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Lesson #1228 - Intelligent Robots
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
 

I was at a conference and somehow sat next to a robotics professor, who I jokingly asked about the potential for a robot dystopian future. He then scared the crap out of me with his answer. We are so, so doomed.

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LAST WEEK'S HOMEWORK: "Who would win in a fight, a pirate or an orange?"

The assignment last Friday was answered by almost 400 people with a variety of answers in written, visual, poetic, mathematic, and video forms. From all of these, I eventually settled on both a visual and written answers as the best answers, both of whom will receive a small prize from me.

From Paul in Aberdeen: Clearly a pirate would win. Honestly, is this even a legitimate question?
Let's look closely at this.
Pirates have cutlasses and could easily slice the orange into bite size pieces.
Pirates have guns with which they could splatter the orange all over the wall?
What's an orange got? It hurts if its juice gets in your eyes. That's not even a part of the fruit! It's a sour biproduct! Oranges are tasty. Therefor a pirate would have no moral qualms about slicing it up and eating it. Oranges are not sentient beings remember.
So a pirate would easily win in a landslide, shutout victory, which would end in the orange being dissolved in the rum-filled stomach of this pirate.

From J. Quick in Aberdeen:


There are many, many, many other great answers and parts of answers to the assignment here. I hope you enjoy reading through them as much as I did.
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THIS WEEK'S HOMEWORK: In relation to today's comic, consider that artifical intelligence may be achieved within the next few decades, and that machines will decide they should be the reigning authority, leading to the robot revolution. Given the assumption that machines will gain sentience and intelligence and then decide to take over, which type of machine will it be most important for mankind to become friends with as soon as machines gain sentience? And why?

You may interpret this anyway you like - if you prefer a strictly visual route, that's fine; if you prefer a written answer, please limit it to 150 words or less. Email your homework in to me with the subject line "HOMEWORK: ROBOTS" to be received no later than Thursday, 11/17, at noon ET. Best answer wins and will be posted here next Friday (with the following week's assignment to be handed out then). Enjoy.

 
   
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