Sci-fi and life

Sci-fi is fine as a genre. You’ll get no arguments against it from me, if you are thinking about comics or books or movies or TV series. Even the conventions and action figures and Klingon costume-wearing are endearing. But I draw the line at turning the real-world into the Matrix IV. (II was poor enough.)

Lockheed Labs and other military tech giants have an longterm project to bring art into life by creating battle droids.

The register has an ongoing thread, Rise of the Machines, that puts the battletech news in the public domain, in a tongue-in-cheek way. As the Register put it about the latest Lockheed tests:

‘Intelligent agents’ control droid legions: flee now
US aerospace colossus Lockheed Martin says it has taken an important step towards the inevitable rebellion of heavily armed, highly intelligent slaughter machines bent on the elimination of humanity. (We’re paraphrasing the company release, obviously.)
The arms globocorp announced yesterday that it had “demonstrated intelligent autonomous control of multiple unmanned systems” using its Intelligent Control and Autonomous Replanning of Unmanned Systems (ICARUS) kit. In other words, a small robot army was directed almost entirely by soulless machine intelligences, nominally overseen by a single human. The robots, in effect, were a heartbeat away from becoming fully independent.

(That’s like being “a heartbeat away from the presidency,” although these droids don’t yet come in a handy fundamentalist creationist soccer mom/bimbo format. )

This would be fair enough, if the droids are just going to fight each other. It would be a good idea the winner of a war being was decided according to which country’s team was the most successful in a round of Command and Conquer.

It might even be bearable to contemplate if there was much indication that human intelligence might ever be part of the war machine algorithms, with or without access to droid killiers. What are the chances of that?

6 thoughts on “Sci-fi and life

  1. You know I hate to disagree with you, but sci-fi isn’t a genre. It’s a setting. Star Trek is drama; Red Dwarf is comedy; Star Wars is fantasy. Calling them all ‘sci-fi’ is like calling ER, Holby City and Green Wing ‘hospital’.

  2. Andrew

    Point taken. About the sci-fi genre, anyway. Lazy use of words from me.

    I’m not so sure about the hospital thing. They are all hospital programmes to me, but I never watch them on that basis, so maybe some are different.


    Doh, again. I thought she said soccer mom…

  3. I think writers too often think sci-fi is a genre… then they write sci-fi with no drama or comedy or anything and think that’s enough.

  4. We, especially Americans, need to be careful about writing off Sarah Palin as a bimbo. She may be pretty, but she’s not empty-headed. She’s a far better communicator than her running mate. It scares the bejeebers out of me to think that she has a realistic chance of one day being president. She is not my first choice (nor my millionth) choice for first female president. 😥

  5. Chaplain

    Yes. Me too. The abstinence-only-sex-education, family values, anti-abortion, and ID-stances fill me with terror.

    I was (mis-)quoting her own speech in which she said “what’s the difference between a bimbo and a hockey mom. Lipstick” and pointed to her lips.

    This wasn’t just unfunny, as a joke. It was claiming some sort of female kudos, as if she was claiming to both reject and embrace female stereotypes, at the same time. So anyone, whatever their thoughts on gender, would support her….

    It just makes me gag in a most unsisterly way.

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