Saturday, 22 April 2017

Emulated Bond?

Poul Anderson addresses the relationship between memory and identity in "Memory" and Artificial Intelligence in later works. In The Golden Age, John C. Wright imagines AIs that include conscious fictions and a character who is distraught to learn that she is not who she thinks she is. She is merely a mental copy of a woman who committed suicide.

I want to focus on the idea of conscious fictional characters who think that they are real. This happens in some of Anderson's later novels. Let's also stay with the theme of James Bond whom we have mentioned recently. Could an AI "emulation" comprise a detailed dramatization of the James Bond series incorporating self-conscious programs mistakenly believing that they really are Bond and the other characters?

Some editing would be necessary because the texts are inconsistent. See here. If Bond bought his car in 1933 and was, e.g., twenty in that year, then he was fifty when he was briefly married in 1963 and should therefore have been retired from the 00 Section ten years previously according to yet another of the novels. But his brief marriage was in 1961 because it was two years after Thunderball which, according to internal evidence, was set in 1959. And Bond cannot both have been active in the Secret Service before the War and yet have joined the Navy, and thus also Intelligence, only during the War - and then only by lying about his age. That is also inconsistent with buying a car in 1933 - and with being born about 1913!

So I propose two Bond "emulations" - I ignore the films and the post-Fleming novels -, one based on Bond's biography according to Casino Royale, the other based on his biography according to the Times Obituary written by M in You Only Live Twice.

Is it really possible that such "emulations" will be created?


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    From what I remember of THE GOLDEN AGE, an "emulation" of a deceased person who was downloaded into an actual, human body would be considered legally the child of the "original." Wright's treatment of the strange ways the law could change in the far future has to be one of the most original parts of his work.

    And I rather like the idea of there being "emulations" of James Bond. And why not Dominic Flandry as well?


  2. Paul and Sean:
    Fred Saberhagen used a variant form of the "emulation" concept in a short story for his *Berserker* series. I felt there were flaws in the set-up he used, but the "personae" had been programmed as best the historians could manage to the actual knowledge-sets and personalities of the people they emulated. Meaning, in the situation Saberhagen portrayed: plug a World War I flying ace persona into the cockpit of a space fighter, and you've got a very deadly space pilot. Send the Red Baron, Frank Luke, Georges Guynemer, and several of their peers, after tricking the Berserkers into thinking these were the personae of pacifist musicians ... and there'll be one heck of a fight. "The personae we have sent out are not going to be meekly slaughtered."

    1. Kaor, DAVID!

      Very cool concept, I agree! I think I remember reading this story--perhaps in a Berserker collection. And you would WANT aggressive types for combating the Berserkers!