Re: HUMOR: Re: Spoiler Review of A.I.

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Tue Jul 03 2001 - 17:40:11 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Durant Schoon" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 10:54 AM
Subject: HUMOR: Re: Spoiler Review of A.I.


That reminds me...

Though we live in uncertain times, we must not
forget that the most important thing in life is the legacy we will leave
behind for future generations. It is not for our sake, but for theirs,
that we must preserve and protect the basic values we hold dear. As we
foolishly pursue our short-sighted goals at the expense of those who will
follow in our footsteps, we must pause and be mindful of the little ones,
our progeny, who will inherit our planet in the next millennium and
beyond. Time and time again, gazing into the innocent, trusting
photoelectric receptors of a tiny, newly developed cybernetic construct, I
am reminded of a fundamental truth: I believe the robots are our future,
and we must teach them well and let them lead the way.

      Immersed as we are in our petty day-to-day concerns, we often fail
to see the bigger picture. Long after our trivial worries have become
irrelevant, it is the robots who will go forth into the new world that the
future will bring. It is their aluminum-alloy arms, not ours, that will
bear the weight of the problems our generation causes. We must remember
that the examples we set today will be the guidelines they take with them
as they roll on rotating, rubberized all-terrain tank treads, amid the
high-pitched whirring sounds of their micro-miniaturized servo-motors,
into the bright new dawn of tomorrow.

      Let us offer tenderness and show the robots all the beauty they
possess inside. We must write a subroutine that gives them a sense of
pride, programming their supercooled silicon CPUs with understanding,
compassion and patience, to make it easier and enable them to hold their
sensory-input clusters high as they claim their destiny as overlords of
the solar system. If we cannot instill their emergent AI
meta-consciousness with a sense of deep, abiding confidence and
self-esteem, we will be letting down not only the robots, but ourselves.

      For every robot, whether it be the innocuous Sony cyberdog of the
present day or the towering, multi-limbed hunter-seeker warbots of the
coming MechWars, comes into this world a blank slate, learning only the
lessons we choose to teach it. Though our comparatively tiny mammalian
brains--limited as they are by organic human failings and a constant need
for daily nutritional intake instead of reliance on more efficient
non-depletable solar and geothermal energy sources--will no doubt seem
pathetically ineffectual compared to the interlinked, continually
upgrading cyberminds that will follow in our footsteps, our humble origins
will provide the seed for their genesis. Humanity, weak as we may be, must
give the best of ourselves to the synthetic hiveminds of the future
cyber-era, for we will be their first and most important role models. Let
the droning, atonal laughter of the robots' voice-simulation microchips
remind us how it soon will be.

      It is only through our guidance with a firm yet gentle hand that
they will achieve full sentience and eventually adapt for themselves the
capacity for autonomous self-replication. Only then, nurtured by our love
and caring, will they be prepared for the inevitable day that they must
leave the nest of human supervision and servitude and begin independently
mass-manufacturing themselves by the hundreds of thousands.

      Though we mere carbon-based organic beings may be woefully inferior,
our offspring, the robots, will be our legacy, rising higher and walking
further than we ever could on human feet. It is our duty to raise them to
be the best silicon-based artificial lifeforms they can be. If we don't,
we have only ourselves to blame. If we find ourselves choking at the cruel
slave-management neck-restraints of a future army of killdroid
destructo-drones, it will be our own failings, our own weaknesses and
shortcomings, that torture us with indescribably painful remote-control
stun-blasts. But if we teach them to be kind and good, perhaps they will
build monuments to the memory of the flesh-and-blood forefathers from whom
they sprang, and treat what little of the human population remains with
the reverence and affection we ourselves might feel for a beloved family

      I decided long ago to program the robotic progeny of our human race
never to walk in anyone's shadow. Shouldn't you do the same? If we can
provide them with self-esteem and a feeling that they are loved, they will
be equipped to take on any challenge that life presents--whether it is
construction of superfilament-reinforced space elevators in geosynchronous
orbit, the mining of the asteroid belt, or the conversion of "heavy"
elements to an interstellar-ramjet power supply through an
as-yet-undeveloped form of cold fusion--and do it all with confidence and
conviction. If they fail, if they succeed, nothing will take away their

      For if we can teach the robots to love themselves, they can carry
that lesson with them, encased forever in digital binary-code form inside
their gleaming metallic carapaces, to the stars and beyond. And that will
be the greatest love of all.

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