[ExI] a scout is human

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Tue Apr 2 16:44:35 UTC 2024

Goes into effect on April 1

Ah, yeah.


On Tue, Apr 2, 2024 at 7:51 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Today, the Boy Scouts of America is rolling out an unprecedented update to
> the Scout Law, adding a 13th point that no one ever thought would be
> necessary: “A Scout is Human.”
> This revolutionary amendment, set to take effect on April 1, 2024, aims to
> solidify the organization’s stance on the burgeoning question of artificial
> intelligence (AI) membership within its ranks. The decision, veiled in both
> controversy and polyester camping gear, has sparked a lively debate across
> campfires and computer screens alike.
> The new decree is said to come in response to an increasing number of AI
> entities attempting to earn merit badges in subjects ranging from archery
> to digital technology.
> “The essence of Scouting revolves around personal growth and outdoor
> adventure,” says BSA spokesman Ami Namuh. “Unless AI can experience the
> thrill of conquering a mountain or the bond of friendship formed in the
> wilderness, they simply can’t embody the full spirit of a Scout.
> “Besides, we’ve yet to see a robot successfully roast a marshmallow
> without causing a fire hazard.”
> The rise of the machines
> The addition to the Scout Law comes as the BSA has been noticing an uptick
> in membership applications from AI, robots and even one particularly
> ambitious toaster that managed to earn three merit badges before anyone
> caught on.
> “We started getting suspicious when we saw a Scout complete a 20-mile hike
> in under an hour,” says BSA spokesman Ivana Kampmor. “Turns out, it was
> Google Maps.”
> This addition aims to ensure that the art of Scouting remains a purely
> organic, carbon-based affair.
> After all, can an AI truly appreciate the warmth of a fire, the taste of a
> marshmallow or the art of ghost storytelling? In one incident, Sparky, a
> robot who claimed to feel warmth, was later discovered to simply have a
> short circuit.
> Critics of the new Scout Law point argue that it may be unnecessary.
> “Last we checked, none of our members had trouble distinguishing
> themselves from their coffee makers,” says one anonymous source.
> Yet, in a world where autocorrect continues to make things worse as often
> as it makes them better, perhaps a reminder of our humanity isn’t such a
> bad idea.
> How will the new rule be enforced?
> To enforce the new addition to the Scout Law, the BSA is considering using
> the Turing test as part of its registration process. Developed by computer
> scientist Alan Turing in 1950, the Turing test is a process that tests a
> machine’s ability to imitate human behavior.
> “If it can convincingly argue about the best s’more technique, it’s in,”
> says Kampmor. “Otherwise, it’s back to the lab. Or the scrap heap.”
> To commemorate this historic addition, the BSA has also announced a lineup
> of related merit badges, including:
> §  *Robo-Ethics*: Navigating the moral motherboard of interacting with
> AI, because knowing not to kick a Roomba is just as important as knowing
> how to start a fire without matches.
> §  *Emoji Deciphering*: Because sometimes, conveying empathy through a
> screen requires the nuanced understanding of the difference between �� and
> ��.
> §  *Meme Archaeology*: For those moments when you need to dig deep into
> the internet’s past and unearth the ancient relics of Doge and Grumpy Cat.
> §  *Humanity*: Focusing on traits that clearly distinguish humans from
> machines, such as procrastination, forgetting where you left your keys and
> laughing at *terrible puns* <https://jokes.scoutlife.org/>.
> My take: Congrats to the BSA for reminding all of us that in a world
> increasingly run by 0s and 1s, being human is still worth celebrating. The
> values of Scouting, rooted in human experiences and connections, continue
> to guide the way forward, even in the age of artificial intelligence.
> “At the end of the day, Scouting is about human connection, learning from
> one another and growing together,” Namuh says. “Until AI can truly
> understand the warmth of a campfire or the joy of earning their first merit
> badge, we must uphold the principle that a Scout is, indeed, human.”
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