Sidharth Vardhan

Robots with an existential crisis – a review of ‘Machines Like Me’

(A review of ‘Machines Like Me’A novel by Ian McEwanReview first written on May 20, 2019) “there are tears in the nature of things.” Virgil Turing Test Alan Turing, one of biggest names in field of artificial intelligence world, devised a test known as Turing test. To pass the test, the machine will have to fool a human (who won’t know whether he or she is talking to human or machine) into believing that he or she is talking to a human being. This mechanical art of talking or acting like humans is only a simulation, the machine might act like humans but it is still not motivated by the same forces. This genius was accused of “gross indecency” because of his homosexuality and committed suicide at around 42 years of age. In the book, a few events of his last days are changed and he survives to bring forth an alternative history in which first Androids hit the market in the 1970s which is when the events of the book happen. A good part of the book goes to developing the alternative history – of robotics, politics and social. The plot itself is rather simple. In ‘Do androids dream

Of Dying – a review of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’

(A review of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’ a novel by Leo Tolstoy First reviewed on February 27, 2015) “Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.” Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilych) How do you define an interesting life? Ivan has seen it all one can normally expect to see in a life – he has loved, he has married, has have children, has seen ups and downs in his professional life – yet the moment death shows its face, he comes to conclusion that his life was futile – everything is so ordinary including the very cause of his death. He comes to wonder at the meaninglessness of everything he has done: “Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?” suddenly came into his head. “But how not so, when I’ve done everything as it should be done?” Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilych) With each successive chapter, his health declines and death becomes more and more real, initially he is fully focused on saving his life. His family and friends, it seems to him, are not taking his disease with enough attention. “but that what was

Death of a Salesman : Review

(A review of ‘The Death of a Salesman’ (1949)a Pulitzer Prize Winning Playby Arthur Miller) “I simply asked him if he was making any money. Is that a criticism?” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman I don’t know if Miller intended it as such but it might as well be a criticism of capitalism. Just look at what Willy has to say to his boss upon being fired: “You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away — a man is not a piece of fruit.” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman r but this criticism is more existional: “After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman or “Work a lifetime to pay off a house — You finally own it and there’s nobody to live in it.” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman or “Nothing’s Planted, I don’t have a thing in the ground.” Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman Unless you are rich, money is a very strong determinant of your self-worth. Willy and Biff struggle with the realty of fact that they haven’t made much. The desire

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