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Old 08-23-2015, 06:59 AM   #1301
Infernal King Infernal King is offline
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I guess because I'm immersing myself in that world for the duration, I'm looking at it as what if this was real life? What if I lived in that world? How would I feel about companies making robots to look and act like humans? Would I be for or against? That's how this all came into play. Then I noticed that the vast majority are coming from the supportive sympathetic point of view. I find the Terminator to be much more realistic in that sense. Looking, acting and even smelling like a human but ultimately emotionless and soulless. They never question if Terminators are alive or have rights. They're clearly recognized as machines no matter what they look like.
The actors are another thing altogether. No doubt, great performances all around. I take nothing away from them. They're also good quality films, very well made. By the way, I'm a huge Star Trek fan and sci-fi fan in general. But some movies challenge our beliefs in certain areas whereas I feel these ones are challenging mine. They mostly seem to take the pro perspective, I found myself on the other side.
You're right that the reality is a long way off. I hope it never happens but should it happen while I'm still here, I know which side I'll be on.
I'm not sure what "side" I'd come down on as it's obviously not something I have to deal with in real life but I can get attached to robot characters in entertainment just as much as human characters, depending on the portrayal, writing, etc.

Have you ever seen the anime short films from The Animatrix called The Second Renaissance, Parts I and II? It shows the man vs. machine conflict that led to the creation of the matrix and I think you might find it interesting.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:02 AM   #1302
Packerfan75 Packerfan75 is offline
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I think you're missing the point of a lot of those films though.

AI wasn't trying to manipulate people into feeling empathy for machines and The Next Generation wasn't trying to bully people into believing Data is alive.

They were trying to get people to think about what it means to be human.

You saying mimicking human behavior doesn't make something human. Fair enough but what does? What fundamental traits do humans have that these machines lack?

Those are interesting questions and some very good works of fiction have raised them in very interesting ways.
I feel like I got the point though. The films aren't questioning us on our own humanity but clearly questioning whether these machines can be classified as human. To me, it's obvious what a human is. Just like what a dog, bird or fish is. The first and most obvious difference is that machines aren't biological or natural. They also don't have a spirit or soul as we know those to be. Whatever expressions or emotions they're portraying are within the confines of what they're programmed to. They only can do as they're told. Like a parrot you teach to say "hello". It doesn't know why, or what that means. It's just doing what you taught it to.
Take away the human form of these machines and all you have left are man-made computer chips, processors and working parts. There's a reason that these machines are being made to look like humans. So we'll sympathize with them and have an emotional reaction. But what if you tear away the exterior? What if you take them out of human form (head, torso, arms and legs)? Are you going to still feel the same? If it's in the form of small box, will you feel for it even though it's not emoting human expressions anymore? But what has changed? Only the form. Why was it in human form in the first place? To encourage us to feel for it? To me though it's still the same as if it looked like a box. Human appearance doesn't make it human or deserving of rights or my emotions.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:13 AM   #1303
Packerfan75 Packerfan75 is offline
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Have you ever seen the anime short films from The Animatrix called The Second Renaissance, Parts I and II? It shows the man vs. machine conflict that led to the creation of the matrix and I think you might find it interesting.
I have a few times. I hope they'll be made into Matrix prequels. I did find it interesting. Real world, I'd fear that business owners would replace the human workforce with machines, taking jobs away from people. Let the Matrix and the Terminator be warnings though. AI could be a dangerous thing if it were allowed to be in control of defense systems, weapons or anything else where it could do harm to people.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:23 AM   #1304
octagon octagon is offline
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I feel like I got the point though. The films aren't questioning us on our own humanity but clearly questioning whether these machines can be classified as human.
But what's the purpose to questioning whether machines can be classified as humans?

Why would anybody ask that question in the first place let alone try to manipulate somebody into answering it in a certain way?
And I have been fortunate to escape what has been called “that form of snobbery which can accept the Literature of Entertainment in the Past, but only the Literature of the Enlightenment in the Present.” - Raymond Chandler

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Old 08-23-2015, 07:25 AM   #1305
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...but I can get attached to robot characters in entertainment just as much as human characters, depending on the portrayal, writing, etc.
Especially if you don't know they're robots. Anybody who wasn't floored by any of the reveals in Battlestar Galactica is probably a robot himself
And I have been fortunate to escape what has been called “that form of snobbery which can accept the Literature of Entertainment in the Past, but only the Literature of the Enlightenment in the Present.” - Raymond Chandler

'Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whor*s all get respectable if they last long enough. - Noah Cross
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:37 AM   #1306
Packerfan75 Packerfan75 is offline
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But what's the purpose to questioning whether machines can be classified as humans?

Why would anybody ask that question in the first place let alone try to manipulate somebody into answering it in a certain way?
Because in those movies and t.v. shows, that's what they're doing. They're for the most part determining that these machines are alive and are giving them human rights and the dignity and respect that comes with it. I put myself in that world and say no. They're not human, not alive, and don't deserve rights, dignity or respect.
Data was declared to be alive and have rights. Not only that but a position of command that deserves respect and obedience. Bicentennial Man was declared to be human with the same rights and respect. These films and shows have posed the questions and given their answers. I just don't agree with them.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."

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Old 08-23-2015, 07:52 AM   #1307
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Packerfan75 - Hello there! I was wondering what your feelings are on Blade Runner (if you have any thoughts on that film)? The whole "What is to be human?" question that, I think, is the focal point of that particular film, and how it relates to the Replicant machines in that particular world.
Idea for film extravaganza. Plot, thus: Malcolm McDowell is trapped in the future. He's being pursued by a cyberpunk from the past, played by Rutger Hauer. Erm, terrible idea. No one will watch that. I've not thought it through.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:02 AM   #1308
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Packerfan75 - Hello there! I was wondering what your feelings are on Blade Runner (if you have any thoughts on that film)? The whole "What is to be human?" question that, I think, is the focal point of that particular film, and how it relates to the Replicant machines in that particular world.
I'm interrupting to argue that the Nexus 6 Replicants seen in Blade Runner (and by extension the human Cylons in Battlestar Galactica) don't really apply to the AI debate because they're not robots or androids, but genetically engineered biological organisms.

(That's one of the big points in Blade Runner: future society essentially endorses slavery that culls from a class of human beings which have been branded subhuman because they're "born" by corporations.)
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:06 AM   #1309
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I'm interrupting to argue that the Nexus 6 Replicants seen in Blade Runner (and by extension the human Cylons in Battlestar Galactica) don't really apply to the AI debate because they're not robots or androids, but genetically engineered biological organisms.

(That's one of the big points in Blade Runner: future society essentially endorses slavery that culls from a class of human beings which have been branded subhuman because they're "born" by corporations.)
I see. I'm relatively new to BR. So, they aren't machines, I.E they don't have CPUs or other mechanical innards? Their brains, organs, etc, are those that can be found in human bodies? I never knew that. But then why is there such hostility towards them in that world?
Idea for film extravaganza. Plot, thus: Malcolm McDowell is trapped in the future. He's being pursued by a cyberpunk from the past, played by Rutger Hauer. Erm, terrible idea. No one will watch that. I've not thought it through.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:14 AM   #1310
Packerfan75 Packerfan75 is offline
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Packerfan75 - Hello there! I was wondering what your feelings are on Blade Runner (if you have any thoughts on that film)? The whole "What is to be human?" question that, I think, is the focal point of that particular film, and how it relates to the Replicant machines in that particular world.
Hi. Sure, I've seen Blade Runner many times. Good movie. I didn't find that there were people backing the replicants rights but rather policing them while the replicants were seeking their own right or desire to longer life. I never got the sense that the writers and director were trying to convince me why I should see them as human.
I don't have a problem with robots or androids in films per se, actually, I think they're cool. It's just when the question of life, humanity and rights comes up in these films and shows, it's usually always a resounding, yes, yes, and yes. Even if there is a side to dispute it. I also begin to question what or why I should feel for them when it appears they're suffering, just as if I were in that world.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:27 AM   #1311
Thomas Guycott Thomas Guycott is offline
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I believe artificial intelligence to be exactly that. Artificial. Unnatural and illegitimate. Whatever a machine or device is programmed to do
And here is where I think a significant portion of your opposition toward the subject comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the scientific field itself, or at the very least what is often presented in fiction as artificial intelligence, which frequently goes beyond simple programming.

What is life in general if not just a series of "programmed" machines?

I'd articulate further but I am exhausted and feel like I would be echoing most of what others have said.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:40 AM   #1312
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What is life in general if not just a series of "programmed" machines?
Several posts back when I saw the phrase 'a factory assembled piece of machinery underneath' my immediate reaction was 'aren't we all'.
And I have been fortunate to escape what has been called “that form of snobbery which can accept the Literature of Entertainment in the Past, but only the Literature of the Enlightenment in the Present.” - Raymond Chandler

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Old 08-23-2015, 09:05 AM   #1313
Packerfan75 Packerfan75 is offline
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What is life in general if not just a series of "programmed" machines?
To me, intelligent life is biological, natural, spiritual and most of all free. In its choices, decisions, movements, expressions, ambitions, desires, opinions, cares, thoughts, and personality. I don't see how machines share any of those traits.
This really doesn't have to be the ethical discussion its become. I merely stated that I don't appreciate or share the point of view that's come across in movies and t.v., that robots and androids should be classified as life, given rights, respect and dignity as humans or even worse be classified as human. I also don't see why I should feel anything for them because of that. I was asked about why and I explained. Simple as that.
If you feel differently, it's really ok. That goes the same for anyone. I'm not trying to convince anyone to see things the way I do. These are movies after all and any discussion should only go so far. I'm always up for a friendly discussion and don't mind talking with people of differing opinions as long as it stays friendly. If we're at an impass, it's cool. We can agree to disagree. No harm done.
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:15 AM   #1314
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I was under the illusion that Replicants were machine underneath and had programmed brains, as well as having human tissue on the surface, etc. Apparently not after some Googling, hehe, they are "grown humans" augmented for various purposes. Supposedly, something like Ash from Alien (or a Terminator) is a lot closer to what I assumed a Replicant was.
Idea for film extravaganza. Plot, thus: Malcolm McDowell is trapped in the future. He's being pursued by a cyberpunk from the past, played by Rutger Hauer. Erm, terrible idea. No one will watch that. I've not thought it through.
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Old 08-23-2015, 11:43 AM   #1315
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To me, intelligent life is biological, natural, spiritual and most of all free. In its choices, decisions, movements, expressions, ambitions, desires, opinions, cares, thoughts, and personality. I don't see how machines share any of those traits.
Machines don't share those traits. Not now, anyway. But in these fictional worlds machines do share many of those traits.

And that raises interesting questions. And even if making these machines is completely impossible asking 'what if' is still a legitimate vehicle through which to raise those questions.

And as for whether it's possible, thinking machines seem a lot more plausible to me than other science fiction staples like warp drives or time travel. I think we'll come up with something very much like a Commander Data long before we come up with anything even remotely resembling a USS Enterprise.

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This really doesn't have to be the ethical discussion its become.
But the ethical discussion is often the entire point. Some works of fiction include robots simply because robots are cool. And that's perfectly fine. But other works of fiction - like the ones we've been discussing here - use artificially created life forms as an allegorical tool to raise all manner of ethical questions. And that can be pretty cool too.
And I have been fortunate to escape what has been called “that form of snobbery which can accept the Literature of Entertainment in the Past, but only the Literature of the Enlightenment in the Present.” - Raymond Chandler

'Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whor*s all get respectable if they last long enough. - Noah Cross
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:35 PM   #1316
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Bryan look, there's a message in my Alpha Bits...it says 'ooOOooo'.
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:59 PM   #1317
UnknownBesideArch UnknownBesideArch is offline
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To me, intelligent life is biological, natural, spiritual and most of all free. In its choices, decisions, movements, expressions, ambitions, desires, opinions, cares, thoughts, and personality. I don't see how machines share any of those traits.
Agreed, and honestly: I don't think it's likely that a "living" machine will be created by man anytime soon, if ever. Certainly not during my lifetime, anyway!

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Machines don't share those traits. Not now, anyway. But in these fictional worlds machines do share many of those traits.

And that raises interesting questions. And even if making these machines is completely impossible asking 'what if' is still a legitimate vehicle through which to raise those questions.

And as for whether it's possible, thinking machines seem a lot more plausible to me than other science fiction staples like warp drives or time travel. I think we'll come up with something very much like a Commander Data long before we come up with anything even remotely resembling a USS Enterprise.

But the ethical discussion is often the entire point. Some works of fiction include robots simply because robots are cool. And that's perfectly fine. But other works of fiction - like the ones we've been discussing here - use artificially created life forms as an allegorical tool to raise all manner of ethical questions. And that can be pretty cool too.
Also agreed, on every single point.

As for me, I love robot/AI stories, pretty much regardless of tone or format, because they make for such a fascinating concept; I just think that in movies and TV, the impersonal, completely robotic robots are very underrepresented in comparison to their more humanlike, "alive" counterparts. I'd really like to see more of the former make their way to the screen, I'm sure there're plenty of amazing stories that could be told using that approach!

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On a related note, I can't wait to watch Ex Machina!
Same here, I've been waiting to see it for a loooong time now. Can't wait!
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