AI, Robots, and The Singularity

What is the technological singularity, and why we should care about it?

The technological singularity marks the point beyond prediction. The theory holds that technology / machines will become so advanced that they will gain an intelligence of their own. This intelligence will duplicate (independent of humans) and compound to the point of super-intelligence, or an intelligence greater than that of a human being. Intelligence is subjective, but my definition involves an entity defining its own goals / objectives and then making decisions in an effort to achieve those goals / objectives. Should technology reach this state of being, the vast possibilities of outcomes are so great and dramatically different from one another that no quantifiable predictions can be made as to how this event will impact the world or human beings themselves.

Las Vegas Strip

Today was… difficult.

October 2, 2017—the day of the Las Vegas Massacre. It was technically the night before, but the world woke to another tragedy. A community shocked and numb.

It wasn’t surprising—I feel like everyone knew something like this was going to happen at some point in Las Vegas—but that doesn’t make it any less devastating or easier to accept.

I’ve seen it closeup several times before. I have a lot of connections to the Columbine shooting—know people on the hit list, have friends who lost their friends. I was there for the Theater Shooting, was a couple of miles up the road from the New Life Church shooting, drove along the highways during the Arizona I-10 Shooter scare, and used to play arcade games where the Trolley Square Shooting went down. I have dealt with this in my backyard, I have seen it unfold through the eyes of people who have established roots in these communities.

Vegas still felt different.

Sarah Saturday

Sarah Saturday's dreamy-reflective bedroom pop rock project captivates and compels with earnest songwriting.

Sarah Saturday might be my longest running rock crush—while all of the cliché reasons admittedly apply, more importantly she’s always seemed to remain relevant to me. She’s thoughtful and reflective, without pretension.

Initially our musical star aligned over bratty indie pop-punk. Guilty as charged—and not the least bit remorseful about it—but just as our bleached hair (both hers and mine) began to show roots, so did our taste in music. Styles evolved. We matured. Slamming guitars and songs about getting wasted grew tired. However, I never really let go of the teenage angst—it just morphed into twenties angst… and now thirties. Through it all, Sarah has been adding poetry to melody and capturing a sentiment of the evolving human condition while articulating the complexities of adult relationships. Whether she likes it or not, we’ve grown up together—and after all of the years I still turn to her to sing me to sleep at night.

Here’s a much different way of looking at art and storytelling—perhaps a method that your editor or writing group may never have considered, or succinctly explained.

I’m going to share with you a formula created by Dr. Todd Jones that explains what makes good art and literature. Jones is a celebrated philosophy professor with a significant background in anthropology.

Jones’s BeDE Theory of Art Criticism:

Art or literature’s only function—the only thing it is good at doing—is creating beliefs, desires, and emotions (or BeDE for short). Art fails at doing anything and everything else.

The BeDE theory is designed to tell you which works of art are comparatively better than other works of art in its class, based on how well it performs its function of creating beliefs, desires, and emotions within its audience.

What makes something “art” is a social fact—such as the concept of money or Tuesday. Society agrees that “x” is art, and therefore it becomes art.


Three Fourths Home

Hold on… Can’t type—my trigger finger has a cramp from holding down R2 two hours straight…

I’m don’t know what Three Fourths Home was supposed to be, but it definitely shouldn’t have been a video game. There was nothing about this story that warranted it being played or visualized in this medium. The graphical element of a car driving through cornfields added nothing to the story, the controls and playability added no feeling or connection with the characters—if anything these components distracted from the plot and created a barrier between the “player” and what the story was trying to convey. To me, this story could have easily been a novel or perhaps a film—as a video game it was a frustrating and underwhelming experience.

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