Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Machine Over Mind

Sitting, defeated a number of times by my computerised chess opponent, I realise just how much practice I need. What comes to mind also is the fact that the number one chess player in the world is actually not human. It's IBM's Deep Blue, the successor to Deep Thought, named incidentally after the computer in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which calculates the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything.

I'm about half way through reading The Matrix and Philosophy, a collection of essays dealing with the various philosophical issues presented in The Matrix. Watching it yet again this afternoon, I'm amazed to see just how many important, historical ideas and age old questions the film re-examines, bringing them to a whole new audience of thinkers.

In The Matrix, as with just about every other science fiction story dealing with intelligent machines, the machines somewhere along the line, turn on their creators. In the real world, computer systems have already surpassed the abilities of our finest chess playing talents. Electronic computers, since their spontaneous biogenesis out of the primordial soup of mechanical adding machines and human ingenuity have evolved, multiplied and migrated around the globe, adapting themselves with each successive upgrade.

In a way, we are already somewhat controlled by these contrived devices. Legions of workers slave day by day in computer factories far far away for very little pay, bringing you the very latest in technology, thus perpetuating the machines' continued existence.

Like human batteries, we supply them with all the power they need to run. Happy playing computer games, though always know when to pull the plug.


Dodge this

3 Comments:

Anonymous andrew said...

this has happened many times to me. i have played games like wild wild west, road rash etc., mostly the computer succeeds, but only man has developed all these stuff. i agree lots of people work hard for developing these games and softwares, but creating lots of interesting games is by itself for human beings like us. Is it not Joshua? Reply me.

5/11/2005 07:33:00 pm  
Blogger Jess said...

Did you use all the big words deliberately after reading my blog? Snaps to you if you did :-)

5/11/2005 08:59:00 pm  
Blogger Joshua said...

Andrew, I try not to think of things like video games as being by themselves solely "created" by human beings, but rather that humans have played a substantial role in the coming about of their existence. There are many other contributors also.

Would there be any video games, without first there being computers to develop and run these games on? Without the software to design the game engine? Without willing consumers who possess the desire to play shoot 'em up and racing games?

As video games become more and more sophisticated, the role of the machine in development is greatly increasing. Ever since his first rudimentary tools, Man has quite positively not done it alone.

5/12/2005 12:29:00 am  

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