Terminator Dreaming

I had a fevered dream as a 10 year old in which the cities of the world burned and giant mechanical ants crawled up and down the smouldering husks. I was really sick, and there were giant ants all around the New Mexican campground (we were "camping"). That explains the mechanical ants, I reckon. But dreams - nightmares - can linger, leaving a lasting impression.
A day later we were driving through the burning hell of West Texas in August, and still sick and dangerously fevered I had the realization of Death - that my Mother and Father and Sister and baby Brother would die, my Grandparents would die, I would die one day, everyone will die one day. As a 10 year old, it was a damn powerful revelation, for I had no real concept of death hitherto.

So I darkened, and shit got weird all around. And then I developed some serious migraines that would incapacitate me for a day, occurring at times of high stress, ruining so many events. Lasting for years, this shit was intense and there were lots of hospital visits and I came to recall more and more that second fever dream: Death.
And then I saw The Terminator and I was all like: Yep. Killer Robots are gonna get us (Remember the Mechanical Ants?). I was quite a nerd of course, reading anything and everything and lots and lots of comic books were part of that so killer robots were right up my alley. And thus, the source of my robot distrust.

For real! I've been following the topic seriously for years. Running with smart folks, I've talked with robotic experts, read all kinds of papers, and feel pretty knowledgeable on the subject. Robotics are fascinating and will change the world, as will the similar work ongoing in Artificial Intelligence. For good or ill is up to us.

And thus my conclusion: I can't really trust my own opinion of robots or AI, given my series of related mental happenstances. And so I strive for objectivity as I can, even over my own opinions. Or I try.

But really - intelligent robots will kill us all if we don't kill ourselves first. Beware giant Mechanical Ants!


Marc Goecke said...

Did you ever hear about the "singularity" that the human race will face at the point when a new entity will emerge that will be smarter then us? It's a kind of event horizon which does not allow us to foresee or predict what will happen after that point in time. (you might wanna check

I am also very interested in the "death to humans by robots and technology" ideas. A good book about that is "Robopocalypse".

Redshirt said...

I have heard of it. I prefer the black hole version, however. What is that in the center?

I think we'll start to see proper cyborgs in short order, if they don't already exist. And it makes sense - why not upgrade failing flesh with stronger and more functional mechanical limbs and organs? As long as you have good tech support I suppose.

Also, I checked out your page Marc and love your work! Awesome stuff. How long does it take you to produce one of the images on your gallery page?

Marc Goecke said...

Thanks! When I spend a couple of hours a day painting it takes about 2-3 days. Didn't paint much for a while but I thought about painting a Star Trek based painting.