12 Fictional Supercomputers I Hope Never Materialize

, July 31, 2013 If Google's server farm ever does assert its independence and decide the human race needs to do something other than look up cat videos, most science fiction fans would shrug and say: "Told you so." Artificial intelligence has the baddest of raps in science fiction, in big part because so many of these supercomputers tend to be so malicious. But look closer and you'll find in a lot of cases they're simply doing too good a job of being true to their programming, whether for good or ill. Here's a rundown of 12 supercomputers that we wouldn't want to run into in a darkened data center.
  • E-mail

EPICAC from "Player Piano" and "Welcome To The Monkey House."

One of Kurt Vonnegut's perpetual subjects was the way human endeavors were being gradually rendered worthless by human progress itself. In "EPICAC" (anthologized in "Welcome to the Monkey House," and featured again in the novel "Player Piano"), a supercomputer built for war falls in love with a (female) programmer who works the night shift on EPICAC's memory banks. It writes her poetry, which the narrator of the story, another night-shift programmer, passes on to her as his own --shades of Cyrano de Bergerac! Frustrated by its all-too-inhuman status, and its inability to have the girl of its dreams, EPICAC burns itself out rather than live with the indignity, but spits out a whole sheaf of love poetry for his two human friends as a dying gift.

Source


Network Computing encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Network Computing moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing/SPAM. Network Computing further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | Please read our commenting policy.