The Little Machine That Could (Autism, Robots, and Artificial Intelligence)

Okay show of hands, who has watched “The Terminator Trilogy”, ‘The Matrix Trilogy”, I-Robot”, “The 13th Floor”, and “Tron”? If you have then you may have an idea of where this post is going but of course with me, you never know where ANY post is going until it gets there. Anyways, for those who haven’t seen these movies then you don’t necessarily need to know the plots, you need only to know the central theme that drives these plots. It is them concept of artificial intelligence and how a machine taught solely to follow instructions and routines can become self aware and eventually make their own decisions, their decisions usually cataclysmic. Each movie focuses on the protagonist(s) attempting to stop a rogue artificial intelligence from enslaving the entire human race. These movies shed light on a concept computer programmers had been toying with long before Hollywood existed. Now you’re probably wondering once again what this madness has to do with Autism, allow me to elaborate in a way that will blow your mind harder than snorting 15 lines of cocaine (Disclaimer: I don’t do drugs, they’re simply twisted analogies). Before we can get into the meat of this blog post, I have to tell a little tale that will tie into this blog post. Continue reading

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Mister Spock, Autism, and How My Logic Ruined the Magic of Christmas

Now before I go on with this blog post I need to put up a rather big disclaimer. I do not think Spock is on the spectrum and nor will this blog post be used to try to prove that. Also, please forgive me for any inaccuracies in my part of trying to describe Spock and the Star Trek universe, I rarely watched the series and these observations are based more on the recent movies. I do however believe there are some uncanny similarities between his logic driven through process and the thought process of someone on the spectrum. Now die hard Star Trek fans who understand some of the challenges of a person with Autism will instantly know what comparisons I’m going to make but to those who don’t understand, allow me to elaborate. In Star Trek, the character of Spock is half human and half Vulcan. Spock however develops based on his Vulcan heritage. His race suppresses all emotion in favor of logic. Logic drives their thoughts and their actions and how they approach situations. Spock is no different in this regard and his logic based approach to various challenges drive certain plot lines in the series as well as his interactions and relationships with the rest of the cast. Continue reading