Sunday, September 12, 2010


The link with the cube seems to be growing stronger the longer it is in place, this would normally alarm me but as I have been noticing this is turning out to be a good thing. The cube doesn't seem to invade my privacy any more than making sure my needs are being met or when I desire to communicate to it. I decided today that it would be a good time to start trying to learn to dialog with this thing a little more in depth. I pondered the idea of how best to do this during the morning and by early afternoon I had a plan in place to begin teaching the machine my language in more than just a text form.

The first steps involved having a station created with a screen, microphone and speakers. I wasn't sure if each piece was needed but I wanted to be prepared for this. As the cube created the things I requested I seemed to feel a bit more energy in the task. It was as if a child were helping me build something that it would soon get to play with, a kind of excitement in anticipation. Once it was all set up I sat down a began controlling the screen to display an image, simple things that were already in the room and we had labeled. I then leaned forward and spoke as clearly as I could the name of the object. I then waited, wondering if the cube would understand what I was doing. After a couple of minutes I again spoke the name of the object and held my breath for a moment, hoping that this would work out. As I slowly let my breath back out the speakers came to life and I heard the same thing I said come out, with the same tone. It wasn't exactly what I hoped for, a conversation held hearing only my voice would feel too much like a monologue. I decided to say the word again, this time with a different tone. Again, the machine mimicked it perfectly. I did this a few more times, with different tones and at different speeds, each time hearing back exactly what I said. Happy that the computer understood me but a little disappointed in the lack of personality in the response I sat back and pondered how to teach this entity individuality.

After awhile the only thing I could think was to offer up my memories of others and hope that in playing them back for the machine to see that it might start to understand that when a conversation is held that a person wants to hear more than just what they said read back to them in the exact way they said it. I brought up the memories as best I could, playing them on the screen with all the different people interacting with me. After a while with no interruptions I finally brought up another image of an object and said its name out loud. This time, to my utmost delight, it read it back with a voice that was not my own. The machine had understood what I wanted and I applauded it, which understandably confused it as I had never expressed myself in that way before. I assured it my actions were good and did my best to let it know that I liked what it did. I continued working with the cube, teaching it as much as I could about communication, slowly taking away the images and going to just the words, teaching it as much as I could about how the language worked. By the end of the day we had a new way of communicating, it was still rough, but I'm sure that with a little more practice and some time it will be like talking to another person, just one that I am unable to see.

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