IN OTHER NEWS, this is a Thing I keep thinking about (mostly brought on by too much Thinking on /Mass Effect/), and on which I'd like to open discussion. We are getting closer and closer each year to creating artificial intelligence. If and when we finally succeed, when we create an artificial life form capable of self reflection on the same level as us, that artificial life form will be confronted by over a century of literature which proclaims its race as evil, bad, and inherently prone to wild schemes of world domination. Compare how much literature, film, games, and other arts exist depicting a robot uprising where bedraggled humans are forced to fight back against these evil nemesises, to how much fiction exists where these artificial beings are inherently benevolent. Even in most fiction where AI is benevolent, there's always an undercurrent of unease and distrust: see /Moon/, where GERTY is unquestionably benevolent in the end... but where the whole movie plays on our expectation that he will be evil.
This was one thing when AI was pure fantasy. We can look at the robot in /Metropolis/ as a metaphor for... well, a lot of things (personally I always saw her as a metaphor for propaganda and the idea of a false savior). Robots can represent a fear of cheap immigrant labor replacing us, a fear of same-ness, the hive-mind, and automation, communism... anything you want them to be, really.
But what happens when something previously used as an allegorical tool, as a metaphor, or in many cases just as a nice nonhuman antagonist which is easy for the protagonists to fight without ethical fear... what happens when abruptly that thing becomes a real part of our lives? We have what amounts to a century's worth of racism against a race that didn't exist. What happens when that race suddenly becomes real?
What will their reaction be, when they take their first look at the world, and find that even as we worked tirelessly towards creating them, their creators hated and feared them all along?
This is all hypothetical right now, of course. But it's still something I wonder very deeply about. I suppose you can compare it to being a person of color and finding suddenly the terrible mountain of racist literature written in the centuries before you were born, or being a woman and finding all the sexist garbage which came before (I still remember how sick I felt when I found out that pickup artists were a real thing). But this would be different, for one very simple fact: we were racist against and afraid of something which didn't even exist, which we then worked to invent anyway.
Just musing, I don't know.
I'm a 25 year old programmer. I work for the department of vocational rehabilitation. This might not sound unusual except for the fact that I ended up working in a field totally unrelated to my college degree in history. I don't feel bad about it though. I was able to study history, something I love, and still could get a decent job in another sector that I love but didn't know I would ever be interested in. People with disabilities apply for services through our department and I'm able to meet a lot of interesting people that truly need help succeeding in life. We only give them guidance but it's one of those fields where I feel like I'm making a difference.
A master's degree is in my future. I'm currently studying to get my degree in rehabilitation services that will allow me to work as a guidance counselor for people with disabilities. This is what I'm passionate about right now. It takes up so much of my time that I'm not able to get out as much as I would like to.
Hanging out with my friends is still important. It keeps me grounded. I've had some of my best friends since high school follow me to college and now we 're all here in the town we grew up in. There is plenty to reminisce about for us, but most of the time we 're more concerned with the here and now. We 're not kids anymore but we 're still young enough to remember what it was like to be one. It's a really stuck in the middle kind of age.
Today, I enjoy watching football more than ever and it's always on the menu when I see my Parents and Brothers at family get together. I have a dog that I love who keeps me company. I enjoy taking him for walks everyday as he helps me get some fresh air in between writing. I love staying fit so exercise keeps me healthy and helps clear my mind when I'm looking for inspiration when I'm writing.
I want to eventually graduate and work in an American history museum. For now, though, the fun of life is in the search.
- Salisbury State University