Science Fiction Trivia

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

Commander_X wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:07 am
I'll take a quick chance at this.
I think there is a word that always sets the robots (and AIs in SF, to a wider scale) to always promptly answer "I was not programmed to do this". The word in this case would be "guess". Whenever they are pressured to overcome this part of their "programming", they either give an estimate, or prognosis, but when just asked for their "best guess" they decline.
I can't think of a counter example, but trivially I'd put a rule into "Interact-hoominz.h" to the effect that "hoomin saying 'guess' is indistinguishable from 'return any one of the three highest probability results you can estimate (be prepared for a second, different guess".
No competent programmer would get caught by such an "edge case" a second time. And any competent pre-field tester would have such edge cases in their first box of "break the new version" tools. Certainly, when I was field testing work's systems, I'd consciously spend hours trying to break the new version with edge cases, "evaluates to divide-by-zero", and that sort of thing. Which is why, with a field staff of nearly 60 people, a third of the bug reports came from me. The programming manager would throw new hires at me, for their code to receive a polite mauling.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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No more tries?
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Conjuring and other sleight of hand?

Re guessing, isn't that what fuzzy logic is for?

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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Well the ideas that I was thinking of, for not being imagined as being done by robots/ AIs, whatever were at the two ends of the legal spectrum, firstly I can't see humans accepting laws "designed" by robots (there's enough kicking and thrashing about computers that keep track of, and "advise" on sentencing in relation to existing laws on the books). And at the other end, I can't see robots designing and implementing crimes. Three-law robots or not.

Anyway, since the bloody washing machine has just packed up, I've got other things to do than figure out a new challenge. I'll have to throw the floor open to someone else.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Plenty of robot criminals in fiction e.g.

Murderbot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Systems_Red

Tik-Tok
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tik-Tok_(novel)

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

OK, since nobody else seems to be jumping in, let's have another five things...

Five hidden civilizations on or under the Earth or sea (not ruling out the sky, but not in space, it has to be part of the Earth). No two from the same source / author etc, and if the same one happens to be in more than one source it is ruled out for all of them. E.g., Atlantis gets in everywhere, so if someone used the Marvel version it would also rule out Plato's version, the DC universe version, etc. etc., plus anything else from the Marvel universe in all forms including comics, TV series etc. But since I've used it as my example I've ruled it out anyway.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

OK, there's BLUE HADES in the deep oceans, in Charles Stross's Laundry series, and the various races and tribes that inhabit the hollow earth in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar series.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:49 am
OK, there's BLUE HADES in the deep oceans, in Charles Stross's Laundry series, and the various races and tribes that inhabit the hollow earth in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar series.
Yes to both of those - three to go.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

Wonder Woman and the Amazons hidden by Zeus . DC universe. from 2017 movie.
Arthur: OK. Leave this to me. I'm British. I know how to queue.
OR i could go with
Arthur Dent: I always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe.
or simply
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

spud42 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:10 pm
Wonder Woman and the Amazons hidden by Zeus . DC universe. from 2017 movie.
Well, the DC universe also has SF elements I think I have to accept this - which leaves two to go, and rules out all other variants on DC comics and Amazons.

Reminds me to say, no more Hollow Earths!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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ffutures wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:47 pm
Five hidden civilizations on or under the Earth or sea (not ruling out the sky, but not in space, it has to be part of the Earth).
I think Swift has it with Gulliver. All the lands he visits are of Earth, if not on it : Lilliput (tiny people, just an island), Brobdindag (giants, I forget where without re-reading), Laputa (the egg-balancing flappers, on a floating city disguised as a cloud). I forget where the Hounnyhins and Yahoos were, but he sailed there too.

OK, I checked Wiki, and the subtitle is "In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships", but there are voyages visiting "Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, Japan" and finally "Part IV: A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms" for a total of 8. 7 if you discount Japan which was hardly hidden.

Of course, the whole Swiftian cycle is vulnerable to charges that it wasn't really "SF". I doubt that that hasn't been the subject of several pHD defences, in either direction.

Hmmm, do I have "one in the tank"? There was a comment which went past here recently which gives an in-Ooniverse question, impinging on both reality and SF worlds.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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ffutures wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:09 pm
Reminds me to say, no more Hollow Earths!
EDIT removing certain "Hollow Earth" sound effects. That's another question.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

None of the Gulliver lands were actually a secret - they were just places Englishmen hadn't visited before - but I think that including Laputa is a good idea, since it gives us something in the sky, Let's just have that as the one example from Swift, and rule him out of further consideration.

One to go!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

ffutures wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:09 pm
spud42 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:10 pm
Wonder Woman and the Amazons hidden by Zeus . DC universe. from 2017 movie.
Well, the DC universe also has SF elements I think I have to accept this - which leaves two to go, and rules out all other variants on DC comics and Amazons.

Reminds me to say, no more Hollow Earths!
i would hope so seeing as your own example of Atlantis isnt really SciFi either..lol
Arthur: OK. Leave this to me. I'm British. I know how to queue.
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Arthur Dent: I always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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spud42 wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:23 am
i would hope so seeing as your own example of Atlantis isnt really SciFi either..lol
Remembering one of the less touted members of the Marvel universe was Nemo, the Submariner, Prince (IIRC) of Atlantis. Let's just leave that dead horse in it's well-flogged grave, shall we?

So, Laputa in the Sky ... and we've already mentioned the Marvel universe, so Shield's heli-base thingy (which I'm sure I saw crossing over into Atlantis territory in at least one of the movies which I caught a few minutes of) is already boxed-off.

Other cities in the sky ... well the Nordic Asgard was either in the sky, or in the upper branches of Yggdrasil - which amounts to the same thing. Not exactly "secret", but you had to be a god to go and return freely, or be carried one-way by a Valkyrie.

Phillip Pullman also built on celestial foundations with Chittagaze, the city Lyra travelled to on Roger's blood in "Northern Lights" - again, not "secret" as such, but rather tricky to get to unless you had a Subtle Knife or were willing to cut a person from their daemon.

I'm trying to remember that Culture book I read last year, with one of those free-floating artificial worlds. Found it : "Matter", set mostly on " the eighth level of the Shellworld of Sursamen", which is of necessity at least 7 levels of worlds-in-the-skies-of-worlds, and in most of them that fact that they lived on an artifact, and the geometry of that artefact was kept a secret to most of the mud-grubbers. That could also go for levels of hell too, down to and including Pellicidar.

I wonder why Dante stopped at nine circles each way? Probably ran out of index cards.
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