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How many of us are old enough to remember that series from America called " Lost in Space. " ? 

Lost in Space, the beloved sci-fi series that first graced our television screens in the 1960s.

I remember it well. What would poor Will Robinson have done without his trusty robot?

A show where the Robinson family, along with their Robot and the ever-scheming Dr. Smith, navigate the treacherous and often ridiculous perils of outer space. But what if I told you that this interstellar adventure holds a mirror up to our modern-day reliance on technology and the dangerous ways of our governments? 

You see, our trusted robot from our childhood TV shows is now in fact a  " trusted " companion.  We cannot cope without our robotic friend who steers us through life. Along our roads through GPS; our banking and in fact every part of our lives. 

But what if our trusted robot mate from the days of " Lost in Space ' is no longer our companion, but our ruler?  Have they become our nemeses? Our worst enemy?

In Lost in Space, the Robot is a loyal companion, equipped with a generic voice and the unforgettable line, “Danger, Will Robinson!” This mechanical marvel saves the day countless times, whether it’s warding off alien threats or navigating the world young Will lived in. 

I read on line that it was because of Mark Twain, but these days, who knows? 

The term was actually coined by Mark Twain in the late 1800's concerning a man named Will Forrester. One of the writers for the show Lost in Space was a Mark Twain fanatic and frequently used the phrase "Danger, Will Forrester" around the office whenever their supervisor stepped out of his office. Another writer decided to add it to a script as an inside joke, changing it to "Danger Will Robinson". 

In the early 1960s, Irwin Allen was on a roll, having produced several successful TV shows and movies. Such box office hits as The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Towering Inferno (1974) along with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964–1968), he was the master of the epic disaster movie genre. I have to wonder if in fact, " Lost in Space " was a disaster movie, only we never saw it at the time? 

Fast forward to today, and our lives are brimming with robots and AI. I believe people actually have AI in their homes called Siri, who graciously reminds people of their appointments....  I have to wonder..... these modern-day marvels who make our lives supposedly easier, taking on mundane tasks and even some complex ones... are they in fact making life worthless?

Imagine a world without GPS—utter chaos.....  We’d all be wandering aimlessly, much like the Robinsons without their Robot. Hell, we would have to use that old thing called a map. 

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Enough said. Most people today have no idea how to read a map. 

Just as the Robot occasionally malfunctions, our reliance on technology can sometimes lead us astray. Ever tried arguing with a GPS that insists the quickest route involves a non-existent bridge? Or had a smart home device order 42 cases of cat food because your cat, Mr. Fluffy, “meowed suspiciously”? The parallels are uncanny.

OK, joking aside, I did have that happen today. I was with Redhead ( my 90 plus year old mother ) and my daughter ( a gorgeous young blonde who is a Doctor and nothing like that Dr Jill person ) and a young 14 year old lad and we talked about AI. The first thing they ( daughter and nephew ) did was reach for their phones. They are addicted to their handsets. it is extraordinary. Mum and I have no desire to reach for a mobile device to take an image or quickly check with chat CGI or AI or whatever the new name is for the latest Will Robinson computer robot.... but we have new generations of people who seem to think that robots are the way to learn. 

A topic that came up was quite amusing. We were talking about voice activated chat from AI. I asked her to ask a question in Australian vernacular.

The question was "If two old birds were sitting on a seat and chatting about going to the dunny, what picture would this convey? "
Apparently, Redhead and I were outside in the garden fertilising the garden as we dropped much needed nutrients into the ground.

gsptwhme 


Oh dear. 

Now, let’s talk about Dr. Zachary Smith, the pain in the bum of the Lost in Space universe. Dr. Smith is the epitome of chaos—conniving, selfish, and always up to no good. Sound familiar? If you're thinking he bears a striking resemblance to certain government officials, you're not alone. He is the person who wreaks havoc wherever he goes. And boy oh boy, don't we all have a Dr Smith. 

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Dr. " Smith "  is a master manipulator, much like the politicians who promise us the moon and deliver, well, moon rocks. He's always finding new ways to wiggle out of trouble, leaving the Robinsons to clean up his mess. Similarly, governments often create problems that require Herculean efforts to solve—preferably by someone else. 

I hate to think what someone would do with Albanese. 

As we hurtle through the cosmos (or just through another workweek), I wonder: is it comforting to know that we have a robot in the co pilot's seat? Or would we prefer a human instead?

Personally, while I liked the Robot in Lost in Space, I also liked those people called parents. Oh, I know, call me old fashioned. But there it is. 

Somehow, I have this strange feeling that we should have heeded those words decades ago. " Danger Will Robinson. "

Because I believe that AI is dangerous. Just look at these things called Smart Meters. They can turn our electricity off with a flick of a switch. We have a Digital ID being forced upon us. Can we be cancelled or suspended if we are not doing as we are told? You bet we can. 

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Digital Currency.... our bank accounts and money can be turned off and on like a tap and we can do nothing about it. 

While AI is a great tool, think on the number of university students and school students who now use it to write their essays and exam submissions. It reminds me of Flysa's article about the slide rule and the calculator: computers make us lazy.  

Think back to the days when someone counted out your change at the supermarket. Now, a computerised till calculates the change. Or, worse still, it is simply a swipe of a card where there is no need for the human behind the checkout to actually have to think at all. 

We are being conditioned to accept, nay, rely, on computers to do our thinking for us. 

Our children and grandchildren will never know the joy of a visit to a library or the wonder of the new set of encyclopedias that our parents purchased in order to help us learn and grow and expand our minds. There is NO PARTICIPATION.  Which is why we are in the muddle we are in today with weather forecasts and computer modeling. 

Remember Redhead's book of rainfall data, spanning 40 years? All added up, no calculator in use there!

Or the sheer delight of walking into a backyard or park or down by a river to sit and read a book about Jason and the Argonauts or a silly girl falling down a rabbit hole and meeting a giant rabbit. Imaginations are being shut down. 

gsptwhme

You see, if Robots control us, we lose our imaginations. Our ability to say " What if.. " . My late Dad used to encourage us to imagine. As kids, we learned that there was a mighty power and Dad taught me to dream and think and imagine and create universes that didn't exist outside my own mind.  Robots and AI stifle that. Human creativity becomes defunct. Worthless. We will never dream of flying or leaping into the world of " What If? ...... " 

AI systems can make mischief. In other words, who trained the trainer? The people in charge of training the AI is no different to a dog owner who can train his dog to be a ferocious killer or a docile and obedient servant. That frightens me. And it should frighten you. 

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Is this not the same with our governments? Someone is training them to bite us. 

As I have said earlier, AI systems often rely on large amounts of personal data to function effectively. This can (and is ) leading to significant privacy concerns, as sensitive information is being collected, stored, and potentially misused. It is not good. 

Automation and AI have the potential to replace many jobs, leading to an artificial world where people can be exploited for malicious purposes, or developing weapons that could have a " mind of their own " : in other words, that of their creator. These technologies can be used to deceive, disrupt, and cause harm on a large scale, posing problems and outcomes that are not welcome in a society where humanity should be paramount..... 

So where do we go from here?  Keeping in theme with today's post, perhaps we need to look at who is in charge of the robot. Because I suspect that Dr Smith is and we all know what a trouble making useless idiot he was. 

Let's put the parents back in charge and maybe Will Robinson will have a future where his robot is his friend and not a treacherous enemy. 

 

 

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