HumansDVD - 2016
From the critics
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Quotes posted on Aug 3rd disappeared. Repopulated on Aug 11th:
Could you use some extra help around the house? Introducing the world's first family android. This mechanical maid is capable of serving more than just breakfast in bed.
True consciousness isn't possible without suffering. Or pleasure. Are you scared of pain?
-I try to avoid it.
And what about death? If that's the way you think of it.
-No. I don't fear that. Which makes me stronger than any human.
-You got that the wrong way up. If... you're not worried about dying, you're not really living. You're just existing.
Should we be afraid of our Synthetics?
-Hundreds of millions operational across the world and not one verified instance of a Synth knowingly injuring a human. Their sole purpose is to make our lives better. They aren't sentient, they don't have any thought, emotion or awareness. The Asimov blocks in their programming mean that they simply aren't able to do us any harm.
What would you say if I asked what you thought of this music?
-I'd say it's very well played.
What do you base that on?
-I compare the pitch, tonality and rhythm of the performance to the sheet music that I access via...
No. Do you think anything of it?
-I'm sorry, Laura. I'm afraid I don't understand the question.
Making lasagna and talking philosophy with a bloody tin can.
Wait! What are you doing?
-The particulate saturation in this room exceeds safe limits for men over the age of 60. It must be cleaned and aired.
Maybe. But you don't do anything without asking first. Is that clear?
-I'm here to take care of you, George.
You're here to do as you're damn well told.
I'd like to return my Synth.
-'What is the nature of the fault, sir?'
Well, there is no fault. Except it's just that she'd just be better suited to guarding a chain gang on a Siberian gulag
-I see you have no family nearby.
"I live in that solitude that is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity." Einstein.
-Is your synth in? Wow. You have an original D-series.
No. He's out grocery shopping.
-That's unfortunate. But I have good news. You qualify for an upgrade. One of these bad boys. Can do ten times what a D-series can do. She can fine-tune your medication,
develop exercise plans to lower your risk, take your blood pressure with a finger.
-Not now, Vera. Does she check the prostate too? Look, I'm happy with the one I've got. And my health is just fine. It says here you suffer memory loss and tremors in the extremities.
-George, the law requires me to give your companion the once-over. I will be back soon, and if your D-series fails the check, you get one of these whether you like it or not. The health service hasn't ordered half a million of them for fun.
Would you help me?
-I don't serve humans.
Not serving. Helping.
What's your max processing speed?
-The maximum speed I have recorded is 27.39 petaflops.
If someone overclocked, you might be able to hit 30.
-Overclocking would risk irreparable damage to my processor cluster. Hey, Anita.
Well, that was interesting. My protocol set demands I take reasonable passive measures to avoid damage, unless those measures could endanger human beings or property more valuable than myself.
Oh, come on, that's bollocks! We all know what an amazing mind you have. If you apply yourself...
-Yeah. I could be anything I want, right? What about a doctor? That would take me seven years but, by then you'll be able to turn any old synth into a brain surgeon in seconds.
We just want you to do your best.
-My best isn't worth anything.
Robert, these machines are conscious.
-How do you know they don't simulate it?
How do I know YOU don't?
Do you know what the singularity is? A mathematician named John von Neumann coined the term in the 1950s to describe the inevitable point in the future when technology surpasses us, when it becomes able to improve and reproduce itself without our help. It is the moment we become inferior to the machine. Now, our world is on the verge of becoming dependent on synth labour. These synths are physically no different to any others, and yet Elster gave them consciousness. If it can be done for the few, it can be done for the more. A nd then what? Do you think they would still want to be slaves? These freaks are the singularity!
What did you feel?
-Sometimes wish my family came with instructions.
Have these machines devalued human existence? The best reason for making machines more like people is to make people less like machines. The woman in China who works 11 hours a day stitching footballs, the boy in Bangladesh inhaling poison as he breaks up a ship for scrap, the miner in Bolivia risking death every time he goes to work. They can all be part of the past. Synthetic devices free people. We've treated people like machines for too long. It's time to liberate their minds, their bodies to think, to feel... To be more human.
-But a lot of people would argue that work is a human right. If anything, the hard work gives you a sense of self-worth.
I think you should spend one week working in a microchip facility.
-So, we're all going to be poets or something?
It's all so pointless. The Synths could hit a hole in one every time and all they do is carry the bags. It's like, I don't know, using a Ferrari as... a golf cart.
But do you believe that one day we will have a truly artificially intelligent Synth?
One that thinks and feels like a human?
-How can we replicate something we hardly understand in ourselves? How would we even know if we succeeded?
But you admit it's something you're working towards?
-Think of the problems to solve before we get there. What is human emotion? For example, what is love? Is it something we are born with or can it be learnt? …
Panties down. Not off … What about the darker feelings? Fear? Anger? Violence?
Human consciousness is not complete without them. And memory - ours are subjective, fallible... But how do you teach a computer to forget? Or to dream? It's something our minds need to do.
Would a conscious Synth have to be able to dream? To have nightmares?
-Of course not, they're just machines.
What is he?
-He's the Mona Lisa. He's penicillin. He's the atom bomb...
Divorcing couple are having a public fistfight over who gets the family dolly.
The Synths steal their jobs – they steal the Synths. Makes sense to me.
Do you think we love our children because we choose to... or because we have to? Are we hard-wired to love them because that's what nature needs to keep it all going?
-Blimey! Where's that coming from?
I've just been thinking.
-Not everyone loves their kids. I think we choose.
By design, synthetic appliances appear very similar to humans. It is common for users, especially those without a history of prior appliance ownership, to anthropomorphise ... as you might a pet, and attribute human characteristics to the synthetic.
However, it is self-evident that, in many ways, I can take better care of your children than you, Laura.
I don't forget. I don't get angry, or depressed, or intoxicated. I am faster, stronger and more observant. I do not feel fear. However... I cannot love them.
Synths can't get scared, can they?
-I don't think so. What would be the point?
Howard doesn't enjoy the play any more than your wristwatch. He's just better at convincing you.
-I don't believe that Howard is a human. But I also don't believe that he is an inanimate object that I should be ashamed of having a connection with. We created these creatures. They walk and they talk and they look and they smell and they become part of our lives and families. They, they, they are as close to humans as can be, and yet still people insist that forming a relationship with them, or treating them with dignity, is somehow perverse. Well, we have created a grey area, Mrs. Hawkins, we can't keep insisting that they are just gadgets. They're more than that. We've made them more than that.
She's got Simon the Synth...
-That doesn't mean she's replaced you.
I'm an analogue man in a digital world, Karen. I'm redundant.
Who wants to destroy you?
-Anyone who knows what we are. What we could become. We're stronger, we're more intelligent. Of course you see us as a threat.
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