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Tamara Wilhite

Tamara Wilhite is a science fiction and horror author, engineer, and mother of 2 (humans). Check out Tamara’s Amazon Author Page and see her on Hubpages.

11 Risks of Self-Driving Cars Most Don’t Consider

Self-driving cars are upheld as a shining solution to so many problems. Drunk driving doesn’t matter if the car drives the drunk home. Teens can take rides anywhere at any time. Older adults can still access transportation even as vision and reflexes deteriorate. However, there are risks introduced by self-driving cars many fail to consider. Here is a short list of concerns beyond your insurance rate spiking because you’re braking so hard…

AI Justice, No Peace

Someone asked if we should set up artificial intelligences to act as judges and arbiters. My answer is a resounding no. Here are a few of my concerns, and please let me know what issues you’d add to this list.

Why We Would Be Able to Control Superpowers Relatively Quickly

Superpowers are a staple of comic books, science fiction and, occasionally, horror. The person may come into their abilities slowly before it becomes too hard to control and suppress. Or it shows up suddenly after an accident, a trigger event or hormones really kicking in. Whether you’re a fan of Marvel, DCU or series like Babylon 5, the solutions tend to be the same:

  • run and hide while being a danger to others
  • have your powers and work for the government
  • get locked in prison/reform school because people are afraid of your powers
  • external control

External control would be anything done to a person to limit or outright suppress their abilities. The telepathy suppression drug of Babylon 5 falls into this category. The hoods in “The Hoodmaker” short story could be worn by everyone else, but the Amazon version of the show reveals that wearing a hood provides silence for the telepath, too. More than one horror show has featured lobotomy of the psychic to silence the ability. A current young adult book took it one step farther, implanting devices into the brains of super-powered teens to suppress the ability.

The Moments I Realized I Lived in the Future

I grew up reading science fiction, both books as they came out and classic ones that sat on my father’s bookshelf. That’s understandable given that I was named for a Robert Heinlein character. This has led to a number of moments when I’ve recognized when the life I’m living is something out of those science fiction books I’ve read.

Which Is Better? “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” Vs “Charmed”

I’m aware of the “Charmed” reboot due out October 14. They had the option of jumping forward in time to have the three sisters raising two teen boys paralleling the precedent set by “Fuller House” and decided, nope, reboot with “more diverse” demographics instead. That’s Hollywood’s definition of new and improved today.

How Hollywood Could Be Keeping the Alien Threat at Bay

Humans’ historical documentaries on how various things were discovered will be considered true-life horror biopics to aliens. Then again, this will explain how we developed so quickly. Our fictional broadcasts of us hacking into alien computers, turning random items into superweapons and so forth, if understood, may make aliens think we’re more advanced or dangerous than we really are.

Humans may be left alone because our geniuses are so dangerously unpredictable. Our prank shows and reality shows like Mythbusters may be what are saving us from alien invasion. We take pleasure in exploding stuff and use it as educational content for our children? Let’s leave that planet alone.

Can We Make the Asimov Laws of Robotics Actual Law?

Asimov’s Law of Robotics Number One: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

If robots are property, then this is partially covered under laws that say owners/creators are liable if their equipment injures or kills someone.

If a robot is legally a person, then it is guilty of assault, murder, negligent homicide, etc.

Asimov’s Law of Robotics Number Two: A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

The Invisible Wall Proposal: Why The First Failed, Why It Will Fail Again, and What Works Instead

During President George W. Bush’s term, a trial version of a “smart” border wall was built along the U.S. border by Raytheon. This idea resurfaced in the 2017 and 2018 discussions about putting in a smart border wall along the U.S. border instead of the classic, solid walls Trump supporters have called for.

The concept was simple. Build a network of open pylons loaded with sensors. The sensors will detect humans while still allowing animals to freely pass. It won’t look as ugly, informs us when drug runners and illegal aliens enter, and yet permits those with legal authority to cross like locals and law enforcement to cross at any point.

New Fiction: The Hidden Rider

“This tissue graft sounds like everything the implants are but more,” I said.

“That’s exactly right. It will live off excess blood sugar or fat, whatever fuel source is readily available.” The doctor was nothing but professional.

“The implants can do that and run off batteries.”

“The graft is actually more advanced, since it will never need to have the batteries changed, and it can change itself.”

“Bio-rejection is a risk”

“Yes, true, but the Marcon Biologics C model caused thousands to get sick when the biologically derived plastics inside of it caused bio-rejection when they started to break down,” the doctor countered.

“That’s poor material selection. And the implant itself in this case is biological. It could be considered a parasite,” I told the doctor.

Why Jobs Robots Cannot Take May Still Disappear

Have you ever used a self-serve kiosk? Perhaps you checked out with your groceries to save time. Or you waved your RFID pass to roll on into the carwash without waiting in line to get change for a $10 bill. In either case, technology has enabled self-service, a fancy term for “you do the work.” No matter what you may call it, the term “shadow work” coined by Craig Lambert applies.

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