Here’s what I’ve tagged on del.icio.us on %date%:
Here’s what I tagged on del.icio.us between May 31st and June 6th:
In his excellent science fiction novel ‘The Diamond Age’ writer Neal Stephenson describes a world in which nanotechnology and nanobots are commonplace and ‘Matter Compilers’ can create objects at will.
However there are no artificial intelligences on his imagined earth, the technology having failed to deliver on the promises made by generations of researchers. Computers do lots of things, but they are unable to replace or even convincingly impersonate humans.
One consequence of this is that some of the characters in the book make their living by providing voices for virtual reality-based entertainment since although computers are able to produce convincing 3-D worlds they cannot, in Stephenson’s alternative reality, substitute for real human intonation or emotion.
It’s an interesting idea, and when I first read the book in 1995 it resonated with my view that while non-human intelligence is perfectly possible we will never actually manage to create it ourselves because intelligence emerges from biology not technology.
Continue reading “Putting the people to work”