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Hi guys, how have you all been keeping lately?
Today, I’d like to share with you my review for Kludged: Singularity, by Tony. L. Joy,
a technology novel following the accidental creation of a sentient AI system.
Alan Cormac cannot stand his job any longer. When he receives an unexpected promotion, he has mixed feelings. Who are the Transient Intellect Company and what can he get out of this new position? Maybe some new data for his pet AI project to feed on?
Surendra Reddy loves his job but doesn’t make friends easily. He is more than content to sit back and people watch from the sidelines, until a new infatuation pulls him out of his comfort zone.
Alan is your average tech worker, dissatisfied with his role and his life in general, but in heavy denial about it. A serial procrastinator, I could sort of relate to him. Alan is the type of man to put things off when he doesn’t find them interesting, instead looking for a challenge that piques his interest. He is good to the few friends he has but is very private in nature. Overall, Alan made for an interesting character, one I could root for and yet also feel conflicted over.
Surendra is a tech worker, much like Alan. The difference? Surendra loves his work. With a new promotion, this shy introvert begins to find satisfaction in life, especially when he meets Anila, a fellow new recruit to the Transient Intellect Company. Surendra was the type to not enjoy being put into the spotlight, much preferring to stick to his own company. He was also the character I saw the most growth in, really coming out of his shell the more he was encouraged.
Kludged. An AI with a feisty nature and ethical approach to dealing with problems. Starting off as a simple PA with a little extra, forbidden data poured into it from the computers at Alan’s old job, Kludged soon becomes an AI super-mind, creating a worldwide computer virus that feeds it even more data. Kludged developed a separate code of ethics from Alan, which I found fascinating. When Alan wants only to use Kludge for superficial reasons, Kludged is dedicating its time to trying to solve more important world matters. I found it amusing how Kludged would defy his master, as though it were a teenager defying its parents. Kludged definitely made for the best character, despite not even being human.
The last character I’d like to discuss is Merrick Grant, CEO of the Transient Intellect Company. Now this was a character you could love to hate. Explosive and narcissistic, Merrick Grant was (in my opinion) the boss from hell. He was cruel, dismissive, and in an interesting way, felt like he wasn’t even human.
Likes and Dislikes
The writing style was wonderful. The book’s third person yet close, personal narrative followed both Alan and Surendra on their journeys with Transient Intellect, showing us their steady growth as individuals.
The dialogue was very emotive and expressed each character’s individual quirks really well.
When a large revelation came at the three quarter mark, I found my mind somewhat blown. I had no idea such a surprise twist was coming and this only made for a better story.
The two quotes I’ve chosen below each spoke to me in different ways.
1) ‘You do not appreciate the tools you surround yourself with. There is much you take for granted.’
I feel like in modern times, we take far too much for granted in our daily lives. The next time you’re doing something you find mundane, just stop for a moment, take a breath and think about what it is you’re doing. You may be surprised with how much more appreciative you might feel, just taking a moment to be present with the activity.
2) ‘If you have the money, you can get people to do all sorts of things.’
This is sadly true. You’ve likely seen it again and again in life, how some people with enough money can bribe officials to look the other way, stage awful demonstrations against others, and so on. Money itself isn’t the problem: it’s just that certain individuals seem to think that having it means they can use it for unscrupulous purposes, even when it hurts others.
Overall, I really enjoyed Kludged: Singularity. It made me think deeply about the
nature of the human mind and the future possibility of AI overlap.
My rating: 4 stars.
Recommended to people interested in stories involving AI technology.
Thank you for joining me for today’s review of Kludged: Singularity. I hope you enjoyed it.
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I hope you have a safe and pleasant week,