Re: Your fridge will be watching you - - -

Date: Sat Jun 17 2000 - 11:02:41 MDT

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> In a message dated 6/9/00 10:17:10 PM Central Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > > implication is that as soon as we use a device, say, fridge, TV, car, etc.
> > > our choices will be uploaded to the Internet and a record will be made of
> > > every detail of our life. It will be like having an aircraft "black box"
> > > recorder in every device. No hope of any privacy here!
> >
> > And you know, it wont be as bad as we think. It never is. Thousands
> > of mechanical sensors will note how we walk, how we smell, the shape
> > of our faces, and will figure out where everyone is at all times and what
> > we are doing, and yet it will be ok. People will become special, kind
> > of like gods in a way, will we not? Our machines will look up to us
> > and respect us and help us.
> >
> > Just thought I would toss this out to see what happens.
> Two things happened in my head. First, the memory of Richard Brautigan's
> poem "All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace" came to mind - for the
> first time in many years. I wonder how many of the Really Old Timers on the
> list remember that poem as a first intimation of transhumanism?
Greg Burch writes:
> Consider the deep reservoir of animistic concepts and feelings we
> have from our primitive past.... As our property becomes infused with
> intelligence of higher and higher orders, I can see a return to this kind
> of social activity. A truly "smart car" will not require a physical key -
> or not a physical key alone. It will really recognize its owner and be
> programmed with behaviors of "loyalty" to her.

I remember reading an article with a similar theme back when I was in
college, in the mid 1970s. I think it was by Newell or Simon, one of
the AI pioneers who had worked on the "general problem solver" paradigm,
and it described the goals of their AI program at CMU.

As he put it, the ultimate goal of AI was to recreate the world of
Faerie. Lampposts would contain helpful animistic spirits that would
help travellers find their way, and so on. The world would come alive,
embued with intelligence as in the old stories.

It was a very well written essay and made me consider going into AI for
a while. I can't find it on the web but maybe a copy exists somewhere.


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