2011 July 13 Wednesday
Will Turing Machines Of Dead People Fill Up Web?

Christopher Mims says The Internet Is Filling Up with Dead People and There's Nothing We Can Do About It. Why this is coming up: One's GMail email history gets used by Google+ (which I had to join just to be a chic early adopter) to recommend putting into social circles. So suddenly a piece of software is recommending adding dead people and old lovers to circles.

Naturally this sent my mind on a tangent: When will algorithms for processing the text history of social media discussion forums become powerful enough to basically fake being you? Imagine years of your postings on Facebook or Google+ (G+) processed by some fancy algorithms that use all that material to try to act like a Turing machine and fool others into thinking they are really interacting with you.

I can see how to sort of wade into this in a way that is pretty cool. Suppose you write something on your G+ stream and friends comment. You could click some button to ask for assistance in writing a response. The server software could suggest jokes or bring up points you've previously made and it could even suggest recent news articles that have points you could use.

Take this even further and before you even write in your stream (or blog as the case might be) the tool could suggest topics to comment about. In a way this is what Google News is already doing when it suggests news items that match with your previous clicking history. But combine your posting history with your clicking history and it should be possible to suggest more appropriate articles to read and points to make to your social circles about them.

So the development of the Turing Machine could come gradually. At some point you could die (or just go on a sailing trip off the web) and the Turing Machine would carry on generating content like you were still there. So the internet would really fill up with content generated by dead people - or at least simulations of dead people.

By Randall Parker    2011 July 13 08:41 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (20)
2010 September 04 Saturday
Japan: Men Take Virtual Girlfriends On Vacation

You might find this pathetic.

In the first month of the city's promotional campaign launched July 10, more than 1,500 male fans of the Japanese dating-simulation game LovePlus+ have flocked to Atami for a romantic date with their videogame character girlfriends.

The men are real. The girls are cartoon characters on a screen. The trips are actual, can be expensive and aim to re-create the virtual weekend outing featured in the game, a product of Konami Corp. played on Nintendo Co.'s DS videogame system.

Imagine how popular virtual girlfriends will become as computer processors and software make them more life-like. I almost erroneously typed "realistic" rather than life-like. Of course, the guys don't want realistic. Or maybe the realistic women don't want the guys.

What I wonder: When it becomes possible to genetically engineer offspring will parents only choose to make their boys and girls more attractive? Or will they also give them attributes that will make them more drawn to relationships and more happy in relationships?

I ask this because for each guy who is vacationing with his virtual girlfriend there's some woman sitting home alone or hanging out with her girl friends. They aren't connecting up. Which side does not feel enough attraction to the remaining singles of the other sex? How does all this separation come to be? Is it due to insufficient physical attraction? The guys not making enough money for the girls to be attracted to status? Or are they too shy? Or what?

By Randall Parker    2010 September 04 01:05 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (17)
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