A Supreme Court which ruled that corporations are people and cash equals free speech shouldn't surprise us in the near future when it rules that robots have a right to use lethal force in "self defence." Where others may see an emerging technology, I see yet one more well-funded lobby buying access, writing legislation, and steering policy -- none of which ever benefits We The People.

On the plus side, a robot might be preferable to the current president.

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Ruh-roh, Montag...


"The Hound is a horrifying version of the bloodhound. Since it is not alive, it cannot feel. It is simply pure programming, and this makes it more heartless. It is another indication of a society that has ceased to find the joy in life. Where is the Dalmatian?"

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We need guaranteed minimum income. Get rid of all the bureaucrats and all the programs, government mandarins making things complex to keep themselves employed. If people aren’t dead poor criminality will go way down and we won’t need euphemistically named robots policing us.

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They don't need robots, dog-shaped or otherwise, to enslave us if they can get us to accept a phone app that geo-fences us with QR codes and will become our new wallet for digital, blockchain based tokens and smart contracts that mitigate what we can and can't do in the world.

We'll basically enslave ourselves and our phones will become our minders (until the tech advances and goes under the skin).

The people of france and italy are struggling/revolting against this right now. Wake up.

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In some ways, this is exactly what technology should be used for.

I've always believed that much of police work should be replaced with robotic mechanisms. NOT autonomous machines, unless it's open-source and our private civilian hackers are able to understand it and report back any anomalies & breaches. Rather, dumb machines with multi-sensory apparatus that would be remotely controlled by trained law enforcement, and monitored by civilian personnel 24/7. They would have to be civilians that are COMPLETELY unassociated with law enforcement, whose identity is hidden from the police.

In an idealized form of this approach, a police officer can no longer shoot a suspect because they felt that their lives were in danger. Their lives WON'T be in danger.

Sounder judgments will prevail overall, because police will see things from a wider visual perspective with better sensors than the human eye & ear, and won't be personally emotionally involved.

And when they DO fuck up, it's all recorded and witnessed by civilians, and all of it is part of a self-improving feedback loop. Heck, maybe we would eventually stop arguing whether the police are good or bad as human beings, and focus our attention on improving the processes by which they operate, regardless of whether they are terrific people or not.

Even what robot 'dogs' are doing here, is beneficial in principle. It's intrusive, but this kind of instrusion - checking for fevers, and signs of viral infection - is justified in a pandemic scenario. This is true, whether the tests are performed by human beings, or by robots who are in turn controlled by human beings.

The problem is, as Caitlin quoted from Kim "At some point it will come out again for some different use after the pandemic is over.”

The abuse is inevitable. We know this will be used to control us. It will be used to identify & squash dissent.

Same thing with surveillance. Full, over-reaching surveillance that is built & encrypted in a way that can't be accessed for other than sociological data, or defending against accusations of crime from yesterday or 30 years prior. The potential benefits are incalculable.

But - we've already seen what current surveillance data is being used for. It's not for our benefit.

Even A.I., e.g. in the form of autonomous vehicles, can save lives on a performance scale that human beings are incapable of. As Daniel Kahneman has pointed out in various interviews about his book Noise, human judgments are full of noise. Sometimes we reflexively call that noise 'bias' ; but oftentimes, there's no bias at all, not racism or personal preference.

Machines don't have that problem of Noise ; a well-designed algorithm is always going to beat us long-term. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU7mC77zQ5U

What a tragic shame that we can't leverage the immense value of technology, to make life on this planet more exciting, more fulfilling, to reduce the kinds of stressors like commuting that don't make us stronger, to surpass our highest expectations of what we could become.

But Caitlin once against discourages us from expecting our best, by pointing to the Profit Motive, when she references Boston Dynamics. That's the real problem ; it's not corrupt police, it's not the dangers of A.I., it's not prejudice. All of these things could be conquered or at least rendered irrelevant, if the profit motive remained in the 20th and prior centuries, and the 21st Century could be free to find a paradigm better suited to a world of automation.

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1. A slave is a person who’s government knows where they are at all times.

2. Does Hyundai know they can’t eat the dog?

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The title made me smile because here, in French Québec, people at a vulgar level used to call the cops « chiens » which literally means « dogs »

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Ooh. I forgot to throw this in, as an example of the enormous human benefits of technology (working remotely) being neutered because of the profit motive.

In this example Governor Cuomo is really worried that the economy will continue sinking, rather than sentimentally supporting 'in-person' contact. He desperately needs more consumers to mindlessly & unnecessarily drive to work and stop by McDonald's:


"Cuomo, while on a virtual meeting from his Albany residence and away from the press, emphasized the importance of moving past virtual meetings and the entrepreneurial spirit that comes from in-person work."

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