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Daniel Suarez - Daemon: Bot-Mediated Reality

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Thardiust Avatar
Posted: 12.20.11, 05:25 PM
This talk reminded me of Joseph Carpenter's They Live. Also, the part about robots controlling us like we're robots reminds me of how Carlos Castaneda's writings hint at multidimensional beings who feed off of our bad feelings and how they manipulate us to do things which make situations that produce more bad feelings. Also, the more intelligent robots become the more they will think for themselves so, what bots with general AI do could be more of a wildcard scenario than a global fascist state even though, as history shows, totalitarian regimes can take many forms. Of course, if humanity doesn't experience an elevation in consciousness now we're all eventually go back to living in caves or possibly go extinct like the speaker in this presentation states. Overall though, what Suarez said was nothing new but just rephrased knowledge that's already known within another context. In the end, his presentation was definitely very interesting. Links:
yumsus Avatar
Posted: 09.21.11, 12:35 AM
@JustinAngel A recent Washington Post article talks about autonomous killing with drones. Here's a quote: "This successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans." I believe Daniel Suarez makes a compelling argument about bots making increasingly critical decisions that affect our lives. My take on "bot" is a discrete software implementation that takes some input (sensors, data, etc) and produces an output (decision, resulting in further data or actions). Whilst it is not specifically good or bad, the opaque nature of bots and the speed with which decisions can be made autonomously is concerning. As in his novelised scenario, an organisation might essentially end up consisting primarily of bots which filter, process and make decisions independent of oversight or control.
aaronrockies Avatar
Posted: 06.09.11, 06:58 PM
I like the idea of an Internet that only humans can enter. Even better would be the impossible dream of an Internet with no anonymity for those of us that have nothing to fear but those full of fear. Technology will continue to do more good than harm. I get amused by those who pretend to have a long view of history by looking forward several hundred years. The sobering reality is the impending lifelessness of our planet no more than 4.5 billion years from now. One could argue that the greatest increase in human well-being, efficiency, output, growth, and wealth will have been the 20th century. A 100-year period that saw the internal combustion engine gain mass acceptance, the computer, and the Internet. What did we do with this incredible period of increased wealth? We spent most of it on devices used to kill one another, and the rest on too-large houses. Take those trillions and trillions of dollars and imagine using them to prepare for a long future for humanity. A settlement on the moon. A space station that means something. People on Mars. Ideas for reaching other stars. All of that potential was blown, like watching an immature youth churn through an early inheritance, unable to forego immediate self-gratification. Global warming isn't a problem, but global warring is. And no, I do not blame the United States as is popular, I blame every culture that attempts to solve their problems with violence. Cuba, N. Korea, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Sudan, Russia, abusive husbands, petty thieves, we each play our part to some degree. The waste is enough to sicken my optimistic heart. Aaron from Breckenridge Colorado
Openworld Avatar
Posted: 05.10.10, 10:53 AM
I'm wondering what will happen if (or when) next-generation bots begin to tap religious memes for human mindshare/manipulation... Mark Frazier @openworld
katesisco Avatar
Posted: 02.27.10, 12:50 PM
I like Sci Fi and good Sci Fi is hard to come by; this is good. I have also read The World Made By Hand, also good. But we should fear Pharma more; what is one the agenda is a disruptor of short term memory. That's more real than nanos. What do you have when you disrupt short term memory from becoming long term? A ROBOT.
lump1 Avatar
Posted: 02.09.10, 11:32 PM
I haven't read Suarez's books when I saw this, but I definitely will now. This guy is not only crazy smart, but you can tell he's really thought hard about technology. Since the talk, there's a good case to be made that bots (coded by quants) played a large role in triggering the current recession. I have a feeling that this won't be the last of their great interventions in history. Bots should be on the mind of everyone who seriously thinks about the future. They're dumb, they're simple, they're deterministic and they're real. We don't need AI for our digital future to get really scary.
JustinAngel Avatar
Posted: 11.25.09, 10:45 AM
Short version: This talk will steal and hour of your life that you will never get back. This talk has no value or merit. Go outside and play with your kids/friends instead. Long version: 1. Given 60 minutes, the presenter failed to construct anything resembling a consistent thesis. It appears that there's some problem in the world (i.e. Data collection bots) and there's a solution offered. 2. The problem is ill-defined as "Woo, Computers make decisions for us and that means our desctruction". Well, No. I personally don't believe that thinking-machines will end civilization and the presenter has shown no hard proof that it will. What he has done is provided speculation that in 2008 could have been disputed or verified by hard data. The presentation offered no relevant hard data (beyond the obligatory "Pirates cause global warming" stats). 3. Terminology used in the presentation is beyond sketchy - it's massively ill defined. A "bot" is never defined by the presenter, and given that it's a 60 minutes talk on bots, that's a problem. The core argument is "Bots thinks for us". When pressed for an example, the presenter says "Your mortgage rates are evaluated by bots". Based on that logic, and piece of software with business logic that outputs decisions based on data input is a bot. Hence, pocket calculators and watches are "bots". Having failed to build a reliable terminology for the core issue, this presenter failed to build even the most basic argument. 4. The proposed solution requires a permanent social, political and economic revolution. In all honesty, the solution sounds like a sci-fi solution: Let's all move to an agalmic economy based on attention/reputation to allocate political resources. With "bots" mediating. Being a scifi author the presenter should have been more careful in presenting wild-eyed solution straight from Corey Doctorow ebooks. It makes the whole presentation sound like a cheap scifi novel. If you like to argue with yourself and do armchair quarterbacking on ForaTV - watch this talk. Otherwise - Don't watch this talk.
etual ojeda Avatar
etual ojeda
Posted: 08.18.09, 03:15 PM
Thank you Daniel, I´ve been engaged in getting myself informed about how technology may affect our lives, ( know singularity,etc.) so far, I,ve digged quite far for a reasonable scenario, or personal time frame view. (sorry for my english, my second name is very similar to yours and I live in the Canary Islands, Spain). Anyway, Your lecture on the subject has clarify greatly my point of view on the subject in a more realistic way, letting me know where the real drama may occure. Thank you hermano!
Aladino Avatar
Posted: 11.02.08, 05:27 PM
One of the best books I've read in years. Cudos on a stellar first novel. Presentation is engaging and informative and suggestions for a DarkNet are intrigueing...But you're predicating this paradigm on the basic decency of people. While most are, for the most part, if there's a buck to be made someone will find a way to do it. Mr. Suarez is an intelligent, insightful man who promotes hope in a radical new way.
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