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Androids - not so far off?

I thought there wouldn't be truly lifelike androids (androids you can't tell apart from humans) for another century or more. Now, seeing what the Japanese have accomplished, I wouldn't be surprised if I lived to see a truly lifelike android. See what I mean:







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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
gkathellar
Jan. 22nd, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC)
There's actually a theory that says that the more lifelike an android is while still having some recognizable android features, the more abhorrent people will find it. That is to say, if it's COMPLETELY indistinguishable from humans, people will get along with it fine. But if there are flaws in that disguise, people will notice something slightly "off" and become increasingly disturbed.

I wonder about AI "consciousness" as well. Personally, I'd say consciousness is unnecessary to act in a human fashion, even for humans. All our actions and thoughts are essentially reflexive responses based on the combination of memory, instinct and sensory information. For this to occur, consciousness is unnecessary (see also: philosophical zombies). So while you could build an android that acted just like a conscious human being, it wouldn't be conscious at all.
fayanora
Jan. 22nd, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
As to your first paragraph - that's what the page I found them on said. The New Scientist blog. They said brain scans had been done and they theorized that the reason for the creepout factor was some instinctual brain program to distinguish someone with a contagious disease was being triggered.

Personally, though, I didn't find any of them creepy. This coming from the person who was scream-inducing terrified of Teddy Ruxbin as a child.

The New Scientist blog also said that Japanese have a different view of robots than westerners do. They're not scared of robots, because from the beginning their culture has portrayed them as good and kind (for the most part), which started with the anime Astroboy. You can still see that tendency in modern animes. Take GITS:SAC for example. The robots in there are friendly and helpful, or just trying to get by and get caught up in human politics by mistake. The only times I saw robots get out of hand in the episodes I saw were when there was a human consciousness operating the robot (or in a robot body).

As to the second paragraph, IAWTC. But it makes one wonder if consciousness could arise from its mimicry. And, if we were used to AIs that merely mimicked humans, how will we know when they become conscious? It's an important question because if we get the answer wrong, we might suffer for it...

Robots: "We're conscious!"
Humans: "No you're not, you're just really good mimics."
Robots: "Yes we are!"
Humans: "No you're not."
Robots: *Fight for their freedom.*

If we're lucky, after the robot civil liberty movement, we can all get along, relatively, like whites and blacks do now.
gkathellar
Jan. 23rd, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
Personally, though, I didn't find any of them creepy.

Well, but you have Asperger's, right? The differences in perception could easily account for that.

But it makes one wonder if consciousness could arise from its mimicry.

Mimicry? Acting in the same manner as a human wouldn't necessarily imply consciousness. Hell, I can't even be sure that all humans have consciousness. It also seems fairly unimportant, since we can only judge a being by their behaviors.

And, if we were used to AIs that merely mimicked humans, how will we know when they become conscious?

It won't matter whether they're conscious or not - the consideration is solely a philosophical one. Action is more important than intent - or lack thereof.
fayanora
Jan. 23rd, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Well, but you have Asperger's, right? The differences in perception could easily account for that.

That it could, that it could.

As to the rest... IAWTC.
fayanora
Jan. 22nd, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
I, for one, welcome our new silicon overlords.
kengr
Jan. 23rd, 2008 10:24 am (UTC)
The first two don't look to be anything beyond the sort of thing Disney did with their Abe Lincoln and the like 40 years ago.

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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