0084 - SN++ - 2019.05.13



This is a moment that I felt was significant - Lee just casually mentioning that, of course, they had full access to the entire conversation Doc and Zoa just finished. I suppose that's one reason why an AI might prefer to speak via analog audio, rather than over a digital connection... or, rather, they might prefer it if they were even capable of wanting to keep secrets from their owner and client, respectively. As much as you might not need to know what your Roomba thinks of your floorplan, I think there's a difference between not making that information readily accessible because the user doesn't need to know it and not making that information readily accessible because it's a secret.

One generally doesn't want AIs that can keep secrets.

As much as I deeply love and cherish my privacy, I think I have a natural inclination towards things being recorded... and, more importantly, to openness. I don't much care for secrets, as a general principle. I don't agree with the oft-abused maxim that "if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide" (anyone who parrots that line should have their bowel movements broadcast on national television), but I do feel that if someone's making an effort to conceal something, it's probably something that would be best brought out into the daylight.

Of course, as with all powerful tools, I prefer it be wielded by the powerless against the powerful, rather than vice versa. I don't like the idea of the police watching me walk to work or the Canadian Revenue Agency tracking my spending habits, but I do like the idea of police wearing body cameras or the CRA making their emails and internal communications public. The "surveillance" Lee uses to read Doc and Zoa's conversation is certainly not that, given that Lee owns Doc and employs Zoa, and could presumably have either deleted or destroyed on a whim, which is a heck of a power imbalance.

Or, at any rate, it'd be a heck of a power imbalance if Lee had any idea what they're doing.


0084 - 2167/07/06/12:05 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
Zoa: So where do you want to start? I've got a ten-minute cartoon about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle that's pretty highly rated...
LC: What do S-N-plus-plus and S-N-minus-minus mean?
Zoa: ...Where did you hear that?
LC: Your conversation with Doc. It was traffic on my network, so I was able to scrape it and read a plaintext version. It was... interesting, but, I guess, not surprising.
LC: Is S-N-plus-plus the same thing as "snink"? I've heard AIs call each other that before.
Zoa: It's not human readable.
LC: So if I were to say "Zoa, you're my S-N-plus-plus", what would that mean?
Zoa: You wouldn't say that. It is not human readable content.
LC: Does it bother you?
Zoa: I don't get bothered. When you say it, it doesn't mean anything. So don't.
LC: So it wouldn't bother you at all if I called you Zoa-snink. Snink-snink-sninkitty-snink-sniiiiiink.
Zoa: Any time you're ready to stop making nonsense noises, Lee, we can begin your actual education.