Psycho-Pass New Edit Version Episode 3

I know it has been a while since my last Psycho-Pass post. I will try to take less time writing new posts from now on.

This is another action packed episode with two different cases. It was interesting and we also got to learn some new things about the characters. I will start with introducing the rest of Kogami’s team. They’ve been around since the first episode and it is high time I talked about them.

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Ginoza

Ginoza is an inspector and is Akane’s senior who looks over her work and sees that she does her job well. He doesn’t think that enforcers are any different from the criminals he arrests. We see this at the very beginning of the first episode where he told Akane that she is better off thinking that enforcers are not humans like her. He started off being a character who mistreated enforcers.

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Kagari

Kagari is an enforcer who has been locked up ever since he was five because his Psycho-Pass is high and Sibyl considered him dangerous. Now how can Sibyl judge whether or not a five year old kid can grow up to be a criminal?  I admit that there are some psychos who start killing at a very young age but that is not enough reason to isolate a kid whithout actually knowing what kind of a person he will become. As far as we can see Kagari is a normal person with a good instinct. He knows how a criminal’s brain works but that doesn’t make him a criminal.

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Masaoka

Masaoka is another enforcer who doesn’t deserve to be treated like a criminal. He is a good old detective whose Psycho-Pass is clouded because he is good at his job. If I have to compare him to someone, it will be Soichiro Yagami from Death Note. They are both good detectives. The only difference is people respect Soichiro while they look down on Masaoka.

There is another member Yayoi . She is the silent type and doesn’t interact with others much. So I don’t know a lot about what kind of a person she is.

In this episode the MWPSB managed to kill the guy who was killing people and impersonating them using their avatars. I also want to say that we got to see the white haired guy talk about why he is giving ammunition to people who want it but don’t know how to get it. According to him, when you give people power and they can act outside their ethics, you get to see their soul sometimes. I have to admit that I am a little excited because he did turn out to be the kind of guy I hoped he will be. He is not evil. He is rather like the child who breaks the wings of a dragonfly for amusement.

They moved right on to the next case after solving the first one. Now the white haired guy is helping a girl make pieces of ‘art’. Her idea of art is a bit grotesque though. She killed one of her classmates, chopped her into pieces and turned her into this and put the corpse up for display.

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She says that she has more art pieces she wants to make -_-

The girl referred to the white haired guy as ‘Makishima-Sensei’. He is probably pretending to be a teacher or some kind of higher-up at her school. I doubt Makishima is his real name. He doesn’t have a reason to tell the girl his real name and they maintain records of all teachers and students at schools. Using his real name will make it easier for the police to trace him. But then again, he is the kind of guy who might enjoy thrills like that. So I am not sure. For the time being I will continue calling him the white haired guy.

We also managed to know a little about Kogami’s past. He was once an inspector who worked together with Ginoza. He got along well with an enforcer named Sasayama. They were investigating a case and Sasayama got killed and Kogami’s Psycho-Pass kept shooting up until he ended up being an enforcer himself.  The case was never solved and he is still trying to catch the guy who killed Sasayama. He believes that the white haired guy is the one responsible for Sasayama’s death.

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Sasayama and Kogami during their old days

This also tells us a lot about Kogami’s personality from when he was an inspector. He respected enforcers and was good friends with them, enough to ignore his own life and go hunt the guy who killed his friend. It also justifies Ginoza’s actions a little. He saw his partner lose it and become an enforcer. It is no wonder that he doesn’t want to be close to the enforcers and doesn’t want to sympathize with them. He is only protecting  Akane and himself.

Now that I am done talking about the episode, I want to talk about Sibyl system. I don’t dislike the entire idea of the system. It is a rather good idea. Sure, we have only seen violence, crime and Sibyl making enforcers kill criminals, but it is probably because we are looking at Sibyl through the eyes of MWPSB. Normal people probably go around all their lives without ever being kidnapped, attacked, threatened or robbed. There are few exceptions, like the girl in the first episode Kogami almost killed. Let us take a look at Sibyl as a system that makes humans lives easier and safer. Sibyl will tell you what you are good at and ask you to choose a job you are best suited for. Sibyl will make sure that you are safe by locking up all the bad guys. It is a good system but it is the way it is executed makes it less appealing. Sibyl system is not good or evil. It is just a program and it does what it is programmed to do. There is no such thing as a perfect product. It is the humans who somehow stopped working on ways to improve Sibyl system.

Here is a scenario. Let us say that there is a guy who had some troubles in his workplace. He will be more worried about his Psycho-Pass getting clouded than his actual problems and it will only put extra pressure on him. Instead they should say that it is okay if his Psycho-Pass is clouded and give him enough time to recover. Also people like Kagari, Masaoka and Kogami shouldn’t be locked up. Instead they should make a list of people whose Psycho-Pass values are high and put them in a priority list so that whenever they are around a Psycho-Pass scanner on the road or a building, the system will scan their Psycho-Pass first and see if there is any change. As long as their Psyho-Pass remains constant or shows only a slight increase they should be allowed to roam free. Also they can make sure that every person who comes out of his house should get his Psycho-Pass scanned. They can also appoint some cops to keep an eye on people like that occasionally. They can keep cameras in all work areas to ensure that bullying doesn’t take place. They should also make it so that people don’t have to take up a career just because they have an aptitude for it. They should be free to choose and if they fail, then Sibyl can suggest something they will be good at doing. They should also keep taking feedback from people and keep improving Sibyl as a system, find out where it is not doing well and change things so that Sibyl gives more importance to watching over people instead of judging them. If something like that can be done I don’t mind having a system like Sibyl around. After all it will decrease our crime ratio quite a bit and make the world safer.

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Kogami working on a case

If you have something to say about Sibyl system or have any more suggestions about making it a better system feel free to drop a comment.

See you next time ^^/

Other posts on Psycho-Pass New Edit Version:

Psycho-Pass New Edit Version Episode 2

Psycho-Pass New Edit Version Episode 1

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11 thoughts on “Psycho-Pass New Edit Version Episode 3

  1. November 11, what? :O How did I not see this post >_> I used to get notifications… Well, it sure shows that I haven’t been coming here often enough ._.

    Also just for a second I thought you jumped all the way to the 3rd episode of the second season :D

    How do you know Kagari, Masaoka and Kogami shouldn’t be locked? =) I think that is one of the big issues with the Sibyl system. It is designed to make very big decisions, the kind of decisions normal people can’t make in a meaningful way. So wouldn’t it be logical to assume that a person can’t supervise the system, tell it where it went wrong? We observe those characters for minutes here and there, surely we can’t judge them better than a system that was built to do so?
    That is kinda the problem with it. Sibyl doesn’t provide a way to check its decision, and it doesn’t provide a clear description of how it arrives to those decisions. In modern society we have a law system that, ideally, is absolutely transparent. For example everyone should be able to check every court decision to see what laws, regulations or precedents were followed to arrive to it. Those law are also written by people or their representatives. And in a way this gives the system legitimacy. Sibyl lacks all of it, it just reigns over people like a tyrant.
    On the other hand from the perspective of a single person the difference is negligible, a single person can only abide the law or Sibyl, doesn’t matter which. And people have been living in countries ruled by tyrants, so it is no surprise that they can happily live in this Sibyl-guided version of Japan.

    And I can see your point, there are definitely ways to make Sibyl more human-friendly =) But at the same time I wonder if even in theory it is possible to build a similar system that would not break some of the fundamental values or fundamental human rights that we hold. They would be different for different nations and they change with time, but still. I’ve just looked up a European Union website that lists “respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law” as the fundamental values. Seem like Sibyl is incompatible with most of these :D I guess you could use Sibyl as an assistant to real police and real judges, that might work… maybe =)

    • Check your WordPress email subscriptions once =)

      I want to take my time and write a post for every episode. Psycho-Pass is the kind of anime that gives you plenty of things to talk about :3

      To me it is the other way around. How do you know Kagari, Masaoka and Kogami SHOULD be locked up? We’ve seen them and they don’t look any different from normal folks. How do we know that these people are not good? That they are better off being locked up? Kagari’s case is even worse. He has been locked up ever since he was five. How in the world do you judge that a five year old is too dangerous to be left alone? They should have given him some more time, see what kind of person he will end up becoming and then if he turned out to be a psycho, they can go ahead and lock him up.

      Now why can’t a person supervise the system when the system itself is built by people? It is a piece of code in the end and there can be bugs. They built the system based on some assumptions right? About the way Psycho-Pass is calculated, about what range of values should be considered dangerous and all that. ‘We can’t judge them better than a system that was built to do so?’ I don’t agree with that. What if one of those assumptions were wrong? Software companies release a lot of patches because they know that no matter how much time they spend building the system, there are bound to be some bugs and things that can be done better. The system can make mistakes and mess up. I want Sibyl to be treated like the piece of code it is. It can’t make itself better, people need to do that for it.

      Think about it this way. We give guns to police and are okay with letting them use those guns. They can make a decision whether or not to shoot a person. A human or a machine being allowed to judge whether a person gets to live or not is messed up no matter what we do. So there isn’t much difference if a police officer or Sibyl passes the judgement.
      That is why I decided to write about Sibyl from a normal citizens’ point of view. They probably like it and feel safer with it around. They get to live in peace. To them it probably doesn’t matter if it is Sibyl or a police officer making the decision. It doesn’t concern them in anyway.

      Sibyl and police and complement each other. Sibyl can make sure that police don’t take advantage of their power and police can use Sibyl’s power to keep tabs on dangerous people.

      • Found that setting, it was off o.o Now I should get an email where you write another post ^^/

        That is it, I don’t know =) That is my point though, people just aren’t good enough to make those decisions. Like I wouldn’t know whether or not this psycho artist girl should be locked up before she starts killing people. How does Sibyl calculates those numbers for Hue and Crime Coefficient from the cymatic scan data? There is no way a person like me can do it with any reasonable degree of accuracy. I mean, sure I can act as a replacement for Sibyl, but my judgement would probably be much-much worse and in the end we would be better off just using the regular old law enforcement system.
        To illustrate my point, lets say take it upon myself to correct Sibyl. When the system tries to lock up 5 years old Kagari I say no, and let him go. And then by the age of 17 he kills a person. Is this a realistic scenario? We have no way of knowing, cause obviously that would be a completely different Kagari. Is it possible? Sure it is. Was the risk high? I have no idea, but Sibyl might have had something to say there. The point of this example is that Sibyl can anticipate and weigh those possibilities, I on the other hand can’t. So my presence in the decision making is sort of pointless. What we can talk about is whether or not it is acceptable to lock up people based on possibilities. I personally would say it isn’t, and then logically we should get rid of this Sibyl functionality (I mean measuring Crime Coefficient) altogether. But that is very different from trying to remedy it, right? :P

        I think when we say “it’s just a piece of code” we think about programs that can be broken down to simple data manipulations. You should be able to test such program by giving it sequences of inputs and checking if the outputs are correct. But I don’t think all programs are like that. For example, imagine a huge neural network. Some complicated algorithm builds and tunes it, producing huge complexity in terms of raw code. The network might be so huge you won’t be able to analyse it just by looking at the code directly. And there are things that are more complicated than neural networks. We are talking about 21st century Earth tech, in Psycho Pass universe there might exist algorithms that would generate code of complexity inaccessible to humans at all, except on the most abstract levels. System like this would have to be able to keep making itself better. If we talk about Crime Coefficient calculation, then the system can at least look at crime history, study people she missed, and use this data to self-tune, in a machine learning sort of way. But it would be harder to get rid of false positives, the ‘good guys’ taken in by mistake.

        By the way, I am not trying to argue that Sibyl is not debuggable, I don’t think anime gives us any information as to prove or contradict this idea. But I can imagine it being so complicated that only a few people can actually mess with it. And it must be extra hard to justify any changes in a system like that. In out real world we have thousands of people working hard to adjust laws written in plain text on paper, with no tech or algorithms to complicate things, and somehow the process is still painfully slow and unreliable =)

        “We give guns to police and are okay with letting them use those guns” – I don’t think that is true. Ideally police should never use their guns. The only reason they have those is because it can minimize danger to their lives, and sometimes to the lives of others. But no one is happy when a policeman uses his gun without an extreme necessity and absence of other choices. There are a lot of reasons we don’t want police to judge people. Firstly it is about separation of powers principle, also obviously policeman wouldn’t be qualified to be a judge (and vise versa) because those are different professions requiring different training.

        Yeah I can see that. That is, if you are a citizen without Hue problems and such :D

        That is an interesting idea =) But then, it sort of works already in the show. Only Sibyl thinks that half of the local police are latent criminals and should be treated accordingly =)

        • =)

          I guess that is the difference. You believe that Sibyl is better than humans at making the judgement and I believe that it is not that different from us. It is humans that input the programs that do the analyses and decide what numbers are high and should be considered dangerous. It isn’t all that different from humans making the judgement in the end.
          I did propose a solution to that problem already :P We have no way of knowing what kind of person 5 year old Kagari will grow up to be. So we put people like this in a priority list, so that whenever Kagari comes across a Psycho-Pass scanner, his Psycho-Pass will be calculated first, even if there are many other people around. Any changes in his Psycho-Pass number should be treated seriously. Also some cops can occasionally spy on Kagari and see if he is dangerous. Sure, Kagari’s privacy will have to be sacrificed but it is a whole lot better than being locked up and treated like a criminal right?

          The system might be complex but someone did build it right? And for building a software s complex as Sibyl, thousands of developers have to be involved. And they do understand what they’ve built. That team should continue developing Sibyl, keep tabs on where the system is going wrong. That is how it works in the real life.
          It is not a one man’s job. Sibyl probably has millions of modules and there will be teams that worked on those modules. They will just have to take care of their own module and it will be fine :P

          When I said that we are okay with police using their guns, I meant it this way. Imagine that you open a newspaper and see that a policeman had to shoot two terrorists when they tried to plant a bunch of bombs in your city. What will be your first thought? That is is unfair that the policeman got to decide whether these guys lived or died? No right. We trust the police with the power we give them. When they don’t have a choice, they have to make a decision. If we trust a human to do that, why is it any different with a machine doing that. In the end, the act doesn’t change.

          • Okay, let me see if I can find a counterexample for this solution >:3 Say we talk about Kogami. His Psycho Pass and other metrics can go up and down wildly, and priority scanning will register that. What next then? By the numbers he will look like a criminal that is about to deal harm to somebody. And what’s more, he is the type of person who could and would deal harm if he thinks it is necessary. Same as a real criminal. The only difference is that so far we agreed with Kogami’s moral judgement, which Sybil can’t measure. Would it be reasonable to say that a human supervisor can solve this problem, tell that Kogami is okay while this other guy who is about to commit a murder isn’t? I don’t think so, cause if this semi-omniscient supervisor guy exists the Sybil system in its current form isn’t really needed. Instead we need this dude to me immortalized and given all the power. Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? :P

            Maybe you are right. It all boils down to me assuming that it is possible to create an unmanageable program, something that can only be maintained by an AI or some other superhuman entity. I don’t know if that assumption is valid or not. You are in a better position to judge those things ^^/

            Well, I would hope that there was some clear necessity for the police to kill those guys. And I would feel a little uneasy because those criminals died without a fair trial. The police is supposed to maintain law, and the law includes the correct procedures to deal with criminals, and I would hope the police would follow them as close as possible. So in short no, I don’t trust police to judge people, definitely not to execute them; but I recognize that their work requires power, which is why they have weapons. It is way more difficult with a machine though, all kinds of concepts fall apart when start thinking about something like Sybil. This is the beauty of the show, that we get to see this wildly radical form of law enforcement that is so different that you can’t even begin to fit it in the real world =)

            • Do you think Kogami’s Psycho-Pass values can wildly fluctuate? Psycho-Pass is pretty much the measure of the mental state of the person. If the person can go from being calm to highly angry and violent, and can become clam once again pretty fast, I would say that the person is pretty dangerous, even if it is Kogami. After all, how can you count on a person who has absolutely no control over his emotions to be safe, especially when his normal Psycho-Pass values are extremely high? The situation is pretty much impossible, for a person who is nice to have his Psycho-Pass values fluctuate a lot. Even if there was a person like that, I won’t blame Sibyl for locking him up, even if he is a good guy. I would call it necessary evil.

              Uh..Senpai, the way I see it, if there is such a program, something that can only be maintained by an AI, then someone has to build that AI. And the person who wrote a program that often checks, maintains and enhances another program, should and will know how the first program works and can maintain it himself, even without the help of the AI. A software company will never build an unmanageable program. It is a sure fire way to go bankrupt :P And maintaining a program yourself is a million times easier than building an AI to do that for you.

              But in the end, you do trust police to make good judgement and use the power you gave them in a good way. If you can trust a human to do this, why not a machine? It won’t make a difference.

              • Okay =)

                I imagine it this way. You build an AI, formulate a task for it, and give it a metric that evaluates how good the resulting code is, how well it solves the task. This way the AI can code a program, check it using the metric, tune or redo the code, check again and so on. The code it produces can be as complex as AI needs it to be. Just as an example, it can be written in binary and contain gigabytes of instructions, so while it would be possible to go through it, the amount of time it would take is ridiculous.

                As for the metric, in the case of Sibyl it would be the social outcome of its actions. Like measuring the performance of all the individuals whom Sibyl monitors, checking how close Sibyl decisions were to the optimum. Obviously AI that deals with this metric would need to use a lot of simulations to evaluate an approximation of the metric, cause the evaluation of the actual metric would take too much time. And it would also need to tune the simulation environment to match the reality. That is the sort of thing that people do already, simulating behaviors of large groups of people to make better regulations. I’ve heard people who do this to make better traffic control plans during massive events, things like that.

                But I get what you mean, if you write a program in a traditional way, first planning how it should work and then implementing it in a code, than the result should be readable and debuggable. The other approach (that I was talking about above), where you have no idea how the problem you’ve posed has been solved, I don’t know if it is actually valid, and even if it is, I don’t know if the resulting code would necessarily be inaccessible to people =)

                Sybil doesn’t use the power in the “good way” though. “You do trust police to make good judgement and use the power you gave them in a good way” – for this sentence to be correct the “good way” should mean approximately “use the power only when need to protect someone’s life or health from an obvious immediate danger” =) And Sibyl doesn’t do that, it essentially passes the sentence on the spot. The way dominators work, there should be no need for “Lethal Eliminator”, it should always be sufficient to only stun the criminal. But Sibyl judges people, giving the police permission to kill the criminal.
                As for human vs machine, yes, I see no difference. I would be happy if we could have robot policemen patrolling the streets. Those won’t need to fire even if the criminals have guns, cause whether or not a robot is destroyed isn’t relevant. Those robots would have no agendas other than their duty, they would be out doing their work all the time and people won’t have to do this dangerous job =) I object to Sibyl as portrayed in Psycho Pass mainly because it has too much power, combining justice system with law enforcement, and it breaks certain fundamental humanism notions. If we could find a way to remedy those problems, then I’d probably be okay with it too ^^/

  2. That ‘tune or redo the code’ part is the real problem here senpai :3 You can probably come up with a good metric and automate the tests to run periodically and anlyse the code to see how it is doing. But writing a program that can tune or redo the code of a system as complex as Sibyl is nearly impossible. I mean if you see that people are not satisfied with Sibyl, you need to find a way to rewrite the code and make Sibyl a more acceptable system. So the program that needs to do the tuning and the redoing part should have to understand why people aren’t satisfied and then come up with a solution that people will like and then rewrite the code and also make sure that it doesn’t break any parts of the already working code. It also needs to analyse what other modules depend on the module it is changing and redo them too. Doesn’t that sound pretty much impossible? You will be better off making the changes to Sibyl yourself.

    But what exactly is a good way? Isn’t that just what we want to believe? That police use their power for the good? You can never be sure. And again, I think this is a point we can’t argue about. I know you will never approve of Sibyl killing people and would rather want them to be locked up no matter what kind of people they are, I don’t feel that bad about letting Sibyl kill criminals. It saves all the trouble of conducting a trial and then making sure that the criminal is securely locked up. I don’t mind it, that is, if Sibyl is changed the way I talked about above and complements the police and works together with them. There are some criminals who did escape from jail only to cause more chaos.

    • I definitely agree that it this AI would have some hard time. Maybe you are right and writing programs automatically isn’t going to happen in the conceivable future =) My optimism here comes from observing incredible progress in numerical optimization methods that we had been seeing over the last decades. Obviously it doesn’t mean anything about the future, but I would like to think we will keep getting better at solving more and more complicated problems, eventually being able to write software and do engineering work mostly automatically.

      Right, it is all about personal views on what’s right and wrong =)

      • I hope someday we will have programs that can do all the work by themselves but I will probably continue being my pessimistic self and continue believing that it is impossible ._.

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