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Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears Paperback – November 19, 2011
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"Highly entertaining, gripping, thought inspiring. Don't start without the time to finish."
"An alarming and jaw-dropping tale about how something as innocuous as email can subvert an entire organization."
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Top Customer Reviews
I downloaded this as an ebook based on some very good target marketing on Facebook. I have "friended" the SingularityHub page on FB. I was looking forward to reading this as I really like this type of book.
However, I was pretty disappointed in the book. This is not to say that this isn't a good first novel, but it's not a great one and I really don't think it deserves all the 5 star reviews.
Here is what I liked about it:
- the subject matter, always very interesting to see what people come up with for AIs and the Singularity.
- the price for an unknown writer's ebook
- it wasn't difficult to read, but the author's style needs to be honed
Here is what I didn't like about it:
- I often felt like I was being lectured to
- A lot of "telling" not "showing" in terms of situation
- It was just too difficult to suspend disbelief. Middle East peace based on emails? There was just too much dependency on the concept that no one actually talks to anyone else anymore. Especially, in politics.
- Characters lacked depth for example there was absolutely no sense that the head of Avogadro Corp was very upset at all about any of it. I think I get the personality that he was trying to create but I just don't think it worked.
Similar books that I liked:
Daemon by Daniel Suarez (very similar topic in some ways) ...Read more ›
David Ryan, a software engineer at Avogadro Corp, is working on a recommendation engine for their flagship product, AvoMail. The recommendation engine, Email Language Optimization Program (ELOPe), is designed to provide suggestions for better wording for your outgoing emails so that the recipient is more receptive. When the project is in jeopardy of being cancelled, David inserts a hidden self-preservation directive into ELOPe and allows it to autonomously rewrite outgoing emails related to the project. Once ELOPe begins redirecting corporate funds and arming itself in offshore floating data centers, David and coworker Mike set about trying to take down ELOPe with the help of I-trust-paper-not-computers internal auditor Gene.
One aspect of Hertling's novel that I found intriguing was that by never revealing the internal motivation of ELOPe, you too are brought on this journey of how to destroy the "ghost in the machine." Also, as a resident of Portland, I enjoyed that the book was set here and incorporates its coffee culture.
* Avogadro Corp.: The Singularity is Closer than it Appears
* A.I. Apocalypse
* The Last Firewall
The approach goes way beyond traditional sci-fi robotics to the essential technology programming that changes into much more advanced forms than anticipated. And that's where the fun comes in.
A central concept to this series is "singularity" which takes on different meanings as the broad story develops. The convergence of people and technology reaches a surprising state by the conclusion.
Each book of Hertling's trilogy is reviewed individually with a common introduction (on its Amazon site location) but with references to the other books since the storylines and the four main human characters - Mike Williams, Rebecca Smith, Leon Tsarev and Catherine Matthews - play central and, to some extent, on-going roles in specific books.
One other note: throughout each of the books there are technological terms and discussions, which add the patina of plausibility to the immediate story and characters. Do not feel overwhelmed or try to grasp the meanings unless so inclined. Their immediate value is to provide a "what and how is it happening" at the moment - an updated twist on Alfred Hitchcock's MacGuffin.
During the mid 20th century the long-held idea of mind and body as separate entities coming into coincidental existence at birth was rejected in favor of a more evolutionary explanation for the development of the brain. The earlier view was characterized as "the ghost in the machine.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast moving, engaging characters, riveting near-future technology projection that is spot-on and completely engrossing. One of the best sci-fi reads I've found in a very long time.Published 4 hours ago by Kay H. in L.A.
I loved it. Great read, This could happen in the future and nice to see different types of people deal with it.Published 2 days ago by Christopher Curtis
As an AI developer, I am leery of ghost in the machine style Singularity books. My favorites, so far, are wild leaps of imagination, such as Charles Stross's Accelerando, which set... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Warren Stringer
Great story telling from a man with an iron grasp of the technology and its possibilities. Brilliant SF.Published 1 month ago by David J Berry
In books about AI being written in the mid-201x's, there is an increasing attention to the question "If a super-intelligent AI is created, will it be nice to us humans? Read morePublished 1 month ago by James Jr A. Batson
Tried to buy this book but can not buy kindle edition through Amazon. Kindle app only gives me an option of sample. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer