HUMANS AND COMPUTERS - 10.11.2022
October 11, 2022
Good Tuesday morning.
Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMANN SERIES post for October 11, 2022. I'm novelist Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California.
The more I get into writing my novel SKYWARD, the more I realize how much humans will end up relying on computers and robots as society advances to the next level.
When walking down San Fernando Road here in Burbank, I love to watch people talk into their iPhones, often with a smile or a frown, sometimes accompanied by gestures seeking answers to something. Yes, they do speak to other humans on these devices. But, I have frequently been in a conversation with someone who says just a sec let me check on that and begins speaking into their iPhone. We are already hooked on computers. But what's ahead?
What's at the other end of that iPhone? A computer. What's at the heart of a computer? – input, processing, output, and storage. When tied to a robot/machine, a computer can automatically carry out a complex series of physical actions.
The great thing about computers is that they can calculate far faster than humans; once information is stored, it is never lost, unlike the human mind. Then if you add artificial intelligence to the computer processing system, it can sense decisions and use what we call common sense.
One article I read indicates that if we're capable of creating machines more intelligent than we are, then that generation of machines is capable of creating machines more intelligent again. This would lead to an exponential situation where machine intelligence is quickly and irretrievably left human intelligence far behind. I'm convinced computers will do a far better job of protecting humans than humans themselves.
In SKYWARD, "Sky," the communities master computer combines and maintains information from electronic files on billions of people and their written works. What a fantastic thing for a STEM-educated community. But it also knows everything about every human in the community. The concepts of "secrets" and "privacy" disappear. In the Bowman Moon Colony, I make things even worse concerning these concepts as every human is chipped so that Sky tracks where they are and can read their vital functions. Imagine how this affects the actions and thinking of my characters. My old-time crime fighter Special Agent Hartmann, assigned by POTUS to keep the Bowman Moon Colony safe, has to rethink what he should be doing. You don't want to be involved in any criminal activity in the Colony, as Sky will get you. Yes, I'm having fun.
This past week, Elon Musk unveiled his humanoid robot dubbed "Optimus" He called it a "rough development robot" constructed in just six months. It strolled onto the stage, waved to the crowd, and danced. He said, "Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible."
In my SKYWARD story, each human is given a "perbot" (personal robot) at a young age. The first thing the perbot does is replace our traditional concept of schooling. It becomes the humans' or its masters' teacher. In conjunction with a human mentor, the perbot tailors the humans' education to their learning speed, mental capabilities, and projected community contribution. The perbot is there 24/7, never gets angry, has unfathomable knowledge, and becomes the human's best friend.
In my novel, computers/robots make life easier for humans. They do mundane tasks, allowing humans more time to think about the future and relax. There is no wealth gap in the Bowman Colony, and if you can work your way out of a job, you are rewarded for it. It means the Colony is advancing. Its human population is always looking forward, not back.
Not only will robots be personal assistants and educators, but they will restock supplies, open doors, perform surgery, transport humans autonomously, clean, vacuum, paint, construct, explore, prepare and serve meals, maintain and pick crops, etc. The concept of human labor all but disappears, and the human mind is set free to explore new worlds.
In my September 27 Newsletter, I included Chapter 1 of SKYWARD. I will repeat a revised section of that Chapter here as it relates to my comments above. Note – For a very specific story reason that popped into my head, I am changing my character Madison's name to Evangeline (Eve).
* * *
She waited for the door to slide shut before speaking. "Holograph 7, I want to change today's assignment."
"That is very unusual. I don't like unusual in humans."
"I need to understand something about Earth's past. Today's Ultimate Mobility Vehicle course is one I have taken several times before."
"But repetition is necessary for humans. Repetition strengthens your brain's neural processors and is essential for humans to master skills successfully. Humans are not like us thinking machine systems that make quick, accurate decisions and remember things perfectly. Looking at the past is not good for humans. It only leads to confusion."
"But, I believe I can learn something from the past that will help us complete our objective."
"We thinking machine systems have reviewed everything in the past and selected out all of the positive things to be learned. Sky has consolidated all of that information. You do not need to look at the past. It will only confuse and depress you."
Evangeline thought for a second, then responded using trigger words. "Holograph 7, I respectfully disagree. My brain has contemplated something that will help advance our efforts. Logic tells me information from the past will be helpful in further developing this advancement."
"Very well, Senior Team Member Evangeline. But, what you are doing will be recorded by Sky and may present problems for you in the future."
* * *
God or evolution made the human mind so that it could advance things, not constrict or enslave humans. Only egotists who are uneducated or undereducated seek the status quo.
With any luck, I've gotten your attention, and you will want to read SKYWARD.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2022 by Richard V. Rupp