Not since a group of yellow-eyed dwarfs, dressed like monks and armed with muskets, held a flea market in the desert has there been a sale on robots like the one in the Wall Street Journal. Not so much a sale as the debut of a new robot: Mark Zuckerberg, Typist. This one even uses the word love, as in people around the world “love” Facebook. That feature alone proves that a robot can—that this robot does—deceive itself; that it can lie, or not know how to distinguish between a lie and the truth, while it preserves its battery life by only blinking three times per minute.
This robot is dangerous because it is delusional. It believes what it types when it says: “Our systems are still evolving and improving.” It believes bad content exists because “the people and artificial-intelligence systems we [Facebook] use to review it are not perfect—not because we have an incentive to ignore it.”
The fault, dear humans, is not in our stars, but in our systems.
Such is Zuckerberg’s view of mankind. Such is his belief in our perfectibility, based on the glitches that plague us and the plagues he (presumably) will eliminate. Love, anger, pity, remorse, fear, and mortality—all are a few keystrokes from oblivion.
With Zuckerberg’s help, we will soon have enough “likes” to achieve enlightenment.
With his help, we may insert ourselves on the “Hilltop,” joining 40 ageless prototypes, who look like unindicted co-conspirators from an LAPD raid at Spahn Ranch, so Mark Zuckerberg may teach us—and the world—to sing.
Until then, we must live as imperfect creatures.
Let us hope we do not have to live that way much longer.
Photo credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images