Rage against the ma­chines, then think of the good bits, then rage again, and re­peat

It’s like a tornado of clouds and sil­ver lin­ings when Fair­fax’s El­iz­a­beth Far­relly gets writ­ing

The Weekend Australian - - COMMENTARY -

Seat­belts on! It’s time to em­bark once more on the unique jour­ney that is a Far­relly col­umn. From The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald, yes­ter­day: Why is ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence so spooky? It’s not just the com­pe­ti­tion, the pos­si­bil­ity that we’ll man­u­fac­ture crea­tures smarter, sex­ier, stronger than our­selves; crea­tures who will take our jobs and our lovers. Who may even out-hu­man us. More chilling, and more likely, is the pos­si­bil­ity be­hind Elon Musk’s plea to ban “killer robots”; that in out­sourc­ing our hu­man­ity we will de­hu­man­ise our­selves.

But lo, a sil­ver lining! Far­relly: In my fan­tasy of the day we re­place our en­tire par­lia­ment with robots, con­fer­ring cit­i­zen­ship on the lot — as­sum­ing the ori­gin of their parts doesn’t de­bar them by con­fer­ring, in the words of sec­tion 44 (i) of the Aus­tralian Con­sti­tu­tion, the “rights or priv­i­leges of a sub­ject or cit­i­zen of a for­eign power”. Then we sit back and en­joy, con­fi­dent that re­plac­ing our lead­ers with ma­chines can bring no net loss of ei­ther IQ or EQ and will de­liver in­stead gen­uine obe­di­ence to our will. When we say no new coalmines or con­cen­tra­tion camps there will be no new coalmines or con­cen­tra­tion camps. Job done. Don’t smile just yet. Far­relly goes on: That’s the fan­tasy. The re­al­ity is al­most cer­tainly far grim­mer … The sweet Star Wars fa­ble of some loyal lit­tle R2D2 pet is in­fin­itely less prob­a­ble than a Doc­tor Who night­mare, where roam­ing armies of killer ma­chines are con­trolled by forces with­out face or iden­tity.

The BBC’s old Doc­tor Who web­site tackling one night­mare: The best way to kill a Cy­ber­man is with gold.

Fail­ing that, you could al­ways try an­other ma­chine. The BBC again: An­other spec­tac­u­lar way of mas­sacring Cy­ber­men is the Ras­ton War­rior Ro­bot. A sleek, sil­ver killing ma­chine, the Ras­ton Ro­bot dis­patched an en­tire Cy­ber-pa­trol in sec­onds dur­ing The Five Doc­tors.

Pauline Han­son learn­ing about con­tentious Face­book posts by One Na­tion can­di­date Mark Thornton’s sex shop — dur­ing her press con­fer­ence with Thornton, yes­ter­day: I am not aware of this; can you tell me what site it is?

At last, a straight­for­ward mo­ment for Malcolm Turn­bull dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Viet­nam, yes­ter­day: Turn­bull: Now, this is Luke Nguyen, as ev­ery­one knows, star of stage and screen and star of MasterChef Viet­nam. Luke Nguyen: Yes.

New Greens sen­a­tor Jordon SteeleJohn, yes­ter­day: It’s 2017 and only now do we have some­one with a lived ex­pe­ri­ence of dis­abil­ity in fed­eral par­lia­ment.

The Aus­tralian’s David Crowe, re­ply­ing on Twit­ter: Tell that to Gra­ham Ed­wards, the La­bor MP who lost both legs in Viet­nam. And an­other West Aus­tralian. Hal Cole­batch in Quad­rant, in 2008: John Hyde is a man of ma­jor ac­com­plish­ments. He be­came a suc­cess­ful wheat farmer in West­ern Aus­tralia de­spite los­ing his right arm in an ac­ci­dent at the age of 23; as a member of par­lia­ment from 1973 to 1982 he was coura­geous in re­ject­ing strong pres­sures to be­come mere divi­sion-fod­der and in push­ing an eco­nomic re­form agenda against the en­trenched or­tho­dox­ies of the Coali­tion, of­fend­ing many vested in­ter­ests …

Cut out and keep. Bill Shorten’s press con­fer­ence, yes­ter­day: Jour­nal­ist: Why should we ac­cept your con­fi­dence that none of your MPs have a case to an­swer? Shorten: Well, what I’m say­ing is that let all MPs put for­ward to the same stan­dard their ev­i­dence and then it will be avail­able for the pub­lic to see. I am not ac­tu­ally ask­ing you to take Mr Turn­bull’s word or mine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.