“In the years that followed” (the creation of Alan Turing’s Turing Test), “programs called chatbots, capable of conducting conversations, appeared to pass the Turing test by fooling unsuspecting humans into thinking they were intelligent. The first of these, ELIZA, was invented in 1966 by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum (1923–2008). In one case, ELIZA was left running on a teletype, and a visitor to Weizenbaum’s office thought he was text-chatting with Weizenbaum at his home office, rather than with an artificial intelligence (AI) program. According to experts, however, ELIZA didn’t pass the Turing test because the visitor wasn’t told in advance that the “person” at the other end of the teleprinter might be a computer.” Fair Use Source: B07C2NQSPV
bot, ‘bot n. [abbr. of robot] a ROBOT.
“1969 R. Meredith We All Died at Breakaway Station in Amazing Stories (Jan.) 130/2: When they got my ship the only part of me that the ‘bots were able to get into cold-sleep was my head, shoulders and a part of my spine.”
“1977 G. Benford Snatching Bot in Cosmos SF & Fantasy Mag. (May) 25/1: “What’s your name, little bot?” The robot squats mutely.”
“1984 D. Brin Practice Effect 23: Compared with some of the sophisticated machines Dennis had worked with, the exploration ‘bot wasn’t very bright.”
“1991 M. Weiss King’s Test 8: Yanking it off, he tossed it over his shoulder to the ‘bot.”
“2001 Time (Nov. 19) 87: This Pentium-powered bot uses sonar sensors to keep her from bumping into walls […] as she rolls along.”
- Title: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction, 1st Edition
- Author: Jeff Prucher
- Print Length: 329 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition
- Publication Date: May 7, 2007
- ASIN: B00590X4WC
“Winner of a 2008 Hugo Award, this new paperback takes readers on spectacular tour of the language created by science fiction. From “Stargate” to “Force Field,” this dictionary opens a fascinating window into an entire genre, through the words invented by science fiction’s most talented writers, critics, and fans. Each entry includes numerous citations of the word’s usage, from the earliest known appearance forward. Drawn not only from science fiction novels and stories, citations also come from fanzines, screenplays, comics, songs, and the Internet.”
“Artificial intelligence n. [orig. the name for the science of creating “intelligent” computer programs] a sentient, self-aware computer or computer program.”
“1973 G. R. Dozois Chains of Sea in R. Silver-berg Chains of Sea 83: While the humans scurried in confusion, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) created by MIT/Bell Labs linked itself into the network of high-speed, twentieth generation computers placed at its disposal.”
“1991 Locus (Nov.) 21/1: Its science-fictional content is certainly cyber enough: artificial intelligences reaching for true sentience.”
“2003 G. Westfahl Space Opera in E. James & F. Mendlesohn Cambridge Companion to SF 206: John Clute’s Appleseed (2001) offers a densely written portrait of a universe where a travelling merchant encounters artificial intelligences.”
- Title: The Routledge Concise History of Science Fiction
- Print Length: 265 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition
- Publication Date: February 23, 2011
- ASIN: B006YQM26O
Anti-gravity is a device infrequently used in modern SF, chiefly due to the unlikeness of it ever becoming a reality. It is defined as a force that opposes gravity, and therefore allows objects or people to hover, float or be propelled. Antigravity does not feature in any known science and has been portrayed in many different ways.
H. G. WELLS, in his First Men in the Moon (1901), describes ingeniously how anti-gravity could be used to send rockets to the Moon. JAMES BLISH, in Cities in Flight (1970) uses anti-gravity as a means of lifting flying cities, or ‘spindizzies’, away from the planet.
However, Einstein’s general theory of relativity states that the curvature of space would have to be modified to effect such an anti-gravitational force, therefore necessitating a complete restructuring of the universe. The chance of this ever happening is not great. For this reason the use of anti-gravity as a device in SF has waned, and is now associated with the early pulp SF of the GOLDEN AGE, and, more recently, with SPACE OPERA that does not adhere to strict scientific principles.
An Android is “a synthetically created human, usually of organic or biological origin. The term was not generally adopted until sometime in the early-to-mid 1940s.
These artificially created ‘people’ are often developed for the purposes of slavery or forced labour, and in this respect are thematically akin to ROBOTS. Indeed, at times the terms appear to be interchangeable, especially when considering the work of PHILIP K. DICK.
An example of a proto-android in SF is the monster created by the eponymous doctor in MARY SHELLEY’S Frankenstein (1818). In it, the character of Frankenstein uses surgery and electricity to construct and eventually reanimate a human being. This ‘monster’, assembled out of various exhumed body parts, is cast out by society and eventually confronts its maker. It is a superb study of the morality of using science as a means of controlling the processes of life.
In modern SF, however, one of the most startling treatments of androids can be found in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968). The androids are here portrayed as a victimised minority who are attempting to escape the shackles of human oppression. By finding their way back to Earth from colony planet Mars and assuming their independence, they make themselves targets for termination; society at large views the androids as a group of malfunctioning machines. In a similar way to Shelley in Frankenstein, Dick illustrates the repulsiveness, yet inevitability of such a response. Indeed, one need only look at the public reaction to genetically modified foods towards the end of the 1990s as a measure of how society at large reacts to this type of scientific alteration of nature.
ROBERT SILVERBERG, in his Tower of Glass (1970), describes how a man asserts power over a group of androids by assuming the role of MESSIAH. However, the androids become wise to his ploy, and his pretence becomes the grounds of his downfall.
Scepticism and a criticism of the blind assumption that through science mankind can become masters of life and death pervades much of the writing about androids.
- Androids in SciFi – see also Android OS from Googlag Surveillance State running the Google Assistant Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) using Big Brother Google AI
- Artificial Intelligence in SciFi