Com a estréia de Terminator Salvation nos EUA, há um certo frenezi na imprensa a respeito de robôs e inteligência artificial em geral.  Ainda assim, isto aqui é…preocupante:

P.W. Singer’s latest book, Wired For War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, is exciting, fascination and frightening. Singer covers the history of robotics for warfare (and robot history in general) before delving into the dizzying plethora of robotic systems being developed and/or used at a tremendously accelerated rate.

With loving detail, Singer describes all the new awesome bot warriors and the players involved in creating them. At the same time, he explores the horrors and dangers — both potential and current — and raises the alarming and increasingly unavoidable ethical issues that are bubbling to the surface as war increasingly becomes robot war.”

Tá de bom tamanho?  Mas tem mais:

h+: What were some of the more impressive or frightening things that you discovered about robotics in warfare that you discovered in researching the book?

PWS: It’s impressive when you break it into three different directions that robotics and war are headed in. For one thing, there’s the raw numbers, in terms of the use of these robotic systems. We’ve gone from a handful of drones during the Iraq invasion to more than 7,000 now in the U.S. military inventory. On the ground, we had zero unmanned vehicles before the invasion of Iraq. We now have over 12,000. And this is just the start.


The second impressive aspect of this is the new size and shapes — the forms that these robots come in. (…)

The third impressive aspect is their ever-greater intelligence and autonomy. We’ve gone from having systems where we remote controlled every single thing that they could do to systems where the human role is more managerial or supervisory. We’re slowly pushing ourselves outside of the loop. (…)

E então…tchan tchan tchan tchan…

h+: ….which raises the inevitable Terminator question. Did you see anything that made you think of that film, particularly?

PWS: Oh, god. You know, what didn’t? I mean, I can think of just wonderful layers of anecdotes upon anecdotes about that.

I’ll give you four things that sort of jumped out at me and that I write about in the book. For one thing — it’s interesting where the scientists get their ideas about what to build. There’s a section in the book about the role that science fiction is playing in directly influencing battlefield reality. And I went around interviewing not just the scientists who design and build these systems, but the science fiction creators who inspire them. And I recall one of the scientists talking with incredible admiration about the robots in the opening scene of Terminator 2, where the robots are walking across the battlefield. This is basically what Terminator Salvation is about — that’s the world that movie is going to play in, right? And he was like: “This is incredibly impressive stuff.” You know, yeah, it’s stepping on a human skull, but it’s still really impressive.

Another scientist talked about how the military came to him and said, “Oh, we’d like you to design the hunter-killer drone from the Terminator movies.” Which, you know, is kind of incredibly scary, but it makes perfect sense from another perspective in that if it’s effective for SkyNet, their thinking is: “Well, it could be really neat in our real-world battlefields.


Devo confessar primeiramente que meu objetivo neste post era fundir essa história da H+ Magazine com um post que achei na internets sobre um tema interessante, que é o vínculo entre realidade, imaginação e invenção.  Infelizmente, perdi o miserável do link.  Mas a formulação geral tinha um caráter epistemológico, onde a questão era a de saber se um certo paradoxo posto por Aristóteles (?) tinha sentido.  O paradoxo era o seguinte:  se uma determinada idéia X está em nossa mente, então não podemos discuti-la, pois a conhecemos inteiramente.  Porém, se uma determinada idéia X NÃO está em nossa mente, então não podemos discuti-la, pois a desconhecemos inteiramente.

O sujeito do post se saía, se bem me lembro, dizendo que, na verdade, podemos ter uma idéia X em nossa mente e ainda assim discuti-la, pois a idéia pode estar “incompleta” _ e que o paradoxo é só resultado de um jogo de palavras de Aristóteles.

Foi aí que me lembrei de uma das idéias mais interessantes que já vi no cinema, que é o Terminator T-1000 do Terminator 2.  Ele é interessante porque trata-se de uma idéia simples, mas, por tudo o que conhecemos, inexequível.

Na verdade exemplos assim abundam.  Uma boa parte das “invenções” de Julio Verne em seus romances se mostraram viáveis, mas, ao seu tempo, ele provavelmente não tinha a menor idéia de como elas funcionariam.

Assim, existe uma “razoabilidade” abstrata em algumas antecipações, a despeito de sabermos ou não como chegar lá.

E o que é estranho é que talvez a interação entre ficção científica e pesquisa científica esteja começando a tomar a forma de uma “profecia auto-realizante”.   Aliás, esta matéria no NYT de ontem vai nesse diapasão:

Profiled in the documentary “Transcendent Man,” which had its premier last month at the TriBeCa Film Festival, and with his own Singularity movie due later this year, Dr. Kurzweil has become a one-man marketing machine for the concept of post-humanism. He is the co-founder of Singularity University, a school supported by Google that will open in June with a grand goal — to “assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges.” [grifo meu]

Mas tudo isso pode ser só paranóia matinal.  :)