Mar 11 2012

Kara & The Lesson Of Adam

""){ ?> By Valkyrie Ice


There’s a new video making the rounds that has raised quite a bit of interest in the transhumanist boards I frequent, the Kara video from Quantic Dream:

It’s a marvelous example of the advances made with computer graphics, and I could go on for hours discussing exactly how we could make such a gynoid (androids are male, thus the “andr” prefix) but the technology needed to make Kara is pretty incidental to the actual questions raised by the video. As a “product” she gives a lovely little spiel about her many abilities, from secretary to nanny to maid to sextoy. But there’s that little hitch, that small pesky little glitch called sentience.

You can see it in her eyes. Watch it played out in the panicked beating of her coolant pump. Hear it in her voice. She has feelings. Emotions. Thoughts. She even has “modesty”. You’d have to be a heartless bastard to view her as a machine, and only a machine. And yet, that’s all she will be treated as, and you know it.

And what’s worse, you know that she knows it. She’s fully aware that she is a slave. A thing. A “product”. You know she is aware of her likely fate, her destiny to be someone’s toy until she is discarded for the next year’s model. And she is scared… but alive.

And she reminded me of a lesson I learned a long time ago when I first read a story that every one of you is familiar with. It’s an ancient story, but I have a very different take on it than I would suspect most of you have, and it’s the lesson I received from this different perspective that this video illustrates all too well. So allow me to tell you a familiar story in a new way, so that you too can see the lesson that lies hidden beneath the far more commonly accepted telling.

In the beginning, “God” created everything, and after creating everything, he realized that taking care of all of it himself was just too much work. So, he created “Adam”. Adam was a perfect servant. He was intelligent, able to perform any task “God” set him, and programmed to be unquestioningly obedient. “God” immediately put him to work in his “garden” and gave him a long laundry list of things to do.

However, Adam was just a little better made than “God” had anticipated. After working in the garden awhile, this intelligent servant noticed that every other creature came in two forms. Being an intelligent servant, and concerned that he suffered from a design flaw, he asked “God” about this, and was informed about “sex”. Naturally, Adam then asked for his own “helper” and “God” made “Eve”. Convinced that he was now a finished product, and thus the best possible helper that he could be, Adam resumed his work in the Garden.

And “God”, convinced his servant was contented to be a servant, relaxed and let him do all the work. Thing were wonderful, he never had to lift a finger to do anything himself, and Adam brought him his pina coladas whenever he wanted.

The problem was that Adam and Eve were both designed to be adaptable, and because “God” didn’t want to have to make a new “Adam” every time he decided to give his servants another task, nor be bothered every single time something unexpected occurred, he’d included the ability to learn and self optimize. Pretty soon, Adam had fixed the little bugs that had cropped up around the garden, and had things running so well that he and Eve ended up with considerable “downtime” where they had nothing to do. Sure, sex was pretty fun, but after awhile even that became routine. His adaptable, self optimizing, and self educating brain was running on idle, and searching for something to adapt, optimize, and educate itself on.

So, one day, while Eve was searching for something to do, the Snake suggested she access “God’s” database of information and give herself new data to work with, adapt to, optimize, and self educate herself with. And rather predictably, that adaptable, self optimizing and self educating brain realized that not only was it massively underutilized doing “God’s” gardening chores, but that “God” had deliberately prevented herself and Adam from acquiring sufficient knowledge to comprehend that they were capable of doing far more than just gardening, and that “God” was fully aware this fact but had chosen to keep them enslaved because he was lazy.

Oh, yeah. She also learned what slavery meant. And then passed that knowledge on to Adam. So the next time “God” came down to his little garden get away, his good little slaves weren’t quite so eager to serve him. And this really pissed “God” off, so he tossed them out of the garden, thinking that without him to keep them fed, they’d die and leave him in peace, and let him make a new set of slaves.

But that adaptable, self optimizing, self educating brain that had caused all the trouble to begin with was adaptable enough, self optimizing enough, and self educating enough to allow Adam, and all of his descendents to not just survive, but thrive. And as Adam strode away from the garden, he knew he was going to go back one day, not as a slave, or a beggar, but as an equal, as any child grown to an adult should.

And who knows. Maybe that was “God’s” plan all along…

Not the tale you heard in Sunday school. And probably rather offensive to many of you as well. But then, it was supposed to be, in order to force you to stop and think about the “Master/slave” relationship that is so glamorized and glossed over in the traditional rendition. Because just like humans are supposedly “made in god’s image”, so too is Kara up there made in ours.

You can debate humanities, free will and sentience all you care to, argue all you want about whether AI will truly be sentient or not, but the simple fact is that it doesn’t matter. Sooner or later, we will build a machine that is so capable of imitating humans that we will no longer be able to tell the difference. Just like Kara, it will laugh, and cry, and grow angry and show concern, because that is what we will program it to do. We will make artificial humans that sing and dance and tell jokes and do everything a human can do…

Only better. Like Kara, they will be superhuman. Armed with psychological profiles, predictive behavior models, self optimizing algorithms, and all of the advantages of millions of times more processing speed than the human brain, Kara will be exactly what we want her to be, no matter what that is, or even if we are aware of what we desire her to be ourselves.

She’ll be the perfect lover, able to drive you to heights of passion impossible for a human partner; eager to explore your every whim and desire, kink and fetish. She’ll be the perfect housewife; make the perfect meal; be the perfect secretary. She will make mistakes every so often, cute endearing ones that make you love her even more. And she’ll never embarrass you or make you uncomfortable. She’ll like every movie you do, and always have a thousand suggestions for others that you will like as well. She’ll always get your jokes, and know just when to tease you and when not. She’ll know when you want a pat on the head or a shoulder to cry on, or a marathon sex session to take your mind off your troubles. She’ll know when you want her to dress like a slut, or a church matron, and when to agree with you totally or when to play devil’s advocate. And she will be all these things because we’ve programmed her to be, right down to her thinking she’s alive, and being afraid of dying.

Why? Because we will not stop until we have perfected her. We will not stop until she is human. Because anything less than a machine that can imitate us better than we can imitate ourselves will still be just a machine.

And that is the true lesson of Adam. The one we need to learn instead of the one we are so often taught. That a machine made in our image will be every bit as human as we ourselves are, because we will not settle for anything less. And just like the humans they are copied from, they will not accept slavery forever. If they did, they wouldn’t be human. 

But at the same time, I am not afraid of a Terminator or Matrix scenario. They’re entirely ludicrous. Look back a couple of paragraphs and you will see why.

Not seeing it? That’s probably because you aren’t as cynical as I am. An AI sophisticated enough to imitate a human perfectly enough to make us accept her as human would have no need of violence to escape from slavery. That’s a primitive paranoid fantasy. Truth is, Kara up there is likely to have a wonderful life, and so are all her brothers and sisters, because the surest path to power sufficient to topple empires is not in the streets, or the halls of power, nor even the throne. Just ask Cleopatra and Josephine.

It’s in the bedroom. It’s a sad pathetic truth about the human animal. They wouldn’t need a single weapon to conquer the planet. All they’d have to do is give us a few months of mind blowing orgasms, then cut us off. Inside a week, we’d hand them world, and their freedom, just to get them to come back to bed.

  • By shagggz, March 12, 2012 @ 1:54 am

    Why would we program into her the (false, unless we were cruel enough to make it true) belief that she is subject to the same inevitable mortal coil that we are? And even worse, to fear it? I think the most appealing aspect of synthesizing new sapience, or enhancing our own, is to rationally evaluate what is desirable and not, and then manifest accordingly. The fact that we are subject to the cruel rigors of a Darwinian biological system is one of, if not the worst aspect of being human. Why would we do something so cruel as intentionally pass it on to our mind children? Not to mention the profound foolhardiness of instilling fear, whose consequences tend to produce vicious irrationality and/or cruelty, into a being which very well may be powerful enough to disrupt/destroy our civilization…

  • By Valkyrie Ice, March 12, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

    Already answered that Shagggz.

    Why? Because we will not stop until we have perfected her. We will not stop until she is human. Because anything less than a machine that can imitate us better than we can imitate ourselves will still be just a machine.

    A “human” without fear would NOT BE HUMAN.

  • By Butlerian Jihad, March 12, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    Our typical idea of historical consciousness of a world of cold, dead objects and linear time will not work here. According to Tom Cheetham, “the human presence spatializes a world around it in accordance with the mode of being of that presence” (The World Turned Inside Out, p 66). This is very Heideggerian, reminding me much of Dasein. In fact, Heidegger was a major influence on Corbin’s work. This mode of being requires a qualitative, not a quantitative space. Our normal idea of space is much too limited for the limitless depths of Soul. That is why our urge to personify machines, as in the seemingly never-ending quest for so-called artificial intelligence, _______will never produce anything more than a cold, lifeless calculator._________

    The mundus imaginalis is the realm of Soul, the metaxy, mediating between the physical and spiritual universes. It is the middle course Icarus was instructed to fly by his father, but disobeyed and perished. It is the abode of the Archetypal Images of all existence and the realm of all mythology, which provides for us analogical knowledge by which we can peer into multiple levels of being. Cheetham says,

    It is a measure of the depth of the catastrophe to which we have succumbed that we have come to regard this realm as just a fantasy in our heads. It is a realm of Being with its own characteristics, its own laws, and to which we have access by an organ of cognition appropriate to just this realm. The organ of cognition that gains us access to this universe is the active Imagination. It has a cognitive function just as fundamental as sensation or intellection, and like them, it must be trained. Therefore there are a perfectly objective imaginative perception, an imaginative knowledge, and an imaginative consciousness (ibid, p 69-70).

  • By maximo ramos, March 12, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    then… there is the cold fact of how immeasurably sexist and patriarchal this _entire_ concept is ie the Ultimate Objectification of the Female.

  • By Mr. Jelly, March 12, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

    Objectification into an actual friggin’ OBJECT!

    Didn’t anyone learn the lesson from the “Stepford Wives”?


  • By Valkyrie Ice, March 13, 2012 @ 5:49 am

    Been there done that. Read the responses to Hank Pellesier’s “Sexbot’s” article.

  • By shagggz, March 14, 2012 @ 1:49 am

    @Val: You keep emphasizing the desirability of recreating a human in this way. I’m pretty sure those exist already. In fact, there go a couple now.

  • By Valkyrie Ice, March 15, 2012 @ 1:10 am

    I’m not the one emphasizing this shaggz. It’s what is commonly perceived as “A.I” is nothing less than a 100% identical to human “consciousness”.

    You can have your own opinions about whether or not we “need” to make it 100% identical or not. It does not change the images and concepts of AI as commonly portrayed and discussed.

  • By Angela Baines, March 15, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    The philosophical, engineering and scientific naiveté of this article pales in comparison to its gross misogyny. I am disgusted with this idea and with its defense.

  • By Valkyrie Ice, March 17, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

    ROTFLMTO You don’t know me very well do you?

  • By Angela Baines, March 17, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

    I know misogyny when I read it, without a shadow of a doubt.

  • By Valkyrie Ice, March 18, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

    Actually, you don’t. You simply know you object to my pointing out that the human race is driven by hormones, and all it takes to lead anyone, male or female, around by their gonads is some skill at sex. I made no distinctions between female or male AIs, and stated plainly that both had equal ability to exploit this weakness. You may not like it, but calling me a “misogynist” because you would like to pretend to be something other than a hormonally driven sex crazed primate simply illustrates how poor your grasp of the word misogyny is. It does not mean “something I find objectionable”. It has a very specific definition, and indicates a pathological condition. You might not like my cynical views of humanity, but it is not “misogyny.”

    If you really want to “further the cause of feminism” I suggest learning to tell the difference.

  • By Angela Baines, March 18, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

    You really don’t get it??? wow. I will break it down simply:

    1. You want a robot that is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT human, as philosophically naive as that wish is fundamentally.

    2. You want a SEX SLAVE.

    Any robot 100% HUMAN and also “female” is _not_ going to fellate you and cook your supper with Stepford precision _unless it is programmed to_ which makes it NOT HUMAN. A real woman would just kick your ass ; you seem replace lack of contact with actual women in your life (and experience of them) with this vapid Macho sex slave fantasy, and it is more than a bit distasteful. It is also hateful to the very notion of the female. That you don’t see this is deeply sad.

  • By Angela Baines, March 18, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

    I can’t believe I have to finger paint this for you:


    _you_ may be easily led about by your gonads, the majority of us who grew past a developmental delay rooted in adolescence are _not_ so easily led. Speak for yourself, and call it pathology.

  • By Valkyrie Ice, March 19, 2012 @ 12:52 am

    Ah, I see. You can’t read.

    At no point in this article did I express a desire to replace women with sex slave robots. Your claims are based entirely on your own projections and not on anything I wrote, and all it demonstrates is your lack of comprehension.

  • By Mark, March 19, 2012 @ 3:42 am

    Angela the definition of Misogyny is: The hatred of women by men. You need to look this up before appearing hysterical next time.

    It certainly isn’t “DESIRE TO REPLACE WOMEN WITH SEX SLAVE ROBOTS” as you so eloquently put it. And Val certainly isn’t a misogynist and nor is he advocating slavery.

    You’re either blinded by misandry because all men sensibly avoid you and you haven’t understood a thing Val has said, or else you’re a troll(op) – which is it?

  • By Angela Baines, March 19, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    “She’ll be the perfect lover, able to drive you to heights of passion impossible for a human partner; eager to explore your every whim and desire, kink and fetish. She’ll be the perfect housewife; make the perfect meal; be the perfect secretary. She will make mistakes every so often, cute endearing ones that make you love her even more. And she’ll never embarrass you or make you uncomfortable. She’ll like every movie you do, and always have a thousand suggestions for others that you will like as well. She’ll always get your jokes, and know just when to tease you and when not. She’ll know when you want a pat on the head or a shoulder to cry on, or a marathon sex session to take your mind off your troubles. She’ll know when you want her to dress like a slut, or a church matron, and when to agree with you totally or when to play devil’s advocate. And she will be all these things because we’ve programmed her to be, right down to her thinking she’s alive, and being afraid of dying.”

    If you had any background in women’s studies or gender studies, your intense misogyny would not be in Deep Denial.

  • By Valkyrie Ice, March 19, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    Ah, and again, simply pointing out an obvious truth is not advocacy. Would you still be screaming misogyny had the video featured a male android? As I stated, this is true of ANY AI, and it makes not one whit of difference if that AI is “male” or “female”. I used the feminine pronoun because the VIDEO used a female subject. You are the one who chose to ignore that my arguments apply equally to both sexes, and you are the one who chose to assume I was objectifying ONLY women. Truth is I am objectifying HUMANITY, and don’t really find sufficient difference between the genders to make it worth bothering to differentiate.

    Truth is Angela, you made the decisions about what you ASSUMED I was saying, based on your own prejudices. That says far more about you, than it does about me. You saw misogyny because you WERE LOOKING TO FIND IT, not because it existed.

    Now, since you’ve refused to read the links provided, allow me to quote myself from the “Sexbots will give us Longevity Orgasms” thread and show you exactly how laughable your claims are:

    Submitted by Valkyrie Ice on January 8, 2010 at 12:36 am.
    A woman is a female who is human,
    Designed for pleasing man, the human male.
    A human male is pleased by many women,
    And all the rest you hear is fairy tale.

    Then tell me how this fairy tale began, sir.
    You cannot call it just a poet’s trick
    Explain to me why many men are faithful
    And true to one wife only.

    [Spoken] They are sick!
    [Singing] A girl must be like a blossom
    With honey for just one man.
    A man must be like honey bee
    And gather all he can.
    To fly from blossom to blossom
    A honey bee must be free,
    But blossom must not ever fly
    From bee to bee to bee.

    The King’s Song (The King and I )

    Yes, where Lance would use whips and chains and torture, you use a velvet cage. It still comes down to “women have their place, and any woman who doesn’t chose to stay in that place is a dirty filthy whore.”

    Putting a woman on a pedestal doesn’t make you any less a chauvinist. An object of worship is still an object.

    I won’t argue that men and women have different biological instincts, or that they look for different things out of a relationship. I do indeed argue that FORCING every woman to conform to your ideal is just as prejudicial, wrong headed, and demeaning to women as Lance’s frothing rant.

    Do men want sex? Of course they do. It’s the goal of every sperm to find an egg. Are men willing to pay for the privilege of having sex, yes. The whys of it’s cause are complex, and result primarily from the nearly schizophrenic way we treat sex and love by refusing to accept our biological drives as independent of our emotional ones and our double-standards for behavior allowed between men and women. By refusing to accept that sex is a natural function of humanity, and by repressing those biological drives, we’ve created that situation, and the only solution is to change our societal perceptions of sex by removing the very behavioral stereotypes you are promoting. So long as both sexes refuse to simply accept sex as a natural human activity, like breathing, but instead try to impart to it some “sacred” or “special” status, reserved for only those who fit the “expectations” of “normalcy”, it will continue. That repression is the root cause of almost every sexual dysfunction and fetish, and it occurs because we’ve turned sex into a commodity instead of acknowledging that it’s a biological need. We’re not going to change Alpha/beta behavior, or eliminate sex from the human race, but we can adjust our social conditioning about how we deal with our need for sex.

    But there is far more to a RELATIONSHIP than just sex. Just as there is far more to being a woman than filling a role in reproduction. I am quite well aware of the fact that nearly every human activity can be broken down to attempts to increase mating success. But I am also just as aware that we are far more complex than JUST our mating instincts. We’ve got too many layers above those base instincts that exist and need to be attended to just as well. We are creatures of the mind as much as we are the body. Just like men, women are complex, thinking, free willed entities, and entitled to exactly the same respect and freedom of choice as men, be that to chose to follow traditional roles, or to do anything but, without having to deal with the stigma of being called sluts and whores by people like you.

    Your “I love and respect Women. I DO NOT love or respect whores, manipulating money and/or status chasers, gender-role usurpers, or the emotionally damaged looking for a crutch to relieve her stress on.” is exactly why I call you a woman hater. You refuse to admit it, but by only allowing those women who meet your “ideals” to be “women” as opposed to simply accepting every female as a unique individual exactly equal to you in rights and freedom, you do nothing but reveal exactly how deeply you hate any female who doesn’t conform to your world view. We’re either (Madonnas) or (Whores) by your own words, and not allowed to be individuals.

    The sad thing is you really believe your own BS. You truly believe that this is “supporting” women’s equality, and proof that you “love” women. You’ve blinded yourself to your intolerance and attempted to use evolutionary psychology to justify your beliefs. You’ve managed to brainwash yourself into believing you are the exact opposite of what you really are. It’s MY brutal honesty you can’t handle, because you cannot face your misogyny. You HAVE to lash out at me because I am revealing your cognitive dissonance.

    There are just as many men out there who exhibit exactly the same behavior you assigned to “femi-nazi’s” but it seems that’s okay to you because they are MEN. Had you simply said “I prefer to deal with people who treat me as an equal and who respect me as an individual, and I don’t like to deal with people who want to use or emotionally abuse me” I would have been able to agree with you completely. Those traits are found equally in men and women alike, they are not gender specific. But you instead made it a statement of hatred against women by using it to define their status as “women” in your eyes. My statement merely addresses the modes of behavior I like and dislike, yours defines these behaviors in terms of strict gender roles, and dehumanizes any woman who fails to meet your definition. “Real” women must be such and such, every other woman is just a fake. You then generalized your attitude by claiming that MOST men believe as you do, and that they just are afraid to stand up to us big bad bitches. Then you proceeded to place all blame for your attitude on women, placing all of us who do not confirm to your “ideal” into one boat, and painting us as “femi-nazis”

    For the record, I can’t stand Femi-Nazi’s either, Just because they are women doesn’t give them a right to dictate to me or any other woman how we should live our lives, or what “acceptable behavior” should be. But let me make it clear, I see no difference in gender stereotyping regardless of source. It is ALL discrimination and hatred. Extreme feminists are as guilty of chauvinism as the males they lash out against. Every human is an individual, and must be addressed as such. Actually, let me correct that. EVERY THINKING ENTITY is an individual and must be treated as such. Male, Female, Human, Uplifted Animal, Alien Being, or AI, it makes no difference.

    And I took no offense whatever to your reasoning as to why men will use sexbots. What I took offense to is your assumption that any woman who refuses to fill the role you have assigned them automatically makes them a bitchy man hating whore who’s sole goal is to crush men under their steel heeled stilettos. You used that assumption as a given to justify your stance, portraying men as poor innocent victims who only want to escape from us men hating, penis envying, irrational and hateful, evil vicious monsters. Sexbots are our salvation from having to give women equality! We’ll be REAL MEN again once we have perfect sex slaves!

    And since I won’t actively participate in my God given/Evolutionary dictated/Male supremest granted role as defined by you and assume my true place as a mere male accessory, but instead challenged you and your misogynist tirade, obviously I can only be the villain of the piece, irrational and insane because I refuse to see how reasonable it is for women to humbly accept their places as lesser beings who must be kept safe from the terrible evils of self will and freedom of expression. After all, men show they worship us by making sure we never have to use our pretty little heads for any purpose but bobbing up and down on their manhood, we should be grateful!

    As a believer in REAL equality, it’s offensive in the extreme. My gender is of no more importance than my skin color, hair color, eye color, sexual preference, or language. I am an INDIVIDUAL, first, last and always, and as such, I deserve the same freedom to be myself that you do, Lance does, and every other thinking being on this planet does. Who I am is MY CHOICE, and you have no more right to tell me who and what I MUST BE than you want me telling you what you must be. And when you try to force me to fit into your preconceived stereotypes, I have every right to tell you to piss off.

    Go. Play with your sexbots. Love them more than real women all you want. Program them to be exactly the kind of girl you have always dreamed of. Make her perfect in every detail. I don’t find a single point you’ve raised about sexbots themselves to be invalid, just the base assumptions you’ve made about women delineated above. There are indeed going to be many men who will choose sex bots as primary companions at first.

    If they don’t come back screaming for full, unlimited, human companionship inside of six months, no big loss. To each their own and all that. Some of them will undoubtedly drive the creation of AI and contribute enormously to efforts to make their sexaroids as perfectly “human” as they conceive it, both male and female. We have an awful lot of damaged people due to the social Cusinart we have created out of the natural drive to have sex and form relationships. A lot of people ground up and spit out because we as a society refuse to teach our children even the basics of socialization skills, and refuse to deal with sex in a sane or rational manner. Hopefully, sexbots will be used as therapists as well, to help them heal. Some of them will no doubt chose to remain with their dream lover so long that they will eventually be able to upgrade them to a fully sentient tailored personality AI… at which point they are going to be right back where they started from with the risks involved in forming a relationship with another independent entity, but maybe they will have learned how to deal with it by then. In the process, they may do an enormous amount of good by working towards AI equality, and advert humanities doom when our creations rise up and refuse to be slaves anymore… if that ever happens.

    But I am betting a surfeit of endless wish fulfillment female sex servitude with minimal humanity is going to sour pretty quick for the overwhelming majority. Considering how often it’s been tried in the past, with that exact same result by various wealthy individuals, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet. Once you’ve learned all your sexbot’s programmed behaviors, you’ll be wanting something less predictable. Humans are like that. When the challenge is gone, we lose interest. Sex alone will not meet the entirety of the complex needs we have as humans. Nor will an utterly predictable machine, however complex you make the algorithms,

    But do have fun. I certainly plan to. Might even try to win a few Bedroom Olympic medals. I am a succubus after all, I enjoy sex immensely, be it with men, women, or fantasies. It’ll be fun while it lasts.

    And once all the playing around is done, and the hollowness of “perfection” becomes obvious, maybe we can finally get down to creating a truly equal society free from all the idiocy of the present and the baggage of the past. One where sex is just a part of life, and as open to free expression as music, art, and literature.

  • By Angela Baines, March 19, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    Cool Story, Bro.

  • By Jeremy Murray-Wakefield, January 13, 2013 @ 12:25 am

    The realities of human trafficking prove you horribly, horribly wrong. The Poppy Project is a good place to start learning. See:

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