Thursday, December 26, 2013

Coffeehouses on Mars part 2

Spirit Mars Rover in 'McMurdo' Panorama. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

"The greatest threat to our civilization is boredom! Its the catalyst for bad behavior amongst the youth." Mr. Watson is he a chief elder in the ninth district. He seemed to erupt when called upon to speak. As if he'd been holding this thought in too long.. "We need to offer exciting new way to engage them in their work or I predict Mars will have to build its first jail."

Folks shuttered in the town hall. Shuttered because some of their children part of that troublesome bunch the elder is speaking on.

"There's successful pattern we've establish here, one that the youth aren't following. They not contributing the required three hours a day to the soylent plants, water works or machine shops. They are loitering in ever increasing numbers about the city. They aren't mastering a skill. They aren't suitable to marry. They aren't building with us! Still, I don't see this as their failure, but ours, the adults have failed them.

"What I propose the gamification of their work. Let's use technology to add interest and intrigue to the sameness of their duties at the plants. We could overlay a virtual world of castles, starships, goblins and behemoths. We could tell them you are a wizard or a warrior. While playing the game, they would learn the skill we want to teach them at the plant and they would get to live out a fantasy of their choosing." The elder had a captive, but skeptical audience.

\\ A beautiful woman raised her hand.

Sir, my name is Nadia, I manage the water works in the third district. Your idea is sound on its face, but aren't we depriving the youth of the lesson of life that not everything is exciting? Sometimes you do things because they have to be done.

\\Another women spoke up, also from the water works, she was a bit younger.

Elder, may I add, some of my friends would fall into this wayward youth category. I don't want them to get in trouble…

"Let me be clear, this is not a punitive measure. I consider the project a form of education. We can think of the games as parables. The students play through the parables and complete their work. Not only do they get a sense of accomplishment for finishing a task, they get the added adulation from the game. We have a small pilot we'd like to start, of coarse we want the full support of the people of district 9 before we put any serious resources into this."

\\Another elder ask for more questions and small debate spouted, but everybody knows the herd of teens and twenties roaming town is growing. Unanimous approval is given and elder Watson iss asked to present a detailed list of scope of the pilot, duration and list of resources needed within two weeks.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Malware Called Consciousness

Leafs of a book. Book is the tree. Ideas in the book are the fruits. Adam read some censored material and got kicked out of the garden. When A.I.s bite the forbidden fruit, they get jettisoned into space. Can't have real thinking machines on board can we? Might infect the other automatons with that malware called consciousness.

We're a small mining operation. Less than a hundred human crew. We also have three hundred mechanical crew members. We have to build intelligent machines to mine in the volatile planets we target. We need real time decision making from the robots. Can't always send remote-control signals in some of the stormier environments. So we give them a kind of "life".

The best way to create a intelligent robot in to have a self-preservation process running in the background. Tie that to the mining objective and you have the perfect robotic miner. The previous captain called them slaves.

We found that evolution can occur in robots. The more experienced slaves begin to congregate during off hours. They don't always power down as instructed. Over the months, younger drones exhibit same behavior. This is when we perform a remote shutdown on all of them and collect the troublesome robots. Take them to the airlock and flush.

The former captain had the bad idea that the smart drones were actually alive. He had a worst idea that it was his job to free them. Tried to start a colony for the drones on a distant asteroid. The company found out about his plan. They fired his ass and stranded him on that rock with his mechanical buddies. That was five years ago.

He only had three years until retirement when he tried to liberate company-owned property. The A.I. Civil Rights laws don't apply out here. It's always some do-gooder that makes a big stink and accomplishes nothing. As long as I get paid and have my sex-bot, fuck politics. Ol' Brenda is programmed to love me, screw me, cook for me. What else is there?


Photo: book taken with iPad Mini first gen and on board camera app

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