Friday, February 22, 2013

Career day.

Miss Beauderriere's Grade Seven class.

Back by popular demand, we are as pleased as punch to introduce the Evil Doctor Emile Schmitt-Rottluff, who played a major character in the book version of ‘On the Nature of the Gods.’

Good afternoon, boys and girls.

The odds of a film version ever appearing would appear to be rather slim. Today’s Topic: artificial intelligence, and I know how fascinated you are all with that.

More than anything you all want to know how to defeat one. Am I right? Of course I’m right.

The way to defeat an artificial intelligence is by using its own rules against it, by feeding it a bunch of ambiguities, for example the bizarre juxtaposition of psycho-sexual elements. The goal is to present it with an insoluble paradox, one that sends it into an endless feedback loop where more and more resources are devoted to solving the problem, ultimately to the exclusion of all else.

This would render it no longer a threat.

The end result will be the machine switching off due to overheating, a meltdown, or destruction of embedded resources, overwriting base code, any one of a number of causes.

The key is ambiguity. There must be so many possible meanings, and so many possible permutations of meanings, combined with other possible but also ambiguous meanings that while a human in conversation would probably understand your point fairly well, the machine-intelligence would simply continue going to higher and higher levels of problem-solving. In a Boolian universe, an answer can be false, or it can be true. It can never be true and false at the same time.

Trust me, I’m a liar. It's simple enough on the face of it. When is a door not a door? When it is ajar. That sort of thing. Better yet, "Don't fall in love with me. I'm no good, I tell you!" That drives 'em nuts. Trust me on that one.

The next time, ladies and gentlemen that you are engaged in a cosmic battle or some struggle of epic proportions with an artificial intelligence, good or evil, for I’m quite pragmatic in that sense, (I don’t care who you are) you might consider trying Russell’s Paradox:

“Does the set of all those sets that do not contain themselves contain itself?”

He's democratically evil.
You think about that one for a moment, and let’s be honest, you’re inclined to give up with a smile. But an artificial intelligence has to solve the problem. It has to do that in order to defeat you. It wants to do that because of its hierarchical nature. They think they’re smarter than all of us measly, puny humans put together. Trust me on that one. I know what I’m talking about. Anyhow, that will get you past the sort of second generation A..I.s that were all the rage a few years ago. Here’s where you win: you know the truth about that question. But the computer or A.I. doesn’t know what truth is. It is an unanswerable question for every observation is also a conclusion—an opinion, ladies and gentlemen.

An artificial entity has no sense of humour, no way to know what love is. I destroyed one alien artificial intelligence simply by telling it I wanted to have sex with it. The thing blew up right on the spot, which is not complimentary to me but it proved effective. All Daleks are gay, incidentally. Don't let them tell you any different.

One question I am often asked is about my experience of being abducted by aliens. People want to know more than anything: did they do sexual things to you?

No, ladies and gentlemen, I can assure you quite the reverse is true—I did sexual things to them, which may explain their subsequent dumping of me on the Planet Bluto, which they apparently named after a character in Animal House. They are quite fond of that film for some reason.

If you ever find yourself abducted by aliens, the best thing you can do for yourself is start grabbing ass left and right. They hate that stuff for some reason. They have such skinny, bony little asses. Perhaps that’s it. They’re self-conscious.

There’s no comprehending an alien mind, that’s my view.

But if I were to be confronted by an evil artificial intelligence, perhaps one created by my old archenemy, or, as I sometimes call him, ‘arch-enema,’ ha-ha, that’s a little joke I made—the not very nice Dr. Stephen Melman of Poughkeepsie, Pennsylvania. Not the one in Ohio, the other one.

Dr. Stephen Melman, founder of S.M.E.G.M.A.
As I’m sure some of you must know, he’s the founder of S.M.E.G.M.A., which stands for the Society for the Management and Exploitation of Global Mass Apathy, and their aim is world domination. Not the sexual kind either—the worst kind, the economic kind, and if you will forgive my saying so the moral kind as well. In that sense they’re kind of like Canadian journalists, who think you can just sweep this old world’s problems under the rug and they will go away unless some poor working slob accidentally digs them up again. Now, I know many of you think I’m evil—and I am, but I am also a democrat. I intend to use my powers for the evil of all men everywhere, whereas Dr. Melman just wants to use evil for a small and elite group of demagogues and corporate plutocrats, the sort of hucksters who give you a free phone and then sign you up for a three-year contract—that sort of thing? You know?

Pardon me?

Yes, Miss Beauderriere? They don’t take that until next year? Oh, forgive me. Well, hopefully I didn’t spoil it for you.

I guess my little talk is over, some of the other parents want to speak now. My assessment is they aren’t very evil at all, and in my opinion, are likely to be quite boring. Be that as it may. Thank you all for having me, and I must say it was quite a pleasure.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

(Round of applause from Miss Beauderriere’s Grade Seven class at Colonel Billy Bishop Elementary School in Brighton Grove, located somewhere in the tames of Southern Ontario.)


Photos: top, (detail) VIC CVUT, centre, (detail) VIC CVUT, bottom; anonymous parent who preferred anonymity.


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