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The Two Faces of Tomorrow

– tekijä: James P. Hogan

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
485638,471 (3.56)8
By the mid-21st Century, technology had become much too complicated for humans to handle -- and the computer network that had grown up to keep civilization from tripping over its own shoelaces was also beginning to be overwhelmed. Something Had To Be Done.As a solution, Raymond Dyer's project developed the first genuinely self-aware artificial intelligence -- code name: Spartacus. But could Spartacus be trusted to obey its makers? And if it went rogue, could it be shut down? As an acid test, Spartacus was put in charge of a space station and programmed with a survival instinct. Dyer and his team had the job of seeing how far the computer would go to defend itself when they tried to pull the plug. Dyer didn't expect any serious problems to arise in the experiment.Unfortunately, he had built more initiative into Spartacus than he realized....And a superintelligent computer with a high dose of initiative makes a dangerous guinea pig.… (lisätietoja)
  1. 00
    Valentina: Soul in Sapphire (tekijä: Joseph H. Delaney) (BiblioCave)
    BiblioCave: Valentina : soul in sapphire is a story about an artificial intelligence and it's struggle for survival without recognition of personhood and financial resources. One of the first stories that suggested that a corporation is a good legal structure for an AI adopt.… (lisätietoja)
  2. 00
    The Two Faces Of Tomorrow No.01 Prologue (tekijä: Yukinobu Hoshino) (omf)
    omf: Yukinobu Hashino hat mit "The Two Faces Of Tomorrow" eine sehr gute Mangaadaption des Romans von James P. Hogan vorgelegt.
  3. 00
    When Harlie Was One (tekijä: David Gerrold) (infiniteletters)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
A thriller that addresses what it means to be sentient, and can a complex computer be such, and would it then be too independent and thus dangerous to humans. According to my geek, Hogan knows what he's talking about, and what goes down in the novel isn't terribly farfetched (or even dated, despite c' 1979). ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I didn’t read the synopsis for this book until after I had read the book. I’m glad I didn’t, because the synopsis pretty much sums up the first third of the book. Where’s the fun in that?

After I had read a few pages, my initial thought was that this was going to be a “computers take over the world” type of book. It wasn’t quite like that. I had been on the right track, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the characters show some common sense and forethought. In stories where technology has run amok, it usually seems like there’s at least one stupid or blindly ambitious character behind the problem who failed to consider the possible consequences of what they were creating. This story was different. Those potential consequences were thought about, discussed, and debated. And then the characters came up with a way to scientifically prove whether or not their theories were correct while minimizing the risks. I also thought the ending took a unique approach for a type of story that has, in its basic form, been done many times before. (And, since this book was published in 1979, has been done many times since.)

If I had read the synopsis, I probably would have been bored by the first third of the book because it did take quite a while to develop. But, since I didn’t know what it was developing to, it held my interest well. I enjoyed figuring out where the story was going, learning about the interesting computer systems that had been developed, and wondering what they would do about the dilemma that was threatening to halt forward progress. However, I thought the second third of the book dragged a little bit and I found my attention wandering more often.

Toward the last 25 to 33%, the action started to build up and the story began holding my attention again, and I was happy with how the story ended. Despite the fact that this is an older book, I didn’t find it too terribly dated. There was an older feel to it, but nothing that really pulled me out of the story and distracted me. I liked the characters well enough, and I thought they seemed pretty realistic, but I never felt all that much of an attachment to them. ( )
  YouKneeK | Jun 9, 2014 |
This (barely) makes three stars for me. What I liked? Well, this is hard science fiction, and one that, astonishingly, despite a 1979 publication doesn't feel dated. The novels centers on the dilemma of Artificial Intelligence that gives us the two faces of tomorrow. A powerful, self-aware computer can be a partner of humanity giving us an exciting, unlimited future--or can be an unbeatable adversary (think Terminator). To test which future is likely, Project Janus sets up on a Space Station where the computer Spartacus is set up with a strong survival instinct the scientists are going to rouse with opposition.

Now, I'd say that the main problem with this novel--the pacing, is this set up you can read on the back cover takes almost half the book to get to. We're on page 106 before Raymond Dyer, the scientist protagonist even thinks of the basic concept. And I'd say that's the other major problem with the book that keeps me from rating it higher--Dyer--or rather that him and all the other characters are eminently forgettable and flat. Add in all the infodump and philosophizing about computer intelligence and too much of this book was a slog. The science, at least, is presented intelligently, and often with some humor. I loved the scene where a computer prototype, "Hector" tries to fry an egg and how it illustrated the difference between intelligence and common sense. Life on a space station was presented lucidly as well. But this just isn't the kind of book I could imagine rereading years from now. Indeed, I had read it years ago, and couldn't remember a thing about it. So I gave it another try--this will be going in my sell or give away pile. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | May 20, 2013 |
My reactions upon reading this book in 1991. Spoilers follow.

I found this novel fast moving despite the detail and length of its speculations on artificial intelligence, and liked that speculation. The book, with the sample FISE program of Hector, shows the problem of endowing a computer with “common sense” -- those unspoken constraints on what solutions a computer can use for a problem’s solution. I also liked the idea of a computer with a different intelligence, a different sense of being (being not confined to one place but having sensory outputs all over but of a different sort than a human), with different drives that might produce actions that look like anger or aggression (and would, for humans, be those for all practical purposes) but sprung from other motives such as insatiable curiosity, programmed features that turns into obsessions, an instincts. The computer, points out Hogan (with acknowledgements to Marvin Minsky and some of the explanation of how the TITAN computer network is reminiscent of the latter's Society of the Mind), doesn’t even have to be aware of humans to be a menace. It just has to be able to experimentally find out that a certain action -- which may menace human society -- helps it meet its obsession.

The question that drives the book is whether a computer network that runs most of man’s civilization and that becomes self-aware, a self-awareness that views man’s actions as being contrary to the satisfaction of some compulsion, can be stopped, its plug pulled. This leads to the construction of Spartacus, a prototype computer system with programmed instincts and plethora of ingenious repair drones (not a new idea with Hogan but he goes into in great detail) safely locked away in the space station Janus.

Hogan’s other neat idea drives the plot: goad Spartacus into attacking to see if it can be stopped. Spartacus, in an optimistic ending (which is nevertheless foreshadowed, thriller style, by Hector protecting his dog in his simulated, proto-type to Spartacus program), comes to view humans as fellow intelligences (thereby postponing a nuclear detonation aboard Janus) and ushering in an even brighter future (the TITAN computer network has already brought in a era of peace and plenty).

Some of the descriptions of action in the space station of Janus were a bit confusing even if with a chapter of exposition on the layout of the station and a diagram.

I had other minor complaints though I generally liked the book.

First and foremost, the military and science planners seem way too conservative in their expectations of Spatacus’ actions. Don’t these guys read sf? It may just be an attempt at realistic, ambivalent characterization, but Hogan seems to swing in his characterization of General Mark Linsay. He ignores hero Raymond Dyer’s advice at one point on how defend against Spartacus’ attack. (In true sf tradition of scientist vs. military men, Dyer is correct.) On the other hand, Linsay’s final assault on Spartacus works and saves lives though it ultimately doesn’t decide the day and fails in its ultimate objective. Linsay also sees himself as being a true warrior fighting for all men. The characterization as a whole is adequate, but none of these people will stick in your mind.

Second, we also get the usual cliche of the major male and female characters having a romance, Here Dyer and Laura Fenner. Their banter, whose purpose is to dialectically argue the pros and cons of an Earth run by a computer network and science in general, is unsubtle but not real heavy handed propagandizing for science by Hogan) between Dyer and Laura Fenning is done well enough not to grate. ( )
  RandyStafford | Nov 9, 2012 |
I first heard of The Two Faces of Tomorrow via Yukinobu Hoshino's (the author/artist of the excellent 2001 Nights) graphic novel adaptation. I picked that up, but thought I should read the original novel first. Especially since I have a number of James Hogan's books in my TBR pile.

James Hogan manages to take the hoary old sci-fi cliche of the evil mastermind computer and put, well, not a new spin but at least some believable science behind it. The book is set some time in the mid-2040's. The internet and some very smart server computers have managed to bring about world peace and end hunger. However a computer makes connections the programmers never predicted causing a near-fatal incident by being logical, but not reasonable while solving a demolition assignment. Computer scientist/psychologist Raymond Dyer wants to upgrade the system by programming in common sense. He wants to give TITAN (the otherwise stable system responsible for so much of humanities peace and prosperity) a true artificial intelligence. A conscience.

Since everybody in this world has seen the Terminator films, they want to thoroughly test the system far from Earth before upgrading. In order to see the worst that might happen, they install a version of the A.I. that has been modified with an aggressive survival instinct into a newly completed space station. They then provoke the A.I. (dubbed Spartacus) to see what its reaction will be. As you might imagine, things quickly get out of hand.

I have to give him credit. Mr. Hogan really knows his stuff. This book was written in the late-70's, yet he predicted the internet and cell phones (though they have different names). He also avoided the pitfalls of so many hard sci-fi writers that had us flying hover-cars by the 1990's or moving the Cold War into space. Thirty years later, this book doesn't feel dated. If I didn't check the copyright, I would believe this was a newly written novel.

The problem is that even though the setup is terrific and the author's foresight impressive, the first two-hundred-something pages are an endless series of philosophical dialogues on the dangers of technology versus the benefits and lectures relating to A.I. occurring on and on between the different characters. It really started to drag on the book. For quite a while there was just no forward momentum. I was reminded of Notes From Underground, where a pretty good novel waits at the end of an endless stream of philosophical noodling. While it was interesting (especially the experiments with the FISE computer) overall it felt like Hogan was laying out his hard sci-fi cred before treating us to a fun story of an evil computer blowing stuff up. Maybe it would have worked better if he could have interlaced these lectures within the body of the story a little more, perhaps as flashbacks or something.

Also, his characters are pretty flat. Here I am, a day after reading it and the only characters I can really remember by name are Dyer and his girlfriend Laura. The various military and government personal I couldn't quite remember chapter by chapter. I don't expect dynamic, larger-than-life characters in hard sci-fi (given the protagonists required for these stories it would probably strain my suspension of disbelief too much) but man, Hogan's characters make Stephen Baxter's characters seem absolutely scintillating.

His characters also seem to place too much faith in science and reason. While that is laudable, it just didn't feel very realistic. Dyer is able to win over the Pentagon and the White House through carefully reasoned arguments. This book was obviously written before our 43rd president was elected. Hogan must think better of our government than I do, but I think the experiment he wanted to run would have hit a couple of hundred more roadblocks in the real world than it did in this book.

Still, once the action started the book really did pick up. It's funny, because Hogan doesn't write especially good action scenes, but it helped to give the book the forward momentum that it was missing in the first half. The ending is also satisfying. Unexpected, yet wholly logical and optimistic (though a little unbelievable as again it counts on a long time military man accepting some scientific theories over hard-bitten common sense). Overall I'm glad I read the book and will try more from Hogan. As a hard SF writer, he is impressive. I just hope his sense of pacing is better. ( )
1 ääni jseger9000 | Jan 17, 2009 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (2 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Hogan, James P.ensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Alpers, Hans JoachimJälkisanatmuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Crass, WolfgangKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Dollens, Morris ScottKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sweet, DarrellKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Wöllzenmüller, FranzKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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ISBN 1593075634 is a graphic novelization and should not be combined with other editions of The Two Faces of Tomorrow
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By the mid-21st Century, technology had become much too complicated for humans to handle -- and the computer network that had grown up to keep civilization from tripping over its own shoelaces was also beginning to be overwhelmed. Something Had To Be Done.As a solution, Raymond Dyer's project developed the first genuinely self-aware artificial intelligence -- code name: Spartacus. But could Spartacus be trusted to obey its makers? And if it went rogue, could it be shut down? As an acid test, Spartacus was put in charge of a space station and programmed with a survival instinct. Dyer and his team had the job of seeing how far the computer would go to defend itself when they tried to pull the plug. Dyer didn't expect any serious problems to arise in the experiment.Unfortunately, he had built more initiative into Spartacus than he realized....And a superintelligent computer with a high dose of initiative makes a dangerous guinea pig.

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