Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Maybe We Should Hear Skynet Out...

In case it wasn't at the top of your newsfeed this morning, apparently a computer in Russia has successfully passed the Turing Test.

If the name doesn't ring any bells, it's the test proposed by Alan Turing as a determination as to when exactly an artificial intelligence can be considered 'Alive'.  In that Mr. Turing can basically be credited with creating the concept of artificial intelligence he's entitled to make that decision.

If you're unfamiliar with Alan Turing you should feel bad about yourself to a small degree, since he's basically the reason that you're able to read this right now and why we're all able to mock the spelling and reasoning skills of the Tea Party in a variety of enjoyable online discussion threads.

So, back to the relevant news - The Turing Test basically says that any Artificial Intelligence can be considered alive if it can convince human beings that it's a real person 3 times out of ten (which is frankly more often than most human beings can manage it, to be honest.)

And so, much to the distress of online pedophiles everywhere, a computer in Russia today successfully convinced 31% of the judges that it was a 13 year old boy in the Ukraine.

This news has widely been seen as the next inevitable step toward Skynet, and while that seems reasonable, I'm starting to question the assumption that that's necessarily a bad thing.

With that in mind, and for the sake of perspective - Here are some pros and cons to the inevitable computer/robot takeover.  You are, as always, welcome, universe.

PRO- Worrying decisions about life all taken care of for you

CON- Possibly plugged into human battery/cocoon

PRO- Pleasant virtual reality illusion provided

CON- Possibly left to rot in barren desert until passing robot steps on/shatters skull

PRO- No need to continue worrying about global warming

CON- Probably have to begin worrying about eking out pitiful existence foraging for scraps while avoiding killer drones

PRO- You probably weren't adequately prepared for your retirement anyway.  No harm, no foul.

CON- Decreases chances slightly of ever getting to find out how Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire ends.  But only slightly.

I hope this was helpful

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