ai claims a bit too much i think

Sat, Sep 15, 2007

Apparently an AI company now claims to be ready to go live in Second Life with an intelligent pet avatar. You hear all sorts of things coming out of the AI world but this must take the biscuit.

We have a pretty fully functioning animal brain right now…"

what’s a “pretty fully functioning” brain then? Is it a fully functioning brain that is nice to look at? Or is it a fully functioning brain of the prettieth degree? Is it in a class or a jar (pun intended)? The company is concentrating on dogs and monkeys, which begs the question, what’s special about dogs and monkeys that you can model their brains to the prettieth degree? What about cats?

They reckon the avatars will learn better in the simple environment of Second Life, as opposed to the real world. But, they have a “pretty fully functioning” brain in there. I don’t understand!

But then I did understand. I had a look at Second Life a while ago, even signed up for an account. What I got was a blocky, clunky world of vacuous entities stoating around in trances. Some were floating above the ground, others were simply rotating on the spot. Within 5 mins I was bored so I jumped in a blocky vehicle and drove at 1 mph over what seemed to be a rat. Not on purpose. The blocky car was too difficult to control and the brakes needed looking at. I mused on the consequences of flattening one of those vacuous halfwits. Instead, I accidentally walked into one. Didn’t even notice.

So I imagine the degree of prettiness a fully functioning brain would need to stay in Second Life for more than 5 mins, is, well, rather low.

And while we’re on the subject of AI, sort of, what about this for a laugh? Apparently in 10 years we’ll be able to sample the boss’s voice and send an abusive phone message to his political enemies, calling them all sorts of unmentionables, in his voice. That’s if his enemies are a bunch of Second Life vacuous entities, who could only hold intelligent conversations with the answer machine.

I mean, have you ever heard a recorded message from BT telling you that a new message awaits your urgent attention? It sounds like it’s being spoken by a committee. One word per person and each prodded into speaking that word by a 50,000 volt shock. So in the brave new world that these AI speculators are cooking up (again), the person on the end of the phone will most likely say to himself, “there’s my political enemy AND ALL HIS SIMILARLY SOUNDING MATES on the phone”!

Virtual MacDonald had a farm, AI AI O! With a floating pig and rotating coo , AI AI O! and he spoke in jerky words with no flow, syntax or grammar AI AI, BOOOOO!


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