Computer abacus heart

Wintermute is an AI, a superintelligent computer perhaps in orbit, perhaps hidden in the Sprawl, that vast population splotch on the East Coast. Wintermute has Case the hacker in its sights. Today, it will allow Case to make his puny moves. Tomorrow — well, technology owns the future, doesn’t it? Only cyborgs stand a chance. Wintermute suffers from a lack of perspective, seeing things only in black and white. He/it/he cannot play chess in any way other than by counting the numbered potentiality of various squares. The AI is just dumb in some critical ways. Here’s one example that William Gibson, the author, doesn’t touch on: Friends and alliances are lost on the autistic machine. They don’t compute. Remember that: a friend to a computer is merely an uncounted square . . .

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