piloting slightly less blind / do androids dream of being liked on facebook?

Posted on

I’ve been so busy writing that I keep forgetting to tell this blog about my writing. As per two updates ago, I am in the middle of a total rewrite of a drama pilot script that I originally wrote over the summer, and that is loosely based around a book from two hundred years ago. It’s nearly done. Soon I shall get together with some actor friends to hear how it sounds out loud, and to see if there’s anything that doesn’t make sense to people who are not me.

I have developed a habit of asking my friends on Facebook for help with specific story details. Last week I asked “If you committed a crime in a hospital and needed to return there for a family emergency without security recognizing your face, what would you do?” The conversation lasted for days after I had chosen an answer and written the scene in question, and I kept having to assert that “No, the character doesn’t need to do to any off-limits places, he just has to sit in the waiting room with his family” over and over, but it was fun. The responses were equally fun for my question from two days ago: “What’s a scary symptom that an android could get from a computer virus?” After clarifying that I meant “a robot that looks like a person” rather than my phone, I received many answers. Some of these answers proved useful, and a few of them blatantly ignored the fact that I just wanted “a scary symptom” and not an entire story with character motivations and back story. I admit to finding the entire thing entertaining, especially since the question was for a flash fiction entry, and the conversation easily surpasses the word count maximum for the assignment. 


“Memory loss, erratic behaviour, mood swings. It would probably manifest a lot like psychiatric conditions. Or it could just randomly deactivate.”
23 January at 23:58 · Like

“ya a an android phone can have pretty much anything happen to it, including hard bricked. If you mean a Soong Type android (think Data from star trek) – think any sort of demonic possession, but techy. Randomly spewing the products of primes, spewing bizarre error messages that don’t make any sense in the middle of a sentence, starting to control nearby electronics remotely but not being aware it is happening, and trying to extort money from people without knowing it is happening.”
Yesterday at 00:04 · Like

“Random speaking in lines of code mixed with speech, Hardware failing (like arm going limp, speech volume going erratic) repition of lines lines lines lines”
Yesterday at 00:09 · Like

“It could lose its connection with its own basic personality programming and start adopting the strongest personality traits of the people it encounters.
Imagine the horrifying personality cocktail it could develop from encountering an angry child, an abusive drunk, and a corrupt cop just to jaded to care any more.”
Yesterday at 00:12 · Like

“I had another thought, every time it sees someone it could say something like ‘hello so and so’ and then start sounding off vital statistics, personal information and something like a raw dump of all the sensor data it is taking in about the person and then just carry on. (In terms of program execution it would make sense to give the verbose data before the objects name but that might be harder to follow what it’s doing for a reader).”
Yesterday at 00:17 · Like

“One of my big fears with robots is if their pressure sensor software went haywire. Imagine an robot or Android capable of hundreds of pounds of pressure and force just suddenly miscalculates and mutilates your daughter as it helps her out of your car.”
Yesterday at 00:22 · Unlike · 5

“an existential crisis brought on by the mere realization of his or her own fragile mortality”
Yesterday at 01:04 · Like · 1

“think “Edward Scissorbot.”
Yesterday at 01:48 · Like

“Low power warning that makes it have to recharge like an addict and a reminder that there is a problem but it cant diagnose/decypher the problem.”
Yesterday at 05:56 · Like · 1

“The android is infected by Billy Mays virus: the starts randomly reenacting/reciting infomercials.
Android is infected by a Bot: starts seeking out other androids to infect in order to create a zombie army for the bot creator.
Android is infected with porn malware: starts making inappropriate sex comments at every turn.”
Yesterday at 06:19 · Like

“I would say its ability to recognize a human being is either fully or partially compromised, making it dangerous. But whenever the person or people who manage it run diagnoses, nothing shows up so it continues to malfunction without them knowing!! The only way they can know is by removing the “pineal chip,” which is essentially the android’s black box.”
Yesterday at 07:07 · Like

“What is the android’s original purpose, and what was the virus-writer’s intent?”
Yesterday at 08:38 · Edited · Like · 1

Me: “a) cop. b) to completely disable her and/or ruin her credibility as a witness.”
Yesterday at 08:41 · Like · 1

“I think I like my pineal chip idea lol I feel so creative”
Yesterday at 08:41 · Like

“Then the best virus would be a simple data corruption. The android would just start having memory gaps, small at first, and getting bigger and bigger. But unlike a meat brain, a synthetic brain might not have some isolation between consciousness and autonomic processes. So an android might suddenly forget that she has hands, or how to turn left.”
Yesterday at 08:43 · Unlike · 5

“If it’s a cop maybe it will start arresting people it believes have warrants out for their arrest or start using old laws to determine stuff when in fact those laws are no longer in play.”
Yesterday at 09:16 · Like

“If a mob found a way to program all the cop androids with this virus they could use the androids to help them run their drugs or weapons or even to “arrest” people on its behalf to bring them back to the mob but when diagnostics are run, because the code they use is embedded a certain way, it cannot be found. If the cops ran diagnostics with a specific machine they used to have to run the tests, they could determine the fault. The problem is, no one really knows where they archived the last couple scanners because technology was thought to cover all the bases by then and manual checks took too long and cost too much money. (And now I’m done brainstorming lol but thanks for the creative exercise!)”
Yesterday at 09:23 · Like

“He could like…. Run all possible outcomes of a situation and accidentally record them all as memories, so though he knows which one is true, his brain has documentation of all potential combinations”
Yesterday at 10:48 · Like

“One of the earliest computer virus simulated Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. The explanation is complicated and can be read here http://www.csd.uwo.ca/…/Robin%20Hood%20And%20Friar… but basically there were two hidden daemons in the computer called Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. If you tried to delete one the other would reboot the other while printing out message asking Robin Hood or Friar Tuck to save him. If you want use history having the virus change the robot personality to Robin Hood and when they try to erase the virus have it switch personality traits would have some relevance.”
Yesterday at 11:38 · Like · Remove Preview

Me: “That’s neat. Of course, I always thought Little John was Robin’s sidekick, and that Friar tuck was only in the stories to legitimatize the community of Merry Men in the eyes of religious folk.”
23 hours ago · Like

“The android’s one and only goal could be to spread the virus to other androids via any means possible.”
23 hours ago · Like

“Compulsive self-mutilation.”
22 hours ago · Unlike · 1

“Being under control of an evil entity.”
17 hours ago · Like

“TapSnake (a real virus affecting android phones right now. Particularly pernicious and steals all data.)”
4 hours ago


Next time I have a question like this, I’m just going to do it as a blog post and people can comment here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s