Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #119

Alex Williams (
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 09:59:56 -0500 (EST)

> Will the machines be male or female? black or white? gay or straight?

You know, this is actually meaningful. Gender roles are so ingrained
into our culture that, want it or not, a true AI will likely assign
itself one depending on how the majority of its creators react to it.
Most likely female if all the cursing I hear around the office is an
indicator. The other concerns are things that just don't come up.

> Do you think that some machines will think of themselves as superior to
> others? Will they have careers and will they play football against each
> other?

Superiority is a necessary componant of an interactive society; unless
you know whether you're superior or inferior to another entity in the
group, you don't know whether to give or receive help if requested.
Careers? Probably. Football? Unlikely, unless they find those old
Atari 2600 FOOTBALL ROMs on the Net ...

> Will they get into arguements because one has a different point of view
> or feels opressed by another?

Already occurs. Agent architectures which have been built to
communicate with one another if one doesn't know how to approach a
problem /do/ argue, ie. trigger a communications storm of
communications, if two equally trusted nodes give widely conflicting
suggestions; the self-organizing system goes into a chaotic
fluctuation until the system works out which one is nearer the current
situation's mark.

> Will one suddenly change its mind about *everything*, go into the nevada
> desert and drop pehote to find itself?

Probably not; the AI should be in a constant state of pehote clarity.

> I cannot see how a certain string of code can be a meme. But I'm no
> scientist-- would the code that you write be a memetic artifact?

Is not the child you raise a `memetic artifact'? You stuff its head
full of memes until it reaches critical mass and begins generating
them on its own. Does the basic storage mechanism, amino acid or in
silico, change the essential nature of the beast?