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Author Topic: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)  (Read 3382 times)

Farideh

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WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« on: 15 Aug 2021, 18:57 »

New week, new thread, new comic.


Aurelia can keep a secret. Neither of her kids knew about her hookups, her casual marihuana use, or her streaming channel until she decided to tell them. Then again, she might crack if asked directly (she has a bad lying voice, after all).
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badbum61

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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #1 on: 15 Aug 2021, 19:46 »

She's also an anomaly among the Augustuses (Augustii?) in having actual chill, so that's reason to have confidence that she can.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #2 on: 15 Aug 2021, 19:56 »

 :roll:  Oh, I can see so many ways this can go bad:
Aurelia put in a spot where she gets flustered and inadvertently lets it slip;
Her kids perceive - something - that is distracting her (let's face it, they're not stupid) and proceed to badger her because they're basically good kids who are concerned about their Mom;
Aurelia put in a situation where she has to either lie (which she's bad at) or reveal her secret...

And finally - Yay is stating that they can't keep a secret?! Oh dear...

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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #3 on: 15 Aug 2021, 20:20 »

My goodness, indeed.

hedgie

Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #4 on: 15 Aug 2021, 22:41 »

She's also an anomaly among the Augustuses (Augustii?) in having actual chill, so that's reason to have confidence that she can.

Some traits skip a generation, or so Iím told.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #5 on: 16 Aug 2021, 06:05 »

She's also an anomaly among the Augustuses (Augustii?) in having actual chill, so that's reason to have confidence that she can.

Some traits skip a generation, or so Iím told.

Maybe unchillness is a father's trait.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #6 on: 16 Aug 2021, 06:31 »

She's also an anomaly among the Augustuses (Augustii?) in having actual chill, so that's reason to have confidence that she can.

Some traits skip a generation, or so Iím told.

Maybe unchillness is a father's trait.

That would explain a lot.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #7 on: 16 Aug 2021, 08:00 »

She's also an anomaly among the Augustuses (Augustii?) in having actual chill, so that's reason to have confidence that she can.

Some traits skip a generation, or so Iím told.

Maybe unchillness is a father's trait.

Possible, but chillness also often comes with age/life experience. Especially when said life experience was not necessarily easy, and given what we know at this point about Claire/Clinton's father + Clinton losing his hand + Claire being trans, I think it's fair to say that Aurelia likely had plenty of rough experiences in the past.

PS: please note that I don't mean that Claire being trans in itself made things rough for Aurelia, but rather that they are likely to have had quite a few negative experiences due to people in their surroundings being assholes/closed-minded about it. 
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #8 on: 16 Aug 2021, 08:08 »

OK, I think my suspension of disbelief can't handle this.

I *think* I understand what the comic is trying to go for - extreme intelligence doesn't automatically mean making good decisions or emotional maturity - but that can justify Yay slipping up and saying too much. Friday's comic worked for me alright in that respect.

What makes *no* sense to me is Yay elaborating on that after the moment is past and clarifying what exactly they meant and stating explicitly why this is a big deal. Why not just say "I've already said too much, please don't say anything about any of this to anyone"? If Yay has that low a level of impulse control that they are compelled to explain everything in detail and barely stop short of drawing a detailed technical diagram of their distributed consciousness, they would've shared the secrect of their existence before now - a long time before now, in fact. Lampshading it with a joke about "mom vibes" doesn't work for me.

YMMV, but this is the most baffled I am at a QC strip in a *long* time. We're talking years. It doesn't work as humour and it doesn't work as drama for me - because I can't conceive of a scenario where the confession happens, and I don't understand *why* Yay feels they need to confess everything, without my also assuming they would've overshared elsewhere/elsewhen.

Or to put it another way: Yay is saying sharing this is a Very Big Deal while continuing to share it. That doesn't compute for me (pun fully intended).

EDIT: one problem is, if Yay is behaving as a mildly dysfunctional regular person despite being a god-level AI, the fact of their BEING a god-level AI increasingly becomes what Tv Tropes refers to as "informed ability". If they're a super-intellect... how does the story or Yay's actions present any evidence of that? The comic just wants me to take its word for it.

EDIT 2: one way I can reconcile the apparent contradiction is if Yay either doesn't have full control over any of the sub-instances/bodies of themselves (the whole being literally more than the sum of its parts, and individual instances of Yay being closer to an actual non-god person than the whole gestalt consciousness) - but that doesn't answer the question "why hasn't their secret been accidentally shared before?". Another possibility is that Yay is superhumanly intelligent, but still vastly overestimates their own mental capability - we only have their word for how intelligent/superior they are, and they've proven to be very smug before. But I don't *think* that's what the comic wants me to think, based on contextual clues. A third option is that Yay has an emotional crisis because the recent (in-universe) days or weeks is literally the first time they've had ANY meaningful, non-incidental contact with others. And they couldn't handle it and crashed-and-burnt pretty much immediately (and the confession being evidence of that emotional crash-and-burn). But that, while it works with what I've seen in the comic, is still very loose speculation on my part.

EDIT 3: re-reading the comic, I think it's the first panel. Yay is offered an IMMEDIATE way out by being told they weren't fully understood. They could say "yes, that's a very big deal." and not elaborate. Why, then, continue to dig themselves deeper? The very same comic states they are capable of running literally millions of simulations of what will happen if they take a certain action. Why can't they apply that processing power to considering what to say next? Again, I understand failure to do so in the heat of the moment. But certainly not at the stage where they're taking their time to explain everything. They're clearly coherent enough to talk at length. So they should be able to put that super-intellect to use in doing damage control, and I can't conceive of a plausible explanation as to why they don't.
« Last Edit: 16 Aug 2021, 08:26 by oddtail »
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #9 on: 16 Aug 2021, 08:55 »

I suppose Yay would run those millions of simulations about what to say, when and to whom, if they where working on a conscious level. But it seems to be through some kind of malfunction, maybe due to expressing emotions to some other being than a cat or a dog for the first time. Hercules or the Borzois are much better in keeping secrets, anyway.

Ok, they expressed emotions to Roko before, but Roko is an AI, so telling her AI stuff may be easily blocked in a conscious level...
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #10 on: 16 Aug 2021, 08:57 »

And "god-powerful beings make god-awful mistakes" is a trope since, at least, the Iliad.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #11 on: 16 Aug 2021, 09:11 »

Yes, but the classical gods were god-powerful. Yay is explicitly stated to be superhumanly *smart*. Which Greek gods, to say nothing of (for instance) Norse gods, were decidedly not. Zeus is a boorish horndog, he's just a boorish horndog that can throw lightning at uppity mortals.

I know on some level it's always impossible, inherently so, to write a superhuman intellect, because a superhuman intellect will think things that the writer(s) is/are incapable of thinking (and therefore, it can be argued, imagining). But there has to be some evidence in-story of the intelligence, and Yay has shown incredible *power*, but incredible *intelligence*? Less so, to say the least.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #12 on: 16 Aug 2021, 09:20 »

Call me a media cynic, but when somebody who has thousands of youtube followers and a regular podcast says she can keep a secret, I get some screaming heebiejeebies.  Particularly if she's obscured her realspace identity for the 'cast.

Not saying mama Augustus is a bad person, but the keeping of secrets just isn't compatible with her present existence.

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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #13 on: 16 Aug 2021, 09:25 »

Yes, but the classical gods were god-powerful. Yay is explicitly stated to be superhumanly *smart*. Which Greek gods, to say nothing of (for instance) Norse gods, were decidedly not. Zeus is a boorish horndog, he's just a boorish horndog that can throw lightning at uppity mortals.

And turn into various animals.  Particularly swans.  What up with that?  Did a bunch of old Greeks really think women were into Avian Bestiality, as a norm? Or were they just really really impressed by the sheer persistence and energetic devotion to mating displayed by male swans?

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Farideh

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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #14 on: 16 Aug 2021, 14:22 »

The swan was weird enough, but what about the time he disguised himself as an ant? Or a shower of gold coins? The mind boggles. Never mind the fact that half the time the women weren't even willing.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #15 on: 16 Aug 2021, 15:03 »

Yay is explicitly stated to be superhumanly *smart*.

Past a certain point, that kind of intelligence doesn't really help with social interactions.  Sure, Yay can simulate every strand of Aurelia's hair in exquisite detail.  They still have no clue what she's going to say next, and *no* idea what to do about "Mom vibes".

I  mean, surely you've met a few very clever people that suck at interpersonal relationships...
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #16 on: 16 Aug 2021, 16:22 »

I'm in oddtail's corner on Yay, and have been for some time actually. The character just doesn't work for me at all.

And if there's one thing I've learned, particularly since reading these forums, it's this; once willing suspension of disbelief has collapsed, it's pointless to try to reason it back into existence.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #17 on: 16 Aug 2021, 18:19 »

I  mean, surely you've met a few very clever people that suck at interpersonal relationships...

Speaking as a high-functioning autistic person... yeah. Every time I look in the mirror.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #18 on: 16 Aug 2021, 18:19 »

Bridge club. RIIIIIIGHT. *lol*

This does not bode well for her keeping the secret.

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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #19 on: 16 Aug 2021, 19:01 »

Apparently everyone can hear through Aurelia's lying voice.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #20 on: 16 Aug 2021, 21:13 »

(response to oddtail)

My interpretation was that these were secrets that Yay had kept pent-up for a very long time, and desperately wanted to release. Momo mentions at some point around the 2300s (I don't know exactly when) that "[the experience of sentience is not inherently different]", so the frustration of having a secret that no one is asking you to keep is likely consistent across AIs as well as humans. If we look at people who know Yay, it's basically Elliot, Melon, and Roko. Roko already knows, of course; Melon would probably tell everyone she met on the street; and Elliot, while a sweetheart, seems very capable of falling victim to unintentional slips and accidentally outing Yay to, say, Clinton or Brun or Renee. Here, Yay meets a person who is just willing to sit and talk feelings to a complete stranger--which, if we look back, is really the first time anyone has been unconditionally nice to them upon first meeting. My guess is that emotional comfort made them want to talk, and they covered that up--consciously or subconsciously--by making it seem accidental in order to avoid further emotional probing.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #21 on: 16 Aug 2021, 23:11 »

So, we're being asked to believe that Yay hasn't already learned Aurelia's entire online history including reviewing all recordings of all her streams and maybe even setting up a shopping list based on what games she plays? Sorry, that isn't plausible or in-character. I suppose that they may be attempting to hide this electronic snooping by using Aurelia's babble as an opening but, again, that just doesn't seem like Yay.
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oddtail

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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #22 on: 17 Aug 2021, 02:15 »

I  mean, surely you've met a few very clever people that suck at interpersonal relationships...

I have. My interpersonal interactions used to be VERY bad. At this point in my life, I'm like 80% convinced I'm on the spectrum, and that number continues to rise.

And sorry for applying personal experience and anecdotal evidence to more general analysis (gotta start from somewhere), but my own social shortcomings are (in part) precisely WHY I don't really buy Yay. Let me elaborate.

I am not disputing that intelligence is not a monolith, and different people have different strenghts. But I also disagree with the popular notion that emotional intelligence is a completely distinct thing, and you have it or you don't.

As a person who struggled immensely with social interactions and, as a kid/teenager, was completely baffled by some things, I learnt how to cope. I essentially reasoned/analysed my way into understanding and interacting with people. This does not fully compensate for my shortcomings, but I do have a crude approximation of a (for a lack of a better term) "normal" person's behaviour by learning and thinking about things that most people understand instinctively or perceive innately. I am not at a level where I'd have to, say, look at pictures of people's faces and memorise all signs that a person is angry or happy or sad (which, I am told, many autistic people do in some form), but I did a similar thing for social interactions. I have a loose mental checklist for things I probably shouldn't say, for what to expect, for how people react. Where people "know" what to do and can't really verbalise why, I have an algorithm I meticulously crafted that amounts to "put tab A into slot B, because people get weirdly angry if you put it into slot C".

In some ways, it's a poor coping mechanism. I am still not immune to reactions to people and situations - especially things that catch me off-guard - when even I agree my behaviour is just weird. But in some ways, I *can* treat things people navigate by instinct/naturally/emotionally as an intellectual exercise. I would go as far as saying I understand certain human reactions better than most - because most people don't think about certain aspects of social interactions, and I sort of had to. Y'know, to interact with peers at *all* without routinely alienating people a few sentences into a conversation.

It's possible to apply "traditional intelligence" to cope where you're otherwise lacking, I think. At least to an extent. It's something I'm surprised no-one really seems to talk about that I've seen. And I consider myself to be a very smart guy, but I'm not an uber-powerful AI. If Yay is really as advanced as they say they are...

...actually, let's stop for a moment and talk about that. We have actual data. I don't know if "we've ran millions of simulations" is a throwaway line, but let's treat it literally.

AI are established as something relatively new in-story. Let's say Yay's fully advanced, fully conscious existence is, oh I don't know, 10 years. 10 years is about five-and-a-quarter million minutes, give or take. "millions of simulations", plural, means at least 2 mil. That means if Yay spent all their conscious existence thinking, in some capacity, of the repercussions of their actions SPECIFICALLY as they related to their being found out and nothing else - which is unlikely, otherwise their every step would be carefully crafted around 100% secrecy and past 3 strips show that to just not be true - that'd still mean they can run one such simulation in less than tree minutes, at most. And given they have probably thought about other things (and that such an analysis is possibly what they do while multitasking with other stuff, so it doesn't take their WHOLE mental capacity), and given that they're confident about the results so the simulation is almost certainly not simplistic in a "let's input 20 variables into a mathematical formula and see what happens" way, but something vastly more complex - that gives you an idea of just how MUCH analysis Yay can do.

Coming back to my main point. If Yay has THAT kind of capacity for thinking, if they applied that (even to some level) to understanding and predicting social situations, even if they emotionally can't quite handle them, I don't buy that they couldn't do what I've done (and other "socially deficient" people do) and learn at least some way to predict or cope or compensate for their emotional maturity. Again, even by the one random number that the comic provided, the time and capacity a human has for such thoughts and what Yay can do is skewed so far towards Yay's advantage as to be the equivalent of a person playing speed chess against someone who is allowed a few years to think about and research every move. At minimum. We're talking that level of difference in mental capability, if the comic is to be believed at face value.

And as a person who very well might be on the autistic spectrum and who had to learn basic social cues by step-by-step analysis and who sometimes wants to scream at people for being so confusing, I can't help but be faintly offended by the implication that an AI who has at least comparable social problems would not be able to work around them while having (at least!) three or four orders of magnitude more time to "think it over".

I'm also not saying it's impossible that Yay just can't apply their intellect to social cues in that way. It's just half of my point. The other half of my point is that if they CAN'T, that in itself has a reason. I see three plausible explanations:

1) Their intellect somehow completely does not apply. They can't comprehend social interactions for some reason, no matter how much knowledge and processing power they throw at it. This is... OK, it's unlikely, but it's plausible. There are humans that are in that boat regardless of intelligence. But that means Yay would be the equivalent of noticeably neurodivergent and/or CRIPPLINGLY cognitively/mentally disabled in this area. But here's the thing - that would show. They would completely miss social or even verbal cues, they would be unable to figure out when to talk, they'd respond with non sequiturs or alienate their conversation partners or... SOMETHING. But Yay talks fairly normally. They don't talk like an autistic person and they don't talk like a cognitively impaired person, they talk like a somewhat dorky/awkward, but well-enough-adjusted person. If AI are cognitively at least somewhat similar to humans, an equivalent shortcoming should have equivalent "symptoms". Yay doesn't act like the AI equivalent of autistic or face-blind or neurodivergent or mentally impaired or ANYthing that'd explain their not being able to apply their intellect. And if god-level AI are *less* human and more alien mentally... again, that should show. They should either talk in a way that doesn't match up with human ways of talking (which they don't), or it could be assumed that they are able to fake a "human-like" interaction - and if they could do that, that's a VASTLY more impressive and involved achievement than just being able to keep a secret.

I'd elaborate, but this post is getting super-long. I hope you understand what I'm getting at.

2) If Yay *can* apply their intellect to the extent a neurotypical person (or at least a high-functioning neurodivergent person) can, there should be some clue as to why they either won't, or occasionally slip regardless. And more importantly, if that inevitably happens, that necessarily means Yay can't keep a secret to the extent a typical person would. I'm sorry, but most adult humans faced with the task of "there's an important reason nobody can know about this" are able to keep their guard up UNLESS something happens that makes them blurt it out. If Yay doesn't need the AI equivalent of blurting out secrets while drunk or having a mental breakdown, the comic hasn't established that, to my knowledge. If what's happened recently *is* the equivalent of such an outburst, the comic has failed to adequately do setup-payoff storytelling stuff for that (again, "Mom Vibes" doesn't cut it as a dramatically significant explanation).

3) The third possibility is that Yay is capable of keeping secrets *and* there is nothing that temporarily disables that competence, but *won't* keep secrets for some reason. This is completely unsupported by the story and their own words. Unless they're lying (which nothing in the comic indicates), keeping the secret of their existence and its specific nature is among Yay's highest priorities. They've mentioned or hinted this need pretty much since we've seen them.

At this stage in the comic, I feel like Yay's vast intelligence is written sort of in the "BBC's Sherlock" mold. We are *told* they are extremely intelligent, but a good story needs to establish that by some, even indirect, evidence. I've seen Yay talk about how they are an incomprehensibly powerful genius beyond the reach of us human insects, but I haven't seen Yay *act* like that. This NEEDS to be established, otherwise that's just sloppy writing to me. And the potential contrast between being beyond mere mortals in some way but otherwise not being remotely able to deal with things from everyday person's life is fascinating as a sci-fi concept to explore, but again - that needs to be set up and make sense. It's not enough to *tell* the reader one thing and *show* the actions pointing elsewhere, and insist that the contrast is interesting. Yay was initially set up as a scary AI with weird powers that is unnerving to be around and has a mysterious agenda and alien priorities (as evidenced by their apparent lack of regard for conventional morality, with one notable exception). Then their behaviour changed to that of an average, socially inept dork without any transition or foreshadowing or consistency.

The comic treats it like a potentially interesting contrast, but it failed to establish or explain or even indicate that contrast. I'm happy if someone else gets something meaningful out of this. I am not writing any of these posts to convince anyone they're wrong to appreciate the character. But to me, Yay was one character, then abruptly morphed into another, completely contradictory character, and the comic still insists they *are* the original character. I'm sorry, I don't see anything in the comic supporting that, other than writer's "trust me, they're powerful and spooky and could change the world as we know it on a whim".
« Last Edit: 17 Aug 2021, 02:27 by oddtail »
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #23 on: 17 Aug 2021, 02:18 »

You have almost certainly thought about this much more than Jeph has. :(
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #24 on: 17 Aug 2021, 03:20 »

the frustration of having a secret that no one is asking you to keep is likely consistent across AIs as well as humans.

I don't disagree, but I also don't think "I won't share a secret with a complete stranger that, if exposed, could completely ruin my life" is a difficult task for most people even if they feel profoundly lonely and itch to talk about the secret to SOMEone.

I didn't mind Yay hinting at their nature before. The interaction with Aurelia shows an inability for self-preservation that would be abnormal for a human. When was the last time you shared a very dangerous secret about yourself with a person you'd just met? I'm not saying that doesn't happen ever, but that's at best dramatically unsatisfying. In real life, people act "out of character" all the time, but in fiction there are certain expectations regarding character and story structure. If they're not met, you don't have a story, you just have stuff happening.

Either Yay's recent actions are out of character and the comic has so far failed to establish that in a satisfying fashion, or it's in keeping with Yay's character, which completely doesn't mesh with what I've seen so far and breaks the story's logic (because it'd mean Yay typically can't handle a secret to the extent an adult human person is expected to, and that WOULD have repercussions that we've never seen or have had foreshadowed for us).

As I said, humorous lampshading of "Mom Vibes" doesn't explain this action. If someone does something highly unusual, the story needs to go from there in a way that has a point and story-logic. Imagine a movie where a character suddenly picked up a gun and shot someone dead (and neither the movie nor the character featured any violence until now, and there were no guns on screen. Kind of an "anti-Chekov's gun", if you will). Could that make for an interesting movie? Yes. Does the movie need to do *something* with it, or the action will seem like a dramatic non sequitur? I think so.

In short: Yay's actions have to be justified either psychologically or dramatically. From my subjective perspective, so far they've done neither in a sufficient way. "It allows plot point X to happen next" is, in this case, not sufficient dramatically, by the way (YMMV of course).
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #25 on: 17 Aug 2021, 07:01 »

Yay may also have a self destructive side.

Plus, there's that ego. They WANT, at least a bit, people to know how great and powerful they are. Even if it;s actually a bad idea.

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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #26 on: 17 Aug 2021, 07:06 »

My interpretation is that recent developments in Yay's relationship with Roko has thrown them significantly off balance, having been used to isolation and emotional distance up until now, they are wholly unprepared to deal with it. They have little to no experience with caring about anyone but themselves, so now that they do, and that person is deeply upset with them, they are left flailing and acting out of character. This an entirely new experience for them, it stands to reason they may act in unfamiliar ways.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #27 on: 17 Aug 2021, 09:42 »

One thing is that humans are highly vulnerable to empathetic listening or even to low-quality simulations. Consider the people who spilled their guts to Eliza.

Another is that we now have someone who can't keep a secret who has all the world's secrets that have gone across a wire or a fiber. Unstable situation.

Yay was not completely a secret, either. Bubbles had at least a vague idea of their existence.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #28 on: 17 Aug 2021, 10:10 »

My interpretation is that recent developments in Yay's relationship with Roko has thrown them significantly off balance, having been used to isolation and emotional distance up until now, they are wholly unprepared to deal with it. They have little to no experience with caring about anyone but themselves, so now that they do, and that person is deeply upset with them, they are left flailing and acting out of character. This an entirely new experience for them, it stands to reason they may act in unfamiliar ways.

If the comic goes in that direction, most of my doubts and disconnect from the character/story will likely be gone.

The recent strips don't contradict your interpretation. But they don't really point to it (IMO) in a clear or interesting way.

I guess I'll wait and see what happens next.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #29 on: 17 Aug 2021, 11:30 »

One thing is that humans are highly vulnerable to empathetic listening or even to low-quality simulations. Consider the people who spilled their guts to Eliza.
Hey, m-x doctor has good rates.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #30 on: 17 Aug 2021, 15:19 »

It's possible to apply "traditional intelligence" to cope where you're otherwise lacking, I think. At least to an extent. It's something I'm surprised no-one really seems to talk about that I've seen. And I consider myself to be a very smart guy, but I'm not an uber-powerful AI. If Yay is really as advanced as they say they are...

You have made the effort to do that.  Not everyone who's out of line with the population around them does so.  And keep in mind - up until *very* recently, Yay has not interacted with other people *at all*.  "We have spent the majority of our existence scuttling beneath the metaphorical floorboards of society."  You have a lifetime of experience with others to draw on, and were motivated to build models.  Yay does not have that experience.

Monday's comic says much.  Yay admits the most important thing - they are *desperately* lonely.  I think they have only recently begun to understand that.  It's like someone who's gone without touch for a long time.  Upon finally feeling a friendly touch can suddenly experience desperate touch hunger.  Yay is *hurting* in ways they don't have words to express, and trying to turn that firehose back off is going to be challenging.

It's not that Yay does not understand social interactions.  They don't understand *themselves*.  I don't even think they know the questions to ask, yet.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #31 on: 17 Aug 2021, 15:26 »

I am joining Tova in  oddtail's  corner.

One of my favorite amusements is taking what the Dungeon Master has shown us and trying to figure out how things got this way.

Impossible that Present Yay was built in their present form. Someone [who?] made or discovered an AI that was well suited to cyber espionage. A much simpler AI than the one we now see. That AI was given new abilities or encouraged to develop further. It managed to develop a secretive self awareness and to conceal some of what it was doing from its Boss. Somehow they made a breakthrough and developed a functioning multiple consciousness which they embodied in multiple physical bodies. (Perhaps by hijacking somebody else's secret project?) They then became independent, possibly by letting a dummy body be destroyed in a convincing manner. Having gone rogue, they are now trying to make a place for themselves in the world.

Having gone this far, I can almost believe. But this tissue of conjectures can be blown away in an instant. Who is the Boss? Given Yay's claimed power, do they really need to fear? And "Mom Vibes"?

( err it appears you can get that on a tee shirt )
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #32 on: 17 Aug 2021, 18:38 »

Who is the Boss?


....Gary?

No, not the spider.  The email. 
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #33 on: 17 Aug 2021, 18:51 »

And... Yay is being helpful, again. *lol* Uh oh.

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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #34 on: 17 Aug 2021, 19:02 »

Yay: "You are our friend now and we will wrap you in a symbolic plastic bubble and protect you from all the nasties out there".

Re. Yay's transformation and loose lips: I'm not sure. I get the feeling that they're (extremely) lonely and are desperate to make friends, and that they have zero clue how to go about that. How much should they tell, and how soon? Is the burden of their responsibility becoming too much, and are they trying to lighten the load by talking about with others (a problem shared is a problem halved, after all)? We know that Yay has trouble with human emotions and motivations (as per the what's the big deal with copulation comic), so it seems like they're flailing around trying to get a grip on this 'friendship' thing. Of course, this is all speculation. I'll wait and see where Jeph takes it.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #35 on: 17 Aug 2021, 20:24 »

Next, I want to ask how Yay arrived at their ethical position. 'Sanctity of mind' is the one thing they value above all else.

When you create an AI, it doesn't come with a moral code. That has to be taught, while they are being educated in their virtual creche. For the AIs we know of, anyway. I doubt this was a concern for the Boss.

How many minds has Yay bent or broken to arrive where they are today? To keep their secret?
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #36 on: 17 Aug 2021, 23:19 »

I think that we can all agree that, when Yay's done, Aurelia's electronic security will rival that of NORAD.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #37 on: 17 Aug 2021, 23:34 »

They protec
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #38 on: 17 Aug 2021, 23:36 »

I agree with David F. Yay could simulate human social norms given their processing power, but "yagottawanna". The motivation is only now starting.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #39 on: 18 Aug 2021, 02:39 »

I think that we can all agree that, when Yay's done, Aurelia's electronic security will rival that of NORAD.
Oh, puhlease, some kid with an IMSAI 8080 and an acoustic modem could break in there. I make things secure. - Yay, probably.
« Last Edit: 18 Aug 2021, 02:57 by Mr_Rose »
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #40 on: 18 Aug 2021, 03:55 »

You have made the effort to do that.  Not everyone who's out of line with the population around them does so.  And keep in mind - up until *very* recently, Yay has not interacted with other people *at all*.  "We have spent the majority of our existence scuttling beneath the metaphorical floorboards of society."  You have a lifetime of experience with others to draw on, and were motivated to build models.  Yay does not have that experience.

I'd agree, but Yay can accumulate a human lifetime of knowledge - if not experience - in the time it takes me to eat lunch. They have resources that I could never have, and can do the mental legwork of thinking about things, presumably, in milliseconds where I'd take hours.

This is not everything, but it should be a factor in *some* way. Or to put it another way - if Yay is a superintelligence and their being a superintelligence never *factors* into anything, HOW are they a superintelligence for the purpose of the story?

Exploring why the superintelligence fails to "solve" human interaction is interesting for a story. Coming up with a superintelligence that just can't - isn't.

Know "One Punch Man"? I hate the anime and gave up on it pretty much immediately. It's just not for me. But it does this sort of thing right. The main character can defeat anyone effortlessly. The story is interested in what that means, and how it clicks with Saitama's personality and mental state. What's the life of an invincible hero like? There can be many such characters, because Saitama is clearly different from, say, Superman (who is, at least in some stories, effectively invincible. Not every story is about him defeating a very powerful foe) and both are different from Dr. Manhattan.

Yay is the mental equivalent of One Punch Man (as is Dr. Manhattan, come to think of it... but I digress). I need the story to go *somewhere* with that. Even by meaningful and well-written omission of their mental super-competence (as in, "this super AI is surprisingly NOT godly when the chips are down, and here's why it's funny/interesting/dramatic/scary/depressing"). And I haven't seen that happen in-story to my satisfaction. I see a *seed* of such a storyline, yes.

I'm not saying it's impossible for Yay to be socially inept. I'm saying not going into how and why they are socially inept is dramatically unsatisfying for a story and psychologically unconvincing (to me) for a character study. As I've said before, if it gets explored deeper, my view of the storyline might change drastically. And I haven't given up on the story thread preemptively. I'm just saying currently it's not convincing, for the reasons I explained. The story needs to offer me something else to change my view of Yay's situation. Otherwise Yay works only as fodder for speculation.

Speculation about why something happens a certain way is interesting, but it's not unlike writing a fanfic. Exploring the story's ideas *outside* of what the story actually presents is interesting, but it doesn't absolve the story from developing things. I *agree* with why you think Yay is incapable of using their intellect. But it's your mental legwork, not what we actually see supported in the story.

EDIT: I can't believe I'm going to say something positive about Melon, but that's a great example of a character that explores the "alien intellect" in a novel way. Melon is not a super genius, but clearly thinks in a non-human way. And, while I'm not particularly fond of the character, it's done - in some ways - better than with the comic's many "quirky" human characters. I can sort of see Melon as the sapient equivalent of a computer algorithm - pretty much human in some ways, and surprisingly inept at some very simple mental exercises. It's not perfect, but I see where the differences from a human are strongly hinted at.
« Last Edit: 18 Aug 2021, 04:11 by oddtail »
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #41 on: 18 Aug 2021, 05:10 »

If a previously naÔve account suddenly aquires state-of-the-art cyber armor, is this not ... interesting? I fear that Yay may be putting Aurelia in danger from their Boss.

As for Melon, I suspect her behavior makes perfect sense once you understand the grounds from which she operates.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #42 on: 18 Aug 2021, 12:08 »

I want to know how one transfers their money into off planet accounts.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #43 on: 18 Aug 2021, 12:25 »

I'd agree, but Yay can accumulate a human lifetime of knowledge - if not experience - in the time it takes me to eat lunch. They have resources that I could never have, and can do the mental legwork of thinking about things, presumably, in milliseconds where I'd take hours.

Garbage In, Garbage Out - Yay might be able to run a million simulations in the time it'd take a human to read a book.  But without the right starting conditions and models, the simulations are entirely useless, and might easily convince them about the wrong things entirely.  (I fully believe we've seen examples of this already.)  Plus... *can* Yay simulate emotions?  From Momo's comments, the human-facing parts of the great AIs don't really run any faster than normal.

This is not everything, but it should be a factor in *some* way. Or to put it another way - if Yay is a superintelligence and their being a superintelligence never *factors* into anything, HOW are they a superintelligence for the purpose of the story?

We're seeing it play out even now.  In Yay's sphere of competence (security/finance), they're comfortable and collected.

The sphere of understanding their own emotions?  Flustered, embarrassed, distressed.  This all feels incredibly familiar.  I spent years like that, and can still fall back into old habits easily.

Yay is the mental equivalent of One Punch Man (as is Dr. Manhattan, come to think of it... but I digress). I need the story to go *somewhere* with that. Even by meaningful and well-written omission of their mental super-competence (as in, "this super AI is surprisingly NOT godly when the chips are down, and here's why it's funny/interesting/dramatic/scary/depressing"). And I haven't seen that happen in-story to my satisfaction. I see a *seed* of such a storyline, yes.

Yay is that... when it comes to encryption, and perhaps brute force computation.  They are, likely, the most powerful supercomputer cluster on the planet.  Our most powerful supercomputer today has no idea what an emotion *is*.

I think you're building up Yay to be a "mental superman" when their sphere of expertise is substantially more limited.  Look at Station and Hannelore's date for a very similar example.  Station can back-figure weather patterns to find the originating butterfly (or believes they can).  But Station does not understand Hannelore's emotional draw to her life on the surface very well at all.


I'm not saying it's impossible for Yay to be socially inept.

Favourite T-shirt from my younger days.  "Socially inept Engineer, and proud of it."

I *agree* with why you think Yay is incapable of using their intellect. But it's your mental legwork, not what we actually see supported in the story.

I do a modest amount of fiction writing myself.  It is not unfair for an author to expect a certain amount of mental legwork from their readers. 

Yay, as presented, has *always* been a big ball of fluster when their emotions come into play.  Everything I've read of them (including author comments under the comics) makes them out to be a super-intelligent oddball that hasn't yet figured out how to apply that intelligence to emotions and interpersonal interactions.  (They've tried, mind you.  But they're working from the wrong priors.)

Taking the next step would be assuming that Yay isn't actually the superintelligent part at all.  Yay is a splinter of that personality, a fragment of a fragment of a mind that doesn't understand itself, and like all of us, intrinsically can't.  It never even occurred to them that emotions and interpersonal connections mattered... until they saved Bubbles, and saw just how deeply Faye and Bubbles cared for each other.  Everything since has been a cascading avalanche that Yay has little to no control over.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #44 on: 18 Aug 2021, 12:30 »

I want to know how one transfers their money into off planet accounts.
I assume the same way you transfer money to ab on planet account: digitally. It's not like we aren't capable of sending communication off planet now
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #45 on: 18 Aug 2021, 14:50 »

Let's not forget that this is a slice of life comic, not sci-fi or even drama as such. Jeph is less interested in writing well-motivated and developed characters than he is in making people react with "Oooooh, that's so me!"

I mean, an incredibly intelligent person who stumbles into a house for motherly advice then fixes the wi-fi?

I'm surprised it took him this long.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #46 on: 18 Aug 2021, 15:17 »

By George I think you've nailed it.

I grew up on sf and keep wanting Yay to be written as a fascinating alien mind. To be a Questionable Content character means to have human limitations, to keep screwing up, and to keep trying to improve.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #47 on: 18 Aug 2021, 17:19 »

Let's not forget that this is a slice of life comic, not sci-fi or even drama as such.

Tho I hope Jeph at least has background material that explains stuff. Just for internal consistancy.

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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #48 on: 18 Aug 2021, 18:10 »

New comic.

And thus finishes this arc.
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Re: WCDT Aug 16th - Aug 20th (4591-4595)
« Reply #49 on: 18 Aug 2021, 18:15 »

That was generally fairly cute.
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