Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22718 – 968
Here’s the haps:
Many of you know that, growing up, I was a bookworm. This worried a lot of family members so much that I was sent to the grandparents in the country frequently and one whole summer I spent on my uncle’s dairy farm. I had a lot of fun out in the country but I never stopped loving to read. I remember being fairly young and reading I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. I was impressed by the Three Laws of Robotics and thought robots sounded really cool.
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
One of the main characters, Susan Calvin (I’m going off the book, not the hollyweird adaptation) is a psychologist for robots.
Then I started reading the comic book series, Magnus, Robot Fighter, 4000 A.D. and saw that evil was afoot. The robots would take over and enslave and destroy humanity. Long, boring technical stuff aside, at that time the computer in Apollo 11 had 4kb of RAM and a 32kb hard drive(Yes, computer wizards, it’s nowhere near an exact description but clear enough for the average person). My point is that the computers we have today were only the wildest fantasies of yesterday. Remember Garry Kasparov beat 32 computers simultaneously before IBM finally developed Deep Blue in 1997. But now they are gaining on us. And winning.
Call anywhere and a robot answers the phone, figures out which department you need to go to, who you should talk to and how long you will have to wait. It’s very rare to hear an actual human answer the phone although the robots use human and human-like voices that are very deceptive. You can call a business and complete your transaction and never talk to a live person.
But the clincher for me that lets me know we have lost the fight already came the other day when my wife and my daughter began pacing the floor at the same time. Every hour on the hour, until I finally asked what was up. Their new watches told them they had to get up and take so many steps or they would fail. These are exceptionally intelligent people and they are listening to their watch. I said, “Okay, robots. We lose. You win. Please be kind to us when you put us in your people zoos.”