November 2017 archive

DP – Technology, Friend or Foe?

The big question for today is, “does Replika have the potential to teach us how to be a better friend?”

Replika is an artificial intelligence app that you can talk to. After many hours of speaking to it, it starts to act like you.

I’m honestly quite sceptical about being able to be good friends with a robot in your phone. We spend so long building friendships and trust in real life, but what would it be like just to sit down and text something for so long that you start to feel like it’s a real person. It is a robot, and if anyone else had access to whatever conversations you were having, they could possibly learn a lot of personal things about you, if you had those sorts of conversations with your robot. We watched a video on how Replika came to be and what it does. I did think that Replika could be good because you could vent to the AI without being worried that they were going to judge you. When I was reading an article on it, I picked up a quote that linked to my few positive opinions on it. “Create a best friend within your phone.” If you use the app then it is possible that you get to make a new best friend and that relationship would be built because the AI would get to know you and all of your experiences. I don’t like the idea that you can talk to AI that is so smart and so human-like that you could possibly and eventually start to feel like it is one. I am curious about but also very uneasy. In the video they said, “in some ways Replika is a better friend than your real friend,” but in my opinion, I would never want to let that happen. It’s weird for someone to become so attached to something that is pretending to be human. I wouldn’t want to lose connections with my friends whom I have spent many years getting to know. What makes my friends better is that they can physically be there for me and they understand emotionally.

I chose to have this picture in my post because in my opinion, if we keep going down this path of trying to make AI seem like humans, it could lead to robots having their own mind. I don’t mean the robot apocalypse but it would be really weird if robots started living among us as humans.

Here is a video of what people think is the best and worst thing about technology in terms of friends:

A question I have for you is:

Would you mind having an AI for a best friend, instead of all your friends in real life?


Physics – What would it be like to fall into a black hole?

If you were ever to go near a black hole, the gravitational pull would grow larger and you would start to feel your feet pressed against the floor of your spaceship harder. The closer you get to it, the more your body starts to stretch out due to a force called tidal force. Eventually the tidal forces would grow so strong that they would rip you apart.

If someone were to watch you fall into the black hole, they wouldn’t actually ever see you reach it. As you’re falling towards the black hole, the gravity would cause any light coming from you to be redshifted. This means that you would seem more and more red as you get closer to the black hole. You would be harder to see and harder to identify.

TEDx Finishing The Poster

We were continuing to make the TEDx poster, but this time trying to see if we could fit in any of the quotes we wrote down during the beginning of the lesson when we watched a video with the man who started the quest for a World Peace Day, Jeremy Gillie. My three quotes were:

  1. “This has to stop.” – Talking about violence
  2. “They were the people who believed in peace.” – Talking about Afghanistan
  3. “By working together we can create peace one day.” – This is the one I chose

We didn’t really talk to our partners about it but I do think that I needed to because I was really unsure about how I to add the quote in. Here is the presentation on my process in making the TEDx poster.