Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, and AI as predicted in SF

EMU cryptocurrency Geoff Davis
EMU cryptocurrency Geoff Davis
Many years ago I had a story trilogy ‘Death in the Bubble World’ published in the UK which used a currency called EMUs (Easy Money Units). This was used in a universal basic income (UBI) system and drove all sorts of plot actions in my weird futuristic ‘grey’ economy (much like normal money today). See the image (by Paul Greenleaf) from the original online version of the story.

I’m developing EMUs (Easy Money Units) in my new novel which is due out this year (2018).

Since ‘Life in the Bubble World’ was obscurely published in three parts in a literary book called ‘Em’ no-on has heard of it. But I might re-release it for historical reasons.

Death in the Bubble World Em-1 Geoff Davis
Death in the Bubble World Em-1 Geoff Davis
Below is a link to an article on the predictive (or not) value of SF relating to crypto.

An early prediction of the internet and web is ‘The Machine Stops’ by E. M. Forster, published (incredibly) in 1909. Read this if you haven’t, it is around on the web.
Mobile phones were hardly predicted by SF at all (although see Pohl). In Star Trek they have just some rubbish phone.
The original internet spec of universal networking has come to fruition, but that wasn’t fiction.

AI SF Cryptocurrency
AI SF Cryptocurrency

See these links:
SF and Crypto prior to Satoshi. The books they mention are:

  • Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (2002)
  • Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow (2003)
  • Future Imperfect: Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain World by David D. Friedman (2008)

To which I add:

  • Life in the Bubble World by Geoff Davis (1998-2000)

https://cointelegraph.com/news/sci-fi-books-that-had-told-us-about-crypto-before-satoshi-did (new page)

SF and prediction:
http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/prediction (new page)

See Paul Greenleaf artist site (new page)

AI review 2017

This is an interesting summary article at Bloomberg about the limitations of current AI. Generally, it is very good at narrowly defined tasks. The other general point to make here is that chatbot and other simulation of conversation are all heavily coded by humans – so even if they pass the Turing Test, it doesn’t really prove anything, other than the sophistication of the conversational modelling.

Read the article Artificial Intelligence Still Isn’t a Game Changer (new page)

In the new Botz robots fiction, the robots have a simulated conversation mode that is like that developed in chatbots. To keep it interesting and surprising for the human, a degree of randomness is added to the sentences, with topic change and digression, even jokes and homilies, even if this entails non-sequiturs. This is all programmed in, it is not generated from scratch by the computer, even if it is not predictable.