8 comments

  1. Interesting article. Kinda makes me want to listen to the radio drama, since I’ve only ever read the books. Oh, and watched the…BBC adaptation, I want to say? That seems likely… Oh, and I suppose I saw the movie too, but honestly, the less said about that, the better. 🤔

    …Actually, come to think of it, I’ve consumed a lot of Hitchhikers Guide media, haven’t I? I’ve even played the Infocom text adventure game, the one with the “legendary” babel fish puzzle. (With a guide, of course.) But yeah, never listened to the radio drama. Ah, well. 😌

  2. That was really good! If you’ve the inclination, definitely wouldn’t mind more such editorials from you.

    I always liked Adams’ view of technology. He wrote a bit in the first Dirk Gently book about how one of the nice things about computers is that they perfectly simulate a sort of dense student, so if you can break down a problem well enough for them to understand it you’ve almost certainly learned something new about that problem yourself. I work in software now, and it’s 100% true.

    He also wrote a bit in Last Chance to See about how he wrote a program to calculate the volume of a megapode (a type of bird) nest, and it took him ages but means that any future time he needs to calculate the volume of a megapode nest he’ll be able to do it in seconds. It’s just a shame he’ll never again in his life need to do so. As someone with a developer’s mentality, I can say with confidence that this depiction of it is 1000% true.

    I 3D printed the words “Don’t Panic”, painted them, and glued them to the cover of my tablet. Since I use that tablet to read the news in the morning, closing and looking at the cover when I’m done often helps.

  3. I feel so betrayed on WordPress’s behalf. Good read though!

    What do you think is the most ideal presentation of sentient AI in media? Everything I think of is either apocalyptic, an ethical nightmare, or everyone gets along only by the END of the story.

    1. GREAT question. So as I laid out, intentionally creating intelligent AI is immoral or at the very least ethically dubious in and in and of itself as far as I’m concerned. The best case scenario is something like the EMH in Voyager. Something that was never intended to be sentient but gained its own sentience independently and was then granted the same rights as organic beings (even then, it was far less of an easy ride for the EMH than I’m making it sound).

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