Re: Failure of AI a prediction of Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age"

Anders Sandberg (
03 Oct 1998 00:41:58 +0200

"Michael E. Smith" <> writes:

> I recently re-read Neal Stephenson's novel "The Diamond Age, or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer", and this time I really noticed elements of the novel which I had glossed over the first time.
> I know that the novel has been mentioned favorably on this list before, but has anyone else noticed how "UNextropian" the novel is? I'm referring to the novel's apparent prediction of the failure of artificial intelligence.

I wouldn't call that unextropian. After all, extropianism is about other things than believing in specific technologies. Stephenson's world is a bit strange in many places, but the lack of AI didn't strike me as cruicial as the lack of easily copyable assemblers - but that is a central part of the plot, of course.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y