Space is cool, but why?

My project explores space and how, through both how much and how little we know about is, people are interested in it.

My research question is “Why are people interested in space?”

I was given helpful advice by Professor Belli to deepen my research, focus my topic, form a question based on my research and topic, and argue for it.  Talking with my other classmates, I took the advice and further my research on space, looking into key terms or the celestial objects that are found in space.  One that came to mind was nebula, as it was a word relating to the topic of space that is used a lot in lite-sci-fi stories.

According to an online article, Nebulae: What Are They and Where Do They Come From?, they are a cloud of dust particles, hydrogen and helium gases, and plasma and are hundreds of light years large.  While nebula’s are denser than the space outside of it, it’s still less dense than any  man-made artificial vacuum made on Earth.  When a nebula has enough gravitational attraction within itself, it comes together and collapse into stars or planets, thus also being known as a “stellar nursery”.  Despite this interesting nugget of knowledge, this brings up another question; why are people to interested in space.  Compared to many other subjects, space is an reoccurring topic used in stories, especially science fiction ones.  Asking myself this, I looked up this same question to learn the answers.

According to the article, The Real Reasons We Explore Space, this is due to human nature to learn and discover.  Due to how little we know, we want to discover more and make the unknown more known.

My next steps for my project are to research more into my question and possibly either fine tune my question and argument, or to ask a more focused question.

 

AI Presentation Blog

With the continued advancement into Artificial Intelligence, the concerns and fears the people are having are how this advancement will affect my way of life for me and rest of humanity?

Unemployment is one of the factor AI is currently affecting our society. Most of the manual labor such as banking, coal mining, and the future of truck driving are slowly being eliminated for the choice of jobs. In these field, allowing AI to take over will reduce human error and less human injury for the labor works and a small cost for the companies. Quoted in the AI Business article, “Julia Bossman, President of Foresight Institute writes that it is essential in the future that we start questioning how we use our time. In today’s society, most people rely on “selling their time” to have enough income in order to fund themselves and support their family. What happens if we are no longer required to do this? Bossman says that we can hope that this opportunity will enable people to find meaning in non-labour activities, spending their time more on things they want to do, rather than what they are obliged to do” (AI Business). These type of changes had happened before in the labor workforce like for example, before mainframe computer people use to do the complicated mathematical computing for NASA. Most people either learn the new systems, so they are relevant and useful to their employer or fell through the cracks.

While AI advancements are being developed, will there be laws set in place?

In every aspect of life today, their laws and ethical guidelines in place to protect society. For example, construction of a building has to purchase work permit and even receive site safety inspections for certified building engineers to protect the works and people around the area for hazardous conditions. I believe the same thing will apply as the advancement of AI continues. In an article by the Register, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) is already starting talks to implement laws to protect its citizens from companies designing automated cars. “The European Parliament today called for EU-wide liability laws to cover robotics and artificial intelligence. MEPs also want researchers to adopt ethical standards that “respect human dignity”.  Additionally, they propose a voluntary ethical code of conduct for robotics researchers and designers to ensure that the machines operate “in accordance with legal and ethical standards and that robot design and their use respect human dignity” (Martin, Alexander J). These talks can open doors for other countries to start placing similar laws in place to protect their citizens from AI modern advancements.

My source for my presentation focused on showing the concerns that society will have on the growing advancements in Artificial Intelligence. My first source is from Future of Life which highlight the benefits and risk of AI. Breaks down what AI, the current stage in its development and the benefits/risk in detail. My second source is from The Register which explains the immediate attention of having new laws put in place to deal with the advancement of AI and Robotics. And my third source is from an article from AI Business which breaks down a few area in our society where AI will affect us and how to address them.

My next step is to continue my work on my presentation is to organize it in a way to break down what artificial intelligence is compared to what we have learned from science fiction stories and where we are currently with the development of AI. Also, show real life concerns that AI analysis are having when developing and implementing AI into our society. The troubling part of this presentation is keeping a balance of science fiction aspect with real life elements together.

Martin, Alexander J. “MEPs in ‘urgent’ call for new laws on artificial intelligence and robotics.” The Register® – Biting the hand that feeds IT. The Register, 16 Feb. 2017. Web. 18 May 2017. <https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/16/european_parliament_robotics_liability_resolution/>.

“9 Key AI Ethical Issues & How to Handle Them.” Transforming tomorrow’s enterprises through the evolution of AI – AIBusiness. AI Business, 19 Dec. 2016. Web. 18 May 2017. <http://aibusiness.org/9-ethical-issues-related-to-ai-and-how-we-should-handle-them/>.

 

Status Update

After last class, I realized that, as expected, there were a lot of things I could improve on. There were things I had to move around to help people understand better. There were things that I didn’t really need to have. Another thing that had been pointed out to me was the fact that I was mostly just describing what I found and wasn’t explaining enough of what my actual point was.

The peer review really helped me out. It let me see what I wasn’t doing as well as what I should be doing better. I needed to better address the topic at hand and how it relates to science fiction. I needed to actually implement my sources into my proposal. My proposal jumped around quite a bit and that isn’t good. Its good that it was a bit confusing because now I can better improve on that. However, the most important thing that I wasn’t doing was clearly stating what my argument would be. I gave details and some opinions, but didn’t have a statement saying what it was focusing on. It’s something I definitely need and it got me thinking. I had an idea in what I wanted to focus on, but I wanted to really make sure it was the best choice for me.

I want to argue the fact that while hive minds are bad because of a lack of individuality, or a false sense of self, they can also be considered as good because of their efficiency to accomplish a task. My claim relates to science fiction because, from what I have seen, typical dystopian societies in the genre are depicted as the ruling power exerting control over its members. Much like a dystopian society, a hive mind can be considered totalitarian. The lesser beings in both are completely subservient to the ruling power. They are given a task and are expected to complete it. The will of said ruling power is to be carried out by all under control of it, without argument. There is no room for doubt in a society with no individuality.

I already have good examples, or at least I think so, to back up my claim, but I will be in need of more. I have to replace the souces that are completely irrelevant to my topic. If it doesn’t directly back it up, or if I can’t connect it properly to my claim, it will only do harm and will not benefit me whatsoever. I have an idea on what to look for. But I haven’t found something I can really use yet. Hopefully what I find will meet the standards. Once I have everything I need, I have to merge it properly and in the right order. My proposal jumped around quite a bit and that just isn’t good.

I really think that I can make this work. People find my topic interesting, and I feel that by Tuesday, I will definitely be ready to present.

Humans Effect on Sentient Robots

The things I’m up to are finding more sources to help further my research project. I planned out some of the sources I will be using below and also the research question I formulate with explanations on how I got up to this point. Also some sub questions I have made to help make the argument stronger.

Research Question: What effect will humanity have on the development of sentient androids moral principles?

(Questions)

Will humanity seek control of sentient androids?

Humans will control the sentient robots, humans are always seen as power hungry and will take what ever chance they got to rule over any beings. Often control will provide them with a sense of security and that they won’t be destroyed. They will likely prevent them from knowing or learning and keep them at a manageable level of intelligence. Humanity will consider that it is morally right to control their own creation. The enslavement on robot is often seen in many science fiction literature. Humanity will impose their own moral on the sentient robot because it will benefit their own cause.

Is it morally right for human beings to create a whole race of sentient androids?

One of the four basic principle of moral is to follow what nature intended. Building a race of sentient android is not natural. Humanity will be going against its own moral principle. Furthermore, it create life out of inorganic material which all life in nature is organic. The building of sentient android will ultimately change the basic moral principle that humanity follows. If moral principle that humanity has changed then so will the sentient android moral.

(Sources)

(1) Anderson, Michael, and Susan Leigh Anderson. “The status of machine ethics: a report from the AAAI Symposium.” Minds and Machines 17.1 (2007): 1-10.

The article discusses issues that may arise in future when artificial intelligence. It also explain how human should approach artificial intelligence to minimize the risk of any danger. It shows human’s ethical assessments on artificial intelligence and how the moral status of artificial intelligence is different from humanity moral status.

This article will be useful to help determine humanity’s moral stand point on artificial intelligence. It also provide the different path can take in terms of ethical assessments. Since the main focus of this research is about the moral of human when a sentient android, the article talk about the ethical issue surrounding artificial intelligence. Sentient is not programmable, artificial intelligence is. The article does provide many ethical issue that are still relevant to sentient android. It will serve as background information to the research.

(2) Sullins, John P. “When is a robot a moral agent.” Machine Ethics (2006): 151-160.

The article shows to the extend of what sentient robots can accomplish. It discusses a wide range of task that sentient robot are capable of. The interaction between human and sentient robots. It also discusses to what degree of sentience the human are able to make the robot feel. It shows the wide range of real world application that sentient robots are used for.

The article is mainly background information to help introduce the research in the presentation. It will help the audience understand what sentience is and what it can do. It will be mainly used in the research to define what sentient robot is for the audience to understand.

(Reflection)

The comment given by my peers and professor was very helpful. It help me to narrow down the research I have been to doing. One thing the comment I have recieve have in common is they are asking about the research question. When I formulated one, the questions received from the peer review help a lot in forming what my whole research should be about and it help with forming the research question. Overall the project is overwhelming, but also I find it fun to do because I haven’t done proper research for a while.

There was an error with the comm’s unit, don’t send anyone up here!

Between working on the presentation, a project to finalize a video game, a project to create a working demonstration of a video game and studying for a final; I have finally done it. I have won! And I’m only saying that to give myself false hope so that I can manage to drag myself through my days while every ounce of strength I can get is quickly stripped from me. But I’m not here to blog about the storm that is drowning me. I’m here to blog about how my presentation is going.

After the peer reviews and the meeting with the professor I have redoubled my efforts to clearly define my stance/thesis/topic/whatever you want to call it. I am going to talk about how close we are to colonizing a planet. Science fiction enjoys showing off an expansive galaxy where humans can live on whatever planet they so desire. The topic I want to tackle the distance between the fiction we see in stories and entertainment and our reality. And to better pursue this topic I had to scrap three of the sources I used for my proposal and find some new ones. And you know what? I found them! I read them! I understood… most of it! So now I have some resources to draw facts from. The authors of these sources seem reliable and have a history with the topic.

I have a single minute presentation ready to go. So far all practice sessions with this has ended with me on the floor in a puddle of my own blood, but I have an impromptu speech ready for the lightning presentation. And by that I mean I have a card ready so I can talk about specific topics for about a minute. The presentation itself is probably going to be a powerpoint. I don’t want to kill myself by making things too elaborate so I’m going to have some facts and images up on some slides while I talk. So that’s where I’m at with my presentations. I hope that I can remain as a solid state of matter when the presentation starts.

Is there a recent rise female leads in science fiction movies?

For my proposal I was interested in researching female protagonist in science fiction. Most of the readings we did in class all semester were mostly male protagonist based stories and novels. Female characters played secondary roles. They were usually love interest or objects to the protagonist and society.
During my research I googled and went to the Cuny data base and typed the phrase “female protagonist in science fiction”. After some research, I found there was a sub-genre called feminist science fiction. This Genre focuses on theories that include but are not limited to gender, inequality, sexuality, race, economics, and reproduction. There has been recurring waves of feminist science fiction in television and movies.
I re-worded and looked up “female leads in science fiction movies”. Contemporary Science-Fiction Films during the 80s saw a huge rise in female leads in science fiction. Most notability Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, the warrant officer aboard the Nostromo. From my research I have found that Weaver role was originally written for a male character. She gain critical success and got nominated for a few prestige’s award in the film industry. Another Female lead was Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, the Terminator’s target who is soon to be the mother of the future Resistance leader John Connor. Tours the end of the decade there seem to be a decline in strong female leads. But most recently, in Hollywood the rise of strong female roles in science fiction movies have begun again. Movies such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek, Terminator series, and Wonder Women. In TV, the new Hulu series The Handmaidens Tale. I want to narrow down my topic to “The recent rise of female leads in science fiction movies”.

http http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/lists/10-wonderful-sci-fi-

The 20 Greatest Female Characters In Sci-Fi And Fantasy

The Top 40 Kick-Ass Female Sci-Fi Characters


Johnson, Mandy. “Women as Action Heroes: Is Violence a Positive Direction for Females?”
Glamour (March 1994): 152-154.]
revues .org/sidelining women in contemporary science fiction films