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Excellent Work, Melody Capili of INTFILO A52!


Sum Res Cogitans

Night, Absolute Boyfriend (2003-2005)
Absolute Boyfriend is a Japanese manga I used to read when I was in high school. It is story about a lonely girl named Riiko who had always been rejected by boys she liked. One day, a huge package was delivered to her house which happened to be a male android. The android got ‘activated’ when she kissed him. Little did she knew at first, the android was designed to be an absolute boyfriend, and was specially made for sex (the android was designed to last up to 100 rounds in bed), so she named him Night. Night was beastly and sexually aggressive for the first few weeks he lived with Riiko. But since Riiko is meek and conservative, he learned to contain his aggression, and became a gentleman. He remained by Riiko’s side to protect her. They eventually fell in love with each other. However, it was a sad ending for Riiko. Night had a short circuit, so he ‘died’.

Night falling in love with Riiko – is it a human-nature-type of love or just the way he is programmed?

In psychology, self-concept or self-identity refers to how an individual views himself/herself (Kihlstrom et al., 2005). It is influenced by the environment and his/her own biological makeup. A person’s default self (biological makeup) and social self (shaped by other people) interplay for a person to create his own perspective of himself and the world, and to generate responses to things.

Just like any other computers, androids have memory which acts as information storage. This is where they retrieve all necessary information for their overall functioning. They have two types of knowledge. One is embedded memory; that is, the initial programmed memory stored by the manufacturer. The other one is the memory ‘learned’ by the android from its master through his commands. Whatever the master says gets stored in the android’s memory to increase its efficiency.

Ever heard about CLEVERBOT?

People call this site “artificial intelligence”. It is a site where people can ask questions or type in whatever they have in mind and Cleverbot will answer. It even answers in different languages. How did it learn? It stores all information from the questions posed by users and organizes them to create a response. However, some responses turn out to be inappropriate or far off from the topic. For example…

This is because computers, they may have memory, but they do not know how to put them all together to generate meaning.

Remember Doris (DOR-15) from the movie “Meet the Robinsons”?

According to the Bowler Hat Guy, DOR-15, also known as Doris, used to be a prototype invented by Cornelius Robinson which was supposed to be human’s helping hand in all sorts of tasks. Doris was shaped like a bowler hat to elicit its portability by just being worn on the head. It had multiple ‘arms’ so that it could perform multiple tasks at once. Its camera served as its ‘eye’ upon serving its master. However, the Bowler Hat Guy added, Doris realized that she had the potential to go beyond its master’s orders, thus spreading evil. And so Cornelius Robinson shut her down.

Is that possible, for something man-made to go beyond how it is programmed? I don’t think so.

Sum Res Cogitans. It means “I am a thinking thing.” Thinking is not only limited to retrieval of information from memory, and perceiving the experience of things. It is also about making sense of things, and reflecting from it. The main characteristic that distinguishes a human person from an android is that humans are the only ones who makes sense of their thinking. They are the only ones who are able to perform such complex cognitive tasks such as forming relationships between things for further understanding of things. In psychology, this is called meaning-based knowledge. This is based on the semantics formed upon perceiving things. For example, we understand what a chair is not just through mental images such as its salient features and structures, but also its uses and what we associate chairs with. We associate it with a table as its partner, its use for sitting, how it is used in classrooms, houses and work places, etc. Androids cannot do that. They only know that a chair looks like this and is used for this, depending on how their masters orient them with it. They can never realize that the ergonomics of a chair can also be suitable for other kinds of support on materials.


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