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Posts Tagged ‘Artificial Intelligence’

Arc of the Scythe bk3: The Toll by Neal Shusterman.

December 9, 2019 Comments off

The TollArc of the Scythe bk3: The Toll by Neal Shusterman. Pub. Walker Books, 2019.

The third and final book in this trilogy and the big question is “what will become of the world of Scythes, Tonists and Thunderhead after the sinking of the Scythe Headquarters Endura”?

In a nutshell it is knackered. Chaos reigns. Everything is changing.

Firstly Scythedom is divided and Robert Goddard is now self declared Highblade of the Scythes and is determined to unite Scythes and increase their power over both the Thunderhead and the Tonists. Gleaning or killing is increased to alarming proportions and the fairness and equity of the gleaning is now targeted racism. Highblade Goddard blames Rowan or Scythe Lucifer for the destruction of Endura although Rowan and Citra or Scythe Anastasia died together in the sinking of Endura. In this World in which mortality has been conquered does anybody really die permanently?

Secondly Thunderhead, that AI entity that can process 2 billion actions per second, has withdrawn from the World. Everybody is declared “unsavory” and no longer has direct contact with Thunderhead. Day to day operations are still handled by Thunderhead but personal access has ended. The question is does Thunderhead have a plan for humanity or is it going to be left to destroy itself?

Thirdly the Tonists that wacko group of religious followers of the Tone have a living leader, The Toll who is a character you know from the previous two books and he is the only person that Thunderhead will talk directly to. Some Tonists have turned radical or Sibilant and Anarchy reigns as the Tonists search for their identity in this new World.

Fourthly, Scythe Faraday and his assistant in the last book detected a blind spot for Thunderhead in the South Pacific and they go searching, crash land on an island to make some interesting discoveries.

The action is non stop as each of the player groups reacts to the actions of the other. Has Thunderhead given up on humanity? Will the Scythes under Goddard glean humans out of existence? Do the Tonists have the answers? What of Anastasia, Lucifer and Faraday? Is the South Pacific the answer to their problems?

Stunning writing from Shusterman with an ending that will have you gasping. The best series since Hunger Games and will appeal to a similar audience. An interesting angle is added to this series with the character of Jericho and the personalisation of Thunderhead in human form. Can a machine ever understand humans?

Wonderful stuff, I am still buzzing over it.

 

The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner.

October 10, 2014 Comments off

rule thoughtsThe Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner. Pub. Random House, 2014. 

Michael is a very confused person. he was a Tangent- a completely programmed entity within a virtual reality game. He had a family background and friends that he thought were his and his alone. Wrong. Somehow his intelligence was downloaded into the brain of a boy called Jackson Porter by  a character he knows as Kaine.

Michael finds himself in Jackson Porter’s flat and has to adjust to being a real person. Two men bust down the door of his flat and tell him they are taking him to Kaine. Michael mistrusts everything and escapes.

He decides to look up two friends who are human gamers who play the games he is an entity in. Sarah and Bryson. When he finds them after creating an alternative identity for himself, the threesome venture back into the virtual reality world to find out what is going on.

Who or what is Kaine and why is he converting virtual characters into real life humans. As the title says  “the takeover has begun”

One of the great what ifs in this world is whether computers with Artificial Intelligence will ever take control and what will happen if they do.  Well this is one of those stories and it is brilliant. Michael,  Sarah and Bryson discover a dastardly plot to populate Earthg with human bodies harbouring Tangent minds.

This is for the reader that likes hi-tech novels that are full of action and cleverness. I couldn’t put it down but understand it has a nitch that isn’t everybody. The film Maze Runner currently on the circuit is also James Dashner’s creation.

High school and young adults

Machine Wars by Michael Pryor

April 17, 2014 Comments off

Machine warsMachine Wars by Michael Pryor. Pub. Random House, 2014.

An excellent easy to read futuristic fantasy for intermediate and junior high school students from a writer that I have just caught up with.

Can you imagine what it would be like if Artificial Intelligence machines took over the Internet and controlled the World. Not in the manner of The Terminator but by using any householod machine that has a chip to help it operate. Yes your fridge, your kettle your photocopier anything could become your enemy.

Teenager Bram’s mum is a brilliant scientist working with AI. A rogue AI called Ahriman escapes into the Internet and causes a computer and robot rebellion. Ahriman and whoever or whatever controls him/she/it has death squads operating and has control of many City Authorities.

Bram’s mum foresaw that this might happen and Bram and his family practiced emergency procedures to counter a rogue AI. Bram goes home to find his house explode in front him and learns that the police and a host of Killbots are after him. He goes to an emergency cache to find money and a highly developed robo AI hidden in a familiar childhood cuddly duck. He becomes RoboDuck.

While on the run Bram meets a school friend 14 year old Stella and with RoboDuck they go on the run and try to fight the evilf Ahriman and his robot army. Nothing is safe and they have to avoid anything connected to the Internet like cell phones and CCTV cameras.  They are doing well until drones take over. Read it and find out what happens.

Humerous and technically believable. You will have fun with this novel.