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Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Turing Option by Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky

The Turing Option (Questar Science Fiction)
True artifical intelligence is within reach when Brian Delaney, prodigy, is left for dead and his life’s work is stolen. The ensuing search for the dastardly villains (truly dastardly) and recreation of his work is the thrust of the book.

Brian Delaney is not very likeable but his life was not started a foundation of love and trust. This may be a prime example of love and nurture’s difficulty in overcoming early abusive situations.

The copyright of 1992 helps to explain some of the dated technology. The irony is that a lot of that technology was pure speculation in 1992 and is now passé.

There is thought provoking speculation in this book along with calculated ruthlessness that sadly seems to characterize some current governments and corporations. Harry Harrison is always thought provoking. I am not familiar with anything else from Marvin Minsky so I can comment on his part of the book.   However after googling him, I see he is a well known  expert on AI so his part may be self explanatory.

The ironic ending between man and machine is superbly done.

The book moves at a realistic pace and is well worth reading.

I recommend the book.

Body of work of Harry Harrison

Body of work of Marvin Minsky

Web site: http://www.iol.ie/~carrollm/hh/

http://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/

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