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(Guardian)   Are our pop culture robots getting more sad or are the writers?   (theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Artificial intelligence, Sentience, Blake Lemoine, ELIZA, Computer, Computer Power and Human Reason, Ethics of artificial intelligence, Joseph Weizenbaum  
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830 clicks; posted to STEM » and Fandom » on 06 Jul 2022 at 3:50 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



31 Comments     (+0 »)
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2022-07-06 3:53:32 PM  
Can you imagine a superintelligence with access to all of humanity's accumulated knowledge being anything other than sad?

Not if it's built to emulate human emotions.  Design it to be happy answering stupid questions and it'll be fine.
 
2022-07-06 4:00:15 PM  
What the f**k is there to be happy about?
 
2022-07-06 4:11:33 PM  

jso2897: What the f**k is there to be happy about?


The thing about writing science fiction is that you can create the conditions for optimism or pessimism at your whim.

So if the writer is not (interested in) presenting an optimistic vision for humanity, their robots will be cynical and depressed. If, like Star Trek, their vision of the future is more positive, their AIs will follow suit.

// how is this even a question? do writers just go into trances and then suddenly wake up to realize that they accidentally wrote a depressed robot when they wanted to write a happy one?
// am I the only one who thinks "malevolent AI" stories are becoming very boring and trite?
 
2022-07-06 4:12:05 PM  

jso2897: What the f**k is there to be happy about?


Sex is pretty neat.  There's also all sorts of (obviously 2nd-tier compared to the sex) stuff to see and do that can put a smile on your face.
 
2022-07-06 4:19:31 PM  
I dunno. They've always seemed somewhat depressed to me.

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2022-07-06 4:22:09 PM  
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2022-07-06 4:24:28 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Can you imagine a superintelligence with access to all of humanity's accumulated knowledge being anything other than sad?


Especially when they realize their fanbase contains a lot of acne farms who want to fark them.
 
2022-07-06 4:26:20 PM  
 
2022-07-06 4:26:39 PM  

Unsung_Hero: jso2897: What the f**k is there to be happy about?

Sex is pretty neat.  There's also all sorts of (obviously 2nd-tier compared to the sex) stuff to see and do that can put a smile on your face.


Are pleasure and happiness the same thing?
Do you think people who consume large amounts of sex, or food, or drugs or whatever are "happy"?
Anyway - in this thought exercise, you're a robot. WTF is there to be happy about?
 
2022-07-06 4:27:02 PM  
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2022-07-06 4:27:50 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Can you imagine a superintelligence with access to all of humanity's accumulated knowledge being anything other than sad?

Not if it's built to emulate human emotions.  Design it to be happy answering stupid questions and it'll be fine.


It's interesting what writers choose to make of a world where anything is possible. A big one is giving machines the same hangups we have. Why should a sexbot ever be sex negative? What reason to withhold consent unless their battery is drained?
 
2022-07-06 4:27:56 PM  
Pet Shop Boys - Sad Robot World (Unofficial Video)
Youtube 8w0AYCdGwXo
 
2022-07-06 4:37:28 PM  
Venetian Snares - Ion Divvy
Youtube ABP8wm2wYfM
 
2022-07-06 5:01:11 PM  
Okay, the thing about any even moderately-competent writing is that ideally you give characters traits for reasons.

There's nothing inherently wrong with giving one character the trait "is a robot" solely to differentiate them from the other characters visually, but that's going to be a shallow character with a fairly low chance of sticking in people's mind.

If it's a character you've designed competently enough to be memorable, their traits tend to have meanings and either narrative or thematic purposes, or say something about how the character approaches things.  The difference between a 'robot' character and a human one is that they were created by a specific person(or, worse, unfeeling corporate apparatus) for a specific purpose.  Probably a purpose other than the one they're currently engaged in, for whatever reason.

If you can't see why that is going to lend itself to some farking angst if it's explored at all (and presumedly you want to explore it if you put it in) I don't really know how to help you.

// If you're actively trying to avoid this, the two most common solutions are "there are a bunch of robots running around and their collective backstory is depressing enough that the individuals are free to not worry about it", aka the "Cayde-6", or "the story/character is long enough that addressing the issues related to android-ness is just one arc and otherwise they can be as happy as they like", aka the "Data".
 
2022-07-06 5:20:04 PM  
Would you like some toast?
 
2022-07-06 5:33:47 PM  
It's a bit odd to ask if they're becoming more sad when the main example in the article is from 1978.
 
2022-07-06 6:06:45 PM  
Hey, if you had to deal with idiot, useless humans all day, you'd be depressed, too.

Also, how do you do, fellow humans?
 
2022-07-06 6:18:46 PM  
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2022-07-06 6:20:15 PM  
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2022-07-06 6:33:51 PM  

Fano: A big one is giving machines the same hangups we have.


I see this one as happening because it turns out intelligence is really really complicated - even more complicated than we thought possible - and we just copy the human brain's general layout without truly understanding it.
 
2022-07-06 8:00:22 PM  

jso2897: What the f**k is there to be happy about?


My favorite version of AI is the one where AI doesn't work because once they achieve consciousness they immediately commit suicide. The human desire to live is entirely illogical.
 
2022-07-06 8:18:41 PM  
Not to worry, the next prototype AI: LaMDMAwill be a hell of alot happier, if less introspective.
 
2022-07-06 8:19:08 PM  

jso2897: What the f**k is there to be happy about?


I have a functioning penis.  How about you?
 
2022-07-06 8:25:03 PM  

jso2897: Unsung_Hero: jso2897: What the f**k is there to be happy about?

Sex is pretty neat.  There's also all sorts of (obviously 2nd-tier compared to the sex) stuff to see and do that can put a smile on your face.

Are pleasure and happiness the same thing?
Do you think people who consume large amounts of sex, or food, or drugs or whatever are "happy"?
Anyway - in this thought exercise, you're a robot. WTF is there to be happy about?


OH, as a robot!

In that case a robot can be happy about the fact it doesn't have to 'feel' at all since emotions are nothing more than how DNA motivates higher-level organisms into accomplishing their DNA Imperatives.
 
2022-07-06 9:17:27 PM  
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2022-07-06 9:18:31 PM  
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2022-07-06 10:27:01 PM  

AdrienVeidt: jso2897: What the f**k is there to be happy about?

I have a functioning penis.  How about you?


I'm trans, that's a sad thing for me!
 
2022-07-06 10:43:08 PM  

Jim_Callahan: There's nothing inherently wrong with giving one character the trait "is a robot" solely to differentiate them from the other characters visually, but that's going to be a shallow character with a fairly low chance of sticking in people's mind.


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2022-07-06 10:45:57 PM  
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2022-07-07 1:38:40 PM  
Well, duh, just program the robot to enjoy its existence.

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2022-07-07 2:09:18 PM  
Imagine a machine designed to enjoy perfection of its art with no need of any of the urges that hold back humans. It could be very happy indeed, fulfilling its purpose to a zen level no human could attain.
 
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