Ilse

The first intelligent ship brain. (Read the full article)

"An earlier ship brain than Vinge's Ilse would have to be OLGA in the strange novel "Half Past Human" by TJ Bass published in 1971. Incidentally this and Bass' other book "The Godwhale" are chockers with new technology, biology, implants, etc and throw off ideas like sparks, often to the detriment of the plot! My favourite idea is that the length of a planet's year, multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity must be equal to the speed of light for a planet to be habitable. The ship brain OLGA, before blasting off with colonists for another star, prints this equation "gy = c" on all the screens of the starship. A nice touch."
(TomH 4/17/2004 9:26:36 PM )
"Even earlier would be Stanislas Lem novel "The Hammer" (circa 1961 published in French in 1967) in which a human is sent on an experimental cruise to the nearest star system, along an electric syntetic personality that control every aspect of the ship. The human is confined in the role of passive passenger, the only optional task left for him is to plot his course on starchart paper (yes, with a compass and ruler!) and verify that the "compagnon" also refered to as the "steel case", follows the planned course wich is supposed to loop around the nearest star system. problems starts when the human thinks the steel case is is slowly flattenning the trajectory, thus sending the ship into eternity; The discrepency on paper is less than half a milimeter; The human end up opening the lid of the steel case and smashing the innard of the compagnon with a hammer (hence the title); If you taught that Bowman unpluging HAL's memory was chilling, this is worse."
(nexl 12/2/2004 7:38:09 PM )
"Curiousity killed the cat, doc"
(De Renzo 12/28/2005 9:43:59 PM )
"A little later than Lem, Larry Niven's short story "Becalmed in Hell" (1965) features a spacecraft with an implanted human brain. Assuming you're not restricting the discussion to AIs."
(Gnoitall 7/7/2009 2:39:32 PM )

More info on Ilse

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