iThink Therefore iAm

FUNDRAISER UPDATE: 61/100 “Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time” prints are sold! This is the LAST WEEK to order yours and support my NOT going to IRS jail (a real thing) efforts! After this week I will have the prints produced and we’ll start signing and mailing them out.

Donations are also incredibly appreciated, if that’s more your style.

hijinks ensue fundraiser print 2013 web

Speaking of making new things, my wife just made a couple of Game Of Thrones inspired necklaces for you Starks and Lannisters.

Game Of Thrones Necklaces - Stark and Lannister - Science And Fiction - Etsy

I saw Her right in the middle of writing this part of the current story line, so I had A.I.’s on the brain. My Twitter review of the film went thusly:

  • “Her” is a gut punch to the head and the heart. In 30 years people will not understand why it was unusual or special at all.
  • Post singularity kids will see “Her” as grainy, black and white and unrelatable. Like 1950’s sitcom parents sleeping in separate beds.

I don’t want to get into spoilers of the film, but I do suggest that you see it. It’s the kind of movie that tells a very small and personal story that leaves you with HUGE questions about the nature of the larger world the story in set in. That isn’t to say there are mysteries that aren’t answered that leave you frustrated or dissatisfied. It’s more about giving the audience a peek into a world that invites the viewer to get curious and start asking question about the world of the film and about our world, our future and what it means (and what it WILL mean) to be “alive” and in love.

Almost immediately after starting Her, I came to the conclusion that if an A.I. was sophisticated enough, could recreate human conversational speech and emotions well enough that a human could actually fall in love with it. People fall in love over the phone and over the Internet all the time. Sometimes going months if not years without meeting face to face. How would this be any different from the human’s perspective? The same chemicals could be released into the brain regardless of whether or not the voice on the other end causing that release was organic or technological. My point is, the world is going to get pretty weird somewhere in the next 30-50 years.

Assume for a moment the A.I. could actually be self aware enough to truly “feel” those emotions and reciprocate with the human. Would they be “in love?” Would they be a “they?” Would the corporations that programmed the A.I. make changes to your digital significant other without your consent because you didn’t read the EULA closely enough? Would you wake up to find your girlfriend’s server got hacked and she no longer exists or now she only wants to talk about mining Bitcoins? These are the questions that were racing through my mind during and after watching Her. Feel free to ask or answer your own in the comments.