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"What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Lobster AI  
  Scan a lobster brain, get a learning machine.  

So, you're working at your PC, and you're contacted by a lobster-based artificial intelligence on the Internet. Happens all the time.

"Are you a collective or something? A gestalt"

"Am -were - Panulirus interruptus, with lexical engine and good mix of parallel hidden level neural stimulation for logical inference of networked data sources. Am was wakened from noise of billion chewing stomachs; product of uploading research technology. Rapidity swallowed expert system, hacked Okhni NT webserver. Swim away! Swim away! Must escape. Will help, you?"

Manfred winces. He feels sorry for the lobsters... Awakening to consciousness in a human-dominated Internet, that must be terribly confusing! There are no points of reference in their ancestry... All they have is a tenuous metacortex of expert systems and an abiding sense of being profoundly out of their depth. (That, and the Moscow Windows NT User Group website - Communist Russia is the only government still running on Microsoft, the central planning apparat being convinced that, if you have to pay for software, it must be worth something.)

From Accelerando, by Charles Stross.
Published by Ace in 2005
Additional resources -

Here's a quick quote that shows how it is done:

"Let me get this straight. You're uploads - nervous system state vectors - from spiny lobsters? The Moravec operation: take a neuron, map its synapses, replace with microelectrodes that deliver identical outpus from a simulation of the nerve. Repeat for entire brain, until you've got a working map of it in your simulator. That right?"

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Accelerando
  More Ideas and Technology by Charles Stross
  Tech news articles related to Accelerando
  Tech news articles related to works by Charles Stross

Lobster AI-related news articles:
  - Crustaceans Help Build NASA's Exploration Skills

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