Don’t Give Give the Kill Bot the Life Begging Routines

I started this post right about the time this story dropped, but somehow it never made it to being posted. As I was going though to clear out drafts of posts that I did not finish (for whatever reason…) I ran across this gem to be shared. As a side note, in all the time since this was posted, there has not been a follow up. 

I saw an article the other day discussing an experiment about where participants worked with a robot to perform a list of tasks. Now working with the robot is not so odd, but the twist is that after the tasks were done the participants were asked to turn off the robot. The robot began to ask or beg not to be turned off, and a significant number of the participants would not turn the robot off.

Source: New study finds it’s harder to turn off a robot when it’s begging for its life – The Verge

What if there was a robot that was meant to kill instead of solve puzzles, say a “kill bot”. Now what if that code to “beg for its life” was added to the kill bot and it started a fight with a human. The human could get the advantage on the kill bot and while the human were ready to deliver the ending blow the kill bot begs for its life. If the results of this study were to scale then most humans would feel sympathy and not deliver the blow giving the bot the chance to turn the tables and kill the human instead.

The experiment reminds me a lot of the Milgram experiments in the 1960’s. Sure, bit of a stretch, but what if?

Why are glasses so expensive? The eyewear industry prefers to keep that blurry – Los Angeles Times

(Note: This is a re-post of previous content – still good though!)

Eyewear is a near-monopolistic, $100-billion industry dominated by a single company. That’s why 1,000% markups for frames and lenses are commonplace.

Source: Why are glasses so expensive? The eyewear industry prefers to keep that blurry – Los Angeles Times

I have had to wear glasses for the better part of my life, and not just because I sat too close to the TV. I have often wondered why in the hell glasses were so expensive, citing that the cost of the lens to correct severe eye problems were to blame. While, yes, thick corrective lens with automatic sun blocking abilities should probably not be cheap, these lens are produced on an automated machine and should not be nearly as expensive as they are. This piece in the Los Angeles Times puts the problem under a better lens.