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The Two Faces Of Tomorrow Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593075634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593075637
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I honestly think this should be made into a movie.
William M. Rawls
It's funny, because Hogan doesn't write especially good action scenes, but it helped to give the book the forward momentum that it was missing in the first half.
James Seger
The human characters are barely fleshed out and I felt no real attachment to them.
Kid Kyoto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Chris McKinstry on January 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is book ignited my interest in AI. I recently bought a used copy, signed by Hogan. Looking at it again, Hogan is a much weaker writer than I had remembered, but his vision was dead on. Clarke's HAL is completely unrealistic in comparision to Hogan's Hector and Sparticus.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. D. Welsh on February 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Jim Hogan is one of the most underrated SF writers that I know of, although I suspect that many people have read and enjoyed his books. His vision of tomorrow's technology and where it might take us is second to none, making some famous authors like Arthur Clarke and Isaac Asimov seem foolishly optimistic in some of their predictions. One reason for this is that Hogan is a qualified engineer with very wide knowledge of the computer industry, which he extrapolates very convincingly. (I think more SF writers fail in their expectations of future computing than in almost any other department - Heinlein, for instance, has recognizably 1950-1970 computers in many of his stories set centuries in the future). Some of Hogan's other books contain similar ideas - notably "Code of the Lifemaker" - and several of his later novels deal with virtual reality.

The core idea of "Two Faces of Tomorrow" is one of the fundamental dilemmas facing humanity today and in the coming years. Namely, if a computer system is not more intelligent than we are, it cannot (in principle) achieve anything we can't. But, if it is more intelligent than we are, how can we trust its recommendations? Let alone its actions if we equip it to control machinery directly? In this book, a team of scientists, with military backup, are charged with running a full-scale experiment to find out whether an executive AI could resist all efforts to shut it down, and if so how. The outcome is very surprising, in both positive and negative ways.

As other reviewers have noted, Hogan does not put much effort into characterization, preferring to linger over engineering details. That's a stylistic choice, however, and a writer cannot do everything in the scope of a normal-length novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Smith on September 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
While the story remains the same, there have been some changes due to the graphic novel adaptation process.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "webgeekinc" on October 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a computer programmer, I found the premise and the theory fascinating. Once again, another Hogan book that I couldn't put down until I was finished.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Seger on January 17, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first heard of The Two Faces of Tomorrow via Yukinobu Hoshino's (the author/artist of the excellent 2001 Nights) graphic novel adaptation. I picked that up, but thought I should read the original novel first. Especially since I have a number of James Hogan's books in my TBR pile.

James Hogan manages to take the hoary old sci-fi cliche of the evil mastermind computer and put, well, not a new spin but at least some believable science behind it. The book is set some time in the mid-2040's. The internet and some very smart server computers has managed to bring about world peace and end hunger. However a computer makes connections the programmers never predicted causing a near-fatal incident by being logical, but not reasonable while solving a demolition assignment. Computer scientist/psychologist Raymond Dyer wants to upgrade the system by programming in 'common sense'. He wants to give TITAN (the otherwise stable system responsible for so much of humanities peace and prosperity) a true artificial intelligence. A conscience.

Since everybody in this world has seen the Terminator films, they want to thoroughly test the system far from Earth before upgrading. In order to see the worst that might happen, they install a version of the A.I. that has been modified with an aggressive survival instinct into a newly completed space station. They then provoke the A.I. (dubbed
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The technology projection and some of the AI concepts explored are very well done, especially given when it was written. The book itself suffers from some flat & predictable elements (a la a standard SF-action movie), a slow windup, and what seems an implausible set up for the second half (i.e., not a very good experiment). Finally, the characters never seemed to reach full 3D development.
Overall, an entertaining read, some very interesting ideas, and a story wrapper that I wish could've been set up better. If you're reading for just the ideas and are not familiar with the AI concepts in the book, this is well worth it. If you're familiar with the concepts, then this can be an enjoyable read anyway.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hogan spent time discussing the premise of this book with such AI geniuses as Marvin Minsky, and it shows. A very plausible scenario and exciting execution. Also available as a well-adapted comic book from Dark Horse Comics.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Read this story in '82 and was very impressed. Should stand well today and deals with a most important question which we'll have to face eventually. Has exciting ending and would make excellent film.
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