During our class discussion on Thursday, we briefly mentioned whether or not we would enjoy having the ability to communicate with each other as one mind. Things were mentioned that were along the lines of microchips being implanted in each individual’s brain, technology that was made a part of the individual instead of having to stare at a screen, and being able to talk to each other as one mind in a community instead of just having your own thoughts in your head. All of the above sounds wonderfully terrifying to me, in a way that evokes a similar response to what it would be like if our childhood toys came to life. I mean, sure, it’s completely cool to think about the fact that toys could have the ability to walk around, talk, play together independently, make their own choices – wait, nope, it’s absolutely horrific.

Woody from Toy Story: “So play NICE.” (Image from fuckyeahtoystory123.tumblr.com)

Why would this be entirely creepy? Is it because we would suddenly be the minority as a human race, or is it because so many of the general public don’t entirely understand technology?

Carla Diana discusses why she dreams of friendly robots, which would be cool, but I’m not sure that I am at a point, ethically, that I desire such things. But maybe I’m alone in this: there have been numerous fictional novels and short stories written about robots for decades now. I have also noticed that most work done with human and robot interaction is done with a friendly-countenanced, mechanical mini-me of a human. This may be to ease our minds, but…what about the robot? What rights does a nonliving being have?

Right around the corner, the Georgia Institute of Technology has been participating in a study that combines human and robot interaction. Now the discussion has been turned to letting the robot set its own code of ethics instead of the creators imposing an external (human) set. Should we even entertain this idea? I mean, humans have trouble upholding the understood moral code on their own, which is a big reason why society has laws, governments, police forces, & military. I feel like I, Robot would almost be happening before we knew it.

Personally, I really enjoy doing things for myself. You know, ’cause I depend on me. Not that a coffee maker that will brew coffee for you is bad…but I’m not entirely keen on the driverless cars, thank you very much. Especially not in Atlanta. Plus, I like being a part of humanity, flawed and all. There’s beauty in imperfection, and the more that we strive to remove that, the further we move away from celebrating what it really means to be alive.

 

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