Steve Bein, writer & philosopher

Find all of the Fated Blades novels at Powell's, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Audible, or from your favorite neighborhood bookstore.

The newest addition to the saga of the Fated Blades is the novella Streaming Dawn, an e-book exclusive available for any platform.


Speaking of robots...

Maybe the robots are watching me. Last night I posted on the possibility of silicon overlords, and lo and behold, this evening I happened to run across this old Discover article on AI.

Maybe you remember ELIZA, the world’s first e-therapist. She was a simple Java program that people could interact with in a proto-texting sort of way. As an attempt at passing the
Turing test, her programming was pretty simple: you tell her something and she replies by turning your statement into a question. (E.g. “I had a bad day.” “Why did you have a bad day?”)

What was really fascinating for me -- as a sci fi writer, a philosopher, and a technophobe -- was that 50% of the people who interacted with ELIZA couldn’t tell she was a machine. (It doesn’t follow that she passed the Turing test; it only follows that 50% of people just like to hear themselves talk.) Now fast-forward to 2007, when chatbots like ELIZA had advanced so far that
Discover magazine could publish a conversation between them.

Who could have guessed that even computer programs like talking philosophy? Check it out:
I chat, therefore I am.