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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Given my own view of the "singularity" as the rapture for nerds, I actually have to appreciate that in QC-verse, "the singularity happened", and it amounted to a wet squib, the cultural equivalent of a sad trombone noise, and nothing much has changed.
    Having a seemingly major technological change happen and then life not actually changing very much is certainly a thing that can be explored - but the proliferation of large numbers of fully embodied humanoid AIs is something that would absolutely change life in dramatic ways. QC has occasionally hinted at this, for example in the recent bit about Brun and Renee searching for a new apartment it was mentioned that the owners of the building had converted an entire floor into AI charging cubicles. Assuming that sort of change is widespread it would represent a massive alternation to the housing market and a dramatic change in the population structure of cities and towns.

    Likewise there should be a massive impact in the job market, as we've seen QC AIs hold down advanced professional jobs normal held by humans - Punchbot as an accountant being perhaps the most obvious. There's no reason why, in the QC universe, every single accountant shouldn't be an AI - they're bound to be much more efficient at it than humans and have significantly lower overhead - but the comic completely ignores this, even when it demonstrates things like Momo being much better at certain aspects of library science than any human can ever be and other characters like Martin openly acknowledging this.

    The QC universe should be undergoing a massive and extremely tumultuous economic revolution instead it continues to putter along as if none of these things are happening.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    The thing is, these things might very well be happening, it's just that our band of protagonists are living in their own bubble somewhat, and simple aren't as affected by it.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Morquard View Post
    The thing is, these things might very well be happening, it's just that our band of protagonists are living in their own bubble somewhat, and simple aren't as affected by it.
    Yes, that. The webcomic has never been about what's happening at the highest levels of government. A group of working-class and lower-middle-class people are living their lives against a backdrop of "it's the same year as in the real world, but there are sapient AIs."
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    So... Are we supposed to think Roko is being too hasty here or is it just me? And I'm not sure if I want to get into that last panel...
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    So... Are we supposed to think Roko is being too hasty here or is it just me?
    Neither.
    And I'm not sure if I want to get into that last panel...
    Pretty sure that constitutes getting into it...
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Morquard View Post
    The thing is, these things might very well be happening, it's just that our band of protagonists are living in their own bubble somewhat, and simple aren't as affected by it.
    The one problem I have with it is that everything has happened far too quickly. In-Comic time I think is only a couple of years since the very start of the strip, and the Singularity happening is maybe a year. And yet, we have people like Bubbles who managed to go through full military training, develop deep bonds with her squadmates, have a tragedy, and then spend a significant amount of time AFTER that before we meet her. At the end of the day it's the same reasoning Garfield isn't dead of old age - people aren't aging and the actual timeline shifts to wherever Jeph needs it to be. It's best not to think about it too much.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Morquard View Post
    The thing is, these things might very well be happening, it's just that our band of protagonists are living in their own bubble somewhat, and simple aren't as affected by it.
    Changes in jobs and housing realities to accommodate AIs absolutely would affect these characters, in fact they would especially affect people in the kind of marginal, heavily underemployed economic situations that feature as the major characters in the comic. For example, if AIs are now taking up 1/3 of extant housing stock in Northampton, then prices for the remaining 2/3rds used by humans would increase drastically, and the same problems would feature in the labor market. May working at a convenience store means that a human being doesn't have that job. If the AI population is even 10% of the human population you've functionally caused a 10% population increase in 2-3 years, and a sudden population increase of that kind would be massively disruptive to any local community even if it was comprised almost entirely of members of the same culture, never-mind a bunch of embodied artificial intelligences with completely new living requirements.
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Roko! Down, girl!

    I mean, I get that you're excited to fight the good fight and all, but you can't kidnap people from work, and you can't blackmail everyone who's a momentary inconvenience. If you were still a cop, you would be careening rapidly into bad-cop territory here!
    Last edited by mucat; 2019-06-13 at 02:05 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by mucat View Post
    Roko! Down, girl!

    I mean, I get that you're excited to fight the good fight and all, but you can't kidnap people from work, and you can't blackmail everyone who's a momentary inconvenience. If you were still a cop, you would be careening rapidly into bad-cop territory here!
    The blackmail for causing inconvenience felt really jarring since Roko quit police force because of the abuse of power. (I think, I haven't reread that part)

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by mucat View Post
    I mean, I get that you're excited to fight the good fight and all, but you can't kidnap people from work, and you can't blackmail everyone who's a momentary inconvenience. If you were still a cop, you would be careening rapidly into bad-cop territory here!
    I was thinking about this, also. Roko has made a very sudden and rather big leap from "I am disgusted with the corruption and ineffectiveness of the world's bureacracy" to "I am going to invent blackmail for people from whom I need things".

    Maybe getting crushed into the pavement by an idiot bystander has helped her to develop a more pragmatic view of the world. If that's the case though, why not go back to being a cop and pragmatically blackmail the guys you KNOW are corrupt, rather than some otherwise blameless stranger?
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    She's definitely moving too fast here right now and if she doesn't stop right now and think things through she might make things so much worse for May. Think about it, the manager has nothing going on in the backroom, goes to the police about it, fires May, and then what?

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Morquard View Post
    She's definitely moving too fast here right now and if she doesn't stop right now and think things through she might make things so much worse for May. Think about it, the manager has nothing going on in the backroom, goes to the police about it, fires May, and then what?
    Manager could press charges and May might got her parole retracted, since blackmail is a pretty serious crime.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Blackmail? Who said anything about blackmail? She just knows that the manager will understand the need for employees to take paid time to do secret personal stuff.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Hackman View Post
    The blackmail for causing inconvenience felt really jarring since Roko quit police force because of the abuse of power. (I think, I haven't reread that part)
    OTOH, the other personality trait we learned from that episode is that she is impulsive.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    I was thinking about this, also. Roko has made a very sudden and rather big leap from "I am disgusted with the corruption and ineffectiveness of the world's bureacracy" to "I am going to invent blackmail for people from whom I need things".

    Maybe getting crushed into the pavement by an idiot bystander has helped her to develop a more pragmatic view of the world. If that's the case though, why not go back to being a cop and pragmatically blackmail the guys you KNOW are corrupt, rather than some otherwise blameless stranger?
    Becasue Jeph thought it was funny, and rule of funny rules in QC, for better or worse.
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  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Becasue Jeph thought it was funny, and rule of funny rules in QC, for better or worse.
    I'm honestly not sure where this is going. It could be a comedic strip - Roko and May spend the next few strips talking and arguing like a modern day odd couple but eventually get things together and all is well. It could be the beginning of a spiral into failure for both of them, as Roko's machinations end up costing May her job which in turn causes Roko's confidence and new-found motivation to plummet.

    Jeph has gone either way before, I guess I'll feel better about the situation when we have a clearer idea of where he's going with it. I like both May and Roko, I'm not looking forward to a plot that sees one or both of them tortured.
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Eh, looking at the pattern of Jeph's "Punchlines with Consequences", next strip will involve May talking Roko Out of harassing her manager, and then they'll go about this "Improve May's situation" plotline in a more reasonable way.
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Well, it seems the Roko train is not so easily stopped..
    If I had to guess, because in reality this would probably require a lengthy legal battle and Jeph is not doing that, we'll either get May or someone else stopping Roko, or we'll get something that only works for May and won't work for thousands of others in the same situation.
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  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    I suspect a return of SpookyBot offering help, and Roko having to deal with not wanting to interact with them, but also wanting to make headway with helping May.
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  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonCat View Post
    I suspect a return of SpookyBot offering help, and Roko having to deal with not wanting to interact with them, but also wanting to make headway with helping May.
    Oh, right, I forgot that deus ex machina that can definitely help Roko. Heck, I'm even willing to assume she'll seek her out.
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  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Oh, right, I forgot that deus ex machina that can definitely help Roko. Heck, I'm even willing to assume she'll seek her out.
    I don't see why she would. That doesn't infringe on her moral scale.

  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    I don't see why she would. That doesn't infringe on her moral scale.
    They might just help because Spookybot wants to be friends with Roko.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
    They might just help because Spookybot wants to be friends with Roko.
    "Me solving all your problems and challenges for you" definetly sounds short sighted.

    I think people just like to whine about Robosatan preemptively.

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    As a patron for Jeph, he's uploaded a picture on patreon which shows off Roko's butt logo.

    It's... pretty boring.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    As a patron for Jeph, he's uploaded a picture on patreon which shows off Roko's butt logo.

    It's... pretty boring.
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  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    ... You'd think the agency Roko works for would have some kind ofnlegap counsel as part of the personell...

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  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by John Cribati View Post
    ... You'd think the agency Roko works for would have some kind of legap counsel as part of the personel...
    "How would they pay an on-staff lawyer", I suppose? Roko is only part-time and Beepatrice works at least one other job because there aren't funds to pay them for full-time work, retaining a lawyer probably woudn't be likely either.

    Similarly, previous strips suggest that humans quite willingly granted virtually all civil rights and legal recognition to AIs immediately upon request, so there doesn't seem to be much need to AI rights-specific lawyers that normal ones couldn't also cover. Until May and her trashed, government issue chassis came along, anyway; this almost seems to be the first type of AI-specific discrimination that the QC world has seen, aside from casual ignorant remarks from bystanders.
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  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    As a patron for Jeph, he's uploaded a picture on patreon which shows off Roko's butt logo.

    It's... pretty boring.
    Ah. Yes. I'm very interested. In that logo...


    I'm not sure how Spooky will react but short of a really long arc I don't see much chance for Roko solving this problem, unless it either makes very little sense and/or she goes very crazy.
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  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    You know, I'm wondering, how do other AIs get their humanoid bodies.

    Momo and Winslow we know, got them bought by their humans. Bubbles got hers from the military.

    But what about Punchbot or Beeps or Roko or Seven (Jeremy's girlfriend) or that parole officer guy?

    Were they given it on birth? Was it part of their first job they accepted? Did they save money and bought it themselves?

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XV: I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS! I Told You This Thread Was Weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Morquard View Post
    You know, I'm wondering, how do other AIs get their humanoid bodies.
    Pintsize has alluded to making his own money by "hiring out processor runtime", which suggests that even 'normal' AI's like the ones seen in the cast have redundant brainpower similar to the huge supercomputer AI's for whom things like speech and conversation are just another subroutine. Maybe young AI's work in "server farms", crunching data for a wage which they can save up and do with as they please?

    Similarly, when you really think about it, there's a lot of jobs that can be done with a computer that don't specifically need a human to be sat at a keyboard - programming software, call centres, IT helpdesk, webmasters, and so on.
    Some AI's like Lemon (the counsellor who helped Roko after the accident) have jobs wherein they can work almost entirely within cyberspace, so her overheads are even lower and she has a profession which - in human comparable terms - pays reasonably well. Punchbot is another example - he probably doesn't NEED a corporeal body to work as an accountant, especially as online banking becomes more and more prevalent, so he couldn've worked a few years online before treating himself to a body.

    How Melon got a body... I'm going to guess that she probably hired out a LOT of her processing power - probably a little bit too much - which accounts for her unusual disposition and apparent freedom despite her undefined job.

    There's also the possibility of a certain amount of indentured debt. Pintsize, Winslow and Momo all started out as companion AI's who volunteered into a programme wherein they were matched with their hosts almost like a cultural exchange programme - maybe they were issued their bodies as part of the arrangement and they're "working" as companions in order to buy back their corporeal bodies, kind of like how some start-up companies will lease out equipment to be paid back over a set amount of time?
    Last edited by Wraith; 2019-06-16 at 05:14 AM.
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