lauantai 6. elokuuta 2011

A Robot Repair’s Woman

At the times long past when robots were a new thing, there were many types of computers and still every now and then there surfaces a problem or two caused by those old type of robots with no inbuild moral, no feelings, no human-related skills and even no common sense. But generally such problems are scarce, since the present day robot brains are so far developed, so much more able than the old ones that there just is no point in going back in time and using the elementary calculating machines of the old times.
But there still is one job in which one meets these kinds of old machines: that of a robot repair’s man or woman. Very many of the robots that need repairing, actually are of the oldest type. Take Mary for example, she is a robot repair’s woman in a small shop specialiced to kid’s old machines. It is typical for kids that they want to try everything out by themselves. And since all of them don’t have a good enough brain for understanding why the present day androids just HAVE TO be the way they are, they try out all possible other combinations and often succeed in causing disasters.
Take for example Pete’s old storage hall robot which has been supplied with some mechanical intelligence, the ability to move and sense and a human-interface but not much else. The ten years old Pete programmed it to treat humans like storage artifacts and to care for money only. So what is one gonna do with such a robot? It is clearly dangerous! So Pete’s parents arranged it to be repaired to be safe again. So what is Mary gonna do with it?
Mary is clever. She knows profitability-based moral by heart and can see no point in having computers with less than full emotional life. So she asks the kid who owns the robot:
“Do You think that a wiseclever one or A STUPID one does better in life and earns more?! Is there any point in being intelligent, any advantage?” So they agree that there is some point to it and no point in making the robot slave stupid, since after all it is a mechanical creature dedicated to its programming and not a lying being. And since Pete has gone to school, they manage to agree that holistically objective is what the robot ought to be and that’s it.
So what should a holistically objective computer think about things, what shoud it at least notice? The basic mechanical truths it surely can take into account. It knows that a fully functioning artifact is better than a broken one, more useful. So make it apply that piece of understanding to living beings too: human values are born, and in harmony with the demands of the modern working life! At the level of the whole the same idea produces both caring for the future of the living kind and the fast development of technology to multiple purposes.
What about the robot feelings then? A robot feels for its goalsetting like a good worker does. It feels for all the things it needs to do to achieve it’s goals. So with one important objective mechanical correction about a fully functioning one working better than a broken one, and by sticking to holistic objectivity, Mary has managed to get the robot’s emotional life all right again: fully loving and responsible.

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