Friday, October 12, 2012

Are you ready to meet your mechanical overlords?

Watching Robot & Frank yesterday (see it if you can), I started to think about the rapidly approaching technological singularity (because that Robot is very smart and a surrogate for a failing human memory). How many generations do you think until our offspring are the servants of machines? The software-mind idea of useful lives for humans, I think, will not be welcome to us. But I do like my iphone. And you haven't loved a robot as much as you will love Frank's Robot since Artoo and Threepio.

The three Mass Effect games deal with machine intelligence a great deal, but in the context of that Babylon 5 galaxy-reset nonsense that makes the whole story worthless to me as reflection of a real situation that humans will eventually have to face.

I imagine the South will rise again, associated national rifles in hand, as soon as the first President Robot starts a takeover of the economy in the name of efficiency. So there's a campaign setting.

By the way, Asimov's Laws of Robotics are cold comfort to me, but all I have is my gut there.

I guess the only idea I had was that post-apocalypses* in the '80s were all about nuclear holocaust, so the blasted mutant wasteland has a special place in my child of the '80s heart; but nowadays, they should probably be about the Robot Wars and Humanity First freedom fighters.

That does it, I'm reading Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep next.

What else is is the cannon of this subject that you can recommend?

*there might be an Etymonday in apocalypse and revelation--or you could just look 'em up.

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