Friday, December 28, 2007

My avibot

I had a dream…

Let’s say I am a scientist and I am able to create an avatar that can behave on its own, without me commanding do this or do that.
The avatar of a robot: an avibot.
I stay still on my chair, facing my computer, elbows on the desk, head supported by my cupped hands, and I only watch my screen where my creation is making her way.
I prefer saying her instead of its to give my avibot some personality, but of course don’t think one moment that I believe my baby is a living creature, I always have my feet touching the ground, even if my mind often tends to travel with the clouds.
I can see her doing shopping, chatting with people, with my friends if I gave her their names, dancing , even camping if she needs some money and I am too penny-pincher that I forget her periodic installment, having sex at random or with specific partners according the restrictions I made during the customizing, creating weird objects, painting splendid scenes, scripting phenomenal programs, teaching newbies how to dress-up without looking ridiculous and so many other things that you and I can’t even imagine doing in our cherished in-world.

But when I woke up I had to admit that I am not a scientist.

When I am with my avatar, I am bent over my desk, scrutinizing my screen with my squinted eyes, struggling with the mouse, striking the keys in the bda odrer, and nothing goes as I would like things go!
Apart from doing shopping and chatting with people, maybe dancing though I am a terrible professional (the most I made was 50L$ in a whole night, unless it was 500…I don’t remember, it’s now so far away…), all other activities are unreachable to me (well I forgot one, but you know that I have some reserve… )

Conclusion: I am more stupid than a robot.

But the robot cannot have my reserve.

That saves me from depression.

So we and our elaborately evolving computers may meet each other halfway. Someday a human being, named perhaps Fred White, may shoot a robot named Pete Something-or-other, which has come out of a General Electric factory, and to his surprise see it weep and bleed. And the dying robot may shoot back and, to its surprise, see a wisp of gray smoke arise from the electric pump that it supposed was Mr. White's beating heart. It would be rather a great moment of truth for both of them.
Philip K. Dick, The Shifting Realities of Phillip K. Dick
US science fiction author (1928 - 1982)


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