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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Intelligence 1.9: EMP Amnesia and Children

A good Intelligence 1.9 last night, in which an EMP - electromagnetic pulse - knocks cybercommand offline and robs Gabriel of his memory.   Given Gabriel's Delta Force abilities, and Jin Cong's capacity to point Gabriel's chip in the wrong direction, i.e., make him believe his colleagues including Riley are the bad guys, we have an enjoyably tense and dangerous situation.

Riley saves the day, with the realization that she can reach Gabriel by appealing to his heart - what he really feels when he looks at her - rather than his intellect, and this provides a good lesson about the most important things in life.  It also shows why we're still such a long way from developing the kind of emotionally sensitive android we see, for example, with Dorian in Almost Human.  Our most sophisticated AIs today can only mimic emotion - much like a parrot speaks words - and lack what Riley was able to call forth in Gabriel.

But speaking of emotions, I wasn't happy to see Riley's shocked and embarrassed reaction when Gabriel asks if he and she had been intimate, as he tries to understand the nature of their relationship that he's forgotten.  A better and more truthful answer would been a quiet no, with an additional divulgence that someday they might, though.

Meanwhile, we also get an important ethical treatment of the Athens List - the list of children with the gene that allows successful embedding of the Gabriel chip - which is the ultimate target of Jin's attack. Is using children, even for the worthy goal of maintaining world peace, a morally defensible strategy? Just about everyone, including Shenandoah who developed the list, thinks not, and it's left to Lillian to defend the need for such a list.   She does a surprisingly good job of that, and the fact that the question is ultimately not answered is much where it should be - sometimes there are no clear answers in questions of war and peace.

Intelligence continues as one of the most thoughtful, enjoyable new shows of the season.

See also Intelligence Debuts ... Intelligence 1.2: Lightning Changes ...Intelligence 1.3: Edward Snowden and 24 ... Intelligence 1.4: Social Media Weaponry ... Intelligence 1.5: The Watch ... Intelligence 1.6: Helix meets Rectify and Justified ... Intelligence 1.7: Nanites ... Intelligence 1.8: Heart of Darkness, Cyberstyle


Like science fiction about chips in the brain?  Check out The Pixel Eye

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