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Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears Paperback – November 19, 2011
In Twenty Years: A Novel
When five college roommates gather after twenty years, can the rifts between them be repaired? Learn More
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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
Near-future sci-fi is my genre of choice, so this book had me from the start. If you like books such as 'Daemon' by Daniel Suarez or 'Rainbows End' by Vernor Vinge, this novel... Read morePublished 4 days ago by David Poff
Avogadro Corp is the biggest company in the world. Think Google buys up Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, etc. They are a huge conglomerate that has the power to do almost anything. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Brian
Hard to believe that an email server software, driven by rules, can transform itself on an evil AI compared to a global HAL 9000 series that beats its designer during the Xmas... Read morePublished 1 month ago by NILO SERGIO MISMETTI
I read a lot of SF, and, being of an age that allowed me to read Azimov and Arthur C Clark, soon after publication, I'm old school SciFi add heart. This book surprised me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I'm not an avid reader, but loved the plot of this one so decided to give it a whirl. Really glad I did. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nathaniel R.
Same premise as Daniel Suarez' *Daemon*, but not quite as well written or exciting. It is interesting though that the days of killer robots and mad computers seems to be a dying... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Al Singh
I had an issue with the ability of the machines to arm themselves without anybody seeming to notice and the degree to which governments seem to sign-on was a bit ...well... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Steven Yates