Galatea 2.2: A Novel

Galatea 2.2: A Novel

Language: English

Pages: 0


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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digitally literate by any chance, are you?" I mumbled something so doped it belied any claim to competence. But I stood, walked over, and despite the attack of palsy, helped her retrieve her afternoon's work from the ether. "Magic," she declared. She gathered her printout and disk. She stuffed them, along with the pile of James, in a black rucksack. "Thanks! I gotta run." And she abandoned me to the endless process of revision. I saw her some days later at the department mailboxes. It took two

Researchers across the whole spectrum of disciplines emptied deep pockets into the promising tangles of simulated brain. In a previous life, I had brushed up against machine intelligence. For a few months, I wrote code that turned consumer goods artificially lucid. I worked for an outfit that wanted to make household devices savvy enough to anticipate needs that potential purchasers didn't even know they had. I made appliances expert in their own use. I built the rule base and tuned the

exceeds its signal threshold, it, too, fires and passes along more signal. Spreading activation, it's called." I looked at Lentz to see if I had it right so far. He had his hands together, fingers to lips. And he was smirking. "The signal pattern spreads through the net from layer to layer. A final response collects at the output layer. The net then compares this output to the desired output presented by the trainer. If the two differ, the net propagates the error backward through the net to

were per-manently out of earshot. Things would be all right, she implied, if we just kept busy. In the evenings we played board games, or sang songs that I wrote for C.'s perfect, clear alto. We watched old films on a black-and-white set with tinfoil antenna, on loan from friends. Gradually, C. convinced me that movies have been going downhill since 1939. At night, we read to each other—more biography, history, legend —following no program but delight. Things would be fine if we kept out of

itself on. Only instant, arbitrary attachment to strangeness made real that lab where processes bested things, two falls out of three. I talked to her so often in my head I felt in danger of hailing A. each time I saw her. No limit to how badly I might humiliate myself. At my age, such absurdity did not even qualify as licit humiliation. When C. and I had moved to B., this other girl was still kneesock-deep in dolls. Premature mid-life crisis, I told myself. Just getting it out of the way

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