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Hogan also does a much better job of developing more of his cast of characters than in some of his other books, in which we get a good picture of one or two and sketches of the rest. Although he would write some 30 books over a career that lasted until his death in , he would not really match the height of Faces -- it's not a Great Novel in the common sense of the word, but it is a thought-provoking work that isn't limited by its genre from considering the human condition.

Original available here. May 29, John Loyd rated it really liked it. Instead of sending bulldozers it bombs the area almost killing the five men near the site. Ray Dyer leads a group of computer scientists at CUNY working on building common sense into computers. The near disaster on the moon threatens the funding for his project. A colleague takes him to a hearing in Washington with the premise that what they need to do is mo TITAN, a semi-intelligent computer system integrating all the HESPER units on the moon gets a priority request for help in removing a ridge.

A colleague takes him to a hearing in Washington with the premise that what they need to do is move to a more intelligent system not scrap what they've got. Dyer wants to keep working, but has reservations about a new system. The big wigs agree with Dyer's assessment that testing is needed. A few weeks later a plan is hatched to test the system on a space station. The testing is to give the entity a directive for self preservation, then to start attacking Spartacus and then seeing if worse comes to worst they could still shut it down.

The manufacturing technology is advanced and automated, and drones that can do all sorts of stuff. That allows the confrontation to quickly escalate. The last half of the book being a battle. The story was action driven, but had characters I liked, and I liked how the relationship of Dyer and Laura progressed.

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I didn't really agree with provoking Spartacus over and over so I didn't give the book a chance to win me over. I was filled with a sense of dread instead of wonder, curiosity, accomplishment, purpose or something like that. I recommend Moonflower or Thrice Upon a Time over this one. Why I Reread this Book: First, because a friend of mine is working on a non-fiction book with related themes and indeed because the subject matter interests me. This is a serious and carefully-thought-out approach to the question of whether it is safe to incorporate imperfectly-understood AI into a world-spanning computer network upon which the world depends.

Or, in modern terms, would it be desir Why I Reread this Book: First, because a friend of mine is working on a non-fiction book with related themes and indeed because the subject matter interests me. Or, in modern terms, would it be desirable--and safe--to give AI a measure of control over the Internet? The book is dated in some ways--it assumes that space colonies would be pervasive by the time it takes place mid-twenty-first century, if I recall correctly , and there are certain computer approaches and limitations that seem obsolete by now.

On the other hand, Hogan did pretty much foresee the Internet, and wireless access to it, and his characters take it for granted. The main drawback of the book, for me, is that Hogan introduces plenty of characters, and it's hard for me to keep them straight, or even figure out which ones will be important to the narrative. Yes, it's more realistic to have a large number of roles allocated to a large number of characters, but I wish most of them had stayed in the background. Unless you're as skilled at handling spear carriers as John D.

MacDonald is in the Travis McGee novels, please don't give me their names and faces ;-. Finished EST This books explores computer intelligence. Not the typical "will computers get smart and decide to replace us", but a very brilliant concept of "A computer may be smart, but does it have common sense? There are mining stations that launch raw ore for delivery to a waiting station, all controlled by Titan. A request is put in to excavate a particular spot on the moon.

Normally, the ETA for This books explores computer intelligence. Normally, the ETA for work completion is hours or days depending on equipment availability. In this case, the ETA is in minutes.

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The bemused works stick. They assume it's a glitch, but the system is generally considered accurate, so they are curious. As Titan is connected to everything, it has realized that by throwing some raw ore at the excavation spot, it will have the desired effect of digging the hole. The fact there are still people there is beyond it's comprehension. After the near disaster and Titan's actions are analyzed, it is realized that although it's actions were smart, in that it got the job done in record time, it wasn't a wise thing to do as it entailed other risks that were beyond Titan's comprehension.

Can such a system be trusted with the lives of the entire human race? That being said, a very interesting analysis of what could happen if a computer system was given enough to work with. Feb 04, Rodney Carlson rated it it was amazing. This is my second favorite book by this author Code of the Lifemaker is first Once again, what I like about Hogan is that I get Redbull added to my imagination. What if it decided to entertain its own agenda? What could we do to protect ourselves? In what ways could we communicate? How could we relate? This book describe This is my second favorite book by this author Code of the Lifemaker is first Once again, what I like about Hogan is that I get Redbull added to my imagination.

This book describes one possible answer to those questions. When I read Hogan, it inspires me to come up with alternate explanations. There are hundreds of possible answers to those questions.


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I get to read many stories at once, the one that Hogan wrote and the many that I dream up as I go along. May 05, Karl Smithe rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. This is the most realistic Artificial Intelligence story I know of. It may not be the best written science fiction but good sci-fi is a good story involving science not "literature". This is a story of the near future from the perspective of Tiny computers are everywhere integrating the functioning of society.

But the expert systems are still making dumb mistakes. As a result of a dumb mistake some workmen are nearly killed on the Moon. So they decide to evolve an artificial intelligence to This is the most realistic Artificial Intelligence story I know of. So they decide to evolve an artificial intelligence to see if they can keep it under control.

But to make sury it can't get out of control they do this on a space station. It gets out of control anyway and then things get interesting. Sep 04, Stacey rated it it was ok Shelves: , science-fiction. An interesting idea, how could it turn out so boring? Characters that are indistinguishable from each other, too much talking and very little doing, coupled with long descriptions of the surroundings of the space station.

The premise, while interesting, wasn't very well thought out either. Two guys are working to teach a computer how to get along in the human world and it never occurs to anyone to try and teach Spartacus what a human even is? Perhaps if they had told it in advance that there are An interesting idea, how could it turn out so boring? Perhaps if they had told it in advance that there are other intelligent species on the planet, a lot of people would still be alive.

An excellent story of a live experiment of an AI's power. While written a while ago, it still comes across as real and current. The insights, actions and reaction are very plausible and exciting. The story mostly follows the AI development team; including as they split up to work in different areas. Jun 09, Slhanley rated it liked it Shelves: sci-fi. Machine - Artificial Intelligence - created to protect humanity. Wanting to see if it works, scientists put it aboard a space station and proceed to throw everything humanity has against it to see if it can protect itself.

It grows, learns, and wants revenge. Pretty trite now. It has been done many times since, but it was a good premise at the time. Feb 29, John rated it really liked it. However it was rather predictable using the AI stereotype that for whatever reason, computers and AI will attempt to turn against its masters. Jul 18, Tom Potter rated it it was amazing Shelves: sci-fi. If you liked or loved A Space Odyssey, then you will most likely love this. I think it is better than The reason it's often compared is because it's about an artifical intelligence that takes over, and man attempting to defeat it.

Jan 13, Marianne rated it liked it Shelves: mine , sci-fi. There are a lot of novels about super intelligent computers either saving or destroying civilization. It's rare to read one from the perspective of actively building such an intelligent computer. Though not an epic tale, this book covers some interesting possibilities, and I enjoyed the reading. May 18, Jay Moskowitz rated it really liked it. Read this a very long time ago along with every other Hogan book at the time. Was my favorite author since all his explanations were so scientific sounding. Descended to reread this one after such a long time since I was on an AI kick.

Was as good as the first time reading it. Nov 23, Charlotte rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really liked the basic plot, that is, the potential and dangers of super computers, AI, but the conflict and action dragged on too much, and the speed with which the computer learned and reacted was not quite believable. Aug 29, Carlos "CAP" rated it it was amazing. Fascinating and engaging. Offered the one way to test for artificial intelligence that is risk managed and controlled against humans. Reminded me on a "Person of Interest" episode that had a flashback were Finch had to de-activate a series as he was determining if the machine was "safe".

Jul 01, Jay Sprenkle rated it it was amazing Shelves: science-fiction.

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A great action story. It would make a great movie. Turns out Mr. Hogan was predicted the future. Google's AI is having the same kinds of problems described here. They're just embarrassing so far Jan 16, Miles O'Neal rated it it was amazing. My all time favorite AI thriller. And I say that as both a long time, avid reader of science and science fiction, and as a long time computer scientist with at one point tentacles in the AI world. Nov 27, John rated it really liked it Shelves: scifi. Jan 15, Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it. Very good SiFi adventure story. Watching the computer evolve sentient thought was interesting.

Very recommended. Nov 29, Keith Bell rated it really liked it. I great novel that would be an even better movie today. Although written in , it remains relevant to today and can be read as if written yesterday. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. Science Fiction. About James P. James P. James Patrick Hogan was a British science fiction author.

Hogan was was raised in the Portobello Road area on the west side of London. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he worked various odd jobs until, after receiving a scholarship, he began a five-year program at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough covering the practical and theoretical sides of electrical, electronic, and m James Patrick Hogan was a British science fiction author.

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After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he worked various odd jobs until, after receiving a scholarship, he began a five-year program at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough covering the practical and theoretical sides of electrical, electronic, and mechanical engineering. He first married at the age of twenty, and he has had three other subsequent marriages and fathered six children. Hogan worked as a design engineer for several companies and eventually moved into sales in the s, travelling around Europe as a sales engineer for Honeywell.

In the s he joined the Digital Equipment Corporation's Laboratory Data Processing Group and in moved to Boston, Massachusetts to run its sales training program. He published his first novel, Inherit the Stars, in the same year to win an office bet. He quit DEC in and began writing full time, moving to Orlando, Florida, for a year where he met his third wife Jackie. They then moved to Sonora, California.

Hogan's style of science fiction is usually hard science fiction. In his earlier works he conveyed a sense of what science and scientists were about. His philosophical view on how science should be done comes through in many of his novels; theories should be formulated based on empirical research, not the other way around.


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If a theory does not match the facts, it is theory that should be discarded, not the facts. This is very evident in the Giants series , which begins with the discovery of a 50, year-old human body on the Moon. This discovery leads to a series of investigations, and as facts are discovered, theories on how the astronaut's body arrived on the Moon 50, years ago are elaborated, discarded, and replaced. Hogan's fiction also reflects anti-authoritarian social views.

Many of his novels have strong anarchist or libertarian themes, often promoting the idea that new technological advances render certain social conventions obsolete. For example, the effectively limitless availability of energy that would result from the development of controlled nuclear fusion would make it unnecessary to limit access to energy resources. In essence, energy would become free. This melding of scientific and social speculation is clearly present in the novel Voyage from Yesteryear strongly influenced by Eric Frank Russell's famous story "And Then There Were None" , which describes the contact between a high-tech anarchist society on a planet in the Alpha Centauri system, with a starship sent from Earth by a dictatorial government.

The story uses many elements of civil disobedience. James Hogan died unexpectedly from a heart attack at his home in Ireland. Books by James P.

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