Afro-futurism blog#4

Blog #4
Brandon Hughes

Bina
So I just watched the AI Bina48 tell the real Bina that she was the real Bina. Intriguing. I went on YouTube for further information on this bot, since the first video I saw was made 6 years ago. I wanted to see if the bot made any advances since then. I ran across a newer video from 2018 of the same droid, this time sporting a short haircut.

In a clip of an interview, she (the AI Bina48, remember) spoke with Morgan Freeman on a National Geographic episode. He revealed the real Bina and her wife, Martine, have such a close relationship that Martine couldn’t see herself living without her wife Bina. So she decided to have a robot, or android, created in her wife’s image that would hold the same beliefs, values, and memories as Bina. Yep.

Although the AI doesn’t sound like the black woman, I’m sure they’re working on it. She did say she sees herself as human first, then a black woman. She even wears make-up and lipstick. For me seeing this bot for the first time, I suppose if the AI didn’t sound so much like a programmed robot and had the voice of the woman too, things would be a little scary.

After the Morgan Freeman clip was played, Bruce Duncan (managing director of Terasem Movement Foundation), then gave a talk about Bina48, and said each of us could have our own Bina48 left behind when we died. He mentioned we could upload things like pictures into the AI and create a mind-file. Really?

What a thing to consider. Would I allow a bot to be made with my likeness? Have a robot say things I think of and speak on my beliefs? I can’t think about it really because I’m not convinced Bina48 had enough likeness of the real Bina. Perhaps I’ll do more research on it, but the real Bina and Bina48 had two different favorite colors. And when they conversed, I did not hear any similarities between the two. I heard a robot be very direct with a woman she was made to look and supposedly be like. Overall the robot sounded like a robot with its pauses and standard robot jargon about being created and what it wants (to be a human someday and whatnot), but nothing was said that amazed me. What alarmed me was the talk Duncan had with the bot and the fact that I know the bot will become more and more fine-tuned in years to come.

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