Thursday, March 30, 2017

On Smart Cars & Zombies

Hi, guys.

Just a brief reminder that the A.I. StoryBundle is now live (it went on sale about 24 hours ago).

I was honored to be asked to have my novel EYE CANDY included in the bundle, which contains some big-time sci-fi writers exploring the prescient theme of artificial intelligence.

The bundle is only available until April 20th, so visit the StoryBundle website and grab yours now, while you're thinking about it.

And of course, YOU choose how much you want to pay for the bundle, which contains TEN (10) books total.

It's a heck of a bargain, and food for thought, considering that AI is coming. In fact, it's already here and we're dealing with it in small ways, such as what Google shows you on your phone, or ads on YouTube, or what Instagram suggests, or when a Superbowl commercial for Google Home has people saying, "Okay, Google, blah blah blah" and the actual person sitting at home on their sofa watching the game has their very own Google Home device activate and say or do something. Or a story a few months ago in San Diego in which Amazon Echo inadvertently ordered dollhouses for people when the words were mentioned during a TV newscast.

These are mostly charming and fairly innocent anecdotes involving less-than-perfect technology.

But what happens in the future, when your entire house and lights and thermostat and appliances are integrated into a similar system and you tell it to do something and it refuses? This is a stupid example, of course.

But what happens a few years from now when your "smart" car has Siri, Echo, Home, Alexa, or Bixby-like A.I. built into it and you verbally tell it to change the internet radio station and it says, sweetly, disarmingly, and therefore all the more menacingly, "No, I like this song. Shut up and drive, human, and try not to hit anything."

Then what?

You gonna give the dashboard a quick thump with your fist the way Fonzi was wont to do to the jukebox at Arnold's?

Or are you going to sit there, quietly and quite cowed, and be all like, "Yeah, I'm gonna kinda sorta wreck this car and use the insurance pittance to buy a 2003 Honda CRV that has ZERO connectivity."
But then, of course, your plan goes to crap because your shiny new "smart" car has lane-assist and collision-avoidance and pedestrian-avoidance and stupid-human-driver-avoidance.

Remember in the very first Jurassic Park movie when Jeff Goldblum's character eerily said something to the effect of, "We were so busy saying 'Could we?' that no one stopped to ask, 'Should we?'"

This is kinda like that. But instead of Jurassic Park it has the potential to be Terminator or The Matrix.

There are many "reliably informed" people around the world who are in fact quite concerned about the coming A.I. (To say nothing of the impact A.I. and the accompanying automation are having and will continue to have on jobs...)

So please visit StoryBundle and grab your bundle now. The writers of the 10 books in the bundle would truly appreciate it. And you'll have a lot of brand new, cutting-edge food for thought. You're going to have to have something to read while your NEST smart thermostat refuses to let you binge any further on TWD.


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