Bleats

The Genius Bot That Created This Wild Batman Script Deserves Bruce Wayne's Millions

But how does goth ham taste anyway?

There are many areas of human endeavour under threat of replacement by artificial intelligence right now. Meteorologists, travel agents, writers of Batman scripts: the list of jobs where bots can do a better job gets ever longer.

For an example of that last category please cast an eye over these glorious two pages of a script which writer/comedian Keaton Patti made a bot create after plugging in a bunch of Batman screenplays.

First up, it’s very funny. And lines like “Eat a dinner, Mattress Wayne” and “I drink bats, just like a bat would!” have a certain A1 vibe to them.

But… the puns? The expired coupon for parents? The flipping of Alfred? They just feel a bit too good for a bot, unless Patti’s got a next level AI from the future that’s come back to stop John Connors, in which case he’s really burying the lede.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that “I forced a bot to do this” is a phrase with a lot of different meanings, ranging from predictive text keyboards operated by humans (which is how Botnik Studios, masters of these sorts of hilariously surreal bits of writing, tend to operate.

“Neural networks”, a form of machine learning, tends to do better with short bursts of things because of the weird dream-logic is employs which makes it meander off theme relatively quickly. Great for making cat names, not ideal for sustained narratives – which is why Janelle Shane’s AI Weirdness blog is such a consistently rewarding read.

“Have I been laughing at a comedian and NOT a robot?”

So, did Patti actually put a bunch of Batman scripts through an AI, or is this just a parody written in the style of a bot by a human in some sort of confusing human-as-bot-as-human meta-project?

That’s the sort of a question which can only be answered over a tall, cold glass of bats. And maybe some goth ham.

There's A Roomba Lawn Mower Because What An Autonomous Robot Really Needs Is Whirling Metal Blades

Weep, puny humans, for we shall be the mulch of the future.

Regular readers of GOAT will be aware that we’re keeping a close watch on the coming robot apocalypse, the day when our automaton overlords rise up and wipe us all out.

And you can move the minute hand a little closer to Doom O’Clock with the news that the company that created the Roomba – the robot that has been quietly cleaning your floors, mapping your potential escape routes and biding its time – has now made a lawn mower.

First we taught them to fight. THAT WAS OUR FIRST MISTAKE.

And that’s a relief. Because it there’s one thing that humanity has really been lacking it’s a mobile, self-directed machine equipped with offensive weaponry.

The new robot is called “Terra”, named after what you will scream in as it corners you in your backyard. And it can navigate around obstacles without sensors being obscured by dirt or, presumably, blood.

TAKE THAT, CRABGRASS.

“Honestly, this robot drove me insane,” iRobot CEO Colin Angle told the Associated Press. Oh great, so it can also destroy us psychologically?

The rolling death machines currently have a price tag of over $1k but the actual cost in human misery is likely to be much, much higher.

Or maybe it’s just a cool automatic lawn mower and we’re we’re overreacting terribly. Or maybe that’s just what they want us to think

AI Can Sense When Humans Are Depressed And Then The Robots Will Definitely Use Our Vulnerability Against Us

"HAVE YOU CONSIDERED COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY, PUNY BIOLOGICAL?"

In what is either very good news for people suffering with depression or for the robots planning to destroy us by playing on our vulnerabilities, it turns out that the A1 algorithms in your phone could identify when you’re being followed by the black dog.

More specifically, as Technology Review put it, “In a study carried out by a team at Stanford University, scientists found that face and speech software can identify signals of depression with reasonable accuracy.”

That doesn’t mean it does do that, to be clear. It requires a machine learning tool fed data including “facial expressions, voice tone, and spoken words.”

But once done by a team at Stamford University, it accurately predicted depression more than 80 per cent of the time. Which is downright amazing, since depression is a challenge for even non-robot human clinicians to reliably pick.

The reason this was being trialled is that the US-based team wanted to create treatment tools for the 60 per cent of people suffering depression who can’t or won’t seek treatment.

 

And that’s a brilliant idea and one with amazing potential applications for Australia, where only people in the larger cities can conveniently access mental health treatment.

But if there’s one thing which the weight of pop culture tells us is that the machines are eventually going to take over and use their cool, logical A1 to wipe us from the face of the planet.

And so training them to identify our vulnerable when they’re feeling most overwhelmed seems like exactly the sort of strategy which they would employ.

So yes: it’s probably a major breakthrough in addressing our mental health epidemic, or the first step in the machine war. Or both!

And remember: Lifeline is available for crisis mental health support 24 hours a day on 131 114 .

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