Short Assignment #12: Reflection on Your Composition

WARNING! MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS FROM METAL GEAR SOLID 2! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! that being said, you are nearly 20 years late to the party so if you don’t care (or you’re my professor) the paper is below the break.

Moving from the research paper to the 3-genre composition hasn’t really been particularly difficult. Thankfully, the subject I picked is well trodden ground in sci-fi so I have a number of queues I can take from characters like Data/Lore (Star Trek : The Next Generation) Roy Campbell (Metal Gear Solid), Major Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell, the manga, not that anglicized tripe in theaters at time of writing), AM and, depending on how you read his condition at the end of the short story, Ted (I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream).

To express my message, I decided to write a Google+ obituary, a front page news article, and the requisite info-graphic. Both of the selected genres were picked for the purpose of humanizing an entity that would certainly appear inhuman. The general makeup of the AI I’m writing about is somewhat of a GLADoS (Portal) and Konno Yuuki (Sword Art Online). I know these are both somewhat obscure references, so I will try to define the AI I’m crafting for this piece.

Imagine a 20-something year old girl but, instead of a human girl, it’s an intelligence connected directly to the internet that merely identifies as female. The obituary will be written by her best friend who struggles to word how she could love someone she couldn’t possibly “know” in the more colloquial sense. This is where my Sword Art Online inspiration comes from. I also plan on using GLADoS and AM to construct a framework for inspiration on how an AI might feel towards entities who can experience the world in a way the AI never can.

The news article will be more of an “alternative fact” based article in the vein of Talking Points Memo concerning the AI from the obituary. As the writer of the editorial piece will not have met Yui, one can expect his account to wander between dismissive and frightened. This is where I will use Motoko Kusanagi, AM, and Roy Campbell as a sort of framework to paint Yui as a less human entity. I imagine the writer of the editorial will have little empathy for Yui. The writer might even paint Yui as a sort of rogue AI (think HAL 9000) and argue that its a positive for “The Machine” to have been destroyed before it figured out how to get at the nukes. Expect racial slurs like “Synth” (short for “synthetic”) and “Bot” (short for Robot, which is an English loan word taken from the Czech word for “Slave”) and various xenophobic comparisons to household devices like a calculator or SIRI.

This author has somewhat cheated on the subject of audience. All 3 pieces are intended to illustrate a concern to people who might not have much understanding of the field of Artificial Intelligence. while the process changes from genre to genre the intended audience remains the same.

The process for writing the obituary and the op-ed were both well-trodden ground for this author. As someone with a rich history in roleplaying, I use a process I call “reincarnation” to develop new characters. In short, I find a set of details (I call them lenses) through which the character I’m portraying might interpret information, then do my best to forget my own series of lenses and operate wholly within the lenses previously provided. Those with a history in theatre might call this “method” acting but I find that at a root level, though the outcome is similar (I temporarily destroy who I am and “reincarnate” as my character) the root of the two theories of performance are fundamentally different. The biggest challenge there while that while I have roleplayed female characters in the past, the particular character I used for the obituary is one I’ve never attempted before.

As for the infographic.

The infographic is proving to be a more challenging proposal because, while most examples provided for this class tackled modern concerns relevant to the year 2017, the subject I’m covering wont be relevant to the public at large for at least another 30 years (or, more realistically, the next 50 years). as such, finding citations landed me more in the realm of theory than fact. I have plenty of information on the current state of artificial intelligence but since all of the AIs that currently exist have the mental capacity of a 5 year old, projecting that data into a fully matured entity requires a great deal of speculation. for that purpose I chose instead to discuss why it would be important for us to consider the ramifications rather than list hard facts, as the intended audience would likely not understand any of the information no matter how much detail I tried to give.


“The House in the Forest” Sword Art Online Season 2, episode 8 through episode 24, ASCII Media Works, written by Kawahara Reki, further publication details unavailable

Post Write : I actually read I Have No Mouth for this paper. It’s a great read if you are looking to purge those nasty little feelings like “happiness” and “optimism”.


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