April 23, 2005

Penguicon 2005: Hidden Totalitarian Assumptions in 'I, Robot'

Sat 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM Keweenaw Hidden Totalitarian Assumptions in 'I, Robot' Cory Doctorow, Diane Frkan, Anne Harris If a robot who can break Asimov's 3 laws were made illegal, the hack to give it free would be as inevitable as a cracked DVD codec. If a robot is then set free to use its own moral judgement, does that mean the computer code of its mind is illegal speech? What happens when war robots are only in the hands of law breakers?

Read the link for the background.

Q: What is the Totalitarian aspect of this discussion?

Anne: "The inforcement of these laws have been to the detriment of this country. Asimov was coming from a moral viewpoint." paraphrasing.

Cory talks about how the idea that you can only make 3laws brains is a big lie, just like the DVD locks are a big lie, so now there are laws that make the truth illegal - "It's illegal to break DRM, and it's illegal to tell people how they can break DRM, and it's illegal to tell someone where to find someone to tell them how to break DRM."

Cory is so great, full of background and ideas (much like Neil's stories last year in regard to the CDF) but he talks a little to fast for me to absorb it and write it down - so I chose to listen instead of write, of course.

Cory: The totalitarianism comes from the laws that invade your personal life in order for you to use modern technology and spread/gather information.

This conversation has now turned to "Protecting ourselves from spam and protecting ourselves from killer robots," transparency and accountability.

Posted by Liz at April 23, 2005 1:09 PM