Okay, one of the not-so-great haikus I’ve written, but the Droid Starfighter showed up on my calendar today and I needed a topic. And then I began to think about jets being flown completely by Artifical Intelligence…and my post formed.
Doesn’t the Droid Starfighter look similar to the BSG Cylon ships? And the BSG ships are also robots. Look at them side by side. Okay, one of them is curved more, but I feel like the concept is the same:
This all got me thinking about our real life little Earth…I did some research and currently, the Navy and Air Force are working on their next ships to have AI installed within them. They wouldn’t have AI completely driving and flying the ships, but instead would have them as a co-pilot. Their argument is that having the AI as a Chewbacca frees the pilot to focus on fewer tasks, giving them an advantage over the enemy. The jet will be called F-X (Air Force) or F/A-XX (Navy).
Am I the only one blown away by this? It also makes me slightly nervous. I feel like there’s a lot that could go wrong. Obviously, I’m sure they’ll have an override, but remember Hal in 2001? Yeah, we’re inching towards that. Further, what if the AI feature can be hacked by enemies? Oh goodness, that would be horrible! I feel like that’s always a risk with anything computer oriented. Even if the AI is just a co-pilot, the enemy could hack in, turn off the override feature and the pilot would have no control. If the AI is completely in control of the plane and it gets hacked, uh-oh. In the words of Threepio, “We’re doomed.”
Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies. I think AI can be a good thing, honestly. At other times, AI pisses me off. A lot. Like yesterday when I was on the phone with Apple support for a client and the robot transferred me to a department that was the wrong one. Usually not the biggest deal, but when you’re on hold for an hour with crappy music, I thought I was going to break down when I finally reached someone and they told me they were going to have to transfer me.
Do we want AI in our cars, fighter jets, or even fridges? (Yes they make “smart” fridges now) At what point will we want our privacy to return?
My Surface Pro/Windows 10 has Cortana built into it. I wanted to use it because I’ve heard great things about it…but in order to use it, I need to let Cortana access my location. And for some reason, I really didn’t want to. I’m not sure why I don’t mind so much with my phone – probably because it’s portable and I have a GPS on my weather and maps app so it feels okay. But on my home tablet/laptop? Really? Just so you can spew more ads (“recommendations”) at me? No, I don’t want that. I would like to keep my Surface blissfully ignorant of where I am on this planet, thank you.
When is AI useful? When is AI too much? I guess I’m not sure of the answer. I have my limits, clearly. My fridge and TV are not “smart”. My phone is riddled with AI and probably knows too much about me. I refuse to connect my phone to my washing machine or thermostat though both have the options to do that. Most of the time I don’t even think about it, though occasionally when I’m out, I wish I could turn up the heat slightly so it’s warmer when I get home.
The Trade Federation loved AI. They were all about droids as were the Separatists. General Grievous was practically a droid himself.
But then why did Palpatine decide to move to human intelligence? What are the advantages? The disadvantages are clear – as we saw with FN-2187. But the advantages could be that there is common sense and the ability to sense when something is not right/gut feelings. The Clone Wars did an excellent job in showing us why human clones are a better choice than droids, especially with the camaraderie they build making a better team. Living beings can’t really be “shut down” or hacked like robots can.
What are your thoughts on AI? Is our American society striving too hard to have everything become easier, but instead, we are only losing more of our privacy? Is it something we should just accept and let it assimilate into our daily lives?