Google as an Emergent AI

Here’s a cool update on the old Programmer Mel story, a tech-nerdy short story by George Dyson on Google as an emergent AI. It’s sort of a fantasy-fulfillment tale for the boomers who seem to make up the bulk of the Edge crowd. This time Mel is named Ed, probably in honour of Ed Nather who wrote the Mel story.

“By the time Ed turned 65, fifteen billion transistors per second were being produced. Now 68, he had been lured out of retirement when the bidding wars for young engineers (and between them for houses) prompted Google to begin looking for old-timers who already had seven-figure mid-peninsula roofs over their heads and did not require stock options to show up for work. Bits are bits, gates are gates, and logic is logic. A systems engineer from the 1960s was right at home in the bowels of a server farm in Mountain View.”

Via the Edge mailing list.