Friendly Talk

Him: Have you gone astray, since we went to school together?

Me: No, I was like this even then. I was already in favor of robots in 1971, reading Asimov. So many decades later, I am quite sad that they are still primitive and not like those in Humans, I watch on amc, every week.

Him: What’s amc?

Me: A popular culture satellite or cable TV channel you despise so much. I mean popular culture, not so much cable TV in general, that you despise.

Him: Only science fiction and crime stories. They are very like those cheap novels of knights on horses, which ended with the Cervantes’ Don Quijote de la Mancha, ending an entire trivial genre with a single masterpiece.

Me: Yes, I know, your standards are high. I am a more simple man with no such prejudices and aesthetic criteria as you have. So I watch Humans on amc which are in fact robots in our contemporary environment. I watch, I enjoy and I am asking myself – what went wrong, we don’t have such robots by now.

Him: They are not really possible, that’s why. Besides, what would humans do with so many perfect robots working for  them.

Me: I could run a latifundia with one thousand of such robots, producing food. Perhaps I would use one thousand of such robots to build a stone bridge between those  two alpine peeks, over that river. Perhaps, I would release several on the Snake island to wipe out snakes there. I have many ideas of how to be a slave master of a robotic army. At least that. But we have failed to make them so far and this is not a good thing.

Him: I think those fantasies are not very wise or productive.

Me: I, on the contrary, think that that is a wise and productive example of dreaming. Your dreams, sorry to say this, are very doll and non-inspiring. Your vision of natural materials as the peek science achievements makes me quite sleepy. It’s not a vision at all, more like a museum all over the world project. It’s not just you, but the majority of people nowadays.

Him: I was always in favor of technological advances, you should know that.

Me: Your technological revolutions don’t deserve to be named a revolution by far. A bit better electrical motors? They are coming out every day. Which is good, but nothing to be too excited about.

Him: And you want robots which are just like humans? Don’t you think it’s a childish idea?

Me: I aim much higher than that, of course.

Him: I know, even more childish fantasies about superintelligence  and such.

Me: Of course. Think big! Deliver a shock, comparable with the aeroplane or atomic bomb, back then. Not something like a Victorian gadget for  preparing tea a bit faster or slower.





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