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Entries posted by Les Beldo

Sustaining the Variety of Life

November 3rd, 2005 · Written by · No Comments

Startreck Aliens

A frequent criticism of the popular television series Star Trek: The Next Generation centered around the unremarkable physical appearance of its various alien species. In nearly every episode, the crew of the starship Enterprise would encounter a “new” civilization– a society of life-forms that had supposedly developed in complete isolation from other worlds. Amazingly, the overwhelming majority of these aliens barely differed in appearance from humans, typically distinguished by a small wrinkle on their forehead or nose. This absurdity prompted a critic on Trek’s own website to dub them “Forehead Aliens of the Week.” Even more preposterous than their physical similarity to humans, however, was the utter lack of divergent philosophies and sociopolitical ideals exhibited by these “aliens.”

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Artificial Eternity

Extinction via merging with AI brings the promise of immortality.

September 3rd, 2005 · Written by · No Comments

Robot Graphic

“Artificial Intelligence,” quipped one Stanford engineer,” is the science of how to get machines to do the things they do in movies.”

Let us hope that is not the case. Given the inherent unpredictability of the forthcoming emergence of AI, perhaps it was fitting creative artists-rather than technological gurus-were the first to offer an opinion on what the arrival of artificial intelligence might mean to the world. But instead of being treated to imaginative predictions, audiences were subjected to twenty years of adulterated AI, bastardized to justify hours of senseless violence.

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