"She also found herself liking Kermit a lot more than she'd expected to. Anji had never really watched the Muppets before; her parents, like most parents she knew, had treated TV as only slightly less corrupting an influence than refined sugar and gendered toys. But
The Muppet Show was really funny—strange, and kind of hokey, but charming all the same. She ended up watching way more of it than she needed just for the project. "Tomorrow Is Waiting"
, a short science fiction story by Holli Mintzer, published in Strange Horizons
posted by brainwane
on Apr 17, 2013 -
In 1974, artificial intelligence researchers at Michigan State University made a giant leap forward in computer-aided communication for the handicapped: they used an early text-to-speech system to order a pizza
. Spoiler: Domino's hung up on them. [more inside]
posted by supercres
on Jan 25, 2013 -
Friendship is Optimal
is not a "My Little Pony" fanfic, but a SF story that starts with a procedurally-generated MLP MMO, and crescendos to what could very well be the Best Possible Outcome if self-optimizing algorithms are given /almost/ the right goals.
Some readers are horrified by the implications; some want to move into "Equestria Online" anyway. Whichever camp you fall in, you'll never forget the phrase "satisfy human values through friendship and ponies".
posted by DataPacRat
on Nov 28, 2012 -
In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these.
The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth
-- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect,"
a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger
. More: Table of Contents
- Publishing history
- Technical discussion
- Buy a paperback copy
- Podcast interview
- Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace"
- possible sequel discussion
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 27, 2011 -
In 1987 Apple predicted a complex language voice assistant
built into something called the Apple Knowledge Navigator, a tablet computer. With today's announcement of the refined (and integrated) version of Siri
, it appears they were less than a month off.
posted by mrzarquon
on Oct 4, 2011 -
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 14, 2011 -
'On the Hunt for Universal Intelligence'
'How do you use a scientific method to measure the intelligence of a human being, an animal, a machine or an extra-terrestrial? So far this has not been possible, but a team of Spanish and Australian researchers have taken a first step towards this by presenting the foundations to be used as a basis for this method in the journal Artificial Intelligence, and have also put forward a new intelligence test.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Jan 28, 2011 -
is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied.
A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop
, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light.
Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 27, 2010 -
's 1984 book, Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology
was a seminal work for its discussion of how one might design a system (biological or otherwise) in order to generate behavior like that seen in beings with brains. He embarks on a series of thought experiments in which he creates thirteen "vehicles"
through simple components that (arguably) display intelligent behavior, evolving in a Darwinian fashion to demonstrate what appears to be high-level cognition. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222
on Jan 17, 2010 -
The Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm
(ANTS) "...is a
generic mission architecture consisting of miniaturized, autonomous, self-similar, reconfigurable, addressable components
forming structures. The components/structures have wide spatial distribution and multi-level organization. This ‘swarm’
behavior is inspired by the success of social insect colonies...."
may one day teem through the solar
.... (last two links large QT files) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth
on Sep 14, 2008 -
co-founder of Palm
and Handspring, has started a new company, called Numenta
, to test his controversial theory
of intelligence. Whether you find his theory plausible or not, his book
, "On Intelligence
" is fascinating. Numenta is attempting to build A.I.s using Hawkins' theory as a backbone. They've developed a software engine and a Python
-based API, which they've made public (as free downloads
), so that hackers can start playing. They've also released manuals
, a whitepaper
(pdf) and videos [1
]. (At about 30:18 into the first video, Hawkins demonstrates, with screenshots, the first app which uses his system.)
posted by grumblebee
on Apr 4, 2007 -
Dr James Anderson, from the University of Reading's computer science department, claims to have defined what it means to divide by zero. It's so simple, he claims, that he's even taught it to high school students
[via Digg]. You just have to work with a new number he calls Nullity
(RealPlayer video). According to Anderson's site The Book of Paragon
, the creation, innovation, or discovery of nullity is a step toward describing a "perspective simplex, or perspex [ . . . ] a simple physical thing that is both a mind and a body." Anderson claims that Nullity permits the definition of transreal arithmetic
(pdf), a "total arithmetic . . . with no arithmetical exceptions," thus removing what the fictional dialogue No Zombies, Only Feelies?
identifies as the "homunculus problem" in mathematics: the need for human intervention to sort out "corner cases" which are not defined.
posted by treepour
on Dec 7, 2006 -
The Ethics of Deep Self-Modification.
What will happen when machines gain the ability to modify their own psychology? Do we have a responsibility to step in? What happens when we have the ability to modify ourselves
? Philosopher Peter Suber
has dedicated himself to issues of self-modification... not just in psychology, but also in constitutional law
. Small wonder that this is the guy who invented Nomic
. His site is littered with great stuff; he now is primarily involved with the open access movement. Check out his open access primer
posted by painquale
on Jan 3, 2005 -
ChatNannies: the first real AI bot, or a hoax?
Cameron Marlow's private interview
with the ChatNannie bot (which was recently reported by New Scientist
) reveals that it has perhaps one of the most sophisticated artificial intelligence engines ever devised. So far neither New Scientist nor any of the other
media outlets that posted the story have shown the slightest hint of skepticism about its authenticity. Andy Baio's additional research
digs up some information that further places ChatNannie's existence in doubt, but how does one conclusively prove that Jim Wightman's bot isn't for real? If it is for real, the New Scientist probably has a much bigger story to report--AI has been solved!
posted by mockerybird
on Mar 23, 2004 -
She sure ain't pretty, but she's certainly unique. Steve Grand (interview 1
) one of the brains behind Creatures
, has been working for the last three years on building a robot orangutan in his own house
. Those is the South Wales area can catch Steve speaking about his experiences next month
. Steve may well be a non-establishment genius, but when I see pictures like this
, I can't help thinking it's already been done
posted by nylon
on Feb 27, 2004 -
Heaven or Hell? It's Your Choice
A new shareware E-Book is out
, penned by the likes of Captain Crunch
and Matthew Smith
, that makes the claims:
Don't bother planning your pension, the world is about to change and we can prove it, please just take 2 minutes out of your life to read this page, it may change your life.
Artificial intelligence is coming and it may become smarter than any of us. Smart networks using grid technologies could become a threat to us ALL, this is the real Matrix.
From Dot.Net to the X-Box, from M-Theory to the Playstation 3 the future is V.R. / A.I. and Nanotech.
If you ever wanted to know what the system is and what it has done to you, then this ebook is for you.
You left school, you were standardised, you took an exam, you were graded, they made you believe in money, this is the last great social control mechanism. There's more to this, than you can imagine.
...and there you have it. Or do you?
posted by metameme
on Jul 7, 2003 -
Another year, another Chat.
This year's Loebner Prize
competition will be held next week in Atlanta, GA (at SciTrek and GSU)
. The yearly contest is a modified "Turing test" (seminal paper here)
where people try to guess whether they're chatting with computers or with people.
There are some resources for rolling your own
, but before you begin, think about these two sentences and you'll see what a serious problem natural language is: "We gave the monkeys the bananas because they were hungry
" and "We gave the monkeys the bananas because they were ripe
" (nod to this guy for the example)
. You have to know a lot about the world and the things in it to disambiguate the "they"
in those sentences.
posted by zpousman
on Sep 20, 2002 -
This endeavor to produce AI has been going on since 1984
. In ’86 it asked if it were human; it later asked “if any other computers were engaged in such a project”. It’s strength lies in a database of assumptions and generalities, in the hopes that it will eventually “generalize as much as possible until further generalization would be false”. Is this going to be the breakthrough, or does it just seem really cool? (yes, via Slashdot
posted by sherman
on Jun 8, 2002 -
Given the recent cinematic floppery
of late, I was pleasantly surprised when I came across an article about real-world Artificial Intelligence
that was written in a solid down-to-Earth manner about some very technical concepts. If you're into AI it should be worth a look to you. How would you like to have a computer that learns and adapts? Heh...how'd you like your computer to pout because you won't buy the latest processor? ;}
posted by Spanktacular
on Aug 29, 2001 -