*Oh cool I just noticed as I was uploading this that this is the 200th comic! Neato!*
In the beginning, God created man. Man, in a fit of productivity, goes on to domesticate beasts and plants, create civilization, and invent alcohol and baseball. Not content with several thousand years of such things, man decides that it is time to do as his creator did. Unfortunately, early versions of man’s own attempt at life are creepy as hell.
It gets me thinking…maybe God wasn’t too happy with what he made either. Maybe it’s more subtle than sheer abject horror, maybe, like artists everywhere, God looks back on us and thinks “Man I can’t believe I did something like THAT back in the day.” and gives himself a little pat on the back for improving so much. “If only they could check out my new stuff,” he thinks, and shakes his head.
Every time I read about people wanting to create human-like robots, I hear about how these dudes want to create something they can share the joy of life with. As if consciousness and the human experience were this wholly perfect thing that was nothing but goodness and love and compassion. It’s always about the wonderful qualities the human race possesses to these guys, but what they seem to forget is that the human race is as fucked up as it is beautiful. You go creating robots that are just like us and you’re going to create some really pleasant things and you’re also going to unleash robot murderers on the world. Think of how much more efficient robots are than humans at almost anything. Now think about a robot capable of and willing to murder human beings.
That’s one place where you WANT someone slacking off.
The strange thing about all this sharing the human condition thing is that the human condition isn’t easy. Life is definitely a beautiful thing but it comes with its ups and downs. Plenty of people on this planet are miserable and frightened and angry for most of their lives. Why, exactly, do we want to create things like us that would take part in that nonsense? Shouldn’t we maybe sort our own shit out first before we begin bringing brand new creatures into the mix? I guess it’s true what they say, misery does love company.
Maybe if we can create robots that are kind of like us and treat them horribly it will make our lives look better by comparison. Bummed about losing your job? Hey, at least you’re not one of those ROBOTS.
The fact of the matter is that these creations would have their own positives and negatives. Creating artificial intelligence and synthetic humanoids would really move the human race forward on its quest for godhood and its quest for science. Understanding robots could help us understand a lot more about ourselves and a lot more about consciousness. There’s a lot to look forward to there and I can sort of see the appeal and the passion of people working on these projects. It’s still baffling that they don’t seem to care much about the problems that might arise from it.
It’s like when a guy thinks he’s going to be a great dad and doesn’t stop to consider the cost and the effort it’s going to take. He just wants a kid, he doesn’t care how it’s going to work out.
Usually it doesn’t.
I mean, take a look at God. He’s ineffable and he created us, right? If a being of such perfection as God can’t magic up a creature that isn’t constantly on the brink of blowing itself up or, at the very least, descending into absolute chaos, what chance have we got for creating happy and compassionate life ourselves?
At least there is one up side to making progress on this issue: if we get those robots looking right, I can stop being so utterly creeped out by them. That would be something to look forward to.