Pro- or Anti-Wittgensteinian SF: “Rogue Protocol” by Martha Wells

Rogue Protocol - Martha Wells

“I signaled Miki I would be withdrawing for one minute. I needed to have an emotion in private.”

In “Rogue Protocol” by Martha Wells

Is the SecUnit Pro- or Anti-Wittgenstein?

Wittgenstein is often cited by believers in the possibility of more or less "sentient" AI. He is cited because he seems to re-cast our understanding of what we mean when we talk about our own sentience, and by making ourselves seem more machine-like we can make machines seem more human-like. But I think this is a misapplication of Wittgenstein's thought. Wittgenstein objected to the "picture picture", i.e. to the way that we represent ourselves as having representations inside our heads, the way that we picture ourselves as viewers of an endless cinematic reel of internal pictures of the external world. According to Wittgenstein we don't need these internal representations, as our "view" of the world is located in the world, which is actively present to our sense when we interact with it. Nor do we need representations inside our heads of the "rules" which govern these interactions.



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