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Friday, December 9, 2011

This is the fifth installment of Lory Kaufman’s World of History Camp Back Story.

This is the fifth installment of Lory Kaufman’s World of History Camp Back Story.
The Lens and the Looker and The Bronze and the Brimstone. In addition I have interviewed Lory. I enjoyed his books and I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that he is making history palatable to young people. Lory and I have emailed back and forth and he has been kind enough to allow me to “plumb the depths” of how he created his World of History Camp. Please note that I have no financial relationship with Lory, nor do I reap any benefits from posting his back story. I am making these posts because as a reader and an author I find the novel building process interesting and informative and I hope you will too. Plus you have the opportunity to garner a FREE book. (more on that later)

The World Of History Camp and AI
How far are we from artificial intelligence? I have an ap on my DroidX called SoundHound. If I hear a song and my aging mind can’t remember the title, group or the lyrics; all I have to do is start the ap, let my phone listen and it will tell me the artist’s name, the album title and ask if I would like the lyrics. I know that isn’t AI but I also know 5 years ago it wasn’t available. I keep a list of 3500 books on my phone because I really get annoyed when I inadvertently buy the same book multiple times. In other words, I really depend on/love my phone. How far away is true AI?

Artificial Intelligences (A.I.):
Some who have read The Lens And The Looker have asked, “Why did you give every human on the planet a companion artificial intelligence from birth?”
For me, the A.I.’s are a visual metaphor symbolizing that humans seem not to be able to work together without some faction undermining things. “What does this have to do with artificial intelligences?” you ask. Well, as I already mentioned, by the end of the 21st-century, I have humans on the brink of extinction. Plagues and bacterial infections are threatening calamity and some population centers are already collapsing. But, at the same time, human technology is also successfully creating synthetic intellects, superior to humans in many ways. (Given where we are with computer technology now, I don’t think this is actually out of the realm of possibility.)
So, as opposed to some dystopian literature, where A.I.s rebel against humans, I have chosen another road. In History Camp stories, artificial intelligences become the savior of humans, though not as benignly as one might think.
I’ve done it like this. Each person’s A.I. is with them from before birth. At first it acts as nanny to the baby and toddler, and a helper to the parents. Then the artificial intelligence takes on the role of tutor when the person becomes a youth, then adolescent, watching out for that individual and monitoring his or her progress. This role changes as the human grows into adulthood. Like a loving aunt or uncle today, the A.I. changes into a life-long friend and confidant. By constant and gentle vigilance, A.I.s allow humans to find their own path in life, as long as their actions don’t put at risk the long-term safety of society or that of the other life forms on the planet.
So, I guess the A.I.s are both the “philosopher kings” and the “protector class” of human kind. Humans have ceded ultimate control to the A.I.s. They are a benevolent police force, making sure that small factions of people can’t sabotage society’s long-term survival for their personal or tribal purposes, which, when I think of it, seems to be a big recurring theme in human history.
Another very important fact to understand about this situation is that the A.I.s do very little of the actual work for humans. It’s not like “The Jetsons” or some cheesy SF movies, where people walk around in identical plastic suits and use mass produced products. In the world of History Camp, individual craftsmanship and self- sufficiency is the new way of things. The A.I.s purpose is not to provide for humans, but to protect, love and nourish them. And the protection is mostly from ourselves and our natures.

Remember there will be a giveaway for each and every post. That’s a FREE book for each section of Lory Kaufman’s back story. Did I mention it is a FREE book?
How do you qualify for a FREE book?
Fine Print
Simply read the post and fill out the form below. Each entry will be assigned a number and those numbers will be input into a random number generator to choose the winner. I will email the winner. The winner’s address will be sent to Lory Kaufman who will be sending out the autographed books. If you have a specific name or nickname you wish the autograph to mention, please submit it with the form. Each winner will be announced at the posting of the next segment of Lory Kaufman’s back story. No purchases necessary and your email address will not be given to anyone else.
The next post will be Jan 9, 2012! when the winner of this month’s book will be announced. As an additional incentive for those of you who are actually reading the entire post, if you comment on any of my blog posts throughout the month I will input an additional entry to the contest.

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