Monday, February 18, 2008

In celestial news this week, it appears that there will be a nice lunar eclipse to view on Wednesday. Really a fun event if there is anyone who has not witnessed one before, and it will be the last time we get to see one until 2010.

La LA la la la laa, la lala la laa. That, for those of you who cannot hear music from words written on a screen, is the theme to that classic childhood cartoon, The Smurfs. Now, regardless of your views on the origin of this cartoon, this preview for the upcoming movie looks promising. I know I'll be lining up to watch. However, the idea was passed around at how funny a live action attempt would be at this. Discussed was how David Cross would make an excellent Gargamel, and how Vin Diesel should be Handy Smurf.

And finally today, in keeping with my past rants about the future, I bring you two different articles concerning artificial intelligence. From the BBC network comes the bold claim that Artificial intelligence should be able to reach human level by 2029. A bold claim indeed. They go so far as to imply that this simulated intellegence will be able to also imitate our emotional intelligence. Just imagine chatting with someone online and not being sure if you are speaking with a person, or a machine...
Which leads me in to the second article brought from Scientific America in which David Levy discusses the, not just possibility, but probability of sex, love and even marriage to robots by mid-century. Intruiging. Reading the article, I find that David follows a wholly pragmatic view of the whole situation. I will grant him that many humans to react positively to any sort of attention, I fear that his love for technology has blinded him to the unpleasentries of humanity. What we would have is entities that have all the capability of a human, being used (and I don't use that word lightly) in any number of ways, simply by minor adjustment to programming. And then the question of robot rights comes up. Are they just machines? They will have the intelligence and emotional capabilities of humans, so do we give them rights like humans? How far do we go? While I applaude science and what it can achieve, I'm afraid that in this little chunk of the future brought closer and closer to us, I will watch with a cynical eye.

Even though I started the last paragraph with "finally", I will have the real finality here. Giant, bowling-ball sized, prehistoric frog with fangs and armor. Beelzebufo... Devil Frog.

1 comment:

Wren Dragon said...

I have a feeling I'm going to be denied seeing the eclipse due to clouds. :8[