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Book Quotes: Dissecting an AGI on the Net

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Source: Idoru, Page: 251

The idoru's data began somewhere after that, and it began as something smoothly formed, deliberate, but lacking complexity. But, at the points it had swerved closest to Rez's data, he saw that it had begin to acquire a sort of complexity. Or randomness, he thought. The human thing. That's how she learns.

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With a human mind, it is all but impossible, determining where the personality and the memories and the little bits that make up the sense of self end, and the rest of the mind begins. One day we will surely manage it, at least well enough to make out the networks and processes that make up a person, as distinct from the networks and processes that are operating the body.

But, that is with only a limited network to play with. Vast though it is, the human brain - or any mamma's brain - is only occupied by one being. At least it is if you conveniently ignore multiple personality disorders, but even then, one mess of shattered personalities is all there is, and the connections look roughly the same from one brain to the next.

Now, picture the situation with Rei. One mind, one personality, still. But the memories are all over the place, as she exists on the net. Sifting through, finding her mind, means sifting through all the other random junk that is on there with her, in no particular order, on a network that does not stay the same from section to section. There is no guiding pattern to speak of. Yet, somewhere in there, is the dividing line between Rei's personal being, and, everything else.

It would be absolutely impossible to make that distinction concretely, impossible even compared to the task of doing so with a mind housed inside a single brain. This is how it will most likely be with true artificial general intelligences, if they exist on the wider internet. Impossible to say for sure where they begin and where they end. You can determine where they are not, of course, but where they are, is not likely to be possible to define, save in general area.

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About the Book 'Idoru'
By William Gibson
Produced By Penguin Group

Idoru is a strange novel in many ways. It is a William Gibson cyberpunk novel, set in the dark days of the near future, written by one of the masters of the genre. The book itself is dedicated to a concept that is not quite with us yet, but may well be here in the near future ? cyberpunk apes reality.

Teenager Chia McKenzie loves Rez, one half of a duo band called Lo/Rez. Unfazed that Rez is the same generation as her mother, she lives in the digital world of her sandbenders. Age, gender, history, none of this really matters in the cyber world. Only ability matters.
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