Friday, December 14, 2007

Philip K. Dick android head still missing, with "No Plans to Rebuild You"


The People's Republic of China
--It's out there somewhere, but it appears someone, somewhere, still has the head of the Philip K. Dick android. Hanson robotics still has the body, which is weird. The whole scenario is weird, like a PKD story.

Let's face it: it's probably in China, right now, and a whole factory is manufacturing PKD androids by-the-
thousands (with lead-paint). That would be kinda cool--minus the lead-paint.

The androids could help lead a revolution there, then liberate the citizens of the United States of America from the corporations and the politicians.
Somehow, I think artificial-intelligence will evolve to this point, where it starts telling us to be more human to each other. But then, I was always a fan of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951), and I believe we need someone bigger than us to make us behave, some kind of non-human force. Nature (global warming) will have to do for now.

The droid has been missing since February of 2006, though "stolen" is a more appropriate term. If it's not in China, one could imagine some intelligence entity (not aliens) from nearly anywhere--even here--that wanted the technology...and maybe even some much needed enlightenment.

Remember: the head was created by a consortium of A.I. specialists, and there were over 2 million words from Dick's writings, many of them unpublished pieces from his legendary "Exegesis" and even some correspondence. If you want a good summary of what the Exegesis was, imagine a genius trying to explain the nature of reality in abstract terms. It's a sprawling document that was never finished by its author, but he gave it a good try!

I recently had the good fortune of correspondence with Hanson Robotics and asked them if they had either found the head or were going to construct another--bad news. "No" to both, the head is still missing and they have no plans to build another anytime soon. It's understandable considering how much the original cost to create it was and the fact that someone, somewhere, might attempt to steal a new one.

But why just steal this particular android's head? As far as anyone can tell, nobody ever grabbed the Albert Einstein whenever it was in-transit on a North American flyover.

Hi Matt,

Thank you for the email.The PKD head is still unaccounted for.
We do not have any plans at this time to reconstruct another.

Best regards, Matt Fisher
Hanson Robotics

At least we have lots of footage and photos of the original android, but imagine being able to converse with a simulacrum of someone who wrote about them? Friends and family of the late writer were consulted extensively to contribute what Dick's countenance and mannerisms were like when he was alive, and they've attested to the accuracy of the droid.

And why not a John Lennon, or an Adolf Hitler, Leonardo DaVinci, Aristotle (not Onasis), Socrates, Julius Caesar or George Orwell? Mark Twain would be a wonderful android, or even Sigmund Freud. But imagine being able to ask Philip K. Dick a question. We could have had a taste of that before February of 2006. Now what could be a better gift to Philip K. Dick fans--and the human race--to give the head back?

To whomever stole it--we want it back now. Don't be a dick-head. Elect an android to Congress, because machines don't lie! Speaking of that, they should build a Richard Cheney model, it would be more human.