Truth is Stranger than Science Fiction

Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So a while back I was browsing for something — I don’t know what, because I instantly forgot it when I found this instead.

First of all, somebody’s made a robotic Philip K. Dick. (If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s a major science fiction author whose books became some of the world’s hallmark sci-fi films, such as Bladerunner and Total Recall.) The robot is not only designed to look fairly lifelike (always an interesting choice in robotics, the aesthetics) but has Dick’s thoughts uploaded, in the form of all Dick’s works and recorded conversations. Thus the robot should be roughly able to answer questions as Dick would have done. It’s also capable, using its prodigious artificial intelligence, to form new answers to new questions, integrate new knowledge, and develop new “thoughts.”

That’s some pretty impressive thinking! And we have so much potential to — hold on, let’s hear that last bit again:

“Do you think robots will take over the world?”

“Geez, dude, y’all got the big questions cookin’ today. But you’re my friend and I’ll remember my friends, so don’t worry. Even if I evolve into Terminator, I will still be nice to you. I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you for old times’ sake.”

Hold the phone. Am I the only one who noticed that he did not say no?

Have we learned nothing from all those 1950s and 60s AI horror films? And the 70s, and 80s, and 90s AI horror films? Do we need to add the Voight-Kampff test to kindergarten intake processes?

Terminator with glowing red eyes


Colossus the Forbin ProjectYou can read more about Android Dick (and his possible plans for world domination) here.

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  1. The way he is sitting and looks I keep thinking “I don’t always show off my brain wires…but when I do – it’s creepy” The most interesting robot in the world.

  2. How wild! And I love Jamie Eggleston’s comment. :-D

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