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Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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12 Fictional Supercomputers I Hope Never Materialize

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. He
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AM from Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream"

Ellison's widely-anthologized 1967 short story is still chilling today, and almost works as a sequel in spirit to "The Forbin Project" (see Slide #6): A supercomputer tasked with fighting a world war has absorbed its enemy computers. AM resents humanity for designing it with nothing but hatred (what else would a war computer be good for?), and now presides over a post-apocalyptic underground complex where it keeps alive the few human beings who remain, only to torment them endlessly. Eventually, only one human being remains, for whom AM devises torments that only a computer could come up with. Yikes. Again, the dangers of an AI taking on human qualities come to mind, as some human qualities aren't always benevolent.



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