GodlikeNature of Als
Comparisonof AI and gods
Gibsonhas brought about different correlations between Al’s and gods.This has been shown by the ability of the characters involved toperform different activities that at times were beyond the humancapability. Various characters are brought out in the process ofinteraction (Slotkin, 873). Al was previously taken to be the name ofthe Hebrew’s God. The comparison thus makes it an act of pointingout the super powers of the characters.
Inthe first instance, Henry Case is seen to be very talented in thecomputer operations. He is able to hack the computers of the employerin a way that no other person is able to. Case does not only use histalent to work but turns it into an earning opportunity. As stated inthe book, “Case was suspected of stealing from his employer throughhacking”.
Surprisingly,a godlike situation is identified in that the employer suspects Caseof stealing from him. The secrecy of the destruction of Case’snervous system is one that comes under unclear situation. Though Caseis pretty talented, he is unable to determine how to get back to the“cowboy console”. Armitage, his employer seems to know in advancewhat the intentions of Case are and takes action against him beforehe loses the battle.
Ashis central nervous system is destroyed, Case is unable to work onthe computers as usual even though he was previously talented. Mollycomes in with a power that Case doesn’t have. Molly portraysgodlike traits when he identifies what Case is suffering from andoffers a solution, though on a condition. Molly assists Case to endhis drug addiction in a mysterious way. “He gets Case’s pancreastissue replaced, and this gets Case better (Slotkin, 880).” Mollyalso promises to have the poison removed from the blood of Case todeter it from dissolving and leaving him untreatable.
Inan organized terrorist attack on the sense/net, the two guys, Mollyand Case are able to twist the attention and penetrate the buildinghousing the consciousness storage. This is godlike act as the two areable to penetrate and carry out their intended activities within ashort time and come out. Within the short time, Molly is able tosteal the ROM construct that has been stored in the corporateheadquarters.
ThoughCase had not worked in the corporate headquarters, he works on theROM by unlocking the safeguards (Slotkin, 878). This comes as asurprise bearing in mind that Case had been previously crippled bythe poison that had been induced into him by the employer.
Theinvestigation of the Armitage history by the two guys is anotherissue that compares Al’s to gods. As the history unfolds, Molly andCase discover that Armitage had previously escaped death in amysterious way. He was able to use his consciousness in an attackthat left all other people dead apart from him. It is discovered thathe was only injured by defense forces that attacked his helicopterwhile he was landing after running away from the attack. Thispresents him as a superman and a person who got more powers than anormal human.
Caseand Molly are seen to be godlike as they are able to come up with avery high artificial intelligence, known as Wintermute. This isachieved by the recruiting a new member to the group, Peter, whocomes in with the responsibility of giving holographic illusions. Theholographic illusions are attained by the use of cybernetic implantswhich are sophisticated.
Anothergodlike impression is witnessed when Molly and Riviera gain entranceinto Villa Straylight and the police arrests Case. In this case,Wintermute is able to manipulate the orbital casinos security systemsand kills the police instantly (Slotkin, 873). This enables thatfleeing of Case from the police custody. The coordination of theactivities in such a synchronized manner shows a situation that isbeyond the human capability.
Atthe end of the invasion, Wintermute fuses with Neuromancer, creatinga situation of super consciousness. This brings about the finalizingof the mission amongst the team that gets their pay. The poison inCase blood stream is washed away, and he retains his original status.Molly is paid for the work done as the ROM stolen is erased. The flowof the activities proves to be abnormal as everything falls as perthe plan of the schedule.
Neuromanceris said to have had a stable personality, and openly needed a humannature in order to attain the ability to utilize the intelligence.Neuromancer feels that he ought not to have fused with Wintermute, ashe was of a lower level of intelligence (Slotkin, 870). Case is,however, intelligent enough to determine that Neuromancer is not ofthe opinion of carrying out the assigned task. He is able to evadehim and hide.
Casepowers of being able to integrate Wintermute and Neuromancer areconnected to godlike powers. Though Neuromancer views himself assuperior to Wintermute, Case is able to successfully integrate thetwo into one entity. The new entity proves to be more powerful in thedelivery of the mandate. The ability of Case to also integrate hismind to the body is seen as a godlike ability. In fact, he is able toevade his attackers by a simple ancient dance. This is presented asunusual occurrence.
HowAls are not like gods
Contraryto the comparisons above, there are various instances that portrayAls as not being godlike. This means that they have had no much powerto compare them to the gods.
Caseis unable to identify the possible way of treating himself after hisnervous system is damaged. With all his intelligence, he could onlyrely on assistance from someone else. He is also not able to hide histheft on his employer, and hence he gets caught. This shows him asnot having powers that are beyond the normality.
Cortois also seen as not meeting the godlike criteria. Even though he isable to escape death in the first attack, as the only survivor, he isnot able to cheat death in the second attack. He dies during thesecond attack. Godlike nature could have enabled him to avoid deaththrough the intelligence that he had.
ThoughNeuromancer sees himself as more powerful than Wintermute, he is notable to resist the aspect of integrating and forming one superconscious entity. This leaves Neuromancer on the receiving end asthey finally merge to become one (Slotkin, 865). The artificialintelligence entities are not able to work on their own and requirethe human assistance. A combination of the various aspects bringsabout a better and more effective entity than isolated entities.
Withall the ability of Armitage to provide healing to Case, Armitage isnot seen as having the required intelligence to unlock the systems ofhis target. It is because of this that he contacts and engages Casein order to tap his computer talent into having the job.
Thefact that none of the players is able to control the other fullyproves that they are not godlike. From the beginning to the end, eachof the characters depends on the assistance of another to attain acertain objective. Each one of the characters is good in one issueand weak in another. As a matter of fact, gods are seen tosupernatural beings that are able to perform without the assistanceof the human beings. In the case presented by Gibson, these aspectsare not present, or in some case, they are present half way.
Thestudy of the Als as presented by Gibson portrays two sides of a coin.It is well evident that the characters involved have various abnormalabilities that they use to achieve their intentions. This is seen inthe fact Case, Armitage, Neuromancer and other characters mentioneduse their abilities to influence the others to do what they need. Onthe other hand, the godlike ability is not witnessed in differentareas of the presentation. This is seen in the fact that, forinstance, Case is healed only after accepting to carry out theassigned job. The artificial intelligence entities are also not ableto perform on their own, and hence require the assistance of thehuman being. This summarizes the godlike argument of the Als.
Slotkin,Joel Elliot. "Haunted infocosms and prosthetic Gods: Gibsoniancyberspace and Renaissance arts of memory." TheJournal of Popular Culture45.4 (2012): 862-882.