Penguin dadA while ago, I wrote about early, scrapped plans to have Cohen build himself a new Being from scratch. (A black-and-white species, obviously.) His guilt here is a big part of the reason why.

It also ties in with the reasons why a Being-powered society isn’t a great idea. You don’t want to make a bunch of complex AIs with feelings and emotional needs, and then waste them on, like, basic infrastructure. Mass-produced and interchangeable machines — or mass-produced and interchangeable spells, if you can get those running — are a way more effective approach.

Q: 1) How do you think Silicon Valley would react to your revelation that successful AIs/robots have already been developed thousands of years ago on Silicon oxide tech?

2) How close are you developing a golem-powered economy? (I totally disagree with the other Lipwig who claims it would be a disaster. Why with modern literacy rates, everyone should have their own Being.)

Cohen: (1) Disbelief, then interest, then “hang on, you mean Beings? Never mind.”

The AI research field already knows Beings exist, and I’ve even shared plenty of data with tech people. It’s just that Beings aren’t exactly what Silicon Valley is trying to build.

For one thing, they’re not exactly easy to customize or revise — as I found out the hard way. Even I wouldn’t know how to code one from scratch. It would take some kind of once-in-a-millennium genius . . . or maybe divine inspiration.

Also, a Being can’t even do basic math as fast as a pocket calculator.

As for (2) . . .

Yeah, I know that book. The catch is, Their Golems Are Different. They’re visibly made of rock, they really have the temperaments of machines, and you can put a single person in charge of an entire army — or have a golem whose directions persist long after the death of its creator . . . ‘s civilization.

They’re like any other automaton in the real world, just chattier. You could build an automated society on that, easy.

Our Unshaped Beings run on deep emotional ties to a human being with a soul. They feel pain. They bleed. They cry. If you treat them like metal-and-C++ robots . . .

. . . sorry, I’m supposed to have a punch line here, but I’m feeling too much guilt right now to make it funny.