Science Fiction Trivia

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Disembodied
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

RockDoctor wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:06 pm
There's another short story from the same era, whose name and author escapes me, something about a "Bard", where the protagonist starts composing a story and the "Bard" machine continues it "in genre". I'm not sure if that was an Asimov, or someone else of the same "Golden Age" era.
You're right, dammit … Asimov’s “Someday”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Someday_(short_story)

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:55 pm
Hmm … have any SF writers ever written about robot writers?
Fritz Leiber, The Silver Eggheads - publishing is almost entirely extruded robotic-written content

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

RockDoctor wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:05 am
ffutures wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:33 pm
Stupid over-reaction - can't see robots deciding to hoard toilet paper etc...
Counter example : the Berserkers (various authors, but originally woke up Fred Sauberhagen, screaming.
But on the gripping hand, the Berserkers were originally designed by lifeforms, weren't they? I'd have to re-read to check.
Was that a "serious" entry?
Don't see why not.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

on the robot writing thing does the "robot"have to be mobile? i remember Jubal using a device to flesh out and publish his writings , robert Heinlein character.
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 RockDoctor »

spud42 wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:31 am
on the robot writing thing does the "robot"have to be mobile? i remember Jubal using a device to flesh out and publish his writings , robert Heinlein character.
Define "mobile"?
Taking the "Heart of Gold" and it's drive as being essentially a computer (+/- GPP), when it first appears in episode 2 Arthur has to deal with an infinite number of monkeys wanting to talk about the script for Hamlet which they'd worked out at a probability level of 2^170000-odd.
Galaxies move ; everything is mobile at some degree. Pocket-size remains an undefined concept.


I think you're right about Jubal's "romance-o-tron", as part of the "ubiquitous computing" that Heinlein just assumed as part of the background.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

So, current status is two propositions, both with sufficient prior art to rule them out. We're looking for things which no (fictional) robot has been tasked with.

Someone was concerned with whether the robots were mobile or not : not an issue, nor whether they're anthropoid. For example, the "City Brains" of Anne McCaffrey's Brain and Brawn series are thoroughly immobile (well, at a planetary reference scale), but potentially capable of writing poetry. But they'd be ruled out because their "CPU" is mangled human meatware, not hardware. (No, that doesn't rule out manufactured cellular automata as a computing substrate. Let's not get into a "define life" black hole here!)
  1. Proposition :
    ffutures wrote:
    Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:33 pm
    Stupid over-reaction - can't see robots deciding to hoard toilet paper etc...
    Decision : countered by Sauberhagen's Berserkers - if you consider their reaction to be (1) stupid, and (2) not designed by their original living creators.
  2. Proposition :
    Disembodied wrote:
    Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:55 pm
    Hmm … have any SF writers ever written about robot writers?
    Decision : countered by Asimov's "Bard" in "Someday...", and
    ffutures wrote:
    Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:54 pm
    Fritz Leiber, The Silver Eggheads - publishing is almost entirely extruded robotic-written content
I said that I'd got two examples in mind, and a third more arguable one. And I carefully wrote them into a draft-PM to myself ... and fluffed saving it. Now I can only remember two, both involving forms of design. Clearly some fields of design have been roboticised, at least in fiction. And I'll leave that to stew.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

No new ideas?
OK, the third idea I had in mind, which I've never heard of an SF(-ish) robot(-ish) doing was .. I've never heard of a robot gambling. Plenty of robots being used for gambling - one armed bandit and upwards. But a robot using it's volition(-ish) to risk an affordable loss for a small financial gain ... I can't remember seeing that, ever.

Unless, of course, someone else knows differently.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by cbr »

Didn't Data play Poker ?

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Transformers - at least one instance of them gambling.

https://tfwiki.net/wiki/The_Gambler

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

cbr wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:24 pm
Didn't Data play Poker ?
Only having seen a couple of episodes of Star Trek Whichever, I bow to your superior knowledge.
Was he playing poker for the applied probability, or the examination of human psychology?
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

ffutures wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:45 pm
Transformers - at least one instance of them gambling.

https://tfwiki.net/wiki/The_Gambler
I've seen more Star Trek Whichever than ... is Transformers a kid's comic, or series of films, or series of cartoons, or all the above in one universe. So that's two sub-waterline holes in my boat. No longer floating.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

seeing as there is really no money in STNG that eliminates one reason to play poker. Data did play with other characters but it would have been for "fun","enjoyment" . If memory servers me it was on the Holodeck??
but either way the reason isnt important the important thing was he did play, and win...lol i mean the ultimate card counter...lol

i honestly think that even your 2 other things you think robots havent done might prove to be a false assumption....

except for maybe giving birth.... and that would depend on weather you thought an automated cloning system was a robot? Asimovs robots certainly raised and educated children.
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
42

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

spud42 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:43 pm
seeing as there is really no money in STNG that eliminates one reason to play poker. Data did play with other characters but it would have been for "fun","enjoyment"
(...)
i mean the ultimate card counter...lol
Indeed. The mathematics weren't a challenge (I remember an evening spent playing cards with two friends from my Statistics and Computing classes. The spread in our final scores for the evening was about 1%. PLaying cards wasn't terribly interesting for any of us.)
OTOH, I've got the impression (on a very limited base of StarTrekkery, I'll grant) that Data was fascinated by human psychology, and seeing how humans react to their mathematical and computational constraints certainly fits for that.
As for what the other ideas I've got ... well, take a stab. (Cue Shylock's speech.)
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

Nobody got any further contributions? Shall I pull the cloth off the suspicious bulge on the table and reveal my ideas of what robots can't/ haven't been written as doing, in SF.
If nobody comes up with a proposition, I'll come up with a new idea on ... Tuesday? (Is everyone on the same side of the Date Line?)
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Commander_X »

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.

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