Episode 3: Emotional AIs, Decisions, and Living in a Simulation

Join us, and question the nature of your reality

We really go off on some…tangents in this episode. While we start with a discussion on emotions and AI inspired by a sci-fi book trilogy, we quickly find ourselves talking about decision making through coin flipping, random numbers, and why we’re probably living in a simulated reality (maybe). We had a lot of fun in this one, while including some science and math (it’s in our nature, apparently). Check out the episode, with a few show notes below on the full post.

The book we mention that begins our discussion is Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. It is part of a trilogy (Ancillary Sword, Ancillary Mercy) which both us (and several of our friends) greatly enjoyed. The plot and world are intriguing, different, and part of a well written complete story. With giant spaceship AIs, a galaxy spanning civilization built on conquest and assimilation, action, and introspection, it is definitely worthwhile reading. We highly recommend both fans of sci-fi and those with just a passing interest to take a look; we think you’ll love the series as well.

We also mention the reality questioning Benford’s Law, which you can read about on Wikipedia. It is thoroughly weird and thought provoking. We may take a more detailed look in a future episode.

As always, you can find us on iTunes, Sticher, and SoundCloud. Intro and outro music from Brandon Anderson, and cover image courtesy of Tanja Petrusevska.

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