0234 - Mission accomplished! - 2022.03.28



Whenever you're dealing with any instruction, there are two ways to approach it - process-oriented and goal-oriented. Both can cause problems.

Giving someone or something process-oriented instructions can result in the classic runaway paperclip-manufacturing problem... or, if you prefer, an army of animated brooms dumping water into an overflowing well. Continuing to follow a specific set of instructions regardless of their outcome is a recipe (if you will) for disaster. This, of course, applies to human interactions as well - consider instructing police to enforce laws without specifying that this enforcement is supposed to achieve the goal of a fair and safe society, or instructing customer service reps to always apologize to inconvenienced patrons without specifying that doing so is meant to make those patrons less angry and make your company appear sympathetic and responsive.

Conversely, simply giving someone or something a goal to achieve without specifying how to achieve it can also result in unintended consequences. Consider what might happen if you told an AI that you wanted your car to come to a stop in its parking space without specifying that you want it to do so via its brakes. Alternately, consider the well-intentioned regimes in history that have striven to achieve the great goal of peace and prosperity and unity for the maximum number of their citizens, and used that goal to justify whatever means by which they attempted to achieve it.

It is important to communicate both what you want done and why you want it done. Lee only indicated that they wanted Zoa to be extracted from Caleb's apartment without alerting Caleb to Lee's presence. This has been accomplished.


0234 - 2167/07/06/17:23 - fifth floor hallway
[Liz and Lee are around the corner, Liz is holding Lee back]
LC: What's that noise? What's going on?
Liz: I apologize, I cannot allow you to enter a potentially unsafe area.
LC: Are they fighting? Why are they fighting?
Liz: I don't know.
LC: Let me through!
Liz: I am unable to... ah. Okay, I'm allowed to let you through now.
LC: Good!
[Travis' robot drags over Zoa's broken body and disembodied head, throwing them on the floor at Lee's feet]
Travis' robot: That will be one hundred Canadian consumer credits, please.
Travis robot (human voice): Hell yeah, motherfucker!