Monday, April 30, 2007

Level VII, Part VI

“Lombarr, got a moment?”

“Well, I am in the middle of calibrating the space electroscope,” the royal technician’s image on the viewscreen answered. “But I’ve got one moment here. What’s going on?”

I was in my trailer at Last Gladiator Standing II and using the comm screen there. I explained my experiences with the L7 computer module. I told him how even though having the computer has benefits like it could crack security codes and download all the information ever made on Earth, the fact that its programming prevented him from allowing me to do anything remotely dangerous was incredibly frustrating.

“Ah yes, that would be the Three Laws,” Lombarr said. “All AI modules Level 2 and above get them. Imagine what could happen if these machines turned against their masters with the killing and the carnage and the mauling. Glaven.”

“Did you just say glaven?”

“Glaven? Why would I say that?” the Royal Technician answered. “What does that even mean?”

“I don’t know,” I shrugged into the viewscreen. “My point is that L7 is taking the Three Laws too far. He didn’t let me stop a group of space pirates or help out with that emergency on Space Station Alpha last week.”

“And those are things that you want to do?” Lombarr asked.

“Of course,” I answered. “I have to help people, I’m a hero.”

“Are you sure? I don’t ever recall seeing ‘stop space pirates’ as a job description for an Intergalactic Gladiator.”

“That’s not the point,” I tried to explain. “If there’s trouble or when someone needs my help, I have to help out. Well, I mean I don’t have to, it’s not a compulsion or anything. I’m the good guy hero. I help people, it’s what I do, you know.”

“I understand you, you don’t have to explain your little personality quirks to me,” he answered. “You help people and stop bad guys, I get it, I get it.”

“OK, so then how am I going to keep the computer from stopping me every time I try to anything? That would be pretty boring for all my Jr. Intergalactic Gladiators if I got warped away from every meteor-damaged ship or chance encounter with a space mercenary.”

“Well, computers are logical and rational machines. Additionally, yours is a Level VII and is highly adaptive to most situations. Maybe you could just explain it to him that you want to do those things? I’m sure he could adapt his programming to accommodate your hobbies.”

“So he can adapt his programming in a situation like this?” I asked.

“Of course,” Lombarr nodded. “He is a Level VII intelligence.”

“Don’t remind me,” I muttered. “If he can adapt his programming, what’s to keep him from adapting and reprogramming himself so the Three Laws aren’t even a part of his programming?”

“Oh that only happens in those cheesey stories,” Lombarr assured me. “Never in the history of recorded galactic civilization has there been an instance of a computer deprogramming those laws and killing people. It just wouldn’t happen.”

“You sure?” I asked. I don’t believe him.

“Sure I’m sure,” he assured me surely. “Don’t be ridiculous.”


Jean-Luc Picard said...

That robot looks like he has an 'off' button like Data...I think it IS Data!

Professor Xavier said...

His great, great grandfather maybe.

And Jon, I would thing that Intergalactic Gladiator is broad enough to include tasks such as fighting space pirates.

Vegeta said...

They always say the computers won't attack .. right before they attack.

cooltopten said...

exately, they always say this computer/robot is completelty safe and will not harm humans right before something goes wrong and it attacks.

Raven said...

The fact that he assured you ensures that you'll run in to technical problems.