Entry updated 13 May 2021. Tagged: Theme.
An item of sf Terminology introduced by William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer (1984). He takes quite an old sf idea, also much discussed by scientists, in imagining a Near-Future era in which the human brain and nervous system (biological) can interface directly with the global Internet (electrical) by jacking neurally implanted electrodes directly into a networked Computer (or "cyberdeck"). The network then entered by the human mind is perceived by it, Gibson tells us, as if it were an actual territory, almost a landscape, the "consensual hallucination that was the matrix". This is cyberspace. Gibson goes on to imagine that cyberspace might contain not only human minds but also human or godlike simulacra, artefacts of the system created, perhaps accidentally, by AIs. The term "cyberspace" has since been used by other writers. It refers in fact to an imaginary but not wholly impossible special case of Virtual Reality, which is in our contemporary world a more commonly used term for machine-generated scenarios perceived, in varying degrees, as "real" by those who watch or "enter" them. [PN]
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