Automatons, Robots and Money

For over four decades various computer scientists and thinkers have pondered the rapid growth of computing into the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and when, rather than if, computers will become “smarter” than humans.  There is considerable agreement that AI entities will eventually be able to perform actions humans will be unable to comprehend and significant agreement on when this occurs – sometime in the next 30 years.

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What About Marriage?

For quite a while, political dialogue has repeatedly returned to the subject of marriage.  The focus has been the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the “right” of same sex individuals to marry.  Opposing views are deeply ensconced in their respective positions and any coalescing of thought on the subject seems unachievable.

The origin of marriage is a social and religious rite that has evolved into law such that marriage has become spiritual and secular, social and legal.  Why is government, at any level, concerned with marriage?  What is the possible interest of government in the relationship between two, or more, people who choose to marry consistent with their conscience and the morals of their culture?

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A while ago, I was engaged in a conversation with a colleague in a management position with a medium sized company.  Somehow, during a discussion of the frustrations related to his position, he related a story of his interaction with a new employee.  He had met with the twenty-something employee for the previously scheduled, six-month new employee review.  During the review, he outlined how well the employee had been performing during the previous six-months and a number of ways the employee could improve their performance, raise their productivity, and pursue a career with the company.  Overall, he felt the employee could benefit from, what he felt was, constructive criticism and become an asset to the corporation.

Everything seemed reasonable until the next morning, when he received a phone call from the employee’s mother demanding that he show a better appreciation for her child’s contribution to the company and refrain from demeaning and upsetting comments directed at her child.

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