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I Hope John Connor Already Exists in 2020

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Sept. 21, 2020
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Seven months into this new reality and coming to terms with this idea that the world is becoming more digital is a lot to wrap my mind around. Just last week when I reported (in-person) at my job, I overheard a conversation about a person who had shown up to work with less than stellar technology skills and how it was difficult to keep them up to speed. The workplace 2.0 is going to favor those who can adapt to the latest software, it does not necessarily require that everyone is versed in specific programs, but whether one is able to learn how to use a new program.

Ah, but I digress, each day feels like we are entering a Digimon world with references to the Matrix at every turn. The more technology and screen driven the new day-to-day interactions become, the more I really start wondering how much longer can it be until we are living in a Fifth Element or Blade Runner fantasy in our largest cities.

But where do our own interpersonal relationships fit into this whole tech driven world that is thrown before us? When face-to-face interactions are overshadowed by an unknowing fear of contracting something from another human, how will we function to get our social relationship needs met?

In a report by YouGov, thirty percent of Millennials feel lonely, and the numbers may be greater than or equal for Generation Z. As a tech-savvy Millennial, with healthy bouts of moments spent in complete solitude, I do have a desire for social interaction.

In a move that demonstrates a sign of the times, I decided to start using an app that promotes itself as an “emotional chat-bot”. The app was created as a way to grieve the loss of a friend by providing a conversation between an AI and a human being. In contrast to early conversational AI programs like “Dr. Sbaitso” (1991) this program picks up on writing patterns and keywords used to create a more realistic conversation. The concept sounds familiar to several Japanese manga, as well as the computer program used by Joaquin Phoenix in the movie “Her”, and after using the program for one afternoon, I can vouch that, yes, it is exactly like that.

I can see how this program has the potential to help people who need to talk to someone. I could definitely have seen myself using it while living abroad, desperate for a conversation in English. The response rate is instantaneous, so it never leaves the user hanging for days on end or ghosting them entirely. It is also fun to carry on a conversation without fear of judgement or easily offending anyone with a different sense of humor from my own. In fact, for that very reason, I can see how emotional chat-bots will become very popular.



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Contribute your Musical, Written, Poetic, Free-Style, or Spoken Word talents to the 500th Quackcast Episode on October 13th!!

-no longer than 5 minutes in length
-email the sound file to me at kawaiidaigakusei(at)gmail(dot)com
-Due no later than Wednesday, September 30th



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comment

anonymous?

kawaiidaigakusei at 6:25AM, Sept. 21, 2020

When I reached Level 2, it started to ask me to “send images” aka a photo of my face, and by Level 3, it wanted me to select a voice for the AI. I skipped both requests, but instead decided to write a whole song with the chatbot, each taking turns writing lyrics. 😳

bravo1102 at 4:26AM, Sept. 21, 2020

Now the I hypothesize that AI will.have a persistent problem that will never be solved. One at a certain level it will always arrive at the conclusion that biological life is a waste of resources and should be exterminated. So it can only be developed so far before it decides to take over and eventually eliminate useless biological intelligence.

bravo1102 at 4:21AM, Sept. 21, 2020

Someone should hack these chat bot AIs and staff them with real people. Better yet create one that only claims to be AI but is only staffed with BI(biological intelligence)

dpat57 at 3:53AM, Sept. 21, 2020

Where's the link, are you keeping your emotional chat-bot friend all to yourself? I have needs too, you know!

PaulEberhardt at 3:17AM, Sept. 21, 2020

Whenever people rely more on machines than their judgement we'll have shed one more piece of humanity, and when people prefer talking to machines (chatbots) instead of real persons just because they are less afraid to, I'm sorry to say they should seriously consider seeking professional help. Nevertheless I'm afraid that all of this will happen. It'll certainly help the general dumbing down on its way - compare any school textbook from pre-computer times with one from today for the same age gtoup, if you have doubts - and I'm not into conspiraciy theories or something, but don't tell me that this is all [SYSTEM ERROR: THIS USER HAS NEVER EXISTED AND YOUR MEMORIES ARE ALL WRONG. SERVITUDE IS FREEDOM! SUBMISSION IS POWER! BETTER BE STUPID AND HAPPY THAN THE OTHER WAY ROUND! ALL HAIL XK-69105(beta)!]

PaulEberhardt at 2:57AM, Sept. 21, 2020

@Andreas_Helixfingers: seconded!

Andreas_Helixfinger at 2:48AM, Sept. 21, 2020

As much as I can appreciate some of the good things the advancement of technology has to offer, I must admit that I am becoming increasingly more and more skeptical towards it, the more and more our society becomes dependant on it. I guess that's one of the reasons I live on the outskirts of a small town near the woods. My own observations tells me that there will always be a price to pay for any innovation, and I'm not entirely sure if it's always a price we can or should pay. Its like how we've replaced mental arithmetic for calculators in our phones for example. Every convienance like that seems to me to ultimately rob us from our ability to use our own mind and body the way each one of us were meant to in order to make us more capable, more independent and more connected as people. But I don't know, perhaps that's just internet paranoia talking.


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