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It, Robot

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It, Robot

Postby sluggo » Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:13 am

Can a machine use a personal pronoun?

It galls me when the postage vendor machine at the post orifice flashes a screen reading "I'm printing your postage" and "How may I help you?".

I don't grant sentience to a machine just because I hired it... um, I mean enslaved it. Is this part of a vast conspiracy to gradually undermine the PP (personal pronoun)?

Consider those icons behind this screen saying My Computer, My Documents etc --who's the speaker?
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Re: It, Robot

Postby gailr » Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:48 am

sluggo wrote:It galls me when the postage vendor machine at the post orifice flashes a screen reading "I'm printing your postage" and "How may I help you?"

Well, you've come to the right place to vent your spleen...and yet...would it not be creepier if they flashed, "One is dispensing the requested postage" or "How may one provide assistance?"

-gailr

At least one's PO has not yet installed the new generation of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation postal automat, with the new GPP feature.
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Re: It, Robot

Postby sluggo » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:03 am

gailr wrote:would it not be creepier if they flashed, "One is dispensing the requested postage" or "How may one provide assistance?"


He would -ah, it would be creepy but one could roll with that. At least them would then know their place.

gailr wrote:At least one's PO has not yet installed the new generation of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation postal automat, with the new GPP feature.


Does one even want to know about this? them? he/she?

I think one will update one's tagline, one has an idea...
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Postby Bailey » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:48 am

He would -ah, it would be creepy but one could roll with that. At least them would then know their place.


Sorry this is the creepiest, to anthropomorize a machine. EW Mr. Asmov I'm a coffee pot.

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Postby sluggo » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:54 am

Bailey, I just noticed your tagline. Guess what I'm doing right now (if you have a truck...) :o
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Postby Bailey » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:08 am

sluggo wrote:Bailey, I just noticed your tagline. Guess what I'm doing right now (if you have a truck...) :o


Oh my, I hope you find a good hiding place? A Pillar of concrete in a New York stadium foundation or a ranch in Texas perhaps, I, as these things often happen just happened to have changed my tag, so no one but the two of us will know what we are talking about. PSSSssssst, I have a Ford Fiesta, will it be big enough?

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Postby skinem » Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:14 pm

We already anthropomorphize animals enough...please leave the machines out of it. I still don't know what would be used in place of "I'm printing your receipt"...WE are printing would be creepier and too imperious. Perhaps "This machine is..."

Wasn't it Winston Churchill who said "A man at age 20 who is not a liberal has no heart. A man at age 40 who is not a conservative has no brain."? Or something leaning along those lines...
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Postby sluggo » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:41 pm

skinem wrote:We already anthropomorphize animals enough...please leave the machines out of it. I still don't know what would be used in place of "I'm printing your receipt"...WE are printing would be creepier and too imperious. Perhaps "This machine is..."


I'd like to see it just use passive voice: "Your receipt is being printed", and for "How may I help you", turn it around to "What would you like?".

Thanks for your vote Skinner. Humans 3, La Machine 0. As long as we don't let the machines vote we keep the shutout.

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Postby Bailey » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:54 pm

and no one gets my Asimov reference and the Java? shee Maybe I should just quit.

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Postby sluggo » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:58 pm

Actually it's Asimov we don't appreciate. I take it he was a coffee drinker? I dunno...
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Postby gailr » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:59 pm

skinem wrote:We already anthropomorphize animals enough...please leave the machines out of it.

Yes ... and yet, how much does this relate to English as she is spoke? We don't automatically assign gender -- literal or linguistic -- (although someone referring to a ship as he would be looked at oddly). How much does our possession of and dependence on "it" affect the way we see the world? Would a machine self-referencing as I -- or any other pronoun -- seem odd or annoying in other languages?



I still don't know what would be used in place of "I'm printing your receipt"...WE are printing would be creepier and too imperious. Perhaps "This machine is..."

Denver is infested with "self-checkouts" whose digital voice-like synthetic generators issue no-nonsense commands to all interfacing humans.

Place the item on the scanner... Wait... Place the item in bag... Select method of payment... Insert coins before currency...

If the client unit moves too slowly or fails in any way to conform to the instruction, it is repeated ... repeated ... repeated with, I swear, increasing volume and annoyance. I have found myself responding, with gritted teeth, "But I don't WANT a bag!" The only way to avoid having the clerk unit come over to clear the "Place the item in the bag..." command is to just put it in a dambag.

"Don't forget your change located next to the scanner... Don't forget to take your receipt... Please take your bag and get the hell out of the store you liberal, line-holding-up bag hata..."

Then, quickly take the item OUT OF THE BAG and stroll with deceptive, yet speedy, casualness past the clerk unit. All the while, this one's image is being digitally recorded with the ubiquitous For Your Safety and Convenience Surveillance Cameras all the way to the street and uploaded, no doubt, to some non-bag-conformist database. The shame to my family!

-gailr
a latter-day desperado, lone holdout against an avalanche of plastic shopping bags... :mrgreen:
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Postby gailr » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:02 pm

sluggo wrote:Actually it's Asimov we don't appreciate. I take it he was a coffee drinker? I dunno...

Oooh; them are fighten words oncet Gzer reads this thread... :lol:
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Postby sluggo » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:15 am

gailr wrote:-gailr
a latter-day desperado, lone holdout against an avalanche of plastic shopping bags... :mrgreen:


Not so lone. Those checkout machines and their script are ubiquitous, and I treat them precisely the same way, bag and all. Yet another GMTA I spoze. At least they speak in imperatives rather than gettin' all personal.

Isaac him can go git he own coffee, one sips one's Peets as one posts... :twisted:
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Postby Bailey » Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:41 am

no, the original song goes 'oops Mr Moto, I'm a coffee pot', which sort of fitted with the anthropomorphized machines but since Isaac Asimov, a humble Russian emigre, reknown Scientist, and Sci-fi writer wrote:
Robot
I, Robot (1950)
The Rest of the Robots (1964)
Eight Stories from the Rest of the Robots (1966)
The Complete Robot (1982)
The Robot Collection (omnibus) (1983)
Robot Dreams (1986)
The Robot Novels (omnibus) (1988)
Robot Visions (1990)
3. The Robots of Dawn (1983)
4. Robots and Empire (1985)
among many other things, I just tossed his name in the song then ended with the java reference, I guess I need to make these things so much simpler. But then Slugger caught on, just greased his feet and slid off.

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Last edited by Bailey on Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sluggo » Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:50 pm

Sorry, I truly knoweth not this song. But I do know from coffee.
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