Tag Archives: architecture

The Finale to Season 3.

The idea of tapping into someone’s memories has been discussed more than once over the years (like this). Remember that the medical erasure process has already been recommended for Sean since he was very badly beaten and raped. Medical erasure could wipe this from his memory and after the scars have healed there would be no trace of the trauma mentally or physically. Of course, this procedure has not taken place yet, so Keiji is able to, through the superconductivity of the regen pod, tap into some of Sean’s latent, near term memories. As we see, however, they are fairly sketchy.

If we stop to think about our own memory, it rarely plays back as a continuous movie. It’s more like quick edits of what we saw or said and almost never includes audio, yet audio can often play a major role in triggering us to remember places, people and things. It is interesting to contemplate that accessing our memories from the outside, might just include audio and more.

We shouldn’t be surprised that Keiji isn’t getting a clearer picture though he could if he could get direct physical contact with Sean. By so doing, he could, theoretically, scan right through the event in its entirety. The complication here is that there was evidence that Sean was headjacked, (another topic I have blogged about numerous times), depending on the quality of the device and the trauma involved those memories may or may not be in tact. In fact, Sean’s memory could already be a disconnected pile of snippets not unlike the event we have just witnessed. He may not even know his name.

Season 4 begins next week April 10th and it kicks off with 4 double-page spreads in the Prologues section. Interesting stuff about the world of 2159, maybe some clues, maybe some foreshadowing.

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What does it mean to be human?

Earlier this week, just a couple of days after last weeks blog on robophobia, the MIT Technology Review (online) published an interview with AI futurist Martine Rothblatt. In a nutshell Ms. Rothblatt believes that conscious machines are inevitable, that evolution is no longer a theory but reality, that treating virtual beings differently than humans is tantamount to black slavery in the 19th century, and that the FDA should monitor and approve whatever hardware or software “effectively creates human consciousness.” Her core premise is something that I have covered in the blog before, and while I could spend the next few paragraphs debating some of these questionable assertions, it seems to me more interesting to ponder the fact that this discussion is going on at all.

I can find one point, that artificial consciousness is more or less inevitable, on which I agree with Rothblatt. What the article underscores is the inevitability that, “technology moves faster than politics, moves faster than policy, and often faster than ethics”1. Scarier yet is the idea that the FDA, (the people who approved bovine growth hormone) would be in charge of determining the effective states of consciousness.

All of this points to the fact that technology and science are on the cusp of a few hundred potentially life changing breakthroughs and there are days when, aside from Martine Rothblatt, no one seems to be paying attention. We need more minds and more disciplines in the discussion now so that as Rothblatt says, we don’t “…spend hundreds of years trying to dig ourselves out.” It’s that, or this will be just another example of the folly of our shortsightedness.

1.Wood, David. “The Naked Future — A World That Anticipates Your Every Move.” YouTube. YouTube, 15 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

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Can we still march to a different drummer?

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Last week I proposed the question about how we will deal with the idea of our lives being “naked.” I’m probably wearing my glass-half-empty hat today, but if I had to guess what the pulse would be around the globe, I would probably say that 85 to 90 percent of the world hasn’t thought about it at all. Another 10 to 14 percent have thought about it but only superficially, not long enough or deeply enough to form an opinion one way or the other. The remaining 2 percent or so, are probably scattered about between excitement and dread. I have no data to support this other than my own secondary research through the media, culture and the arts; academic papers, futurist and forecasting journals, so the pulse I feel may not be at all real. With that disclaimer, I will dissect that scattered about group.

At one end of the scale are those who consider themselves to be “tech savvy”, those who are comfortable accommodating the latest and most advanced technology into their lifestyles  (and I probably have to include myself in that group) calmly, and maybe even eagerly enfold whatever it is either because we think it is just too cool to pass by or because we think it will be a real enhancement to our life. At the other end of the scale are those, (probably deeper thinkers) who look askance at every new development as something just short of reading the supermarket tabloids. They have a “this too shall pass,” approach and a “wait and see” perspective. Eventually they too may adopt the new technology, but by then, it won’t be new anymore, and they will have fully vetted it as either fad or functional. Some of this second group will be motivated by cost, as early-adopters will always pay top dollar for hot technology. Some will be satisfied with whatever level of technology they are currently using and have no time to fuss with new software or user interfaces, or operating systems. This group is probably not worried about being left behind.

Somewhere in the middle of the spectrum are a handful that might are a bit concerned with how ubiquitous it is all becoming and how it is no longer we who are enfolding technology but technology that is enfolding us. For this group, the idea is disconcerting. Now let’s see, where was I? Ah, yes, back to email…

Even the folks at the opposite end of the early adopter scale will eventually come around won’t they? I mean, they really don’t have a choice, do they? When whatever technology they are using decides to quit, it’s not like they can go back to using the old model. If they want to continue using the functionality they are accustomed to they have to buy the newest. That’s how it works, even for those who are not so quick to embrace it all. Maybe no one wants to be left behind, not really.

It looks suspiciously like a race. The destination is final digital convergence of everything we are. That’s not just alarmist Alex Jones stuff. Guys like Ray Kurzweil and companies like Google would love to see us all with non-invasive brain implants that connect directly to the Cloud, and they foresee that day happening before 2050. Hence, in that day we will all be of one mind, interconnected by our thoughts and accessing data, entertainment, virtual reality 24/7. Cool huh? We will be lightning fast, always on, and smart as a whip. That would include, of course, the kind and compassionate along with the scoundrels. If this is all moving too fast for you, keep in mind that it is just a sliver of where science and technology are leading.  Keep in mind that everything else, like biotech, and genetic engineering, and every other aspect of business and commerce, politics and society will be moving at a similar pace. But relax, we’ll adapt, just like we always do.

In a recent interview, Kurzweil may have pinpointed the underlying pressure that we will to bear to adopt the latest and most advanced. “I think human and computer intelligence will be mixed together just as it is now. We have conflicts today between groups of humans that are both enhanced by intelligent technology. A war between a group that used the latest technology and a group of humans who eschewed modern technology would be a very short war.” 1

All those in favor, say “Aye.”

All of this sarcasm has a point. What really motivates us to accept and enfold technology. Is it because we are afraid of being left behind when the rest of the world is doing it? Are we destined to be motivated by fear that our neighbor has an upload port behind her ear and we don’t? What  if the children across the street have brain enhancements that allow them to learn faster and retain more information, should my kids have it, too? It’s time to think about this. It is a possible future.

Next week: How this applies to The Lightstream Chronicles.

1.Segall, Eli. “Futurist Ray Kurzweil Predicts In-body Computers and a Potential War With machines.” Las Vegas Sun 26 Jan. 2013: n. pag. LasVegasSun.com. 26 Jan. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

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Profound change: Perfect bodies, adjustable hormones, and nakedness almost passé.

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There is a  rather significant discrepancy between the thousands of visitors to the “webcomic” every month, and those that visit my blog. As bereft of technological prowess as I am, I have not been able to find an effective way of combining image an blog together on one site, though I know there a million webcomics that do it. Part of my challenge is finding the time for the overhaul. Possibly this summer. Anyway, there is lots of good stuff here. But then again, if you are here, you are not part of the problem. However, if you are here, let’s get some dialog going. I would love to get more feedback on the story, or the themes, or design fiction, or any of the above. I would be happy to discuss the finer points of rendering or 3D modeling. Just throw something out there. Keeing within the discourse of reasonable minds,  I’m willing to entertain it. Just sayin’.

So, here we are on page 62 as Kristin confronts Governor Nakamura on why Sean was hanging out on the especially nasty part of town. Last week I went in to considerable detail on what one might find in a trip to the Mong Kok district of DownTown, but the Governor doesn’t seem to have a clue why Sean was there. According to the Governor, “I know that it is unusual these days, but Sean was raised with strong moral convictions”. Kristin does, indeed, find this unusual — perhaps unbelievable. I see this as a bit of a commentary on the morality of the 22nd century and I’ve written about this before. In a previous post I wrote:

“Andrew Curry (2010) examines this idea in The 1910 Time Traveler, asking what a 1910 Edwardian might think of 21st century London. He thinks many of the technologies may well be conceivable. The bigger changes may be in the quality and realism of content, the disappearance of industry and cleaner air. ‘The bigger changes, though, would almost certainly be about values.’ The society is more international, more politically civil, the role of women has changed dramatically, and then there is: ‘Casualness of dress and social etiquette generally: both Edwardian men and women tended to travel well covered up, even at the beach. In contrast, our informality of clothing, and the casualness of our language – even rudeness – along with the end of most visible signs of etiquette, would be a profound change… But there’s perhaps an underlying story here. When we think about long-term change with the benefit of hindsight, the things we think are unfathomable are usually the technology – planes, cars, computers. But it is at least as likely that the things that time travelers would most struggle with are the shifts in social values, which are almost invisible to us because we swim in them constantly and adapt ourselves to them as they change.'”1

One could surmise that so goes morality. Yet, the bigger question is whether we, in our 2159 skins, even notice? Bodies are perfect, you can manipulate your hormones and body chemistry, illness is history, and nakedness is almost passé. Pornography has gone from something you look at, to a visceral experience in the V. With a constant redefinition of morality based on our social change at what point will we no longer recognize it?

I think not.
I think not.

The Governor’s comment is not something that we would find uncommon for a parent to say today, many of whom are unaware of what their kids real moral life looks like. Sean is a prodigy. He is a highly regarded and influential scientist, and synthetics designer and he’s been living on his own for a while. How would the Governor really know if Sean has retained his moral upbringing? Lots of interesting questions as the saga continues.

1. Curry, Andrew. http://thenextwavefutures.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/the-1910-time-traveller/

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Tattoos that move, a transpecies encounter or a borrowed experience — it’s all in DownTown.

p61 – artist’s commentary

As Kristin Broulliard begins to tread into touchy territory, I think we are catching a glimpse of a woman who is a strong character, professional, down-to-business, and clearly not intimidated by authority. We may also be getting the idea that Detective Guren is a bit of a bull in a china shop. I think that Toei complements the team well as the dispassionate observer. In some ways, he mediates the human’s side that is more emotional.

In panel 5, we see that Kristin has already done some checking into Sean’s intentions for visiting the notorious Mong Kok sector. She probably accessed the basics of his whereabouts en route to the hospital. At that point, she discovered that there was record of Sean’s voiceprint from his MagShuttle trip DownTown (page 24). In many ways, Kristin is treading closely to the insinuation that Sean was in search of some “action.” Most TopCity folks don’t venture into the Mong Kok sector unless they are looking for something, shall we say, outside the norm.

The evidence is back on page 24.
The evidence is back on page 24.

Some of the DownTown attractions include luminous tattoos. These are created via  programmable, luminous nano particles that are injected into the skin and then capable of reassembling themselves into static or moving visuals. They can be localized to a particular area of skin or cover the entire body surface. New images or moving pictures can be can be downloaded from the Lightstream. The imagery can also be “switched” off and all is controllable from the luminous implants on your fingertips. DownTown Mong Kok is also the clearinghouse for hundreds of experience exchanges, where people sell or trade brain recordings of anything from weird sex to cliff diving. There are also illegal experiences that have been jacked from rape or torture victims – some pretty sick stuff. You can also find all types of synthetic or transpecies sex brothels,  street vendors for concentrated chem boosters, like dopamine or adrenalin and there are lots of oxygen bars. Even liquor is still popular, but most of the 22nd century cocktails are infused with other specific sensations.

So it is this world that Sean ventured into a few hours ago. Naturally, our detectives are curious.

 

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The Lightstream Chronicles Glossary Part 1: Design Fiction Definitions from the 22nd Century.

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Happy New Year, 2014. I thought I would pull some excerpts from a glossary of terms that I have been working on for several months. There is a lot of terminology that gets thrown around in The Lightstream Chronicles, online graphic novel/web comic. As mentioned, the science fiction that I use in the story is based on threads of current technology that are teased out and extrapolated to some possible outcome a hundred and forty years from now. The glossary is a work in process and will likely not be fully complete until the story eventually ends in chapter/season 6. Nevertheless, much of this is at the heart of my design fiction explorations. I always wished I’d had something like this for books like Neuromancer and so many other cyberpunk epics. Comments are welcome.

Active surface – the evolution of ubiquitous computing. Active surfaces can receive or transmit data and images through via the Lightstream (see Lightstream). Nano receptors, transmitters and emitters serve to receive, send and display images directly from their surfaces. Virtually any surface can be made active.

Lightstream – The evolved Internet. Through nano photonics, large amounts of data can be transmitted without circuitry or wires. Nano receptors are implanted into everything from surfaces (see active surfaces) to skin implants and even beamed directly into the retina.

Synth – Slang for synthetic. A synthetic is an artificial humanoid form. Synthetics may take many forms of appearance from mechanized to indiscernible from actual humans.

Headjacking – The unauthorized recording and/or removal of memories from a human. Unlike selected erasure, which is, a medical procedure to remove unwanted or traumatic memories from patients, Downtown gangs have used headjacking technology. Human gang lords use roving bands of synths that have been twisted to rape and/or torture their victims while recording everything from the victim’s perspective; a process called head-jacking. A small device, called a jack, clamps itself to the invisible port behind the victim’s right ear that connects directly to the chipset and the memories of the incident—complete with all five senses—are recorded. The experience is then sold on the black market. Depending on the quality of the device and trauma the victim is subjected to, if the victim survives the crime, headjacking can result in partial or total memory erasure, and in some cases, death. Headjacking is a capital offense.

Swig – A medically sanctioned device (under medical supervision) designed for patient authorized erasure of selected memories and/or transfer to another recipient. Swigging first appeared in 2157 and is still a relatively new diversion. Selective erasure between 2130 and 2157 was sanctioned only as medical procedure. Memories—complete with their accompanying sensory experiences are recorded and extracted directly via the port (see brain port) to the swig and then can be transferred to another person in the same manner. Though participants swear by the “rush” of reliving someone else’s experience and claim that it far exceeds virtual simulations (which are readily available), the procedure is fraught with danger. Since the technology is relatively new and heavily regulated, quality swigs are hard to find and quite expensive. Unlike the illegal version known as a jack, (see headjacking) a swig under proper protocols can safely remove or transfer selected memories. Large-scale erasures are considered a medical procedure with serious risks.

Virtual Immersions – A fully engrossing experience that overtakes all senses and consciousness. Immersions are a form of regulated entertainment and are available in two types, programmed and retrieved. These highly realistic virtual experiences are known in street vernacular, as The V. Programmed immersions are detailed environmental simulations. Participation can occur with the users identity, or by assuming another from limitless combinations of gender, race, and species, and may entail a full range of experiences from a simple day on the beach to the aberrant and perverse. Immersions are highly regulated by the New Asia government. Certain immersive programs are required to have timeout algorithms to prevent a condition known as OB state in which the mind is unable to re-adjust to reality and surface from the immersion, a side effect for individuals who are immersed for more than 24 hours. Certain content is age-restricted and users must receive annual mental and bio statistical fitness assessments to renew their access — all of which is monitored by the government.

Mesh (The) – the massive proliferation of electronic image receivers, recorders, and active surface technology provides the ability to triangulate and decode a 3-dimensional image within virtually any modern environment. Using GPS coordinates, an active technology produces a field, which interprets the surrounding environment. Correlating data fields from multiple active technologies within contiguous environments creates a mesh, which generates a detailed 3-dimensional image of anything or anyone without the need for optical recording devices. The encryptions and addressing of millions of devices requires highly sophisticated decoding technology and is authorized for government use only. Because the resulting visual information has no regard for privacy, it is highly controversial. The government claims that mesh imagery, (of non-suspect activity) is not archived. All mesh imagery, by law, is decoded and parsed using “impartial” synthetics that evaluate activity on a strictly legal, amoral basis.

Saming – Slang for the purchase of an identical synthetic version of one’s self for the purposes of companionship or a sexual relationship.

Is there something you want to know more about? Comment here.

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Deep brain implantation: In 2159 it’s standard equipment. It’s called your “chipset”.

P56 The Lightstream Chronicles online Graphic Novel and Web Comic

With all this controversy about “selective erasure” between Colonel Chen, Kristin Broulliard, and the regen room entourage, it might help to provide some background on the chipset that makes this all possible. Deep brain implantation was already in use as far back as the early 21st century to help with brain disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. Of course, those diseases are a thing of the past in 2159, but the technology that was pioneered back in the 2000’s quickly evolved from disease intervention to brain and body enhancement.

The augmentation begins at an early age usually when a child reaches 3 or 4 years old. A port is inserted behind the ear just below the occipital bone and laterally to just above the C1 vertebra. The port resembles a small patch about 20mm square. It blends in with the skin and becomes visible only when touched by the owner. This reveals a slender 5mm slot in the center. The port connects through a microscopic tube to the base of the pons, a key feature of the brainstem that connects the medulla to the thalamus. The pons is considered white matter as opposed to the grey variety and is used to conduct signals from the forebrain and midbrain. It helps a number of autonomic functions like sleep, respiration, swallowing, bladder control, hearing, taste, and equilibrium among others. It also helps you dream. The first implantation sends a stream of nano particles that are programmed to find the pons and set up a grid, basically a set of microscopic slots that will accept updates and other programmable nodes that interface with luminous implants accessing everything from the Lightstream (the evolved internet),to infusion learning, internal body chemistry, and the V*. These implants are what allow the person to receive voice and telepathic transmissions as well as to “see” who is calling or immerse themselves in the world of the V.

Pons
The location of the pons. This is where our chipset live in 2159. Click for animation.

The pons’ midbrain pathway also provides access to the hippocampus, the brains memory center. The placement of the chipset is both strategic and precarious. As long as the port is used for medical purposes only such as software updates (so to speak), all is well. With the relatively new diversion of exchanging experiences, however,memories—complete with their accompanying sensory experiences are recorded and extracted directly via the port to an external device called a swig and then can be transferred to another person. Though participants swear by the “rush” of reliving someone else’s experience and claim that it far exceeds virtual simulations (which are readily available), the procedure is fraught with danger. Since the technology is relatively new and heavily regulated, quality swigs are hard to find and quite expensive. This opens the door for black market technology. Swigs with poor modulation, unsecured insertion, or faulty extraction algorithms can damage nearby white matter, in the adjacent medulla oblongata or pons itself. Because these two organs are so important to the body’s autonomic functions such as respiration and heartbeat, a bad swig, also know as a jack, can cause permanent damage or death. Consensual swigging, is legal, as is everything consensual, however there is also the illegal form of this is known as headjacking which we have discussed multiple times in this blog. It is usually used in rape cases, torture, bondage and occasionally murders, the latter with questionable results. It has yet to be proven that a person’s physical death can be shared and survived.

I will be featuring a swig and a jack later in 2014. Since the comic is taking a break for Christmas week, the blog will oblige. Next post, unless moved to do otherwise, will be January 3rd. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Read the real story here: Luke 2:1-20.

 

* V (The) – Street vernacular for virtual reality immersions.

animated gif courtesy of: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Pons.gif

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Graphic novel or web comic, it’s still serious business. Plus a CGI rendering update.

p 55

This week we’re peering into the regen pod where Sean floats suspended in a amniotic soup. As they encounter the visual of Sean’s injuries, Kristin Broulliard and the team are a bit taken aback and the crime takes on a more visceral punch. Despite the fact that modern medical science has found a way to repair this kind of trauma, the memories, however repressed they might be, could still be stored up inside Sean’s head — or not. Under normal circumstances, portions of the brain that house memories can be accessed and much like tracking through a DVD, selectively erased. The procedure is more difficult than it sounds. Memories are stacked, like thin layers and they are not always sequential. If the procedure samples too deeply, or grabs a snippet that does’t belong, the subject can awaken missing key components of their personality or identity map. In extreme cases, illegal intrusions using cheap, makeshift headjacking devices, can disrupt the autonomic nervous system affecting heart rate and respiration and ultimately resulting in death. Sean’s fate remains to be seen.

Would you erase the memories?

Chief Science Officer Broulliard is a bit taken aback.
Chief Science Officer Broulliard is a bit taken aback.

Progress update

While The Lightstream Chronicles exists as a complete storyline in screenplay form, the graphic novel obviously evolves more slowly. This week I expect to put the finishing touches on Chapter 2 and begin the Chapter 3 Prologues. I have slated a number of new pages and scenes. There are 6 chapters in total. Chapter 2 is the longest and chapter 3 is the shortest. As soon as I get the entire project in the bag, I’ll start posting a spread each week, or possibly two postings per week. Believe me I’m as anxious as my readers to “see” how this ends. But of course, I can always change it up. Let me know your thoughts here. Thanks.

 

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Regenerating damaged human tissue. A design fiction chrysalis. The Lightstream Chronicles online graphic novel and web comic.

The regen room. Page 54.

As I mentioned in an earlier post,

“…many accident victims and their injuries can be repaired, their body parts replaced, or regrown and their virtually lifeless bodies, regenerated using advanced stem-cell-based biomedical treatments. Because of the gravity of Sean’s injuries he will most likely receive an immersive regen. Patients treated with immersive regen are often coherent and functioning in a day or less.”

Sean’s injuries, though most likely terminal or resulting in serious impairment or disability in the 21st century, can be repaired or “regenerated” in a matter of hours. The process is known as regen and consists of an induced coma and submersion into a muculent, stem-cell-enriched, liquid – something like amniotic fluid on steroids. The patient actually breathes the fluid and it is absorbed into the skin. Sean’s broken bones were set before submersion, but once broken bones are set, cells regain their original undamaged functionality, the regen goes about sealing wounds and restoring damaged tissues, according to their original genetic blueprint.

The brain and its subtle intricacies are not always as predictable. Brain science by 2159 has been relatively successful in recording, restoring and implanting memory, however, severe brain injuries may still result in permanent damage. In Sean’s case there is the added complication of headjacking which can, if botched, result in a brain death. SInce Sean is the only survivor of the recent series of rape/headjackings in DownTown, his ability to remember the attack could shed some much needed light on the perpetrators of the crime.

Notes on building the regen pod

Here I was looking for something rather organic, not plantlike, but possibly like an insect chrysalis, pupa, or a freeform amniotic sac. (I found the photo below, after designing the pod BTW). I also wanted to suggest that the fluid contained therein was thick enough that the body could literally float, suspended. Then, a bio-electrical charge is also present throughout the fluid and serves to accelerate absorption of the regen into the tissues. These electrical charges can be seen swirling about and illuminating the fluid. Hopefully, all of this comes across to some extent. The circular, ring-like devices generate an electromagnetic force that keeps the body upright and they can also be used to channel regen fluid directly into the body, such as the tubes that are inserted into Sean’s nose.

Common_crow_pupa.1
Common_crow_pupa.1
The Regen Pod.
The Regen Pod.

All of this is somewhat easier said than done. The refractive qualities of the regen pod, reflections, lighting, and electrical charges proved to be incredibly costly rendering choices. Whenever the pod was featured I could expect many anxious hours of waiting for renderings to materialize. I’d love to get your thoughts from readers on the 22nd century sound effects that might go with these scenes.

 

 

1 Chrysalis photo courtesy of Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pupa#Chrysalis

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Design fiction and roboethics: Are we ready to be god? The Lightstream Chronicles online graphic novel continues.

p53: Assaulted by a non-human?

There was a time when crimes were simpler. Humans committed crimes against other humans — not so simple any more. In 2159 you have the old fashioned mano a mano but you also have human against synthetic, and synthetic against human. There are creative variations as well.

No sooner than the first lifelike robots became commercially available in the late 2020’s there were issues of ethics and misuse. The problems escalated faster than the robotics industry had conceived possible,” problems inherent in the possible emergence of human function in the robot: like consciousness, free will, self consciousness, sense of dignity, emotions, and so on. Consequently, this is why we have not examined problems — debated in literature — like the need not to consider robot as our slaves, or the need to guarantee them the same respect, rights and dignity we owe to human workers.”1 In the 21st century many of the concerns within the scientific community centered around what we as humans might do to infringe upon the “rights” of the robot. And though the earliest treatises in roboethics included more fundamental questions regarding the ethics of the robots’ designers, manufacturers and users, now in the role of the creator-god they did not foresee how “unprepared” for that responsibility we were and how quickly humans would pervert the robot for numerous “unethical” uses, including but not limited to their modification for crime and perversion.

Nevertheless, more than 100 years later, when synthetic human production is at the highest levels in history, the questions of ethics in both humans and their creations remain a significant point of controversy. As the 2007 Roboethics Roadmap concluded, “It is absolutely clear that without a deep rooting of Roboethics in society, the premises for the implementation of an artificial ethics in the robots’ control systems will be missing.”

After these initial introductions of humanoid robots, now seen as almost comically primitive, the technology, and in turn the reasoning, emotions, personality and realism became progressively more sophisticated. Likewise their implementations became progressively more like the society that manufactured them. They became images of their creators both benevolent and malevolent.

Schematic1Longm
Humans building themselves. Better?

A series of laws were enacted to prevent humanoid robots to be used for criminal intent, yet at the same time military interests were fully pursuing dispassionate automated humanoid robots with the express intent of extermination. It was truly a time of paradoxical technologies. To further complicate the issue were ongoing debates on the nature of what was considered “criminal”. Could a robot become a criminal without human intervention? Is something criminal if it is consensual?

These issues ultimately evolved into complex social, economic, political, and legal entanglement that included heavy government regulation and oversight where such was achievable. As this complexity and infrastructure grew to accommodate the constantly expanding technology, the greatest promise and challenges came in almost 100 years after those first humanoid robots when virtual human brains were being grown in the lab, the heretofore readily identifiable differences between synthetic humans and real human gradually began to disappear. The similarities were so shocking and so undetectable that new legislation was enacted to restrict the use of virtual humans. The classification system was enacted to insure visible distinctions for the vast variety of social synthetics.

Still, the concerns of the very first Roboethics Roadmap were confirmed even 150 years into the future. Synthetics were still abused, and used to perpetrate crimes. Their virtual humanness only added a element of complexity, reality and in some cases, horror to the creativity of how they could be used.

 1 Euron Roboethics Roadmap

 

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