Sunday, May 07, 2006

WildImaginophobia or AIophobia ?
I was at the local Barnes and nobles store yesterday when i was surprised to see a book on the shelf titled "How to escape from a robotic take over." The writer may have caught a fever after watching "The Matrix" and seems to have embarked on a mission to save Morphius and Neo from all the perils. He explains how humans can escape if the robots ever take over the planet. He gives you tips on how to differentiate between a robot and a human lest the robots decide to visit your house incognito. Imagine yourself opening the door to a courier guy who turns out to be a robot which then barges into your house to take you captive. It forces me to think of an Indian context where a robot disguised as a milk man or newspaper boy comes riding a bicycle and rings the door bell. The writer wants the readers to pay attention to the eyes and emotions as the robots cannot fake them so easily. He has ideas on how to inactivate and overcome a rebel servant robot. Now what if you have an intelligent house with several AI enabled devices colluding against its owner. Realising the revolt is about to begin, you try to dial 911...the intelligent phone may either deny you service or tap your call. The intelligent door may not open and just in case you manage to break the window and run to your car, it may not respond to you, thanks to its intelligence.
Well....i remember reading an article in 1999 about the then impending Y2K problem and was puzzled to hear that some people were even building bunkers and other underground shelters fearing the Y2K to be the armageddon. It makes me think that people (or more specifically the Westerners) seem to have a penchant for imagining situations that lead to an apocalypse.Interestingly they start preparing for it and even more interestingly they tend to attract many followers.
More that this being something like an AIophobia, i presume this should be a phobia of another kind. A fear of your wildest imaginations coming true. I tried to read if there was one of that kind, but couldn't find any. Well...i have learned that there are over 600 classified varieties of phobias. Read this.
Now has robotics reached such a stage where humans have to start preparing shields is something i should be asking someone who is an authority on robotics. Till then i can do nothing other than laugh my gut out when i hear/read/see such attempts.


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