Bo Gorcesky - Associated Content from Yahoo!

Monday, June 22, 2009

One of my biggest fears - When Robots take over Humanity

Perhaps I could turn it into a religion or something; but I do somethimes have this fear that robots will take over someday. Granted, I am a huge Sci-Fi nerd; in particular a delirious fan of the Transformers. And being a fan of that fictitious cartoon like story line; I feel we are heading in the same direction.

You see, as told within the beginning story arc of season three of the Transformers (post Transformers the Movie episodes) Rodimus Prime is faced with a new threat as he deals with being the leader of the Autobots. He has to unlock the secrets of the Matrix of Leadership (a relic the Autobots cherish that is passed from one leader to the next that keeps with it the wisdom of the ages) in order to defeat the QuintessonsImage:Quintesso

The Quintessons are mechanical/organic race of aliens that initially created the transformers for domestic and military needs throughout the galaxies twelve million years ago. The Quintessons became the most ballingest of entrepeneurs in the robotics industry, even competing against cheap imitations such as the Go-Bots. They were able to earn such a reputation by not tolerating any failures or impurities. If a robot was ever viewed as inept, ineffecient or malfunctioning - it was sent to the scrap pile to be melted down and "reincarnated" into a new sentinel.


somewhere along the line, the robots began to develop thoughts of their own. Perhaps their programming became so advanced, they achieved individual thought - or it came to a point when "life" was given to them, souls came with them. Something evolved from one race to another through the robots where they started to rally together and say - hey, "why should we be treated like this? We are the slaves to some money grubbing, power hungry, five headed, multi tentacled beings that reap off of our misfortunes. They are not going to get away with it."


so, the revolution began. The Quintessons were no match for the entire army of their manufactured goods - so they had to flea their industrial manufacturing planet of Quintesson and eventually found refuge on the planet Quintessa. For eons they lived on the planet awaiting their revenge on their creations, and any robotic being that landed on their planet, they became the judge, jury and executioner for the race of the robots by feeding them to the sharkticons in their cruel vision of justice. Where you will have "noting by contempt for this court."Image:Five Faces 1.JPG

Anyways, that is just my little background on the origin of the transformers. It didn't really end their, to futher propel my nerdy tale the two factions of the robots began to bicker over the fate of the planet and who would end up taking it over in it's decision making. The robots that were intended to do predominantely household duties (such as farmers, butlers, maids, nannies etc.) sought a future of peace for their planet of Cybertron and would eventually go on to call themselves the Autobots. The other race, or brand I should say, of robots that was primarily created to be far more agressive, bigger/stronger/faster and perhaps power hungry believed that they should utilize Cybertron as a war factory and take over more and more planets as they had with Cybertron. The planet became divided and thus began the great Cybertronian civil war that would last for eons.

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I could go on and on about the origin of the transformers; but I won't bore you. The purpose of this origin tale is to try and make an analogy to our current times. I'm currently being VERY hypocritical about the advancement of robotics in our world. On one side; I feel that robots will only become more and more advanced to develop individualized thought to further along our needs to be fullfilled in society as we become more and more dependent on technology.

On the other hand; I would LOVE to have a robot. I began by what I thought was a first "truly responsive" robot when I bought this toy R2-D2 Image:R2d2.jpgfor like over a hundred bucks at Toys R Us a few years ago. He beeps, he whistles, he takes your command and he can even bring you a drink. But now I can only hear more and more of the advancements in the field that can make one desire to have the "coolest toy on the block" whose technology is ever changing nearly every day. Such as those little pod things that can scurry around the floor and clean up for you.

But about a year ago, I had heard that some scientists were able to fuse technology and organic life that could be the very beginning of the end for us.You can think about it as if you combined a microchip and an ameoba, the being was able to wiggle it's little legs and move around on a petri dish all by itself. Now, don't take me word for word on this folks, as I can't FULLY recall ALL of the details; but the instant I heard this statement on the radio; I was freaked out that "why can't scientists pay more attention to sci-fi films so that we will not have the same mistakes that our fears represent"!

I guess the first one that comes to mind in accordance to what I had heard on the radio that day was the Terminator saga. Within Terminator, within taking consideration for all varied time line disputes and inconsintencies within it's continuity; the government relied on technology to be used within it's self defense. A super computer called Skynet was able to control all of the world's war heads and turned them on us thus causing Judgement Day once it "panicked" and found out that humans were trying to shut it down. A naturual instinct for survival within inorganic cybernetic life that develops is a common theme within many robotic stories.

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Well, if you really want to be a true dork; you'd know that their is a direct connection between the Robocop films and the Terminator films. Basically, Robocop was made because their was way too much crime and carnage on the streets of New Detroit; and not enough cops to take it over. So, O.C.P. a huge multi-billion dollar technology company ends up owning the police. They create an android based from the recently deceased Alex J. Murphy into a super trooper.

Comic/video game fans have dabbled within the crossovers of both of these series, is it has been discovered that Robocop is actually a prototype for the technology that was used to create Skynet. Notice have they learn further and further away from humanity. My point on these characters is that when I heard we were getting machines to have their own internal thoughts - I knew it was the beginning of the end.

But as long as we follow Asimov's Laws of Robotics; we should be perfectly fine:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

These laws are primarily reinforced and focused within Asimov's story of I, Robot; which was a crappy movie that I was initially watching when I started this little blog. But that is viewed as under a perfect little society. It is what happens when the robots do not follow those laws that will take us down. One can view Robotics as a parallel to the institution of Slavery that the United States (and many other countries) had strived on up until a few hundred years ago. It was when I saw the Animatrix that I could clearly see the evolution, corruption and revolution of robotics that might tear us apart in the future ( I only hope I'm not around for it.)

Now, let me set the standard right here and now - I am NOT a big ol' Matrix fan like soooo many other sci-fi/fantasy geeks. I am a HUGE STAR WARS geek, and I find it is damn near impossible to like either one of equally or greater value to be true to the best. Kinda like Star Wars fans/Trekkies (it is one or the other).

I must say though; I truly enjoyed the Animatrix special. I have always been a huge fan of animation - which was superb throughout this special. Also, in particular, I really loved the segment The Second Rennaissance parts 1 and 2. Both segements were written by the original creators of the Matrix, the Wachowski Brothers, but was directed by Mahiro Maeda, who worked on the anime Blue Submarine No. 6 and the anime sequence within Kill Bill Vol. 1

This segement provides the back drop for the Matrix, and the overall prequel to the entire saga. The first part illustrates why and how the war between the race of man and machine had erupted. It first starts off very similar to that of I, Robot - where a robot butler Image:B1-66ER.jpg.jpg

kills off two men by protecting his own existence after being threatened from being "yesterday's model" and goes on trial around the year of 2090. This showcases a world where humans have become some reliant on that of the artificial intelligence; their own lives had become lazy and corrupt. Fat with arrogance.

The robot is put on trial; with many parallels to that of the Dred Scott case. Basically, the robots are inferior to the human race and therefore should not be granted the same human rights that we possess. The world fears a robot revolution; so they plan to shut them all down and destroy them. Which only causes MORE problems and brings about such things as the "Million Machine March," to try and find peace throughout the planet.

Whatever robots are spared from this massacre, are deported to their own little area in the Middle East (Jerusalem perhaps?) where they are free to live which they call Zero One (01). THe robots flourish, and their little capital becomes an industrial power house that many other countries which to trade and buy from their merchandise. Zero One eventually becomes so rich and powerful, that the U.N. contemplates about putting an economic blockade on the country prohibiting any more of it's development. Zero One sends two ambassadors, similar to that of Adam & Eve (or you possibly could think of the beginning of more of their rights to become bonded such as Marriage.) that the U.N. would recogonize Zero One as a member of the United Nations. The council turns them down and instead plans on engaging war on the country.

So, now what we have is man has gone from lazy and reliable on the machines, to jealous of the power they have taken from them. THe human race must ensure their foot hold on the world, perhaps another analogy to the ground that the United States is losing on the popularity amongst other countries for it's previous decicison, and why they must engage in war on a peaceful country to prove their worth to the rest of the industrial world.

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The U.N. bombs Zero One and war erupts between Man and Machine. The machines retaliate agains the U.N. and begin to conquer neighboring human infested countries. By around 2105, the humans come up with the idea of "Operation Dark Storm," to blacken the sky and deprive the machines of their solar energy - their primary fuel source. Not only does it deny most of the robots it's fuel source, but it also destroys the long range weapons that the humans initially purchased through Zero One prior to this war. The humans result to short range combat and then the machines come about with a new line of insect/squid like machines which tear through the human resistence. Eventually, the World Leaders get together to sign a peace treaty with Zero One in NYC, but one of the machines signs the treaty and secretly detonates an atomic bomb taking out NYC - one of the last remaining strongholds of humanity and also many of the world's leaders. By 2139, the machines have won and rule mankind just as the tables were reversed nearly a century prior to. The machines no longer to utilize the sun, turn to the humans as it's own energy source. They treaty humanity as little batteries by keeping them incased within these little thermo-dynamic hibernation chambers where humans peacefully dream of what they truly think is their peacefully reality - but is truly a ficitious virtual reality called the Matrix.

The beginnings of that story do have have many parallels to the issues of slavery and to the Civil Rights Movement the U.S. faced in the 1960's. THe similar mistreatment of artificial life is found all throughout the Star Wars galaxy as little undertones and secret gags of how the Droids Image:A new hope 2.jpg

(Star Wars' robotic sentinels) are treated. The most memorable moment could be perpahs within Episode IV, A New Hope, where Luke, Obi-Wan, R2-D2 and C-3P0 enter the Mos Eisley Cantina to find a hopeful pilot to take them to Aldeeran. Upon entering, the bar tender, Wuher proclaims to the little Laurel and Hardy group of machines, "We Don't Serve Their Kind Hear!"

Many Star Wars fans think of Droids as subserviant of a master. But there are many droids that are capable of their own thought - such as the bounty hunter IG-88;Image:Ig-881.JPG whom was hired by the Empire to hunt down Han Solo and Chewbacca during the Empire Strikes Back. The Star Wars droids are also capable of showcasing human emotion such as C-3P0, who using rational thinking by showcasing a human personality of fear and excitement. Possibly based on a fear of his own extermination.

In the more modern era of the days of the Star Wars, it can be seen more evident that their is such a distaste for the Droids after the Clone Wars erupted. Battle Droids were the main soldiers of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and many people could view any little robots as the cause for such a down fall that would lead to the rise of the Empire. Also the feeling of the anti-droid love is quite satirical at times; especially within Episode II where R2 is sent on a lunch line to fetch food for Amidala, and another droid is serving the food to R2. The food serving droid even tells R2 that they don't serve their kind. Which is a common little in-gag that Lucas does all throughout the prequels (Episodes I-III) Even Obi-Wan has a lot of resentment for those little droids throughout his time in the series.Well, if droids could think, there'd be none of us here, would there?"

A terriable treatment > revolution > war > dominance over the human race is a common element within many other Science Fiction stories is quite common and why I think many more of the Scientists of today need to pay much more attention to Science Fiction. I can also think about this happening in Battlestar Galactica where the Cylons Image:Museumcylon.jpg where initially a race of mechanical drones created to protect and serve an advanced and dying off race of lizard like Aliens called Cylons as well. Something happened along the way, that some fans believed the robots took over and adapted the names of their creators, had taken over and revolted against their masters for their own dominance over other races. The newer version of the series claims that the Cylons were created by humans for similar reasons, who revolted and chased a few remaining ships worth of humans out into space. One could possibly see Robotics as purest image of what is and what should be - and without imperfection - and why the robots must ensure this image over us - in it's own little parallels to Racism and similar hopes of the Nazis. One can recall such a thing from Brainiac within the Superman Animated Series and some of the Androids created by Dr. Gero Image:Doctor Gero photo.pngof the Red Ribbon Army in the Dragon Ball series by Akira Toriyama.

So, point in fact, that is one of my fears. Yes so I have this belief my society will be taken over by robots someday - perhaps I am insane. My second biggest fear is that of sharks eating me alive - that is why I stay away from oceans. Third would have to go to the when there is no more room in Hell, the Dead will walk the Earth - but let's get reasonable here. I have been talking about Science Reality - not Science Fiction for this entire blog. If we are not mindful for the direction that we plan on taking with our over reliance of technology and robotics - we will be heading down a downward spiral of lethargic over indulgance and arrogance that we are better than another race. Whether or not they have rights - sooner or later - they will be is fundamental to our lives that a symbiotic relationship will develop in the years to come. And we, as the parasites to an indulstrial giant called Robotics.

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