Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I forged a concept which is relatively simple and possibly unique in theology, and that is, the irrational is the primordial stratum of the universe."
- Philip K. Dick

Dataset  
  A portable computer with multiple screens and capabilities.  

Datasets were like advanced laptop computers; they also had automated language learning programs for children.

The other three continued to play with the dataset's latches. Finally they pulled the big, floppy ears simultaneously: the dataset popped open, and the top window went into Johanna's startup routine -- an anim of herself saying "Shame on you, Jefri. Stay out of my things!" The four creatures went rigid, their eyes suddenly wide. ...

The sounds and vids kept the monsters amused for several minutes. Eventually their random fiddlings convinced the dataset that somebody really young had opened up the box, and it shifted into kindermode. ...

"My name is--" Johanna heard a short burst of gobble with an overtone that seemed to buzz right through her head. "What is your name?" Johanna knew it was all part of the language script. There was no way the creature could understand the individual words it was saying. That "my name, your name" pair was repeated over and over again between the children in the language program. A vegetable would get the point eventually. ...

From A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge.
Published by Tor Books in 1992
Additional resources -

Here's another passage describing the teaching mode for children:

So the Tines... had been playing with the Pink Oliphaunt, and hadn't been stopped by the booby traps. That was better than Jefri ever managed. It was clear they had fallen into the kinder mode language programs... When the dataset noted sufficiently assinine responses it would adapt its behavior, first for young children, and - if that didn't work - for youngsters who didn't even speak Samnorsk. With just a little cooperation from Johanna, they could learn her language.

Thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for contributing this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Fire Upon The Deep
  More Ideas and Technology by Vernor Vinge
  Tech news articles related to A Fire Upon The Deep
  Tech news articles related to works by Vernor Vinge

Articles related to Computer
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.