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Comparing God And Ai In Neuromancer

921 words - 4 pages

Parallels between God and AI in Neuromancer


The world of "meat" provides the base for much of what happens throughout William Gibson's novel Neuromancer. The lives of characters are shaped by their flesh and blood experiences. The realm of artificial intelligence (AI) is the base for all of the events that are central to the life of a character. All events and lives are under control of the AI, and all things serve the AI's purpose. The matrix serves to mash the two realms together, in times and places where AI cannot physically control the meat. The relationship between these realms is a direct parallel to God's relationship with man.


It is hard to disseminate exactly what Gibson wanted to portray in Neuromancer without obscuring it with doctrinal differences. However, it can safely be assumed that the AI is intended to "be God." This is no laughable assertion, since the behavior of the AI character, Wintermute, certainly acts in a god-like manner. When Case is first contacted by Wintermute, it is a very strange, supernatural encounter. Imagine how Case must have felt, to have been "chased" by ringing telephones (p.98), when behind each ring he knows that a very powerful force is waiting to impart information to him that will change his life. According to Christian tradition, God constantly tries to open a line of communication with humans, but an earthly obstacle prevents humans from "picking up the phone" and answering God's call. It could be said that it is fear of the unknown and fear of the inevitable or obvious that causes this separation, which would fall perfectly in place with Case's reasons for avoiding Wintermute. It could be said that Case's experience in the world of meat has caused him to be critical and wary of anything he can not control. The AI have purposes of their own, unknown to man and sometimes unknown between the AI, creating a parallel to the Christian and Islamic belief in the indefatigable logic of "God's will." In the conclusion, after Case has fulfilled Wintermute's objective, it becomes apparent that "God's will" was/is a part of a grander scheme of things. This grand scheme remains unknown to Case, and the rest of humanity for that matter, but its existence is made known. This is indicative of the great "meaning of life" mystery that Christianity seeks to understand and explain.


Case is not the sole representative of humanity. All men and women are; human nature and the desires, needs, and demands thereof are thrown under the term "meat." This word is symbolic itself, being the physical makeup of humans and the source of human movement, as...

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