here is the originl proposal, the idea will develope, something will change others will stay the same.
Making friends and enemies
Making friends and enemies is a computer program which simulates a community, producing a dialog between a computer generated teacher and his pupils. Using a combination of scripted and self generative behaviours, the programs interact with each other, practicing and learning what it is to be human. The dialog between the programs is in fact three way with the programmer having as much influence, and a role as much as the programs. Indeed the program can request the programmer to write it new routines.The program could be seen as a psychological reflection of the programmer.The program, takes the form of a hybrid book, it can be apadapted to be played out using the computers on board speech synthesis .
Using behaviors and personalities modeled on discarded self help books,reflected through the lense of the programmer, the programs have each a different task to complete. Using data mining techniques the programs can find out about real world events, and use these facts to perform their task, and navigate through life. Many of the programs also have a practical element to their make up, being able to self generate picture artworks, music, and text. The programs are not really aware of much apart from themselves and are very concerned with their task, it is what makes them.
To glean information about what the programs are up to and to gain a higher perspective on there relationship with becoming human the teacher character exists.
The teacher is like the communities elder, his job is to nterview the programs, engages them to reflect on their behaviour and also introduces the programs to the activities of the other programs. The teacher tries to be purely logical, unemotional and very patient when dealing with the programs He is aware of the ultimate programmer and can be a bit depressed at the notion that he himself is only a written program, no different from the other programs carrying out the wishes of a higher authority. He is also aware of what an important job the programmer has given him and the leverage this might give him over the programs and programmer.
The programmer is as much of the story as of the programs and teacher. The community is a reflection of how he sees the world, and how he engages with it. The programmer might be seen as a complete libertarian, producing programs to run free, or a complete control freak, only populating with programs he wants. Does he create virtual beings because he cant relate to real life ones? A mad man that retreats to a world he has created. The programs need him to create their life as much as he needs the programs to give his life meaning. The teacherbot knows that a difficult character might represent a flaw in the programmers personality, and subsequently the power base between the three shifts.
No part of the whole is more important than another, and all parts even the programs (which cant really be said to be alive at at) are needed to create a functioning community. There are conflicts within the model between the three levels that need to be balanced.
Central to the programming of characters is the observation of real life examples. Copying. Copying what others do, copying what others say, copying what the programmer has read in books. The inclusion of discarded self help books gives a more esoteric way of copying. Copying and slightly misunderstanding the sentiments.
The inspiration for this project comes from many sources. Mostly all computer programs are designed to be logical, and have no space within the user experience to find out about the programmer and his motivation, in the same way say as a musician, painter or writer. Even video games, at best are a reflection of either psychotic personality types or hoarder/collector mentality. A few people have tried to address this such as Alan Minter (llamasoft) or Lew Croucher (Automata)
Alan Turing got into developing computer life equations as a way of dealing with the loss of a loved one, genuine people personalities of the robots created by Douglas Adams in hitchhikers guide series,.The program system is very open ended and allows the creation the The residency is very opened ended to, the project lends its self to science men, public spaces and writing groups. The residency would take the form of creating the system and the creation of a number of personalities, for each character a personal biography will be recorded.