Karen Burnham and Ted Chiang In Conversation

To follow on from my recent post on rogue AIs (and to celebrate the lack of missiles being launched by a newly awakened Skynet), I decided to post this podcast that I recorded with Ted Chiang recently. While we start off talking about Greg Egan’s work, we move into a broader discussion of AIs–how they may need to be evolved and grown, and how they are sometimes characters in sf, but often they’re simply convenient tools. Ted makes the point that this dichotomy is similar to the status of ‘slaves’ vs. ‘people’ in human society. We also talk about clone races, and the economics of developing clones and AIs to do things that humans can often do just as well and much cheaper. In the context of clone armies this leads to a comment about raising “100,000 angry babies” which is one hilarious and scary mental image that somehow got left out of George Lucas’ movies.


3 thoughts on “Karen Burnham and Ted Chiang In Conversation

  • April 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    To help this 21st century Luddite … how do I tell how long this podcast runs?

  • April 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm


    I hadn’t realized before that the file information wasn’t displaying properly! If you refresh the page now, you should see the duration and file size. In any case, this particular podcast is just about an hour, at 59 minutes and some change. Let me know if you’re not seeing the info. Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *