The sense/net database
in William Gibson
's Mona Lisa Overdrive
Implicit in the database's name is that it manages continuity in the
production of the stims in which Angie Macdonald acts. However, the
database only appeared in the novel by its interactions with Angie, in
which she used it to gain information on the personal lives of other
While Continuity is never acknowledged as an AI, we are lead to
believe that some element of intelligence without
self-awareness is present in the database,
contrasting with the AIs in Neuromancer which are the only other
systems which characters in the books interact with. It seems logical
that such intelligence would be necessary for the database's primary
function: where sense/net plot lines and scenes are left open, the
database should be able to interpolate and extrapolate reasonable
assumptions about plot lines, characters and props.
Continuity's ability to provide information about the lives of 'real'
characters in the books implies that either sense/net found Continuity
to be a useful tool in organizing its real world, or that somehow
Continuity's skills were transferrable to real-life data, possibly
accessed with the help of Legba or some other well-intended loa.
(And when the machines on my LAN had a Gibsonian naming scheme,
Continuity was, naturally enough, the name I gave to the filer)