Comic 312 - New Mechanic

25th May 2012, 9:57 PM in Bouillabaisse
Average Rating: 5 (5 votes) Rate this comic
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Author Notes:

view 25th May 2012, 9:57 PM edit delete
Just a reminder: no comic tomorrow!


JasperWB 25th May 2012, 10:34 PM edit delete reply
Carol!! CAROL! Yay! And you said she wouldn't make another appearance! She makes a great smoke screen for the fact that Miwa is moving away from Jim maintaining her cybernetic parts, which probably kills her on the inside a little lol

Wait, is there an octopus inside that robot?
view 25th May 2012, 10:43 PM edit delete reply
It's the landwalker.
JasperWB 25th May 2012, 10:51 PM edit delete reply
Oh. I see. The mythical landwalker that has been referenced a few times now. I thought it was kinda like a bigfoot legendary creature. Nine feet high and roamed the abandoned outskirts of nowhere with an unspecified grudge against humans.

(And again, yay Carol!!!)

Meh.Aloe 26th May 2012, 12:26 AM edit delete reply
I was wonderin' about the landwalker. The first time I saw it, near the very beginning of the story, I just assumed it was a robot. Its true nature was mentioned in a comment I saw much later, but I can't remember -- were the landwalkers actually explained anywhere "officially"?
view 26th May 2012, 2:42 AM edit delete reply
No, but think about it. They can't figure out how to build nonhuman intelligence, so... what would the point of the talking octopi be?
JasperWB 26th May 2012, 4:21 AM edit delete reply
All robots are octopi? Or all octopi are allowed to talk as part of some kind of weird nonhuman social experiment? I guess I'm confused as to who "they" are that you're referring to. Seems like there could be a whole story about the octopi though
view 26th May 2012, 4:26 AM edit delete reply
Sigh... think about it some more. If you can't figure it out, it should become clearer next week.
JasperWB 26th May 2012, 4:32 AM edit delete reply
Ok. The octopi must be filling a role that they can't create something to do themselves. The humans, that is. And if they're not trying to learn from the octopi...they must have picked octopi out if all animals for a reason. I should probably just stop guessing though. I'm most likely missing or misunderstanding some crucial detail and its making me feel like a jackass
cattservant 26th May 2012, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
Real world octopi are very intelligent, flexible and adaptive. And I'm sure they would be more than happy to get out of those acidic oceans too.
Meh.Aloe 26th May 2012, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
They're using the octopi as slaves, since enslaving AIs is immoral, but no-one ever said anything about octopuses? :P

Or, more probably, they're including them in society as a source of second opinions and a new perspective, since robots think about the same way as humans, and it's good to have someone with a totally new perspective around?

... But I guess what I was asking was a much more basic question -- "at what point did we actually find out that there's an octopus inside that robot body with the bubble on top?" :P
Meh.Aloe 26th May 2012, 2:36 PM edit delete reply
Cuz' I've seen comments alluding to the fact before, but I couldn't figure out where this information was learned... :(
Meh.Aloe 26th May 2012, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
Oh. Another likely explanation is that they're developing an octopus-based AI. The question is why -- there's a few possible reasons. One is pure scientific curiosity. Another is that they're trying to develop a more "abstract" AI that isn't directly modelled on biological minds, and comparing two forms of mind as different as human and octopus might help them do so. A third reason is simply that an octopus-like body (suitably adapted to function on land) could be very useful form-factor for intelligent robots. The main problem with all of these is that such an AI would, presumably, be a "person" just as much as any human-based AI, so no-one would really have the right to tell it what to do; the entire morality of creating an entire new robot sub-species seems a bit iffy, though if an octopus decides it wants to have a robot child, the same way some humans do, it'd be no different from making a little eight-armed Takeshi, I guess. Well, once you solve the engineering challenges anyway. Hmm. Which would be huge -- we know there are limits to how complex and flexible humanoid robots can be due to the challenges of engineering their joints, so how happy would an octopus AI be in a similarly limited robot body?

But yesh. My question was way more basic than this. I was just wondering if I missed any hints or author's explanations in previous strips...
view 26th May 2012, 4:20 PM edit delete reply
Well, you've grasped the basics. The whole point is that they are intelligent and aren't human, so it'll eventually shed some light on another kind of intelligence and maybe free the robots from being so closely based on humans.

There are lots of other reasons that it could pay off, too. Octopuses can work in the seas easier, and in space.
JasperWB 26th May 2012, 5:16 PM edit delete reply
So it is a social experiment and they are trying to learn from them to expand horizons.
view 26th May 2012, 5:27 PM edit delete reply
"Social experiment" really has the wrong vibe, but yeah.
JasperWB 26th May 2012, 6:55 PM edit delete reply
Yeah. Not the best term but the only one I could come up with both times!

Oh, and I can't believe I missed saying this before. I must be slipping or it was too obvious or I thought I'd said it before (which I think I did..). BUT *ahem* Carol could be my mechanic any time. I'd love to get a tune up from her and maybe take a look under /her/ hood myself. And no need to worry, I come with my own dipstick.

Phew. Ok, I feel better!
cattservant 26th May 2012, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Humanity will need to have good relations with octomanity if there is to be any hope of reclaiming the oceans.
view 26th May 2012, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
Should have uplifted manatees, so we could talk about manateemanity?
cattservant 26th May 2012, 7:58 PM edit delete reply
If my sinuses weren't three times bigger than my frontal lobes right now, I'd think of some witty response. I do think manatees would be somewhat resistant to uplifting. Except for damn fools in power boats, they lead a pretty ideal existence!

Are you going to solicit suggestions for future story ideas?
JasperWB 26th May 2012, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
Then cross breed the uplifted manatees with humans. Humanity-manateemanity.
cattservant 26th May 2012, 8:20 PM edit delete reply
I take it your sinuses are A-OK. Old time sailors thought manatees were mermaids, so it might work!
cattservant 26th May 2012, 7:15 PM edit delete reply
Here is another perspective on the general subject.
RandomTroll 25th May 2012, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
Jim...that is an octopus inside a suit, how in the bloody hell do you expect me to treat that? I'm a doctor of medicine, not a doctor of animal phisiology~
Paul Goodman 26th May 2012, 4:16 AM edit delete reply
Paul Goodman
At first you said Jim and I was all like "THAT'S NOT JIM THA-" and then I realized what you were doing.
RandomTroll 26th May 2012, 8:29 PM edit delete reply
The wife took the whole planet in the divorce, and part of your brain too?
cattservant 26th May 2012, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
It takes a village...
Viscount_Tusc 26th May 2012, 12:45 AM edit delete reply
And perhaps Carol will take Jim's place in her fantasies as well, mehehehe.
pancake 26th May 2012, 2:35 AM edit delete reply
would someone please tell me when did octopi learned to talk and operate walking machines? i mean, i knew they were smart, but i thought it was mainly because each tentacle had it's own separate mini "brain"
view 26th May 2012, 2:42 AM edit delete reply
Nah, they're pretty intelligent in general. And unlike dolphins, they can manipulate objects.
Undead H3r3tic 26th May 2012, 3:01 AM edit delete reply
Undead H3r3tic
Is that one of Mary's octopi?
view 26th May 2012, 3:17 AM edit delete reply
As you'll find out on the next page, yeah.
Undead H3r3tic 27th May 2012, 2:34 AM edit delete reply
Undead H3r3tic
Do I get an award for forecasting the next comic? :3
Your friendly Shadowtroll 26th May 2012, 4:30 AM edit delete reply
The Octopi have thumbs!! Run for the hills, the Octopi can now rule the world !! :)
AlfaFoxtail 26th May 2012, 12:36 PM edit delete reply
It would actually be interesting seeing miwa actually have to take care of something smaller than her own a small pet
CyberSkull 26th May 2012, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
Is that an environment suit for octopi?
Archduke 26th May 2012, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
Oh joy, Carol is back for a cameo and I finally know now what that weird robot from the first few pages is.

Wow, the comment section is a lot busier now O.o

Hurray for more recognition of view!
T. Dean 27th May 2012, 4:47 AM edit delete reply
Intresting Miwa doesn't need her "glasses"/filters while playing with the little Robot......
view 27th May 2012, 5:03 AM edit delete reply
Nah, she only needs them when math's around. She just got used to them.
cattservant 27th May 2012, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
Nowheresville isn't the only place doing cephalopod research is it? Seems like the gene pool would be limited.
view 27th May 2012, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
A) No, it's a general uplift project they're participating in. B) They don't reproduce. There's as much genetic diversity as the scientists want to inject.
cattservant 27th May 2012, 6:57 PM edit delete reply
My! Victor would be proud.

Is it even feasible to try and reclaim the oceans, or is it more of a Nausicaa scenario of adapting to the new 'normal'?
Lysander 31st Dec 2012, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
I like how the octopus has little signs showing it's emotions.