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The Moral of Westworld

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posted on Jun, 17 2018 @ 01:05 PM
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Westworld is an extremely ambitious show with an elaborate story line which attempts to explore the limits of what it means to be human and the dark side of humanity, our deep seeded thirst for violence and cruelty.

If you're unaware the show is basically about a future world where technology advances to the point where we can build robots/androids which are virtually indistinguishable in appearance and behavior compared to humans.

These androids are used in a theme park called Westworld and made to talk and act like people back in those times. The humans are allowed to do basically anything they want to the androids, including killing them.

Every time they die their memories are wiped and they may even be given an entirely new character role in the park. The androids are programmed not to harm humans but of course something goes wrong and humans lose control of them.

Some begin to recall memories of their past lives and become aware of the nature of the world they live in. The reason I think Westworld is such a good show is because they don't use many of the normal sci-fi misconceptions about AI.

They portray the beauty of what general AI can be but at the same time highlight the very real risks and the ethical issues which need to be considered when dealing with a man-made intelligence capable of high level thought processes.

Westworld shows us what true general intelligence would be like, they are capable of understanding abstract concepts like love and morality, they can understand high level concepts and solve high level problems.

They can partake in complex conversations with humans without any trouble, in fact we learn one of the technicians working on the androids is actually an android himself and not many people seem to be aware of this fact.

They don't know they are machines living in a fake world, at least not at first, they believe they are human and even when they realize they aren't it doesn't suddenly remove all their human-like vices, they still feel love, jealousy, etc.

In many different episodes they show us how these androids have developed their own personalities and their own desires despite the programmers erasing their memories and coding them to behave a certain way with various safety mechanisms.

They also like to show us deep relationships which develop between some humans and androids and how it blurs the definition of what it means to be human, some characters fall in love with these machines and would give their life to protect them.

This I believe is the core moral of Westworld, that building machines which have the same level of intelligence as humans also have the same level of autonomy as human beings and will be virtually impossible to keep under control.

Moreover, they're saying nor should we try to control them or use them as slaves for our amusement because they are self-aware beings and deserve the same rights that any conscious being deserves, not a life of servility.

However I wouldn't go so far as to say the message is we shouldn't build such machines, they show us the splendor of conscious machines, or rather existence in general and the wonder of being alive and how we can share that together.

At the same time they reiterate the dire risks of creating machines with general intelligence, especially if we choose to use them for our own selfish purposes and give them a reason to view us as their subjugator.




posted on Jun, 17 2018 @ 01:59 PM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

True but in the movie Robocop they lost control of him in about 45 minutes l



posted on Jun, 17 2018 @ 02:29 PM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Art mimics life :-) what do you think you really are other than a biological machine with a data acquisition system in its head? That's why there is a consciousness wall, can you imagine what would happen, the chaos that would ensue, if we could all clearly remember our past lives?

Cheers - Dave



posted on Jun, 17 2018 @ 07:21 PM
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originally posted by: ChaoticOrder
Westworld is an extremely ambitious show with an elaborate story line which attempts to explore the limits of what it means to be human and the dark side of humanity, our deep seeded thirst for violence and cruelty.



" the dark side of humanity, our deep seeded thirst for violence and cruelty"

Speak for yourself.

Dollhouse did it better.

So did Frankenstein.



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 12:15 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Actually the whole design of Westworld was to create machines that humans can transfer their consciousness to. The bi-product of this process was the accidental creation of self-aware AI, with a little help from anarchist Frank (Anthony Hopkins). They were trying to decode the last analogue machine yet to be decoded.....the human brain.

The show plays out with past and present timelines exploring, as you mentioned, the relationships created between AI and Human, the advancement and progression of the self-aware AI, including one particularly special one whom is capable of controlling other AI.

Missed last weeks episode and will be watching both tonight.

For the record, AI scares me. It can be, and will be, far superior to human. It will only take one self-aware AI to access the internet, hack a couple of super-computers, work out stock market and foreign exchange algorithms, and crash the planet. But if it is smart and wants to take over it will bide it's time somewhere in the darkweb on a server......waiting.....watching......



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 12:21 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Have you ever watched the UK show Humans?



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 12:25 AM
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a reply to: LightAssassin

I've seen a few episodes.


How about Black Mirror? Now that is some scary stuff. Extended techwise.


edit on 6/18/2018 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 01:10 AM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd
" the dark side of humanity, our deep seeded thirst for violence and cruelty"

Speak for yourself.

I thought someone might take issue with this statement but I stand by it completely. I have trouble even killing an ant without feeling bad about it, I always catch spiders in my house and put them outside rather than killing them. But I can still admit there's a part of me which enjoys violence, it's why I own multiple shooter games, it's why I love The Walking Dead, it's why I enjoy action movies, and it's why I can see humans using conscious machines as nothing but servants.



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 01:21 AM
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originally posted by: LightAssassin
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Have you ever watched the UK show Humans?

Yes but I'm a bit behind on the latest season. That is also an extremely well thought out show and may even be a bit more realistic than Westworld in terms of how the androids work and the safety mechanisms in place.



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 04:17 AM
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Wow. This is going to be a lot of binge watching:

Westworld via HBO via Comcast (19 episodes)
HUM∀NS via All 4 (22 episodes)
Black Mirror via Netflix (19 episodes)

This is going to take a while...


-dex



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 03:22 PM
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originally posted by: ChaoticOrder

originally posted by: FyreByrd
" the dark side of humanity, our deep seeded thirst for violence and cruelty"

Speak for yourself.

I thought someone might take issue with this statement but I stand by it completely. I have trouble even killing an ant without feeling bad about it, I always catch spiders in my house and put them outside rather than killing them. But I can still admit there's a part of me which enjoys violence, it's why I own multiple shooter games, it's why I love The Walking Dead, it's why I enjoy action movies, and it's why I can see humans using conscious machines as nothing but servants.


Certainly you can stand by your beliefs.
But, for someone so tender-hearted, this belief in the propensity for violence and cruelty in your fellow humans sounds like an awful burden to carry. And then you go on to relish personally virtual violence and cruelty. I just don't understand it.

My belief is that we are conditioned to be violent and cruel to others, it's the paradigm that we are raised in and worship. I couldn't live in a world where I really thought that human's basic nature is so viscous. I've seen a lot of the generous and compassionate side of people in many circumstances. Perhaps, I'm a bit niave but ... I sleep pretty well.

Thank you no - I don't think humans are violent and cruel - I think they learn to be.

To hold the idea that humanity is violent and cruel is to treat (at least in thought) people that way. And, of course, when you believe that of others is to see everything they do in that light and never see the kindness (true genuine) in others and to have a closed heart.

edit on 18-6-2018 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 08:10 PM
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Moreover, they're saying nor should we try to control them or use them as slaves for our amusement because they are self-aware beings and deserve the same rights that any conscious being deserves, not a life of servility.


That begs the question, where is the seat of human awareness. Modern science would say in the brain but Hindu's discovered long ago that its not in the brain. The seat of human awareness is like a whiteboard that the brain can write too but its separate from the brain itself.

So even though AI can mimic humans responses to stimuli, they will never be conscious entities. One of the first AI programs, ELIZA (natural language processing computer program) was a simple program that could fool humans in believing they were in communication with another human. Like our human brain, ELIZA was programmed to respond to stimuli . Unlike us humans, ELIZA could not over-ride the code that controlled its responses.

The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.

We have the choice. Machines do not.



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 11:31 PM
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a reply to: Phage

Black Mirror is scary af.....and decidedly telling of what our future may hold. I think they do a fantastic job portraying the potential timelines of humans in the future.

The very first episode sets the fantastic tone for the rest of the mini-series'.

I also like how some of the episodes have little easter eggs linking them to other episodes.
edit on 18-6-2018 by LightAssassin because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2018 @ 12:20 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

I agree it is quite realistic in the way they are portrayed, and the show emotionally draws you in more than Westworld. Whereas in Westworld you are keen to see what happens in the next episode, in Humans you are keen to know what happens because you are emotionally connected to the story via some well played heartstrings.



posted on Jun, 19 2018 @ 01:20 AM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd
But, for someone so tender-hearted, this belief in the propensity for violence and cruelty in your fellow humans sounds like an awful burden to carry. And then you go on to relish personally virtual violence and cruelty. I just don't understand it.

Well this may be hard to grasp but I don't necessarily view violence as always a negative thing. Violent sports like boxing can be fun to watch and even fun participate in for those who want to test their limits. Violent games can also be fun, dark games like Fallout and DOOM are some of my favorites. I see no reason to feel guilty about the nature of my being... this is why I'm so against thought crimes, imagining something and doing something are not the same thing. If someone really annoys me and I imagine killing them (which I have done a few times when I was really young and my siblings would annoy the crap out of me btw), that doesn't mean I'm actually going to hurt them and it doesn't mean I'm suddenly no different from someone who has actually committed murder. It's like dark humor, we chuckle but we know it's just entertainment and not meant to be taken too seriously.


My belief is that we are conditioned to be violent and cruel to others, it's the paradigm that we are raised in and worship. I couldn't live in a world where I really thought that human's basic nature is so viscous. I've seen a lot of the generous and compassionate side of people in many circumstances. Perhaps, I'm a bit niave but ... I sleep pretty well.

I don't think humans are naturally so viscous, most of us have self-awareness and self-control, but clearly most of us still enjoy violent forms of entertainment, including extreme impact horror films, which I'm personally not a huge fan of but I do enjoy some of the classics. I'm simply willing to admit that humanity has a dark side which is deeply ingrained into the nature of our beings, it's more than simple conditioning, many mass murderers grew up in completely normal and loving house holds and some of the most generous and loving people are those who grew up with nothing. The propensity for violence is ingrained into us at a genetic level because throughout the vast majority of human development it has been necessary for defense and survival.



posted on Jun, 19 2018 @ 01:27 AM
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a reply to: glend

For me this is an interesting angle on machine intelligence. What abstract capabilities do humans possess that can't be emulated by a machine?



That begs the question, where is the seat of human awareness. Modern science would say in the brain but Hindu's discovered long ago that its not in the brain. The seat of human awareness is like a whiteboard that the brain can write too but its separate from the brain itself.


A couple of questions:
1. What is human awareness? Is it being self-aware? What other properties are required for an entity to posses this awareness?

2. How does our human awareness use the whiteboard? Is it for organization and planning? Designing? Creating? Something greater?



Unlike us humans, ELIZA could not over-ride the code that controlled its responses. The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. We have the choice. Machines do not.


Modern AI implementations are more than just static code. Static code is used to create the substrate on which the AI is built. A basic set of sensors, effectors and ports are provided for the input and outputs.

But the Artificial Intelligence itself is "trained" by being given defined data in a process called machine learning. It constructs its own "code" by applying a vast number of analysis algorithms to the data and establishing relationships between objects. Not unlike the way humans learn.

The program is given some task that relates to its training. It applies what it was taught and continues to learn as it executes.

An Artificial General Intelligence like the ones being discussed would have a significant understanding of their environment, their capabilities, and how to interact with other entities to achieve their goals. And pretty much anything else they they wanted to learn.

So, given all of that behavioral simulation, including the ability to make decisions based on their training, how are these machines denied choice?

I'm interested in getting your perspective.

-dex



posted on Jun, 22 2018 @ 06:44 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

I've been thinking about this post and it's implications.

I have this view of consciousness - ---

That consciousness is a field or a force - non physical and not measurable - it is everywhere. We each take from it and contribute to it every moment and it's the only thing that goes with us (if that exists) into death.

The flavor of this lake of consciousness is determined by the thoughts, ideas, intentions and emotions of every being contributes. If the lake is, on balance, wholesome, then the (pardon the hippyspeak) 'vibe' we receive from it is wholesome, if the other is the case, then the 'vibe' is unwholesome.

This is not a new idea - the less materialistic religions and philosophies of the world have always had this view and the western ones have had it's proponents as well.

My point is that while it matters what we do in life it is our internal life that is of universal importance. Not acting on our 'drives' is a first step in this process, it is the internal correction/improvement of our 'drives' that is of ultimate importance.

Whether you believe in reincarnation or some eternal afterlife, it is the state of your mind at death which determines your disposition.

I like the early 20th century author Emmett Fox on this subject. He talks of an afterlife (of some duration but not eternal) wherein ones thoughts manifest instantly thereby creating your "heaven" or "hell'. Buddhist ideas of karma state much the same - that one's state of mind is fundamental to one's next incarnation (along with other factors and circumstances).

Just thinking...



posted on Jul, 5 2018 @ 03:26 AM
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a reply to: glend

We have the choice. Machines do not.

In the series 'Westworld' it shows that humans do not have any control over themselves either.
And I see this as the moral of Westworld.
It questions the idea of freewill.


The final episode of season 2 is called 'the passenger'.

You are simply a passenger - just seeing/knowing what is happening without being able to control what is happening.
edit on 5-7-2018 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2018 @ 03:57 AM
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You are just a passenger on the dreambus.

edit on 5-7-2018 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2018 @ 08:05 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

It is true of some people but invictus is truth to my ears.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.




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