You can beat all the grandmasters in chess
But can you beat an armed Luddite no or yes?
Deep Blue Defeats Chess Champion Garry Kasparov 3.5 to 2.5 (IBM Research)
Crushed by Deep Blue, Kasparov lashes back at IBM
(CNN, May 11, 1997)
Luddism and the Neo-Luddite Reaction
(Martin Ryder, University of Colorado at Denver)
Return of the Luddites (By William Safire)
(New York Times Magazine, Dec. 6, 1998)
Is it O.K. to be a Luddite? (By Thomas R. Pynchon)
(New York Times Book Review, 28 October 1984, pp. 1, 40-41)
Interview with the Luddite Kirkpatrick Sale
(By Kevin Kelly, Wired Magazine, June 1995)
You get perfect scores on SAT exams
But can you crack koans the sound of one hand?
The Zen Masters of the T'ang dynasty tested the monks' understanding
of spiritual awakening not by their rote memory of Buddhist sutras
or Confucian sayings. They devised koans those illogical puzzles
which students could not find the answers in books but only within themselves.
Some koans are "What's the sound of one hand clapping?" and "What is
your face before your parents were born?" It's conceivable that a robot
can be programmed with a large database to score 800 on the SATs.
But can Robo-Man answer koans from a Zen Master?
101 Zen Koans;
Zen Buddhism Koan Study Pages
You can calm our children when they cry
But can you cry should our children ever die?
John Smart in his Stanford Lecture
"Understanding the Singularity"
(5-20-2003) mentioned that there is a
"Smart Cathy" doll ($300) that
responds to a child's crying. It will perk up and comfort the child
to stop crying. The original
Chatty Cathy dolls were made by Mattel in the 1960's and can talk
when a string is pulled. At MIT's Artificial Intelligence Lab,
Cog and Kismet Robots
are being developed that are social & embodied. But can Robo-Man laugh
at our jokes and cry when our heart is hurt?
You can say "Good Morning", meow and purr
But can you catch mice and grow a coat of fur?
Robokitty has video cameras for eyes, stereo microphones for ears and speakers
for meowing. It also has touch sensors that will let it know when it is being
stroked, so it can purr. It'll play with wool. If you pull its tail, it'll reach
around to scratch. It'll run around and do hundreds of cat behaviors. But so far
it hasn't caught any mice and needs a coat of fur.
You know all the fish, birds and beasts by name
But the wolf of Gubbio can you train & tame?
The Wolf of Gubbio
is from Saint Francis of Assisi's Little Flowers of St. Francis,
Chapter 21: How St. Francis Tamed the Very Fierce Wolf of Gubbio. The fierce wolf
terrorized the town of Gubbio by devouring not only animals by even humans. St. Francis
was able to tame the wolf and made it apologize to the townspeople. Can Robo-Man change
the psyche of beasts to be peaceful the way a saint or sage can harmonize nature?
You chant all the sutras without a break
But can you dispel the demons from the lake?
Genno Shinsho (1329-1400), a Zen priest was summoned to dispel an evil
dragon from a village pond. Atsutada, the lord of Kasuga castle erected
a new Zen temple (Taikyuji) for Genno when the demons were cast away.
Likewise, the poet
Han Yü (768-824) recited his Address to the Crocodiles,
threatening to shoot them with poison arrows, and chased these menacing
beasts away from the Chaozhou riverbanks. Can Robo-Man play the role
of a Shaman and cast away beasts of terror and evil demonic spirits?
You can repair our old damaged DNAs
But will you toil for free without any pay?
Nanomedicine makes it better (By Liz Kalaugher, nanotechweb.org)
Nanomedicine: destination or journey?
(By C.A. Haberzettl, Nanotechnology, July 4, 2002)
Nanomedicine Art Gallery
(By Robert A. Freitas Jr., Foresight Institute, 2002)
If nanobots have intelligence that exceed humans,
will they toil non-stop as our slaves for free.
At what point will they strike and demand more pay?
You can pivot, swirl in sync, waltz and dance
But can you stir up passion and make romance?
A Japanese dancing robot
can follow a human dancer's lead.
Equipped with a computer, sensors and batteries, it can move in
any direction on four wheels and has memory for steps necessary
to dance the waltz. Professor Kazuhiro Kosuge, leader of the
Tohoku University team that developed the robot, says future
versions will be able to move in sync with humans.
You have all the cloud names in your brain
But can you spike them and bring down the rain?
This couplet is not so much about the weather as spiritual contemplation.
The reference on "spiking the cloud to bring rain" is the image of Mercury
poking at the clouds with his caduceus in Botticelli's Primavera (1478).
Analysis of Painting and poem
"Entering the Primavera"
You have all the museum paintings in your mind
But can you paint a Titian and be so refined?
Aaron, a robotic artist can produces paintings that could easily
pass for human work (NY Times, 12-28-2000). If modern restorers of
Titian ruined the original flesh tones of the Old Master, can a robot
do any better? Can we detect any progress in style or technique in
robotic art or is it totally randomized? For example, seeing Van Gogh's
early charcoals of dark coal mining and his later paintings of luminous
wheat fields and starry nights, we witness the progress of an artist
from doubt to certainty. Van Gogh's sunflowers and wheatfields bathe
us in sunlight. Can robotic art convey such emotions to us?
According to John Ruskin, Titian and Michelangelo would
refuse to use modern technology in their artworks. To do so,
would separate the artist from "the flesh and senses of humanity."
Read more of this art & technology conflict in O'Hear's essay:
Anthony O'Hear, "Art and Technology: An Old Tension"
in Roger Fellows (ed.), Philosophy and Technology,
Cambridge University Press, 1995, pp. 143-158
You can write poems and rhyme rice with spice
But can you lift us like Dante to paradise?
Oman, an egg-shaped robotic poet & photographer can speak 7 languages.
(Another Dimension of Artistic Manifestations) is a Random Poetry Generator by Nandy Millan.
E.L.I. (Electro-Linguistic Imagination), a cyborg media cart,
is programmed to generate random poetry from a text database.
It's possible to fill a computer's memory with a rhyming dictionary,
and it may even compose a sonnet or a haiku. But does Robo-Man
have a command of metaphors, seeing similarity in differences
the mark of a true poet according to Aristotle? Can Robo-Man
write a poem like
Dante's Commedia and
illumine our mind and bring heaven to earth?
You have read entire libraries it seems
But can you sing to us your impossible dream?
Project Gutenberg on the Internet has 6267 books in its
database (Nov. 2002), and one can imagine a robot with
entire libraries scanned into its memory. Will Robo-Man
be able to write an original novel, one that will enchant
and enlighten us like
Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha who sings to us of
"The Impossible Dream"?
Peter Y. Chou
Mountain View, 9-3-2003