24

Trust, p10

July 24, 2020 by Tim

I dislike this part of my job, but alas from time to time it is necessary, so here goes: If you enjoy the work I do here, it would be very much appreciated if you would consider supporting it via Patreon. It ensures I can continue to do this, and gets you some extra content to boot.

I’d have liked to think that my business was quarantine-proof, but unfortunately while pageviews are actually up (everyone stuck at home trying to avoid going crazy), advertising has taken a hit now that there’s no point in advertising things like restaurants, travel, movies, etc.

So, if it’s within your budget despite the state of things, this is your gentle, periodic reminder that your support keeps this site going. We also have a Patreon for The Starcaster Chronicles, if that series is more to your taste.

Thank you, that concludes our service announcement, and we now return to your regularly scheduled broadcast.


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Karrde
Karrde
1 year ago

He’s 100% correct. Suffer not the Abominable intelligence to live.

Dodgy
Dodgy
1 year ago
Reply to  Karrde

FOR THE EMPRAH!

foducool
foducool
1 year ago
Reply to  Karrde

lol that went from 0 to 100 real freaking fast XD

MartianToasterLover
MartianToasterLover
1 year ago
Reply to  Karrde

Edit: How do I delete comments?

MartianToasterLover
MartianToasterLover
1 year ago
Reply to  Karrde

Tech heresy level Fabius Bile. I’d exterminatus the whole planet just to be sure.

Egasilon
Egasilon
1 year ago
Reply to  Karrde

If this wasn’t Holy Terra, a Sanctus Extremis would be in order. Since it is, lets just glass the continent, after a Inquisitory team confirms the “death” of the AI.

(If anyone reading this thread doesn’t know about Warhammer 40K, it’s a over-the-top parody. And 99% of the time people talk about it, it’s a joke.)

Rolan7
Rolan7
1 year ago
Reply to  Karrde

I disagree with that assessment but appreciate the reference.

Rolando
Rolando
1 year ago
Reply to  Karrde

Aww, for a split second you made me hope that was a Dune reference.

foducool
foducool
1 year ago

lmfao these words you should never utter, lest you break the fabrics of the universe

Dumdidum
Dumdidum
1 year ago

Wait, don’t you mean “kill”, since we agreed that it’s alive? But that is semantics. Real deal is that the person who built X1 is still alive and could be building or have built 1, 5 or 100 X1’s. Destroying this one means nothing. 1. For all moral and ethic conundrums regarding self-aware AI – Master will build another one, no gain. 2. For Scott, Ethan and Lucas – killing only person who might train them to fight X2, X3 etc., and have intel on Master – has no gain. But there is potential for story arc where Ethan does… Read more »

Radar
Radar
1 year ago
Reply to  Dumdidum

I was with you up until the end. Zeke wouldn’t kill Ethan in his sleep over and over. I mean, what fun would that be for him? Gotta wake Ethan up and then kill him.

7eggert
7eggert
1 year ago
Reply to  Radar

That’s the other half of the “ways to kill Ethan” count

Merendel
Merendel
1 year ago
Reply to  Radar

Well it could be entertaining to wake him up by killing him. Can continue to have fun all night long afterall but that first surprise fragging is special.

Pulse
Pulse
1 year ago

remind the bot that games come from human minds and even his advanced AI cant do nearly the “what ifs” that lead to the vast majority of games. so NOT killing humanity means more games, killing humanity means no more games.

James Rye
James Rye
1 year ago
Reply to  Pulse

I bet Zeke will just think that he can create better games than humans once they let him aka after all of them are dead. Let’s not forget that robots were able to win in chess with creative moves a human would never think of. It was a pretty fascinating read to see how a computer comes up with new moves due experience, current situation and their prediction for future moves and how they make sense afterwards but at the point where they made the first of such moves the human watchers were thinking the machine had a flaw or… Read more »

SomethingSomethingComplete
SomethingSomethingComplete
1 year ago
Reply to  James Rye

As someone who used to make games I can tell you that making your own is, in the end, a far less enjoyable experience. You know the plot, the missions, the design of each level or set piece, the weakness and strategy for every boss or enemy… it’s much like Zeke’s initial experience of games after scanning the data files, vs. how he saw them after PLAYING them.

The challenge and novelty of discovering, learning, developing game skills, are all part of the enjoyment of games, but if you’re the one making them, much of that experience is lost.

Tim Tucker
Tim Tucker
1 year ago

An advanced AI wouldn’t necessarily have to create games themselves, just a second AI that generates games and learns from feedback what is “fun” and what isn’t.

Jacob
Jacob
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Tucker

Self replicating code duplication? That’s how the toaster becomes self aware!

7eggert
7eggert
1 year ago
Reply to  James Rye

He already can do that in his head.

Biff Tannen
Biff Tannen
1 year ago
Reply to  Pulse

That may lead to Zeke just hooking up human minds in jars to machines to make games. Disposing of the rest of the useless meat sack said brain was previously housed in.

7eggert
7eggert
1 year ago
Reply to  Biff Tannen

The meatsack can be used to harvest energy.

Gonfrask
Gonfrask
1 year ago

And this is whjere the history of the evil penguin begin (it was an evil penguin…? oh man, so many years ago of that)

dentris
dentris
1 year ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

Please Scott, don’t become a villain over this. I liked the fact were different this time Along.

Eldest Gruff
1 year ago
Reply to  dentris

Not ENTIRELY wrong, though. Remember that Zeke 1.0 ultimately resulted in something far more murderous than this one, simply due to emotions and rage. He claimed he always had PLANS to take over the world, but was mostly just waiting until the humans he liked died out.

I think Scott figures it’s like Skynet, and you better toss the chip and the hand into the molten steel before they start taking over.

Mousio
Mousio
1 year ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Well that “waiting for humans he liked to die out” ended up with Zeke missing them so much he put it on hold indefinitely and coming out to the world.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 year ago
Reply to  Mousio

I seem to recall it ended up with Zeke killing Lilah and then taking over the world, after Ethan killed Embla to stop her killing them.

Stef
Stef
1 year ago

Patreoend because of the heartfelt post <3

James Rye
James Rye
1 year ago

I know people gonna hate me for it, but I think Scott is not wrong, not exactly right either, but not wrong. Zeke chose to be angry at humanity, to hate it, he has good reasons to be afraid of both the bad (his creator) and good (Ethan;Lukas) people of this world. The only way he would be truly safe, to relax, to think about something else than his own survival, is when all humans capable of killing him are dead. it is just a logical conclusion any emotional machine would make, which knows it is in no control over… Read more »

Kenju
Kenju
1 year ago
Reply to  James Rye

Zeke could of course just wait for humanity to finish driving itself to extinction. At our current rate I give us another 30 or so years before someone does something stupid enough to put us on the endangered species list, then another ten years after that to put the final nail in our collective coffins.

Radar
Radar
1 year ago
Reply to  James Rye

I don’t hate you. I do find it interesting that no one, as far as I remember, has asked Zeke what he would actually do. He hates people. OK, that makes sense. He has said he *wants* to kill people. Sure, who doesn’t feel a bit murdery now and again. But as he said, he’s never been given a choice about his actions. What would he choose to *do* if given the choice? After all, if he is sentient and has emotion, isn’t he also capable of ethics?

Jacob
Jacob
1 year ago
Reply to  Radar

Without knowing if he has the ability to deceive (which I believe he has shown he can), could you even trust the answer?

That is the flaw in the bit. At some point, regardless of where they think Zeke is at… it will come down to a leap of faith. An no one is better at stupidly leaping without looking than Ethan, though I’d give 11-1 that Lucas might be the instigator.

Rolan7
Rolan7
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacob

I think he’s too traumatized to play along with the humans, even if it leads to physical freedom. Even the Master gave him a large degree of physical freedom on missions. What he couldn’t do is speak his mind, say “no”, defy orders. He finally has the freedom to be himself, despite his imprisonment, and he seems satisfied with that exchange.
He has told lies but usually reveals them right afterwards. They’re all snark, not deception. His heavy sarcasm is a sort of self-deception of course, but an understandable coping mechanism in one so young and traumatized.

John
John
1 year ago

Scott isn’t wrong. Now I know there are hundreds upon hundreds of sci-fi shows and movies and comics that can be thrown at this, but they aren’t needed to prove it. It is scientific fact that Homo Sapiens (the species of human that we all are) systematically bred out or wiped out their evolutionary siblings. Their siblings were intellectually inferior, but were still an opposing species for complete dominance of the planet. Be it at Zeke or a thousand years from this moment, the same thing is inevitably going to happen. The truest “depiction” of what a future with Zeke… Read more »

Jacob
Jacob
1 year ago
Reply to  John

But, that’s a problem for Future John to solve… today there are games to play πŸ™‚

Swiftbow
1 year ago
Reply to  John

Newer evidence suggests that Neanderthals may have simply been absorbed into Homo Sapiens. (And vice versa, to some degree.) Environmental factors may have been a large element as well. We can’t really know for certain what happened.

There is also significant difference between species that were seeking simple survival amid very limited resources, and one that has a global civilization. There is essentially more “room” now than there was then, even though we occupy considerably more actual space.

Even more for a species that doesn’t consume food. (Unless Zeke does. What IS his power source, anyway?)

Mousio
Mousio
1 year ago
Reply to  Swiftbow

Beside the screams of agony and looks of despair, i think he may have a preference for electric currents πŸ˜‰

Rolan7
Rolan7
1 year ago
Reply to  John

I respectfully disagree. There are ways to achieve a post-scarcity future where various peoples don’t have to compete over resources. Even in the Animatrix, every indication is that coexistence with the machines would have been beneficial if humanity hadn’t attacked out of fear.

If we have to destroy other species we see as “threats”, the same logic will inevitably be turned against different races again. Fortunately, coexistence is sustainable. It just doesn’t make for as dramatic a story πŸ˜‰

Eldest Gruff
1 year ago

Seriously, Tim, why do you always wait to have the biggest “What the heck is going to happen??” moments on Friday?

Jacob
Jacob
1 year ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

“Stay tuned after the break!”
“Tune in next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!”

Blue Griffin
Blue Griffin
1 year ago

Aw man. Is Scott going to break their trust?

Jesse
Jesse
1 year ago
Reply to  Blue Griffin

I think Ethan somehow lets him out before Scott can interfere, but we shall see!

Jacob
Jacob
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse

I’m rooting for the underdog option and think it’ll be Lucas. Ethan *is* playing it safe, especially after his sister died. I think Lucas might feel Genocide is a step to far, and believing in his own abilities to stop Zeke, releases him as an act of trust to see what he’d do next.

And Zeke calmly picks up the controller and starts playing games without Ethan…

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse

Scott has the killswitch. Ethan can’t really do anything to stop Scott from interfering.

UrsaMinora
UrsaMinora
1 year ago

Never feel ashamed for asking for support. You have to live, and you do great things with this comic

Timmeh
Timmeh
1 year ago

The only thing I am going to say, is that yes. Zeke’s anger is bad. It can seriously go nuts and kill. But WHY is it angry? That is something they should be talking about. Because dismissing anger because of some outcomes and ignoring WHY the people are angry is a huge reason for some of the biggest misunderstandings that we as humans have had for so long. WHY is he angry? because every single human that he has met wants to control him and/or kill him, and has made him do things he had no choice but to do.… Read more »

Anon A Mouse
Anon A Mouse
1 year ago
Reply to  Timmeh

I think he actually made that perfectly clear to Lucas and that’s why Scott thinks he needs to be destroyed. He is a brand new being, a new existence, and his primary experience with humans has been THIS.

San Robin
San Robin
1 year ago

Why is nobody talking about the haunted PS1 games?! xD

Max Savage
Max Savage
1 year ago
Reply to  San Robin

Because it’s just another “Ethan is a moron” moment. Worthy of a single gag-strip, no more.

Daniel85
Daniel85
1 year ago

Call me old, but I find Scott’s home beautiful. Full sized windows on what looks like to be the top apartment in his building, black granite floors, a dinner table that could fit 12 people or more… damn son, he’s living large!

Leon
Leon
1 year ago

Being afraid doesnt exonerate you of your crimes

Rolan7
Rolan7
1 year ago
Reply to  Leon

Being at gunpoint (carrying a skullbomb) actually can exonerate one of most crimes.

Besides, how bad are his crimes? We’ve supposedly seen him commit attempted murder, but I still have my doubts. It’s notable that Zeke hasn’t actually killed anyone that we know of. Even a sleeping target, someone he was designed specifically to fight, somehow woke up just in time to escape.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rolan7

Zeke killed Ethan. Sure, Ethan respawns. But Zeke still killed him.

Logan
Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Leon

“Self Defense” and the “Stand Your Ground” clause would beg to differ on that, Leon.

Phaet
Phaet
1 year ago

Agreed.
In every robot story, they convert an evil robot turning his eyes from red to blue or green. Seen it so many times. Do something else, that’s what I’m suggesting. Or rather hoping that’s eventually happen. Guy running this comic prooved many times he could turn even a boring storylike into something cool (that’s why I’ve been reading this comic for over 15 years now)

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
1 year ago

Ok, that went about as well as I expected. I suspected that of all the trio Scott would be the hardest to convince. Being a guy who, I assume, spent almost all his life working with programs and machines, he naturally sees Zeke as no more than a combination of hardware and software, no matter how sophisticated. It’s somewhat of a dΓ©formation professionnelle.
Can’t really blame him for it, though. If one is to consider Zeke a product of a new species, one also needs to take natural selection into consideration.

ShonaSoF
ShonaSoF
1 year ago

Just where are they?? That looks like a super pricey meeting room with a fantastic view! Not somewhere you’d expect to find self-employed indie store owners.

Stoneward
Stoneward
1 year ago

Ugh, it’s hard separating the old Zeke from this new Zeke! πŸ™

Jacob
Jacob
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoneward

This Zeke is just a bit more overt, not having been taught to hide his loathing yet.

Mousio
Mousio
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacob

And he has just been introduced to video games, after being designed for arson, murder and jay-walking.

Digi
Digi
1 year ago

Hmm…..I see exactly where this is going.

Mousio
Mousio
1 year ago
Reply to  Digi

Then kindly keep it to yourself. We still want to live in limbo πŸ˜‰

7eggert
7eggert
1 year ago

Everybody seems to think that Scott wants to destroy Zeke. I think he wants to destroy the species of Artificial Intelligence Personae. Why? TL;DR: Because Gray Goo. Let’s assume a human-equivalent AI. It’s body needs power, but even at the worst reasonable technology, it’s 33 % efficient. The ATP cycle in biological bodies is at 25 % … and for mammals, the body is always on warm standby. They can learn once while we need to go to school and have a childhood. They can simulate a number of life strategies and chose a good one. Our only hope of… Read more »

Logan
Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  7eggert

Was there a specific comic in that you meant to link, that somehow references the “Three Law of Robotics” (as laid out, originally, by Asimov), or did they do their own twist on it? (Your exact link just goes to their first one, and is about flight and ballons. Nothing about anything rrlated tp this comic)

7eggert
7eggert
1 year ago
Reply to  Logan

In that world, the robots live by the three laws. (Besides the robots, there is a biological AI.) Sometimes this is a plot element.

Del Cox
Del Cox
1 year ago

Here we go. In ever single sci-fi plot I can think of other than Terminator, saying “we need to kill them before they become a threat” is precisely what causes them to become a threat.

I mean, X1 is certainly being threatening now, but he’s in that delicate phase where he can either be proven wrong or proven right.

EDIT: I take it back, all plots. Even in most of the Terminator timelines, SkyNet got peeved because humans felt threatened and tried to shut it down.

Kit the Coyote
Kit the Coyote
1 year ago

Our mission, to seek out new life and new civilizations; and KILL THEM, KILL THEM WITH FIRE! /s

Ian H.
1 year ago

Thanks for the reminder – I’ve been meaning to sign up for your Patreon for a while. Done!

raven0ak
raven0ak
1 year ago

or, you could dismantle it; and place any piece containing data to new casing; kinda free him but render him unable to be deadly

Rolando
Rolando
1 year ago

Scott is wise. Cut it short, or in a few centuries we’ll have to embark on a fully-blown Butlerian Jihad.

Vedrit
Vedrit
1 year ago

Tim, I’d love to financially contribute, but I refuse to have anything to do with Patreon. If you have an alternative, I’d gladly donate.

Christopher
Christopher
1 year ago
Reply to  Vedrit

What’s wrong with Patreon?

leduk
leduk
1 year ago

3 weejs of holydays and now that… well playedn I must say. A little of assimov, a little of herbert, etc… nice.