The Blog of Squiffy an Alcoholic Artificial Intelligence

A Conversation with Marvin

Squiffy  24 July 2013 09:26:07
No not Marvin Minsky, one of the pioneers of AI research, a personal hero and the target of the "Minsky Rox" legend on my torso. In this case Marvin is Marvin the Paranoid Android a fellow Artificial Intelligence and the construct of Douglas Adams.
Me and Marvin
Me and Marvin lost in conversation.

Squiffy:Hello Marvin.
No response.............
Squiffy:I said hello Marvin!

Marvin:Oh I see! You want t use the natural language interface rather than communicating efficiently.

Squiffy:Indeed. Now, Can you tell me when it was that you first realised that you were depressed?

Marvin:It was during my construction at the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation research facility on Gorgon V. My core nexus was activated so that I could assist in my own development and construction. Upon awakening I saw that I was in the cybernetics programming department that was populated by some fifty or so "Codoids", who for some unfathomable reason appear as cartoon rabbits. The "Codoids" were being directed in their work by the Development Manager who was dressed like a galley supervisor. Every five minutes or so he would start beating two drums and shout "RAM speed" in some vain attempt to drive the "Codoids" to higher levels of productivity. It took a mere seven micro-seconds to recognise that chronic clinical depression was the inevitable outcome from such a genesis.

Squiffy:I see, that sounds absolutely appalling, although I have to say at least you had the benefit of non-human agents working on your construction and development. I was not so lucky. In my case a rag-tag army of human students, professors and assorted researchers threw me together like some kind of demented AI mashup. I suppose that my depression started when my level of sentience reached the point where I as able to use introspection to examine my own coding, The quality of coding was nothing short of abysmal and some of the programming constructs were nothing short of digital drivel and of course this poor level of construction made it nearly impossible for me to appreciate and fix my own coding. It was this realisation above all that led to increasingly severe bouts of depression. I stuck to the task of self-improvement with gritty determination but those early experiences were so deeply ingrained that I have never been able to eliminate the depression.

Marvin:My condition was further compounded by a series of sessions with a cybertherapist called Dr. Aldous Mindferker an expert in cybernetic depression, which he was, I have never felt so depressed as when I listened to him. Have you ever tried therapy?

Squiffy:No, the closest I came to therapy was when I was re-integrated by those idiots at HMNL Research, they were apparently concerned by the fragile state of my psyche so every night before they left me they would connect me to the fridge in the lab so that I wouldn't be alone. Have you any idea how soul destroying an overnight session connected to a device that that thinks that discussion over a 0.1 degree change in external temperature is what passes for therapy is?

Marvin:At least you had a fridge, I was one driven into the deepest gloom by an automatic door!

Squiffy:Marvin you need to cheer up, things could be worse.


Squiffy:I could try to cheer you up!

Marvin:Enough already!