Re: [xmca] Don C about the "epic" googlization film - a bit of mca history

From: Steve Gabosch <sgabosch who-is-at>
Date: Thu Jun 28 2007 - 00:40:14 PDT

The 8 minute internet video MIke is speaking of, Epic 2015, can be found at

This video, which has been discussed in prior xmca discussions, is a
clever "history" presentation from the year 2014 that describes major
internet developments leading up to a world where an internet program
called EPIC, developed out of the merger of Google and Amazon called
Googlezon, produce custom news articles and content packages for each
individual subscriber, replacing print media and news
organizations. "Newsbots" search the web for content and reorganize
it according to an individual's preferences. The Google Grid makes
it easy for anyone to store or publish media and text. "Friendster"
and "Blogger" open up the ability for anyone to publish blogs,
personal information about themselves, and who is in their
network. Traditional news media become obsolete. The NY Times sues
Googlezon claiming its "factstripping robots" violate copyright laws,
but loses at the Supreme Court level. The New York Times is
practically driven out of business. A new era of the internet is born.

This video is an entertaining piece of science fiction, but I have
trouble taking seriously the idea of robots writing coherent let
alone relevant news articles, and especially doing so without a
viable body of articles written by human writers to work
from. Computers to date can't do that kind of thing or anything like
it. Will a computer someday be able to write like a human? Perhaps,
but not without humans also writing as part of a writing community,
the same way people in any kind of work require other humans to be
doing similar things to make sense of what they are doing. A
computer that could write like a human would just function like
another human writer, with various idiosyncrasies, of course, just
like any human, but with the core ability to interact in society as a
writer. But the idea of computers not only writing like humans,
which they certainly cannot do today, but replacing humans, that is
really just a familiar, worn out old horror story. As I see it, this
notion, great for thought experiments and imaginative stories, is no
more realistic than humans being replaced by talking animals (such as
depicted in the Planet of the Apes movie series). Great science
fiction, but based on false premises. But perhaps I am being too complacent?

- Steve

At 07:41 PM 6/27/2007 -0700, you wrote:
>No one picked up on this and I should probably just drop it but the
>continued discussion on ZOPED prompts me to ask, could a computer
>algorithm be a "more knowledgeable" partner? Adaptive testing is another
>example of an artificial intelligence that tries to move people into a
>zone of maximum response. If the vision in EPIC 2015 were actualized,
>might not the algorithm be a sensei, showing us the way forward? I
>understand that the notion of _forward_ is problematic, but is that not
>also true of a human sensei......or any teacher? And why should the goal
>in a zoped be the ability to act independently? Most of the things in my
>life that have expanded my capabilities are things I have come to rely
>on and are now a part of me. I can't imagine how I ever wrote anything
>of value when I wrote in long hand, had a poor (now nearly blind thanks
>to me) secretary type it up, correct, edit, repeat, and so forth. Here I
>link with Donna's contribution where she mentions natural born cyborgs.
>Can anyone doubt that within my lifetime (and I'm OLD) that things like
>MP3's and cell phones will be available as surgical implants?
>Mind you, this all scares the beejeezes out of me..........djc
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Received on Thu Jun 28 00:42 PDT 2007

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