Sunday, 20 March 2016

Interstellar Slavers and AIs

Larry Niven's Thrintun or Slavers enslave other rational species with hypnotic telepathy. Poul Anderson's Merseians enslave other rational species. Ydwyr, a Merseian, was trained by the telepath, Aycharaych, and reconditions a human women hypnotically. Thus, the Merseians and their Chereionite ally cannot match the Slavers but are the next best thing.

In several of Anderson's works, artificial intelligences generate virtual realities which, when experienced, are indistinguishable from actual realities. An AI in "The Asteroid Queen" by Jerry Pournelle and SM Stirling simulates an exploding monobloc and senses it across multiple spectra. Objective nanoseconds but subjective eons later, the simulated matter dissipates as monatomic hydrogen across just ten light years. The AI reruns the program with altered constants.

Is this possible? A mathematical limit is endlessly approached but never reached. Light speed is this kind of limit for any particle with mass. If, between the objective times, t1 and t2, an AI runs a program for which t2 is a mathematical limit, then the AI lives forever in the finite time t1-t2 (I think).

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Pournelle/Stirling's AI who simulated an expanding nonobloc seemed to have used a form of Zeno's Paradox. That is, since a number is infinitely sub-divisible, you will never be able to reach the ends of those subdivisions.