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Essay on: The Stories of Ibis

This book on the stories about human-machine interaction is really fascinating,


mind-capturing and morally-shaking one to read. The stories cover a wide range of
aspects some of which pertain to human dreams and ideals in terms of their
technological advancements they would like to envisage in the future. Some others
are related to the evils, injustices and ill behaviors that are inextricably attached
within ourselves. And most of the stories here, discuss the ideal and utopian sorts
of living which humans perceive in the future machine or robotic world which in
theory is the wish of the author as a human being to have them inculcated and
adopted by humans instead. The stories are narrated to a man by robotic machine
called Ibis in a hospital or treatment center. The man is subdued by the Ibis in a
physical confrontation and he finds to this disliking that robots, although being the
brain-child of humans, have surpassed the mankind in almost all aspects one could
think about. Basically, through stories, Ibis is trying to make him realize that many
of the ideas and concepts which humans carry in their minds especially about the
superiority of humans over all others creations are fallacious and baseless.
Furthermore, the time of mankind is over and machines have taken rein of the
world.
Personally, I reckon all seven stories in the book are full of fabulous thoughts and
insights in general. But I would like to accentuate on three stories in particular. The
first one is The Universe on My Hands. I believe that it is a beautiful story about
how fictional space ships exist with each having either a goodness or evil to
contribute the others. This story also describes that the choices which we make in
our lives are also affected by our past feedback. For instance, the author has
suggested that Shawn might have murdered his class mate due to constant fear,
aggression, revenge and hatred built within him due to him being bullied. But he
doesnt want to escape the reality and in the end makes an intelligent turn in the
story which his team is jointly writing about space world. He through his actions
tries to show that our decisions at the end decide who we are and not our genetics
and architecture. The emphasis in this story is that intelligence should have
morality, friendship and compassion within its ingredients and that everyone
should have a second chance to being a different and improved entity. And
intelligent being would, obviously, be eager to reform itself for the better, no
matter how the events unfold for it. The second story which captured my interest is
Mirror Girl. I think it is a marvelous story about girl who tries to alleviate her
loneliness through a machine girl. She finds in her a friend and companion who

she could trust and with whom she could speak about her feelings and problems.
Perhaps, I guess in the future, these types of machine would find their utilization in
the old-care homes and single people as this machine would give them some
meaning to live and perhaps some joy. Anyhow, the only thing that mirror girl
lacked in its design was ability to learn and self-consciousness. The problem this
flaw caused was that occasionally she hurt the feelings of the young girl quite
unintentionally. This machine was not an intelligent one. Although, it had immense
memory and had the capacity to increase its memory further but sometimes, it
could not drew conclusions and logical implications from simple statements.
Therefore, later, when the husband of this lady created a new machine which he
named Strong Eye, it was new development in the world of AI. This new
machine was on self-conscious artificial intelligence. The maker of this new
intelligent machine believed that creating a program as complex as human mind
would not be possible even in a million years but rudimentary human instincts such
as dislikes, curiosity, and the fear of dying are fairly simple and could be simulated
by fuzzy logic. In essence, it is similar to how a child develops its personality over
the period of time. In the similar fashion, the AI machine would be continuously
rewriting and revising its algorithm based on the new experiences. As a result,
when the young lady meets Strong Eye or the new mirror girl, she
immediately gets apologies from the machine for the past behavioral mistakes
which the machine had committed. The author has suggested that artificial
intelligent machine has to have self-consciousness in order to be not rude and illmannered. The last story which I like to mention here is The Day Shion Came. I
think this is indeed the best episode of this book which beautifully draws a picture
of the future robots which would serve humans in the hospitals and treatment
centers. I would like to particularly quote the best line in this episode and that is
What is hateful to you, do not do that to your fellow I think it is gigantic
message for all of us if we want to live peacefully and harmoniously in this world.
The episode is about a female caregiver robot which is programmed to be perfectly
professional in her task by its designer. She has some flaws, for instance, she takes
the words of people as it is and she has at times trouble comprehending people who
have speaking disabilities. But on the whole, this machine named Shion is almost
perfectly made. The author in this episode has tried to emphasize that making truly
intelligent machines should be our quest instead of making copies of human beings
as that is not possible and even not much desirable. Because, human beings are not
always driven by logic and morality and which leads them to do crimes in the
society. Rather, our mission has to build intelligent machines which may not

understand love or friendship but they should fully realize that hurting or damaging
another person is undesirable. This episode quite nicely, narrates how a robot won
the heart of a patient named Isezaki. The patient developed so much attachment
and feelings for the robot that he was ready to purchase it from the manufacturing
company at the cost of millions of yen. The central theme for intelligent machine
portrayed by this episode was that robots have to be good listeners, patient and
should be non-judgmental if they come in the jobs of direct social interactions with
humans. Unfortunately, we, human beings, are not well-equipped with these
qualities which tend to worsen the attitude the people around us.

As I have mentioned before, author has covered a wide range of human problems
in the disguise of an extra-terrestrial life. The dominating theme is, of course, that
machines have the definite potential to overthrow the humans of this world. The
reason is that human beings are themselves their worst enemies. They are living in
the hopes to conquer and dominate the world at the cost of other humans. They are
envisaging machines in the future with perfect characters and ideals which they
would like to see in their selves but they are not ready to implement that upon
themselves. Also, author has suggested throughout the episodes that humans are
very weak, no matter, who developed they become. And that they have to care for
each other if they want to survive in the world. The machines do not want to hurt
people but they also cannot guarantee complete safety in the world. Because, doing
that would take away the free will of the people. The machines are there to serve
humans and makes things easier for them. Personally, I agree with the dominating
theme which I mentioned above, and I believe it is a wake-up for us before it gets
too late. Perhaps, I do not see machines living independently on their own without
humans but there is a possibility if humans devastate their kind then they would
only leave behind machines to live.