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October 28, 2005

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Setting the Table for a Feast We Will Not Share

This line in a recent Boing Boing post stopped me in my tracks. George Dyson went to Google, and writes:

The mood was playful, yet there was a palpable reverence in the air. “We are not scanning all those books to be read by people,” explained one of my hosts after my talk. “We are scanning them to be read by an AI.”

I think there are two ways to read that line… both interesting, but one really interesting (and kinda creepy).

Robin-sig.gif
Posted October 28, 2005 at 3:05 | Comments (4) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Technosnark

Comments

Certainly, I don't have the original context, so I'm not going to scream "gotcha" and revel in a thousand "I told you sos," but. . .

And this is a big but. . . (Thank you Sir-Mix-A-Lot, for holding your tounge on that one)

But, when you say "We are not scanning all those books to be read by people," explained one of my hosts after my talk. "We are scanning them to be read by an AI," you have stated the problem far better than I ever could.

I'm no Harold Bloom, but I do believe that there is a deep experiential value to a single person actually reading a book, especially an old one.

So, correct me if I'm wrong, but the post title you chose implies that the second way of reading the line is, "we are scanning them to be read by an AI... after us humans are gone." Or is that not what you meant?

Posted by: Matt on October 29, 2005 at 05:57 PM

So what are the two ways?

Posted by: Aaron on October 30, 2005 at 01:45 PM

1. 'We are scanning these books to be read by an AI so it will be able to help us humans find things & understand our world, etc. etc.'

2. Matt's ver.: 'We are scanning these books to be read by an AI. Hope it likes them b/c we will all be floating in Matrix biofarms. Or whatever.'

My post title did indeed reflect the second but I think they intended the first. Maybe.

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