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The Three Laws

The Three Laws

In a dystopian future, an omnipotent AI judges citizens of The City based on how healthy, popular, and creative they are. Those who rank highest reap the rewards, but beneath the surface, things are never quite as black and white as they may seem...

Jono Alderson

April 15, 2022
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Transcript

  1. Orientation 101 Welcome, new citizens!

  2. This is the city It stretches to infinity

  3. The city is a governed by an all-powerful AI

  4. None
  5. The AI decides how the city’s finite resources are distributed

  6. The core of its approach is to reward ‘wellness’

  7. A high level of physical and mental fitness. “Wellness

  8. A “well” society is happier, healthier, and more productive

  9. Each day, the AI grades you and places you in

    a list
  10. The people at the top of the list get the

    most rewards
  11. How do I rank higher in the results? “

  12. The AI defines ‘wellness’ in the form of 3 laws

  13. 1 You must be healthy You must eat a balanced

    diet. You must exercise regularly. You must be strong, fast and flexible. You must be fit, in mind and body. “THE FIRST LAW
  14. 2 You must be creative You must be innovative, stand

    out, surprise and delight. You must write, play music, or create beautiful art. You must challenge how people think and behave. You must create a legacy. “THE SECOND LAW
  15. 3 You must be popular You must be well-known, and

    well-liked. You must meet new people. You must maintain a healthy and diverse network. You must be talked about, wanted, loved. “THE THIRD LAW
  16. Excelling in all of these areas requires a lot of

    hard work!
  17. ...and we don’t know how well we’re doing in each

    category.
  18. This is a perfect system

  19. And it adapts to change

  20. It’s even starting to be able to predict the future

  21. We are imperfect

  22. Some people spend all their time trying to reverse-engineer their

    grades
  23. Some try to cheat, and to trick the machine

  24. ...and many people cheat a little bit

  25. Some spend all of their energy campaigning about how the

    system is unfair.
  26. Some say that the system is evil

  27. Do not worry, good citizens!

  28. But not everybody is as well-behaved as you are...

  29. So the system introduced a fourth law

  30. ERROR ERROR 4 “THE FOURTH LAW You must act with

    integrity You must be completely honest and transparent in all of your dealings with The System. You must not attempt to deceive The System. Trust that The System knows best. Deceiving the system may lead to punishment.
  31. I know what you’re thinking

  32. Anyway, the system prefers rehabilitation to punishment

  33. It even provides us with envoy droids to advise us

  34. If you have any questions, you can ask them -

    there are some here today!
  35. Okay - let’s explore a case study

  36. We’re privileged to be joined by a very special guest

    today
  37. Stand up, Taco!

  38. This is a story about Taco’s journey

  39. Many you know that Taco contributes to society through stand-up

    comedy
  40. I’m sure you know that, Taco contributes to society through

    stand-up comedy
  41. His problem was, he’d just kept doing what he’d always

    done
  42. He didn’t want to change the way he’d always done

    things.
  43. But to improve his position, he realised he’d have to

    change
  44. 1 You must be healthy You must eat a balanced

    diet. You must exercise regularly. You must be strong, fast and flexible. You must be fit, in mind and body. “THE FIRST LAW
  45. So, he audited his health

  46. But there was no magic bullet

  47. He had loads of small bugs

  48. And, nobody’s perfect, right?

  49. But it wasn’t just his health which was impacted by

    all of these bugs
  50. 1 “THE FIRST LAW You must be healthy You must

    eat a balanced diet. You must exercise regularly. You must be strong, fast and flexible. You must be fit, in mind and body.
  51. One night, a man approached him, and introduced himself as

    Mr Grey
  52. 2 You must be creative You must be innovative, stand

    out, surprise and delight. You must write, play music, or create beautiful art. You must challenge how people think and behave. You must create a legacy. “THE SECOND LAW
  53. So he paid Mr Grey to write him some new

    content
  54. But then, things went wrong

  55. His rankings dropped even further

  56. 2 You must be creative You must be innovative, stand

    out, surprise and delight. You must write, play music, or create beautiful art. You must challenge how people think and behave. You must create a legacy. “THE SECOND LAW
  57. But Mr Grey insisted that the problem wasn’t the content...

  58. He said that he could get him more industry links

    & coverage
  59. He said that, it was normal to use an agent

    to build links
  60. 3 You must be popular You must be well-known, and

    well-liked. You must meet new people. You must maintain a healthy and diverse network. You must be talked about, wanted, loved. “THE THIRD LAW
  61. He got introductions to influential journalists, peers and influencers

  62. Mr Grey told him not to worry, and that they

    should do something bigger
  63. So he invested a fortune in producing content for big

    PR campaign
  64. Taco was starting to wonder if he’d been getting bad

    advice
  65. 3 You must be popular You must be well-known, and

    well-liked. You must meet new people. You must maintain a healthy and diverse network. You must be talked about, wanted, loved. “THE THIRD LAW
  66. So when Mr Grey approached him again...

  67. He said that, were rumours of other places, beyond the

    wastelands
  68. Obviously, this is nonsense

  69. Things were looking bad for Taco

  70. Then, he had a moment of realisation

  71. His problem was that he’d only been thinking about himself.

  72. The secret to getting all of this right, is to

    think about your impact on others
  73. He went on a diet, and started exercising more regularly

  74. He started writing new content, which was designed to appeal

    to his audience
  75. He changed how he was talking to influencers, and made

    sure he was adding value
  76. Now, Taco is on the road to recovery

  77. That’s the end of our story

  78. You have access to a life coach

  79. It’s time for you to go out into the city

  80. None
  81. Good luck, new citizens!