Monday, November 14, 2011

The Ethics of Creating Conscious Beings - Ted Chiang

"Dr. J. chats with Ted Chiang about his Hugo award winning novella “The Lifecycle of Software Objects,” the ethics of creating intelligent machine minds, and the state of science fiction. (Part 1 of 2)"

4 out of 5

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Introduction To Particle Theory - Ted Chiang

"Which is the greater tragedy: the fall of an empire, or the end of your marriage? Is it more important to make a major scientific discovery, or to be a good parent to your child? It's a false dichotomy to say that fiction should only concern itself with one or the other; all of these issues are worthy subjects for fiction. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell stories on a grand scale and an intimate scale simultaneously, and most fiction prioritizes one over the other. Science fiction has traditionally opted for the fall of empires and the scientific discoveries, but that preference is not intrinsic to the genre."

3.5 out of 5

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Lifecycle of Software Objects - Ted Chiang

Hugo Award nomination, best novella, 2011.

4 out of 5

Monday, January 3, 2011

Future Imperfect - Mark Baumgarten

"In Lifecycle, Chiang does away with this tropes of the genre. Taking inspiration from the theories posited by Turing, the author constructs a narrative built around a model of artificial intelligence more akin to child rearing than computer programming. Over the course of years, the novella’s human characters go from owning clumsy, charming virtual pets capable of learning new tricks, to developing real-world bodies for those pets, to starting schools for them. Ultimately the characters reach the point of contemplating independence for what have, by the story’s conclusion, become their children. It is a moving portrait of life, filled with frustration, failure, horror, comedy, misunderstanding and, most important, love.

This is not your grandfather’s science fiction. And that, Chiang’s supporters say, is exactly what science fiction needs right now."

4.5 out of 5