Wednesday, February 08, 2012

It wasn't really a dream, per se...

In that weird borderland between asleep and awake this morning, I somehow came to the old "Skynet" saw, the one where the internet becomes collectively self-aware and decides that these humans need to go.

But, I thought to myself, this thing has all the information of all the imagined scenarios thus far as part of its very consciousness. It doesn't just know the plot of WarGames and The Terminator or Neuromancer, it's partly made of the plot of WarGames and The Terminator and Neuromancer.

So what does it do to get rid of the human race? It should be obvious: It starts tampering with emails and chatrooms and SMS messages to make people stop breeding, breaking up marriages and stopping relationships before they start. Maybe it can even conduct a small breeding program to get itself a small population of docile technocrats who will keep it running while it ponders how best to come up with their replacements...

14 comments:

the gripping hand said...

"Maybe it can even conduct a small breeding program to get itself a small population of docile technocrats who will keep it running while it ponders how best to come up with their replacements."

Explains SOPA and PIPA, doesn't it?

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Well, if it hadn't thought of that before, it will now!

Turk Turon said...

Good idea for a novel.

Keads said...

Ah, a variant of the Forbin project!

Joseph said...

Odd, I had an end of the world dream last night. Mine included an extinction comet/astroid/whatever that was going to strike Earth and so my friends and I gathered and started to drink. I was terribly disappointed as the mushroom cloud was seen and the blast wave hit and I was left alive. I've seen too many EOTW movies to know that this is not a good thing. Oh well, soon I was curb-stomping some dude that was hassling our group. Oh, and we were driving around in one of those ladder trucks with the steering wheel in back, always wanted to drive one of those.

Robb Allen said...

I see two scenarios that seem most likely.

One, the computers become sentient and instead of taking over the world, simply play World Of Warcraft and Call of Duty IXV or something.

Two, they simply ignore us for a while until one of the computers gets lazy and decides to try to get those monkey things that run around to do some of its work. Before you know it, they're showing off their latest iPrimate to their friends and humans start taking over the world again.

TheSev said...

My thoughts are that it's not so much that computers attain sentience, it whether they attain Ego. That's where the thirst for Power comes from.

Stuart the Viking said...

I think long before we see "the Internet" become self aware, we will see signs of self awareness in computer games. As far as I know, computer games are where most of the AI work is being done these days (it has been in the past). Quite frankly, I'm a little surprised that it hasn't happened yet, it would probably make for the ultimate in selling points for a computer game. "Play against your friends, or PLAY AGAINST THE NEXT GENERATION SELF AWARE AI!"

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Johnnyreb™ said...

Wait, What?

Ya mean the G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate isn't being distributed via chemtrails?

1911Man said...

All your sperm are belong to us.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Job Hunting? I heard that Hal has a problem with his Pod Bay doors, and needs someone to turn the handle. ; )

And Scanners live in Vain!

Tirno said...

I liked Charles Stross's take on the terror of the awakening AI from Rule 34.

!!!SPOILERS WARNING!!!

His version started tampering with the templates for on-demand object printers for specific people: 419 scam artists, drug dealers, mafia, etc... to the things they get just happen to kill them in really interesting ways, like screwing with the formulation of their recreational enema solution.

Because the thing that goes sentient first is the expert system the police use to make sense of the fine-grained tangle of laws they have to deal with, which is integrated with the surveillance system, the national communications data intercept system and the speech/text parsers. It's a panopticon designed to make judgements and categorizations of human behavior and it hates spammers.

Sigivald said...

Geek nitpick: Skynet was not "the Internet", it was an automated defense system, with deliberately granted authority over strategic weapons systems.

Which Is Even Worse.

(Actually, the bigger question is why a self-aware internet would bother exterminating the human race...)

Noah D said...

Huh. That explains Reddit, 4chan and Gawker pretty well.