RE: Question: Movies and books about positive AI

From: Jim Blair (
Date: Sun Aug 06 2006 - 19:37:19 MDT

See the following:

Spin State and Spin Control - Chris Moriarty

Accelerando - Charles Stross (I'm still reading this one so I don't know
exactly how the AI will turn out).

You may want to check out Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise (also by Stross)
in which the AI is so far beyond our understanding that it is hard to
ascribe a good or evil label to it.

Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson - Also has an AI component but again, it
is so far beyond us that its motives aren't clear.

A common theme seems to be that the AI de jour leaves us alone as long as we
don't appear to be a threat.

"If we had a reliable way to label our toys good and bad, it would be easy
to regulate technology wisely. But we can rarely see far enough ahead to
know which road leads to damnation. Whoever concerns himself with big
technology, either to push it forward or to stop it, is gambling in human

Freeman Dyson

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Loosemore []
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:25 AM
Subject: Question: Movies and books about positive AI

While I am on the subject, would anyone be interested in giving me their
thoughts about *positive* examples of fictional AI?

What I mean is, how many times have SF writers (whether in written or
movie form) created fictional futures in which the AI was not the villain?

And within that category, in how many of the cases was the AI portrayed
as having equal or superior intelligence (instead of turning out to be
just a glorified calculator that could be outsmarted by outmaneuvering
its logic circuits)? I am less interested in these.

The only notable examples I can think of are Iain M. Banks Culture
books, and Asimov's benign robots (who, if I recall correctly, tend to
be of the less-than-human-equivalent sort).

Lem's creations might count, but he is a little surreal.

Richard Loosemore

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