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  #2101  
Old 02-15-2017, 02:19 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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More like an emergent post-singularity next-step-evolved AI -- one which can choose to not be "seen" in the network if they so choose.

And they are not an "authority" that requires legitimacy from consent -- just exceedingy powerful, enough to go righteous rogue with apparent impunity.

Station is a powerful AI but still barely a generation or two away from Dr. Ellicott, and manifests himself to others on Earth through a holopresence so it's the link between the holopresence and his core system that is visible to the Grays, not the inside of his mind. Bubbles remembers their earlier comment and realizes they will be still monitoring any chatter about this case.
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  #2102  
Old 02-15-2017, 03:14 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Thanks, JRD, that makes sense.
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  #2103  
Old 02-15-2017, 05:59 PM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
It's interesting though that Bubbles does have some idea what they are. Did she hear about it while she was in the military?
Just dealing with them, and having knowledge of known AI types would be enough to tell her that.
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  #2104  
Old 02-15-2017, 09:59 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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We don't create pets...
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  #2105  
Old 02-15-2017, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
Apparently a confession obtained through torture is admissible in this world.
I think it would be in this world, too, provided it's not the cops doing the torturing. If you go to the cops and said, "This guy tortured me until I admitted I'm a bank robber," they'll arrest that guy for torturing you, but they'll also arrest you for robbing banks.

Anyway, it's a moot point, because the cops don't know about any torture. Who's going to tell them about it? Corpse Witch? She's confessing because human justice is more appealing than what the super AI would do to her. If she blabs about being tortured in an attempt to get the charges against her dismissed, she's rejecting the deal she was offered - which means more torture.
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  #2106  
Old 02-15-2017, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
We don't create pets...
Not if you spay or neuter them, at least.
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  #2107  
Old 02-16-2017, 07:04 AM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Originally Posted by Kamino Neko View Post
Just dealing with them, and having knowledge of known AI types would be enough to tell her that.
That doesn't explain why Station, a much more powerful and connected AI, doesn't know about the SpookyBot AI..
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  #2108  
Old 02-16-2017, 07:13 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
That doesn't explain why Station, a much more powerful and connected AI, doesn't know about the SpookyBot AI..
It could be that the knowledge is something akin to childlore - passed on from human-level Ai to H-LAI but beneath the notice of the more powerful and connected.
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  #2109  
Old 02-16-2017, 07:47 AM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
That doesn't explain why Station, a much more powerful and connected AI, doesn't know about the SpookyBot AI..
Because he hasn't dealt with them. And now he does know, because Bubbles, who has interacted with them, has told him.

The fact that Bubbles can figure out that Spooky is predatory, more powerful and complex, and probably only distantly related to the standard AI says only that she's interacted with them and knows the general range of capabilities and personalities of standard AIs.

The whole sequence with Station tells us Bubbles doesn't actually know anything, because Faye quite explicitly says so, in addition to the fact that there's no reason to talk to Station if she does.
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  #2110  
Old 02-16-2017, 08:11 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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I don't quite get today's "Questionable Content" strip

Yes, Bubbles has a high ability for putting two and two together, honed by her SOF training and experience. She quickly deduces what she's dealing with once confronted with it and the Spookies knew she would, but she did not actually know before. The existence of the Spookies could be hypothesized among AIs exposed to some real Dark Ops activity but not taken as a given; and more likely seen as just one more CT by an "established" AI like Station.

Also Station is by himself more powerful and connected in a raw specs sense, but the Spookies are, shall we say, far sharper-edged (and more distributed). One can do orbital bombardment, the other can hit your enemy's brain w/o leaving tracks, find a way around comms encryption in real time, and be in several places at the same time.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-16-2017 at 08:13 AM..
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  #2111  
Old 02-16-2017, 08:21 AM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Originally Posted by Kamino Neko View Post
Because he hasn't dealt with them. And now he does know, because Bubbles, who has interacted with them, has told him.

The fact that Bubbles can figure out that Spooky is predatory, more powerful and complex, and probably only distantly related to the standard AI says only that she's interacted with them and knows the general range of capabilities and personalities of standard AIs.

The whole sequence with Station tells us Bubbles doesn't actually know anything, because Faye quite explicitly says so, in addition to the fact that there's no reason to talk to Station if she does.
Faye originally suggested they talk to Hanners and ask her to talk to Station, because Station is a superpowerful AI who is also best friends with Hanners and would presumably be more willing to assist than any other AI off the street.

Station said, sorry, this is too complex even for me, but I'd be glad to perform a unnecessarily violent act against Corpse Witch (seriously, if you're dropping something from orbit, you don't need a railgun).

SpookyBot showed up, said they'd heard chatter about Bubbles problem and offered to help. When Bubbles asked how she could trust them, SpookyBot replied "Darling, we think you know what we are. And we never lie."

That's saying a lot more than just Bubbles doesn't know anything, but figured out what SpookyBot must be because of how powerful they are. That implies to me at least some personal knowledge that Bubbles has, beyond rumor and legend.
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  #2112  
Old 02-16-2017, 10:10 AM
BigT BigT is online now
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Yeah, it's been clear for a while that Bubbles knows who they are. And seeing as she's former military, my assumption has always been that SpookyBot is a top secret experiment that Bubbles learned about in her time in the military. Hence how she knows things like "we never lie."

The only other idea I've had is just that SpookyBot has interacted with AI before, and thus rumors have spread, probably mostly among the criminal element. Station, having been stuck up in space until recently (back when Hanners visited, he indicating appearing on Earth was not an option) and thus not interacted with other AI, has never heard the rumors.

In fact, I think it's likely both. Explains Bubbles knowing they don't lie, and how they are something other AIs fear.

Last edited by BigT; 02-16-2017 at 10:11 AM..
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  #2113  
Old 02-16-2017, 12:10 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is online now
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I suspect we're all putting considerably more thought into these questions than Jeph did.
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  #2114  
Old 02-16-2017, 12:30 PM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
I suspect we're all putting considerably more thought into these questions than Jeph did.
Normally I'd agree with you in the general case, but considering that Jeph wrote a fictional speech to the UN on AI rights just so he could quote it in the comic, I suspect he has put quite a bit of thought into it. Though he'd probably have dropped a butt joke into the discussion by now, like today's strip demonstrates.
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  #2115  
Old 02-16-2017, 02:05 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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I see Bubbles, Pintsize etc as Banksian drones, Station and that ilk as "normal" Ship or Orbital Minds, and Spooky as the GSV Grey Area
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  #2116  
Old 02-16-2017, 03:44 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is online now
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Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
...Jeph wrote a fictional speech to the UN on AI rights just so he could quote it in the comic ....
Wow. I stand corrected.
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  #2117  
Old 02-16-2017, 04:25 PM
dzeiger dzeiger is offline
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I did kind of wonder in this arc about Jeremy and the moral implications of creating an AI that has the capability to want to read comics but is a one-armed immobile object that is thus incapable of obtaining them other than via others.
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  #2118  
Old 02-16-2017, 04:56 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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I get it now. The whole strip is about life after the AI singularity!

Sure makes a lot more sense to me now . . .
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  #2119  
Old 02-16-2017, 05:25 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
I get it now. The whole strip is about life after the AI singularity!

Sure makes a lot more sense to me now . . .


IIRC Pintsize commented on how aniticlimactically non-apocalyptic it had been.
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  #2120  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:07 PM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
I see Bubbles, Pintsize etc as Banksian drones, Station and that ilk as "normal" Ship or Orbital Minds, and Spooky as the GSV Grey Area
Yes, Jeph has definitely read up on the Culture, but the problem with your analogy is that the Special Circumstances Minds aren't more powerful than other Minds, just meaner. Presumably the Minds controlling the System class GSV Empiricist are as/more powerful than GCU Minds like Grey Area.
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  #2121  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
I get it now. The whole strip is about life after the AI singularity!

Sure makes a lot more sense to me now . . .
Yep.
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  #2122  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:46 PM
Munch Munch is offline
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Originally Posted by dzeiger View Post
I did kind of wonder in this arc about Jeremy and the moral implications of creating an AI that has the capability to want to read comics but is a one-armed immobile object that is thus incapable of obtaining them other than via others.
You can buy comics online...
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  #2123  
Old 02-17-2017, 08:02 AM
BigT BigT is online now
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You do know what a p-zombie is supposed to be, right?
No, actually. I've always been more of the Turing test fan for sentience. In other words, if it appears conscious, it is conscious. Otherwise, I can't really know if anyone else is conscious, and that totally messes up any morality I have, since it's based on other people being people like me.

Interesting idea, though. Jeph has brought up before whether even the AI we currently know are conscious. In fact, that UN speech above has the relevant parts.

Still, since I treat them as conscious entities, I see no reason not to treat SpookyBot as conscious.
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  #2124  
Old 02-17-2017, 09:29 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
Yes, Jeph has definitely read up on the Culture, but the problem with your analogy is that the Special Circumstances Minds aren't more powerful than other Minds, just meaner.
I was more referring to the Meatfucker's talents for mind-ripping and the like.
Quote:
Presumably the Minds controlling the System class GSV Empiricist are as/more powerful than GCU Minds like Grey Area.
I didn't get that impression, I gathered that all era-cohort Minds (not small-m minds like drones) were of more-or-less equal capacity and the distinction was more based on how old the Mind was. I think this is backed up by the fact that a Mind can move from a Ship to an Orbital without major changes being indicated. Also note that as you say, at least some GSVs are run by multiple Minds. The Empiricist, for instance, has 7 - so power is not scalable, clearly.

Last edited by MrDibble; 02-17-2017 at 09:34 AM..
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  #2125  
Old 02-17-2017, 09:50 AM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
I was more referring to the Meatfucker's talents for mind-ripping and the like.

I didn't get that impression, I gathered that all era-cohort Minds (not small-m minds like drones) were of more-or-less equal capacity and the distinction was more based on how old the Mind was. I think this is backed up by the fact that a Mind can move from a Ship to an Orbital without major changes being indicated. Also note that as you say, at least some GSVs are run by multiple Minds. The Empiricist, for instance, has 7 - so power is not scalable, clearly.
Yeah, you're right. I actually thought about it more, and the utterly hilarious scene in Excesssion when the Core Group gets taken over by the Interesting Times Gang, who immediately expel the procedure-worshipping chairperson Mind(s?). The ITG was old, but some of them were relatively small ships, IIRC.
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  #2126  
Old 02-18-2017, 03:11 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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I just re-read Bubbles' explanation for what Corpse Witch did, and it sounds like Corpse Witch may have the opportunity to become very wealthy once the news gets out. It doesn't sound like what Corpse Witch did was illegal, just highly unethical, with a possibility of not even that, with a willing subject. So, AI's out there who want to kind of forget something now have the opportunity to do so. Particularly handy once they're a few centuries old and really don't need to remember what they read in the newspaper 150 years ago.
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  #2127  
Old 02-18-2017, 05:40 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Can't we just get back to Emily doing goofy stuff?
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  #2128  
Old 02-18-2017, 06:05 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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She was remarkably lucid when she was jacked into Bubbles' head.
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  #2129  
Old 03-21-2017, 11:09 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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I don't recognize the redhead showing off her muscles in today's (22 March 2017) strip (#3443). Is she new or have I forgotten her?
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  #2130  
Old 03-21-2017, 11:24 PM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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It's Tai. Marten and Claire's boss, Dora's girlfriend.
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  #2131  
Old 03-22-2017, 12:08 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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If that's Tai, she's been doing a lot more than rock climbing ... I mean, I get that it might give you muscles, but the waist and the booty? This is Tai before...
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  #2132  
Old 03-22-2017, 12:29 AM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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It's Tai. Nobody else has an elbow tattoo.
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  #2133  
Old 03-22-2017, 01:00 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Originally Posted by Kamino Neko View Post
It's Tai. Nobody else has an elbow tattoo.
And it explains why she suddenly jumped up when Dora complimented Elliot.
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  #2134  
Old 03-22-2017, 01:23 AM
BigT BigT is online now
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If that's Tai, she's been doing a lot more than rock climbing ... I mean, I get that it might give you muscles, but the waist and the booty? This is Tai before...
That was at least one if not two art style shifts ago. Everyone is wider now.

Here is her most recent appearance.


And here is probably the comic that inspired her to start working out.

(In case you think I'm some uberfan, it's not that. I just have installed Questionable Extensions, which, among other things, tags all the characters and lets me easily jump to the previous comic where they appeared.

Last edited by BigT; 03-22-2017 at 01:25 AM..
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  #2135  
Old 03-22-2017, 08:46 AM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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It's not just the body. The face is different. I hadn't forgotten Tai, or her star tattoo, but I really found today's rendition of her unrecognizable. Ah well.
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  #2136  
Old 03-22-2017, 10:25 AM
squeegee squeegee is offline
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It's the lack of glasses
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  #2137  
Old 03-22-2017, 11:04 AM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Look! Tai has taken off her glasses! Why, she's beautiful!

She's also got the plug things in her ears. Maybe she and Dora had it done together? And it looks like she got herself an uber-butch haircut because Dora liked it on Faye.

Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 03-22-2017 at 11:04 AM.. Reason: Typo
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  #2138  
Old 03-22-2017, 03:56 PM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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Hmm? Far as I can tell, she's wearing the same plugs she was back during Jeph's 'everyone is a stick' style.
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  #2139  
Old 03-22-2017, 05:44 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Look! Tai has taken off her glasses! Why, she's beautiful!

She's also got the plug things in her ears. Maybe she and Dora had it done together? And it looks like she got herself an uber-butch haircut because Dora liked it on Faye.
Nah, they've both had plugs for a while.
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  #2140  
Old 03-22-2017, 06:41 PM
ekedolphin ekedolphin is offline
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(In case you think I'm some uberfan, it's not that. I just have installed Questionable Extensions, which, among other things, tags all the characters and lets me easily jump to the previous comic where they appeared.
Thanks for that. What a fun extension!
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  #2141  
Old 03-22-2017, 06:44 PM
ekedolphin ekedolphin is offline
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BigT and everyone else, you might also like QC's WikiQuote page, which I've worked on quite extensively.
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  #2142  
Old 03-22-2017, 08:48 PM
BigT BigT is online now
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It's not just the body. The face is different. I hadn't forgotten Tai, or her star tattoo, but I really found today's rendition of her unrecognizable. Ah well.
It doesn't help that all Jeph's profiles seem to look similar, with the same chin. He's just not good at drawing people from the side. And her hair changed again. And he now has this habit of squishing faces in the bottom panels for some reason.

That said, all I needed was her hair color and proximity to Dora to know who she was. Her small stature probably helped, too.

Last edited by BigT; 03-22-2017 at 08:50 PM..
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