Victus Spiritus


When Suboptimal is Better

08 Sep 2009

Robot Dream

This lesson started while in a dream I experienced last night. My role in the dream was as a highly complex designed robot spy, with a human appearance, much like the terminator film design T800. Not sure how I "knew" this as my dreams rarely follow a strict rational path, buy my first dream awareness was in some type of construction and rail yard.

At some point in the dream I grew to respect the people I was working against, in particular their leader who I befriended while skirmishing against other war robot designs. Now while awake I wonder what levels of intelligent machines are possible. Before waking up there was an important moment where programming demanded I betray the humans, and unable to comply, I turned against my own robot kind and was destroyed in a firefight.

the Lesson

I had a pretty bizzare but entertaining dream, "so what"? I'm interested in the irrational pea soup that my subconscious comes up with. Often there is little relation between the observer in the dream (my perspective) and my own conscious persona. Sometimes a comprehensible thread presents itself and I chew on the concept before forgetting about it and going about my morning ritual (taking care of dogs, prepping for work, etc.).

In the case of this particular dream I developed a couple of hypotheses.

Human life styles may be suboptimal in certain regards but provides for powerful survival traits. The lack of cold machine like efficiency, enables incredibly strong social bonds. These ties protect both the individual with a support network, and the social group as a whole. Community members satisfy the instinctual need of belonging and recognize great value by witnessing and participating in social efforts.

The second and perhaps more far out concept, is that any intelligent being may be capable of developing emotional bonds (many animals have strong ties to their owners but aren't considered smart). Also related to this possibility, is that an intelligent being can question it's environment, it's orders, or it's very nature. Intelligence cannot be decoupled from free will.