Artifice and Intelligence
Artifice and Intelligence

Year of publication: 2007

Artifice and Intelligence

Tim Pratt

Science fiction, Story

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Tim Pratt ARTIFICE AND INTELLIGENCE A Sort Story Illustration by Mack Sztaba While his former colleagues laboring on the Brain Project concentrated on the generally-accepted paths to artificial intelligence—Bayesian networks, machine learning, data mining, fuzzy systems, case-based reasoning—Edgar Adleman, despondent and disgraced, turned to the dark arts and summoned a real ghost for his machine. The first ghost he lured into his coil of blown glass and copper wire and delicate platinum gears was some sort of warrior from a marauding Asian tribe, extinct for centuries. Edgar grew tired of the ghost screeching epithets in a dead language and cut the power, then sat under the cramped eaves of his attic—he was no longer allowed into the government AI labs—and pondered. The proof of concept was solid. He could create a convincing imitation of an artificial intelligence. With access to the sum of human knowledge online, and freedom from bodily concerns, Edgar...