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I'm trying to recall a short story from the 80's that, as I think back, seems prescient of several computing technologies we're currently using.

There was an AI capable of self-improvement and a human friend, possibly the engineer. The talking computer personality may have been based on FPGA. He was definitely built using something called a "Josephson Junction" because one of the emotional parts had him pleading

"Hurry, my JJ's are melting"

as parts of his mind were beginning to permanently fail.

  • What the heck is this Quag Keep/Green Magic thing and what does it have to do with the question? – Valorum Dec 14 '16 at 21:37
  • They're other stories I've tracked down later. – wyldstallyns Dec 14 '16 at 21:50
  • Try to include as little noise as possible in these sorts of questions. You don't want someone to waste a minute of their research time looking up stuff that doesn't actually relate to your story. – Valorum Dec 14 '16 at 22:06
  • 'Josephson junction' is a quantum mechanical device, which is made of two superconducting electrodes separated by a barrier. Was going to be the next big thing in computers. – ImaginaryEvents Dec 14 '16 at 22:38
  • Ah yes, I've edited away the original "Jameson Junction". – wyldstallyns Dec 15 '16 at 0:36
6

“M.A.C. Gate: The Manners of Logic” by Ralph Mylius. It was featured in Softalk magazine, February 1983, p. 238.

  • Self-improving AI with human (engineer?) friend

The computer is pretty independent from human input. He and his human partner are some sort of detectives?

I had just started working on the FedLect case for Sam when it happened. Sam's my partner. Actually he built me to help him with his work, but I like to think that we operate as a team. Sam handles the physical side of the business while I do most of the legwork. It's an arrangement that has worked out well over the years.

  • Computer based on field-programmable gate array

There's something about gates, not sure if it's related at all to FPGAs.

My name is M.A.C. Gate. Sam gained international recognition as a computer genius after he built me: the world's largest Multiple Access Cryogenic Gate.

  • “Hurry, my JJ's are melting!”

Close, but not quite.

”Shirley!" I screamed in ultrafast machine code. "Shunt the auxiliary cooling capacity to my J-Js! Hurry!"

Probably mixed up with a similar quote at the beginning:

I knew I had been drugged the minute I came to. Shirley was screaming, "Your J-Js are hot! Your J-Js are hot!"

As a bonus, I've found a few more stories featuring the same characters:

I don't know if there are more.

  • 1
    This is absolutely it. I'd given up hope. Thank you so much, and bonus thanks for the bonus links. – wyldstallyns Nov 6 '19 at 1:32

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