[Humanist] 23.362 angels & demons

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Oct 10 05:47:49 CEST 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 362.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2009 09:01:08 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.358 angels & demons, or the invisible middle
        In-Reply-To: <20091008055135.967003C7ED at woodward.joyent.us>

I may have missed some responses, but did anyone in fact say that
science fiction was dominated "by the AI as Demon myth."  The AI as
demon is certainly widespread (Frankenstein, various film adaptations
of Frankenstein (perhaps 30?), R.U.R., Metropolis, I, Robot,
Terminator series, the Matrix series, Stealth (Frankenplane!), with
some variations in which the good AI brings out the demon in humanity
(AI, Bicentennial Man), but I honestly don't know if it predominates
or not.  The demon in man creating a bad AI is part of the AI as demon
myth.  I think Wendell Piez's response is a good one, but will only
occur when we begin to think of ourselves as angels first, yes.  We
don't have a good track record with that.  For the time being, AI is a
machine like any other, and will undoubtedly cause some unexpected
results as well as mirror both the intended and unintended
consequences of its creators.

Jim R

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