What if it were to impose its own reality on us and make it the privileged one? In the visually tantalizing movie, "The Matrix", a breed of AI computers takes over the world. It harvests human embryos in laboratories called "fields". It then feeds them through grim looking tubes and keeps them immersed in gelatinous liquid in cocoons.

The coordinates were taped into the computers of the waiting Patrol ship, as the preparations for launching were made. It could not be coincidence. Somewhere on the surface of that tiny planetoid racing in toward the Sun they knew they would find Roger Hunter's secret. Below them, as they watched, the jagged surface of the asteroid drew closer.

"Not yet, maybe," Gusterson said darkly. "Not this model. Fay, I'm serious about bugs thinking. Or if they don't exactly think, they feel. They've got an interior drama. An inner glow. They're conscious. For that matter, Fay, I think all your really complex electronic computers are conscious too." "Quit kidding, Gussy." "Who's kidding?" "You are. Computers simply aren't alive." "What's alive?

Then the computers clicked and hummed and performed incomprehensible integrations, and out of their slot-mouths poured billowing ribbons of printed tape. Men read those tapes and talked crisply into microphones, and their words went swiftly aloft again. Down by the open eastern door of the Shed at the desert's edge, Sally Holt and Joe's father waited together, watching the sky.

Fuming, Tawney checked off the sections, watched the net draw tighter throughout the ship. They were somewhere, they had to be.... But nobody seemed to find them. He was buzzing for his first mate when the power went off. The lights went out, the speaker went dead in his hand. The computers sighed contentedly and stopped computing.

The mental process by which certain gifted arithmetical computers reach almost in an instant the results of the most complicated calculations is a psychological problem of great interest, which has never been investigated. No more promising subject for the investigation could ever have been found than Safford, and I greatly regret having lost all opportunities to solve the problem.

It was self-leveling in an atmosphere, and automatic flare computers were supposed to make it possible for an amateur to judge the rate of descent near the surface. It looked reassuring and was probably written with that in mind. Finally he reached for the control, hoping he'd figured his landing orbit reasonably well by simple logic.

Trigger pressed her lips together to make them stay steady. "I have," she said. "That's what I was trying to tell you." Quillan stared at her for an instant. "You'll tell me about it in a couple of minutes. I've got some quick work to do first." He checked himself. A wide grin spread suddenly over his face. "Know something, doll?" "What?" "The damn computers!" Major Quillan said happily.

The Mekinese shots had automatically become interceptors when Kandarian missiles attacked their parent ships. But they couldn't anticipate a curved course and their built-in computers weren't designed to handle a rate of change of acceleration. The three Mekinese ships ceased to exist. "Let's head yonder," said Bors. He pointed again, on the screen.

But if the Captain collapsed the whole responsibility for the snap-out would fall directly on Shannon. An infinitesimal error would condemn them to almost hopeless wandering perhaps for ever. Dane and Ali relieved Rip of all duty but that which kept him chained in Wilcox's chair before the computers. He went over and over the data of the course the Astrogator had set.