Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I was perfectly satisfied to write science fiction knowing that it would pay very little, that it would be seen by only a very few people."
- Isaac Asimov

Chirpsithra Supercomputer  
  An alien race thoughtfully provides mankind with blueprints for the most intelligent computer ever made.  

This terrific short story by Larry Niven gives a somewhat less rosy view of the logical future of computing than you'll read in the typical PC magazine.

The chirpsithra are an alien race who have been around, well, practically forever from a human standpoint. They are regulars at the Draco Tavern, a watering hole (pub) built for humans and aliens right here on Earth. They're not easy to talk to, though, and you're never quite sure what they mean.

One slow afternoon I asked a pair of chirpsithra about intelligent computers.

"Oh yes, we built them," one said. "Long ago."

"You gave up? Why?"

One of the salmon-colored aliens made a chittering sound. The other said, "Reason enough. Machines should be proper servants. They should not talk back. Especially they should not presume to instruct their masters. Still, we did not throw away the knowledge we gained from the machines."

From Niven's Laws, by Larry Niven.
Published by Owlswick Press in 1984
Additional resources -

Gifts, like the blueprints for this computer, are especially suspect. This short quote is from a short story worth reading - it is a 1979 short story called The Schumann Computer, found in the collection cited below. The collection features a number of stories set in the Draco Tavern.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Niven's Laws
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Niven's Laws
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Chirpsithra Supercomputer-related news articles:
  - Make Money With Artificial Intelligence

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
AI Identifies Suicidal Behavior With 93 Percent Accuracy
Google Zero-Shot Translation Gives Star Trek Fans Hope
AI Lip Reading Better Than Human, Like HAL 9000

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...'

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...'

EU Debates Kill Switches For Robots
'I have a mechanism which our autofac on Mars builds as an... emergency safety...'

Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing,,, shrilling...'

AI Identifies Suicidal Behavior With 93 Percent Accuracy
'...He padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile.'

Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...'

Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
'...The dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'

Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
'... Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.