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A.I. Apocalypse Paperback – May 24, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 424 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Singularity Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Highly entertaining, gripping, and thought inspiring. Don't start without the time to finish--it won't let you go."
--Gifford Pinchot III, founder Bainbridge Graduate Institute, author of The Intelligent Organization

"A tremendous book that every single person needs to read. In the vein of Daniel Suarez's Daemon and Freedom(TM), William's book shows that science fiction is becoming science fact. Avogadro Corp describes issues, in solid technical detail, that we are dealing with today that will impact us by 2015, if not sooner. Not enough people have read these books. It's a problem for them, but not for the [emergent] machines."
--Brad Feld, managing director Foundry Group and cofounder TechStars


"An alarming and jaw-dropping tale about how something as innocuous as email can subvert an entire organization. I found myself reading with a sense of awe, and read it way too late into the night."
--Gene Kim, author of Visible Ops

About the Author

William Hertling is the author of Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears, A.I. Apocalypse, and The Last Firewall.

Brad Feld, cofounder of TechStars, called his first novel, Avogadro Corp, "a tremendous book everyone must read."

A fifteen year veteran of the technology industry, he holds ten patents on software and internet technology and is a frequent speaker at SXSW Interactive. When not writing, he works on web and social strategy.

He's been building online communities since 1986 when he ran seven phones lines into the back of his Apple //e to create an online chat system. An active blogger since 2002, his website, williamhertling.com, receives more than 50,000 visitors a year.

He resides in Portland, Oregon.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Liquididea Press (May 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984755748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984755745
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (424 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Macdonald on June 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once the titular apocalypse began, I could not put this book down. I was glad to see ELOPe again--the most interesting character in the book is not a human being. The details of how an AI society would be organized are great. Don't skip the first book, Avogadro Corp., which is also a terrific yarn. And now I can hardly wait for the third in the series.
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The wonderful thing about this series is the proximity of it -- the future doesn't depend on some magical technology becoming available, transforming the world. It's all about current trends, current technology, pushed just a little bit and combined in a way that enables powerful, believable results. This book is a perfect follow-on to Avogadro Corp, starting a new story but building on the the previous work.
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While not completely necessary, before you read this book you might want to consider reading Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears (Singularity Series) which is the first book in the series.

This second installment could be a standalone, as there is a large time gap in the series of events between the two which makes me wonder if there will be another installment in the series which bridges the gap as they are really two different books that just so happen to have two characters carrying over from the first installment; unlike most sequels, I thought this one was a heck of a lot better than book one of the series.

I think the author does a good job of giving you one possible scenario of how a computer program could become a true artificial intelligence, as well as how a computer virus program could spin out of control and form multiple A.I.'s as it certainly got me thinking about it well after I completed the book. Without having a spoiler there are a few instances where you want to call "bull" on the situations, yet it was very thought-provoking and one of those books I didn't want to put down until I plowed all the way through it. However, the Walter Mitty fantasy-type moments I had while reading the book - and continue to have - certainly outweigh my previous comment.

If you like a good science fiction thriller that seems just a couple of years into the future, I'd recommend this one.
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Book 1 was good. This, book 2, was even better. It seemed almost written by a different author.

I like a Sy Fy thriller, and even more so when it is based in hard tech.

Hertling packed the following fun into this tales:
Hacking
Algorithms
Biology
Evolution
Singularity
Crowd-sourcing
Virus: propagation, infection, & detection-avoidance
Trade guidelines: trustworthiness, peacfulness, & contribution
A.I.
Learning mechanisms: assimulation, experimentation, & exchange of information
Human thinking in dozens of operations per per minute.

Fun. Fun. Fun. Best i have read in 3 months. That is ~ 90 books.
so lets round up. The book is 1 in a 100.
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William Hertling has the gift. He can create a world that's plausible, but exciting in its differences from our current reality. A.I. Apocalypse tells the tale of what we should worry about as our computers become more powerful and have greater connection to our information... And what we may be able to do about it.

Just as I said after his first book in the Singularity Series, I can't wait for the next one.
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Perhaps I was at a disadvantage not having read the first book in the series--although I don't think so--but the book failed to hold my interest. Many of the events in it didn't seem at all plausible, even for sci-fi. On top of that, I found grammar and editing errors bothersome.

**SPOILER ALERT**
A teenage boy agrees to help his uncle by writing a virus. He develops a software package, basically overnight, that takes over all the world's computers and molds itself into an Artificial Intelligence that threatens to destroy humanity. Hmmm. He's able to do something (create a true AI) overnight that IBM, Google, even the NSA haven't been able to do over a period of decades?

Likewise, the teenager and his friends hijack a delivery drone (this is the future) to escape the city and the utter devastation his virus has wreaked? Like the big delivery companies make it easy to hijack their drones?
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I agree with those readers who think that the second volume was even better than the first. Again it opened my eyes as to the possibility of various sentient beings being able to share our planet with us much sooner than anybody would expect and how easily they could be spawned. Also it awakened me to the possibility of multiple sentient beings having extremely positive or destructive affects on our world. I notice the author kept the nuclear genie in the bottle in his story but those possibilities also exist. I also really appreciated the author's technical skills in telling his story which a times was a little difficult for a layman to follow. As a conservative Republican I did not like his gratuitous shot at a large number of his readers. These words added absolutely nothing to the story and should be taken out by the author. I don't really care what his political views are and if he would have continued in that vein I probably would have joined others in down rating the book and stopped reading it. In any case, I am now reading the third volume and so far it seems pretty good.
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