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

"It's hard to tell stories about critters that are not human. John W. Campbell tried it, in "Twilight," and everybody says it's a wonderful story, and nobody ever reads it twice."
- Jerry Pournelle

Recorded Personalities  
  Computer firmware that saves a person's characteristics and reactions.  

The idea of a construct, or a recording of a person, was introduced in Neuromancer, by the same author. In this quote, however, the concept is given a delightful form, with more detail.

There were similar things in her father's study, four of them, black lacquered cubes arranged along a low shelf of pine. Above each cube hung a formal portrait. The portraits were monochrome photographs of men in dark suits and ties, four very sober gentleman whose lapels were decorated with small metal emblems of the kind her father sometimes wore. Though her mother had told her that the cubes contained ghosts, the ghosts of her father's evil ancestors, Komiko found them more fascinating than frightening. Her father sometimes meditated before the cubes, kneeling on the bare tatami in an attitude that connoted profound respect. She had seen him in this position many times, but she was ten before she heard him address the cubes. And one had answered. The question had meant nothing to her, the answer less, but the calm tone of the ghost's reply had frozen her where she crouched, behind a door of paper, and her father had laughed to find her there; rather than scold her, he'd explained that the cubes housed the recorded personalities of former executives, corporate directors. "They're not conscious. They respond, when questioned, in a manner approximating the response of the subject."
From Mona Lisa Overdrive, by William Gibson.
Published by Bantam in 1988
Additional resources -

Gibson shows his writing ability by seamlessly fitting tomorrow's concept into a way of life that has endured for millennia. Meditating before pictures of people that you respect is common around the world; in this case, getting an answer is easier. Also, ancestor worship is deeply rooted in Shinto beliefs; certainly, a recorded personality has the power to influence the living world.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 3 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Mona Lisa Overdrive
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Mona Lisa Overdrive
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
Biomind AI Doctor Mops Floor With Human Doctors

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

Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'

Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'

FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'

Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."

Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'

Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'

LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'

ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'

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.