Saturday, 22 April 2017
Our Web Is Not Their Web
My brain contains both conscious and unconscious memories whereas a computer "memory" is entirely unconscious. I spoke to a friend who thought that a computer "knew" and "understood" how to answer my computer searches. He therefore thought that the computer was on its way to becoming conscious as we are. Of course, the computer does not know or understand anything and is not on its way to becoming conscious.
I say all this in order to contrast two kinds of fiction:
in contemporary novels, like Stieg Larsson's Trilogy, the characters regularly browse and hack a global web of unconscious computers;
in some futuristic sf, there is a global or even interplanetary web of conscious artificial intelligences.
But our web is not becoming that web - which might exist in future.