Extant Philosophy: “Machines will become human through human experience!”

Extant scene soul

Unnamed Yasumoto Corp Board Member: “There’s something, I’m sure, everyone here is curious about, but we’re all too polite or too embarrassed to ask.”

Dr. John Woods: “The robot uprising, am I right? What’s to stop the Humanichs from overthrowing us one day and enslaving their human overlords – is that the question?…Absolutely nothing.”

Unnamed: “How then would an owner control and manage their behavior?”

Woods: “It’s not a “master-slave” relationship. My partners and I believe, if we want machines to be more human, we have to give them the human experience. They have to learn like children learn. The Humanichs brain learns right from wrong, good from bad, the same way we all did for the most part.”

Unnamed: “What do you mean ‘for the most part’?”

Woods: “Oh there is no guarantee with any child because, in the end, they’re free to choose their own path.”

Femi Dodd: “Dr. Woods, my name is Femi Dodd, I chair a number of programs for Mr. Yasumoto. What is the protocol in the event your experiment fails? Do you have an emergency plan for their shutdown?”

Woods: “To preserve their power, absolutely. It’s called interlude mode. (looks to robotic son, reaches for the back of the neck) Do you mind?”

Dodd: “Excuse me, Dr. Woods, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for the resting mode; I mean for their termination.”

Woods: “To kill them?”

Dodd: “That wording is a bit inelegant, but yes.”

Woods: “Do you have a child?”

Dodd: “I have a daughter.”

Woods: “Do you have a plan to kill her?”

Dodd: “My daughter’s a human being.”

Woods: “I don’t understand the difference.”

Dodd: “Well, for starters, she has a soul.”

Woods: “With all due respect, Ms. Dodd, there is no such thing as a soul. What you call a soul, I call a cumulative effect of a lifetime of experience – simple information traveling in the neural pathways in your daughter’s brain.”

Dodd: “Believe it or not, Dr. Woods, there are plenty of people in this world who still believe that there is more to us than can be explained by science.”

Woods: “Well, those people are idiots.”

Dodd: “I am one of those idiots.”

Woods: “I’m sorry.”

Dodd: “I accept your apology.”

Woods: “No, I mean I’m sorry you’re one of those idiots.”

Dodd: “How dare you!”

Woods: “How dare you ask me if I have a contingency plan to murder my son!”

(Extant s01e01 – “Re-Entry”)


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds like a good start for a Sci-Fi movie …. although a little too real to be comfortable. Does a soul exist or is it just, as Woods said, “cumulative effect of a lifetime of experience ” ?? I hope not ..

    1. Heironymous von Goethe says:

      Well, no. There is no such thing as a soul. There is however human consciousness, memory, creativity, independent thought, and hopefully empathy, a moral and ethical system, and an innate tendency towards group altruism. It all comes from a highly developed brain of a tool using upright-walking hairless ape. No magical inner light, no ephemeral energy connected to a higher plane or supreme being.

      Just us. So let’s hope we treat us nicely.

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