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What an amazing story. The characters are riveting while the storyline keeps you engrossed, with the inability to stop reading until the very last word! As with all great stories you always want more .... No exception here!!! 💥💫💥
I bought this book and read it until the very end. The writing, also the characters and the dialogue are very sketchy. As an example, in almost every other page the words "scoff" and "Jesus" would be used to describe a character's reaction. The main character is a world-famous technologist who is recognized by taxi drivers he rides with, yet he drools about how much faster the Boeing 777 aircraft (he presumably rides for the first time) is at reaching cruising altitude compared to his "usual" 737. His attempted use of supposed power of mind over quantum phenomena as a test to see if a computer is conscious is just outrageously silly. His AI character is just as inane as the human protagonist, so powerful and all-knowing and yet needy and doing awkward and unnecessary manipulations. The one insightful idea in the book is that intelligence is too complex to be coded, it will have to grow somehow in the real world.
This book started out quite well, but half way through it fell apart. The hero, Gilles, is co-opted to go to New York to determine if a Super-AI is conscious or not. My first question is, why? With the technology apparently available, could the requested interview not have been conducted where he worked? OK, author's licence. The supposed 'test' fails, and indeed is really silly. Since I have a background in quantum physics, this 'test' stretched my suspension of disbelief. He and his wife return, having failed, and then on a taxi ride home Bam! No explanation, no description, nothing, so what happened? His wife dies, and then we engage in the latter half of the book in one long, highly improbable chase sequence with someone or something intent on killing him and framing him for a murder he did not commit. When he finally reaches New York and gets to talk to the Super-AI, Cronus, again, there is no dénouement, no answers, except apparently that this Super-AI is behind it all. Really? Oh come on, if this Super-AI requires Gilles help, then why try to kill him? I was left totally confused. The science is sometimes plausible, but if this is supposed to be an illustration of a dystopian future with AI, then we really are screwed. Overall? Don't bother, could do better.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I kept waiting for something to *happen* while wading through scientific explanations,rants about society, government, and economics, screeds on philosophy and theology, and so on. Had I been prepared for essays on these topics,I would have enjoyed them, but as it was,I was looking for hard science fiction on AI and identity. Don't let any of this stop you from reading this book. There are some very basic themes discussed here. But if you want a lot of dialogue and action,you will be disappointed.
4.0 out of 5 starsAI dystopian future. Humor. Office dismay.
Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2019
A scientist is asked to perform the ultimate Turing Test on a Quantum Computer - Is it conscious? Defining consciousness is as much the task as performing the test. A turn of fate and an adventure follows. American author uses some uniquely British phrases. Good conversations between machines and humans show the limits on both.
Another fantastic story by Joshua Gayou. The man just has a way to suck the reader or listener in for one hell of a wild ride regardless of the genre. I say well done and hope this isn’t a standalone, there is definitely something here to carry on.