The Reality Report: Episode 105

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Episode 105

Part five of another mind-map ramble with Miriam. We continue talking about "techno-utopias" and "friendly AI", leading on to robotic automation, mass unemployment and schemes for a universal citizen's income. We then pursue a tangent regarding Joseph Weizenbaum's "ELIZA" (1960s proto-chatbot algorithmic psychiatrist), which gets related to themes in recent mainstream entertainment (Her, Bladerunner 2049). It then all gets quite speculative and far-out when I start to suggest that if some element of randomness is involved in the algorithmic behaviour of computer-driven "pseudo-people", this could potentially provide an "interface" for disembodied entities ("spirits"? "ancestors"?) to reconnect with the world of the living. Ouija boards, various types of scrying and divination are examined as "interfaces" of this sort, the cultural significance of the 16th century Abolition of Chantries Acts is touched upon, as is the Tupac Shakur "hologram" which appeared at Coachella Festival in 2012. I end up suggesting that deceased legendary musicians such as Jimi Hendrix may one day be "resurrected" for performance purposes in some sense with a combination of AI and holograms. But how would we know it was the real Jimi and not an impostor? Could this lead to religious factions? ("The Church of the True Hendrix"!)


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