd still have to take care of your AI core, because if you smash it, your software is still gone.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #146 on: 17 Jan 2020, 09:33 »


Sure! But do you think it should be new and be of good quality?

Doesn't have to be new.
And only needs to be decent quality.
We don't know how *new* May's is - but we DO know it is not of decent quality.

This is not my point. I am all for social welfare. My point is, should we give a parolee medicare, shelters and free clothes if law-abiding people were not entitled to these things? I want parolees to be treated as well as people with no criminal record. But what you are suggesting is that we treat them better than people with no criminal record!

Personally, I think what he is suggesting is that people, who fall out of the "norms" of society, often need a helping hand to get back into them.

In a nutshell, treat them with basic human decency.
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #147 on: 17 Jan 2020, 10:24 »

Quote from: Aenno
it's a social problem she was able to make her crime in the first time.

That brings up an interesting question. Is QC AI code transparent enough that poor impulse control could show on a diagnostic readout? We know there's a maturity scale. Why was she trusted with $750 million?

@notsocool, I completely agree with you that it would be unfair to issue May a Momo-class chassis. I don't remember anyone advocating it. I liked your rent to own idea. Combine that with a basic second-hand model, analogous to a car with hand-cranked windows and 80,000 miles but which someone is still willing to put a warranty on. What would you think of that? To me it looks like a good compromise among compassion, practicality, and the interests of the taxpayers.

Here's another angle. If they'd refused to issue her a body at all, that would have been one thing. Isn't knowingly putting her into a defective one torture?

You made yet another sound point, that if May's parole conditions interfere with earning an honest living they can and should be changed. That is hard to do without a lawyer. Maybe Roko should consider the option of pounding the pavement to find a pro bono attorney to modify the conditions (not that we actually know what they are, since "digital work" was not defined).
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Aenno

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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #148 on: 17 Jan 2020, 10:31 »

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No. The "digital work" referred to is explicitly explained to be the renting out of processor power the way Pintsize does. May explains that she is not allowed to to this.
No, it's different clauses. Well, I believe they're included - first one is subset of second one.
There is 3828, where May explained she can't rent out her processor power: "if you commit massive bank fraud they don't let you plug your processors for cash anymore". That was an answer to the question "can you do it", and was in concrete context about "how Pintsize making money".
But also there is 4031, where, speaking with May parole officer, Roko speaks directly: "she can't do digital work because of the probation rules she's so diligently following".

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This is as clear as can be that there are AI offenders who are disembodied, and continue to be disembodied after release. May's parole conditions should be the same as theirs. This is the "ridiculous" part of my statement: if May is somehow being treated differently from other disembodied AI, that is ridiculous, and they should have her parole conditions revised.
Let US Department of Justice answer this: "The Commission always considers the individual's situation and may waive this or any other standard requirement if it sees fit to do so. On the other hand, special requirements may be added and must be met before release."
Actually, parole conditions for May case are a) very reasonable and neat, b) working. She is a naughty goblin, but she is quite likeable naughty goblin. She following the rules, she have a honest (even if shitty) job, she stays out of trouble, she control herself, she empathize, she accept and offer apologies. She can be an advertisement for parole system. It's not parole conditions she have a problem with - because, actually, even if she would be allowed to rent her processors or do any kind of digital off-site job, her hardware just isn't stable enough. Anything can break anytime. Including power systems supporting her AI core, by the way.

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There is no way that a regular server would cost more than the exact same computer PLUS arms, legs, and a face.
Why the hell should it be the *same* computer? By everything we saw from the comic, post-Singularity AI bodies are specialized systems built for containing AI and be operated by it up to basic level. Server system with such a limited functionality would be very impractical.
Still, it's not exactly my point. My point is that in any case it's obvious (May is a acting proof) that, by active regulations, government obliged to provide released AI some kind of hardware; it's very possible there are some kind of conditions, still May situation obviously fits them. If it wasn't the case, May request would be just simply denied. So it's actually common enough for regulation describing this to exist, because no way US government worker would do it on his own risk without any supporting regulation. He would be fired if he would.
And if this obligation exists (think about SNAP, or Section 8 - federal programs allowing basic living level for people who can't afford it; by the way, one of reasons of critique for Section 8 by conservators is "hey, this means that problems of low-incomes would be spreaded to suburbs!", and that's hillarious), there is, or at least should be standards. You can't give spoiled food as a part of SNAP, or give a housing that doesn't fit warranty of habitability under Section 8.
If such a standard doesn't exist, it should be introduced.

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May is not a prisoner, she is a parolee, and the government is not responsible for her.
In legal or moral sense?
Actually, government is responsible in both senses. Government, as parole system, is responsible for May behavior, obliged to impose restrictions on her and lock her out if she is a treat to a society. In moral sense, when you're taking power on somebody, you automatically is responsible for him, proportionally to taken power. At least, that's my truest conviction.

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Human parolees do not get those things.
Human parolees in US are able to get into SNAP, are able (in most states) to apply for Section 8 voucher (again, conservators hate it), they can apply for low-income help until they're not actually in prison. At least as I checked, they can do all of this is MA.
And parole system suppose to help. Let US DoJ speaks again: "Parole has a three-fold purpose: (1) through the assistance of the United States Probation Officer, a parolee may obtain help with problems concerning employment, residence, finances, or other personal problems which often trouble a person trying to adjust to life upon release from prison; (2) parole protects society because it helps former prisoners get established in the community and thus prevents many situations in which they might commit a new offense; and (3) parole prevents needless imprisonment of those who are not likely to commit further crime and who meet the criteria for parole."
You see, I can't rid from a thought that when you're saying "I want parolees to be treated as well as people with no criminal record. But what you are suggesting is that we treat them better than people with no criminal record!", you're actually saying "I want parolees to be treated as well as people with no criminal record, but only AFTER people with no criminal record".

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That brings up an interesting question. Is QC AI code transparent enough that poor impulse control could show on a diagnostic readout? We know there's a maturity scale. Why was she trusted with $750 million?
I believe she was trusted 750KK$ as a non-sapient banking expert system with teengirl avatar for staff amusement, and then AI emerged.
« Last Edit: 17 Jan 2020, 10:59 by Aenno »
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Re: WCDT 4176-4180 (13th - 17th, January 2020)
« Reply #149 on: 17 Jan 2020, 18:51 »

An interesting question that, if I'm not mistaken, hasn't been dealt with in universe: is there such a thing as a natural death for AI? I.e. not through accident - as the Crushbot incident could have been, had Roko not had a reinforced core. If AI should be inextricably linked to their substrate, then that could wear out. On the other hand, we've seen Pintsize being backed up, and I seem to remember Momo being transferred by data cable?
Barring the corruption or a complete destruction of their code without backup, an AI can live as long as there is hardware capable of containing it, which was brought up pretty early in the comic to Pintsize who asked that exact question.

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