Journal April 14

Our project focuses on the relation between science fiction writing and science itself. Humanity has always been inventing ways to make life easier, from the wheel to spaceships. But its hard to come up with ideas of things that will benefit humanity. I know personally I try to think of inventions to better society everyday (mainly to get rich but thats beside the point) and I still haven’t come up with a good one. Its so hard to come up with world altering ideas that it makes you wonder how people ever come up with them in the first place. A trend my group is starting to see is that usually someone writes about a world changing idea in science fiction and then years later it turns into a reality. When you think about it this makes a lot of sense. Science Fiction writers write stories of futuristic societies with new inventions no ones though of, and they are able to do this because they don’t care if its realistic or not. Thats what makes it Science Fiction. However, when people read those stories they think it’s really cool and they use those stories as goals for the future. In 2012, the show Black Mirror, came out. This Science Fiction series has already seen some of its ideas turn to realities as well as we saw in one groups presentation this week. Im very interested to look into this idea further.

Journal 8

I think the bill that was just recently passed by the senate that allows ISP’s to give away our browsing history to 3rd parties without consent should be of grave concern to everyone. The internet is like GI from Stars or the Multivac Asimov wrote about. What you search on the internet isn’t just what you’re doing in your free time, its information that tells everything about you. This act does have potentially good implications, as we saw in Stars, when everyone knows about everyone it can lead to more understanding and less being scared of the unknown. However, I don’t think our world is ready for that. Your search history isn’t going to be shared for the purpose of understanding, it is going to be shared for the purpose of monetization. I could see big company’s start buying potential job applicants search histories or even sports fans buying there favorite players search histories. This isn’t going to lead to understanding and compassion, this is going to lead to the death of privacy.

Journal 6 Verrilli

I found it very interesting that Asimov pretty much made Multivac and its decedents represent God. I think he was trying to show that that is the path we are going down with technology, even though he did write this awhile ago. We are never satisfied when it comes to technology, we always want something faster and more powerful. This combined with the tech industries rapid advancement of technology is brining us down a path were we wont be satisfied with our computers until they are pretty much Gods. We’ve discussed before that if we don’t program robots with Asimov’s laws in mind that they could take over the world yet we still keep pushing forward with technology with no hast. This represents human mentality at the moment, we want the best no matter what the consequences are. In my personal opinion, I would say we are getting close to the point with robots and artificial intelligence that we may want to hold up for a second and think about the implications of making artificial intelligence that is smarter than humans has. I don’t have the answer to that question yet but I think we should start discussing it as a society.

Special Journal – Automation

Automation is nothing new, but what is new is how affordable automated devices are becoming. In my last journal I discusses how robots could potentially cause a divide between the world’s wealthy and the world’s poor; however, Ford’s article has made me somewhat change my mind on that stance. Something very relatable that he brought up was the cost of the Xbox Kinect. This motion detecting device would typically cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, but Microsoft was able to produce it for retail sale at $150. It also brought up how Tesla (automated cars) are made by robots very efficiently. This has lead to a massive cost decrease for Tesla and now you can buy one for as little as $35,000. What is ironic is that the solution to making robots affordable is robots. We now even have humanoid robots like Baxter who can be trained (not programmed) to perform a variety of repetitive tasks.
Soon Robots like Baxter will have all of our jobs and the question of if we should pay them or not will be a tough one. If we don’t then the question of Universal Income will become important. If there are no jobs for humans, how will we make money? Automated technology is advancing at a rate that is too quick for us to answer all the questions it brings a long with it.

Verrilli Journal 5

I thought our discussion on Thursday was very thought provoking. Most of the class thought we had to many problems in currently in society to start introducing robots into our lives. I agree we are not ready for robots but not for that reason. I don’t agree with that reasoning solely  because I believe robots have the potential to help all of these problems. I heard some people say that with the divide between races right now was one of our main problems. To see how robots can help with that problem we must find the source. If you think back, you’ll remember that the Black Lives Matter movement and similar campaigns really picked up after a case of police brutality in Ferguson, MO. If robots were apart of our police forces, I believe there would be a lot fewer biases when enforcing the law. Robots could record everything thats done and even remind our police officers how they are suppose to act in certain situations and warn officers of when they were violating constitutional rights.

I, however, believe we are not ready for robots because it will create a bigger divide between the wealthy and the poor. Robots will be expensive and will only be affordable to the wealthy. The wealthy could then go and use these robots to aid them in becoming wealthy and give them easier lives. The robots would not be affordable to those who would need them most. I still think robots could help police and help with race issues, but only in certain places. Only wealthy towns/cities would be able to afford robots for their police and in most cases, wealthy towns/cities don’t have as much police intervention going on and thus are not needed there as much. So again, nice towns were the rich live would become nicer, while lower class towns where the poor live would stay the same and maybe even become worse as time goes in.

If as a society we could figure out a way to give the people who need the most aid access to robots, then we will be ready to introduce them into society. And obviously like any other time our society introduces something new, we would need to have the proper legislations in place to regulate robots as well.