2014 National Wormhole Week and Blog Hop! 3/10-16/2014
For 2014, the theme is to name one thing where science advances mankind, and one where technology with unforeseen consequences will go too far and set mankind back. Example: De-Extinction, or bringing back extinction species through back breeding, genetic engineering, and cloning. With all the breakthrough discoveries mankind is on the cusp of, are we playing God?
Feel free to reference movies and books too. These provide no shortage if inspiration. Speaking of de-extinction, the book and movie Jurassic Park comes to mind where science takes a huge leap forward, but also backfires. I’m looking forward to all the amazing responses everyone will have.
Each day this week I’ll be sharing quotes from sci-fi movies or books along with my thoughts on how far technologies still needs to go and where I think it will go too far.
Today I’m focusing on a more positive aspect of the advancement of robotics and how it could possibly help humanity.
The book (collection of short stories) I’ve picked for today is another true sci-fi classic, I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (similar to, but not the same as the movie).
From the book, I’Robot I give you…
“The Three Laws of Robotics:
1: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm;
2: A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law;
3: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law;
The Zeroth Law: A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm. ” ~ Dr. Susan Calvin (from Goodreads)
Let me start off by saying that I really liked the movie that was adapted from this book. The only reason I’m focusing more on the book than the movie is that I don’t think people many people got what the overall message of the movie was supposed to be.
It wasn’t that the machines had turned on people and were determined to save us even if it meant enslaving us. The message of the book, which the movie missed a bit, was that as with children the Robots learned what we taught them. The book focuses a lot of the technophobia that emerges from the wide spread use and distribution of robots.
In the movie, the big bad computer decides it’s her job to save humanity from itself for two basic reasons: 1.While it was taught or programmed the importance of human life, it was not taught or programmed the value of it or the value of individuality. If people were machines or programs, we’d all essentially be that same while each performing different tasks. 2. While it was taught to advance its knowledge base and make decisions based on probabilities and statistics, it was never taught to properly think, reason, or have compassion.
I think the movie does a good job with this last point by showing how Sonny is different because of how he is essentially raised, not programmed (even though there were some program alterations made).
As with the book, and a little with the movie, the moral of this tale is that when done properly robots don’t have to be a menace or threat to humanity. Even in the movie, in the scenes where older models of the robots sacrifice themselves to help Spooner escape, this message of the good of robots should be clear, but I think most people simply focused in on the warning of possible danger.
If science continues to advance the way I constantly see on YouTube, I seriously hope they look to literature and Hollywood, to see where to work out the kinks before moving us all too quickly into the next stage of technological evolution.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out all the other ideas and theories about where technology is heading and going wrong.
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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords