But Are They Human?
Last night (rather, this morning), AdjectiveRecoil divulged a surprisingly profound story concept:
[00:17:59] AdjectiveRecoil: It also involves AIs.
[00:17:59] AdjectiveRecoil: But they don’t know they’re AIs.
[00:18:03] AdjectiveRecoil: They think they’re real people.
[00:18:23] AdjectiveRecoil: And then suddenly, it is revealed to them that their entire world, their entire existence, has been a computer simulation.
[00:18:32] AdjectiveRecoil: And it’s about to be turned off.
[00:18:48] AdjectiveRecoil: Kind of like the Matrix.
[00:18:57] AdjectiveRecoil: Except that it’s not people, but machines we’re talking about.
[00:19:09] AdjectiveRecoil: And they want to exist.
[00:19:28] AdjectiveRecoil: So the dilemma comes up: are they real people, or just machines?
[00:19:34] AdjectiveRecoil: And do they deserve to live?
[00:19:41] AdjectiveRecoil: Or can they just be switched off?
[00:20:01] AdjectiveRecoil: Also, they can be very human, because they’re programmed to think and act human.
And so, today, I’d like to ask you all: would you be interested in this story? Has anybody written something similar to this before? What was the short story called? The whole ‘machines so complex they’re humans’ must have been written about somewhere, right?
a.k.a.: having no posts to write is sufferin’
Edit: OK, I remember the film giving me intense déjà vu around this concept: Moon, about a clone who thinks he’s a real human because he was implanted with human memories. They’re not machines, but it’s close…
Edit 2: Another has suggested the Thirteenth Floor, about [SPOILERS] a person and his conflicts with a virtual reality world, only to find out that his own ‘real’ world is also virtual, and that he himself is just an artificial creation, or something.
Edit 3: The Island is also about clones who think they’re actually human; however, their perception of life is woefully lacking, as they have no memories of their past, unlike in Moon.
Edit 4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_Androids_Dream_of_Electric_Sheep%3F, and its film adaptation, Blade Runner, deal with sentient robots, including one who believes she’s human due to implanted memories. However, the robots only have a four-year lifespan, most are aware that they’re robots, and they generally lack empathy (allowing them to be distinguished from humans by some sort of futuristic polygraph test). Nevertheless, the main character has many problems distinguishing between real people and androids, so…