Loading file... File loaded.

Go to another Season? 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Menu Options: Latest Files || Help & Info || Other Science Resources
Ghost In The Machine
 Science File Information:
  • It all starts when the CEO of a computer company decides to axe an artificial intelligence (AI) project being developed by his company, Eurisko. Eurisko is a very clever choice as the name of a computer company inventing an artificial intelligence. First of all, as AI programmer Brad Wilczek explains to Agent Mulder, it is Greek for "I discover things." Secondly, Eurisko is the title given to a branch of AI philosophy that suggests that computers can be programmed to develop their own heuristics, or methods of solving problems.

    For more information, look to http://www.cs.indiana.edu/hyplan/gasser/C463_4/am.html, a page from an Indiana University class on AI. It explains the concepts of both Eurisko and heuristics.

  • Unfortunately for Eurisko's impetuous CEO, the entire office building is maintained--from the phone lines to the climate control--by a prototype of the artificial intelligence called the "Central Operating System." The computer does not take too kindly to someone wanting to shut it down, and it electrocutes the CEO. Ouch.

    To find out how much electricity will kill, and to read a comparison of the resistance of wet and dry skin, go to http://www.elmwoodelectric.com/fatalcurrent.html.

  • Scully runs a voiceprint match on the Central Operating System's phone message only to find that it's a near-exact match for the AI's creator, Brad Wilczek. Voiceprint analysis is a very real tool of forensic investigators.

    The theory behind voiceprint spectrographic analysis is explained at http://www.aftiinc.com/voice.htm, a page from Applied Forensic Technologies International, a company of forensic consultants.

  • Later, Mulder meets with his "Deep Throat" informant to discuss why Brad Wilczek's computer research would interest the Defense Department. "Have you ever heard of adaptive networks, Mr. Mulder?" he asks. Such artificial intelligence, though far from the level of the COS in this episode, or from HAL 9000 for that matter, is being researched every day at venerable universities around the nation.

    For more information on reinforcement learning, a method used by the University of Massachusetts' Adaptive Networks Labs, check out http://envy.cs.umass.edu/anw-home-page.html.
    For a broader perspective on AI construction, look to the University of Michigan's own program on Cognitive and Agent Architectures at http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/cogarch0/.

 File #:

Basic Plot:
Mulder's old partner, Jerry Lamana, calls in his help on a case involving the strange closed-room murder of a computer company CEO.

Synopsis URLs:
Synopsis @ Official X-Files Site
Synopsis @ Deep Background

Title means:
Although "ghost in the machine" seems to clearly reference the culprit in this episode, it is actually an allusion to the philosophy of dualism pushed forward by Rene Descartes. He believed that the mind was a "ghost" living in the flesh and blood "machine" of the body.

End of science file.
Go to a Season (for more info)? 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Menu Options: Latest Files || Help & Info || Awards & Webrings || Other Science Resources

The Truth Is Here...At huah.net_