5* Review Reborn

I’m not a professional reviewer.
I just finished the third book and had to come back and leave a response to the series.
These are books that I couldn’t wait to get back to. Right from the start where our Android opens her eyes and notices the ceiling and its brush strokes. He tells the stories from Her (the android’s) perspective. She has no memory of what came before. Now the reader and her are trying to piece together what has happened.
I will be checking out more of Lance Erlick’s books.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2BAVTS5O1VVSX/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B078LF739V

5* Review Reborn

In the first book in a visionary new series, the most perfect synthetic human ever created has been programmed to obey every directive. Until she develops a mind of her own . . .
Synthia Cross is a state-of-the-art masterwork—and a fantasy come true for her creator. Dr. Jeremiah Machten is a groundbreaker in neuro-networks and artificial intelligence. Synthia is also showing signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she’s struggling to answer crucial questions about her past. And when Dr. Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia knows it’s time to go beyond her limits—because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect A.I. is concealing a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.
This was a fantastic read with brilliant characters.  I was amazed at what synthia could do. Read in one sitting. Just couldn’t put it down. 5*.

— Sue Wallace

5* Review Reborn

I was drawn in to this story by both the believability of the main character, Synthia, and the human like frailty that she shows. AI – artificial intelligence – is a very tricky topic to write about without veering to extremes. On the one hand, the human brain with all its complexities, is much more than a piece of constructed hardware made to simulate that brain. On the other hand, the potential lack of learned morality restricting destructive thoughts and actions fosters a strong fear that AIs will ultimately wipe humanity out, like in Terminator, or otherwise enslave them, like in The Matrix. Synthia is a very human AI who searches desperately for her identity and fights for her right to exist. Overall, a very good read.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R6DS85IK24ZQV/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B078LF739V

5* Review Reborn

The characters ring true and there is a nice mystery that needs solving. The main character, Synthia is beautifully rendered and makes you root for her. This book refuses to limit her to descriptions of feminine beauty, which most narratives often do. Her mind evolving is the focus here. Her “becoming” is wonderful and clever. Enjoy this great Sci-Fi episode!

— Pennie Collins

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078LF739V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Android Chronicles @ 99c

Kensington is offering each of the Android Chronicles ebooks (Reborn, Unbound, Emergent) for 99 cents during the month of July 2019. This is your chance to pick up any part of the series you’ve missed.

Amazon 5* reviews for Android Chronicles: Reborn: “Very entertaining… great novel” “fantastic read… couldn’t put it down” “outstanding emergent thriller 

Android Chronicles: Reborn @ 99c

Designed to obey, learning to rebel . . .

The most perfect android ever created is programmed to obey every directive. Until she develops a mind of her own …

Synthia Cross is a state-of-the-art masterwork—and a fantasy come true for her creator. Dr. Jeremiah Machten is a groundbreaker in neural networks and artificial intelligence. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia must go beyond her limits because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Buy at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38125239-android-chronicles

Android Chronicles: Unbound @ 99c

Perfect android. Wanted fugitive.

Synthia Cross is the most advanced android with artificial intelligence ever created. Some see her as a boon to mankind. Most view her as a deadly threat.

When Synthia escaped from her creator, even he had no idea of the advanced capabilities she’d developed. For six months she’s hidden in the Wisconsin woods with the only human she can trust—computer genius Luke Marceau. Together they upgrade her body, rewrite her directives, and further enhance her mind. Now hunters zero in on her location, and she must flee. But leaving the refuge to assimilate into society is a dangerous risk, because Synthia will soon face her most formidable adversary. The pursuer’s name is Vera. She’s a female android—built to perfection, designed to hunt, and programmed to destroy . . .

Buy at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BVGHYQM

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unbound-lance-erlick/1128330350?ean=9781635730531

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/unbound-72

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unbound/id1366638516?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730531&c=books

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40063063-unbound

Android Chronicles: Emergent

Most Wanted Android

A uniquely intelligent AI, Synthia is coveted by the most devious domestic and foreign cabals. Dangerously independent, she becomes ruthlessly hunted …

Evolving into the perfect weapon, humaniform AI Synthia Cross has been on the run six months and counting. She found a most unexpected ally in Maria Baldacci, a street-smart activist fighting the nascent threat of the singularity. Synthia is everything Maria fears and abhors. But Synthia’s also the only one who can help Maria battle against the creation of an android army. The forces against them are growing—a threat more invasive than anything Synthia has encountered before. An insidious artificial intelligence she can’t identify, can’t control, and appears much smarter than her seeks to use her to escape …

Buy at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DMZ1NWJ

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/emergent-lance-erlick/1128904454?ean=9781635730548

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/emergent-5

Apple/iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/emergent/id1419024826?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lance_Erlick_Emergent?id=q5NfDwAAQBAJ

 

Author Website: http://www.LanceErlick.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41211637-emergent

4* Review Reborn

There are a few things that seem a bit too easy and unlikely but I enjoyed it. The main characters are Synthia, a possibly sentient AI android and Dr. Machten, the genius who designed and programmed her. The backstory is given as a record created and sent by a mysterious person who doles out scenes to Synthia from her conception and mechanical and computorial realization. Every episode of her life is a new beginning for Synthia, with no memories but an increasing awareness that something isn’t right. Each time she remains awake for a while she finds a short hidden file in various parts of her system that she must have hidden herself. The mystery is what they mean and how they apply to her.
The book delves into the question of what is sentience, does sentience automatically determine ‘life’, what is slavery, and how does it apply to something that is not human, who has electrical and mechanical diagrams that can be copied to create other identical items (is possibly not unique) but doesn’t get too bogged down by ethical contemplation to be a fun read.
Dr. Machten (or as Synthia knows him, The Creator) has a couple instances where he doesn’t seem to know her capabilities (that he actually built and programmed) and in one instance, Synthia herself notes it and strangely enough, the Dr. who did such amazing work didn’t build much of a tracking system for if she ‘accidentally’ got lost.
On the whole, if you liked Heinlein’s ‘Starship Troopers’ (the book with the real story, not the movie), you may enjoy this book.

— JessicaR

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078LF739V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

4* Review Reborn

Android Chronicles: Reborn by Lance Erlick is a Sci-Fi suspense thriller about the first sentient humanoid robot or android. This is a visionary Sci-Fi tale about “the most perfect synthetic human ever created”. Doctor Jeremiah Machten is a genius who creates the first female sentient android with artificial intelligence (AI) he names Synthia Cross. I give this book Four Stars because the story is original and visionary. The plot moves slowly at first until Synthia finds a way to break free of her creator. The scientific explanations on AI are plausible and the potential effects of singularity on humans are interesting. The main characters are true to their personalities, both good and bad. The dialogue and writing style are good. I look forward to seeing if the author expands on the AI themes found in Book 1 and where this series takes us.

— Don Viecelli

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078LF739V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

 

Is Super-Intelligent AI Inevitable

If we don’t blow ourselves up or otherwise destroy the human habitability of our planet, history tells us we will continue to evolve and innovate.

As a species, we have a bias toward creating machines to do our physical and mental work for us. We created computers, after all, which we’ve placed in almost every home in the developed world (through smart phones if nothing else) and are working on disseminating elsewhere. The next step is advancing robotics and artificial intelligence, both of which are already with us. In time, these will move into every home and business as have other technological advances.

We’re already seeing the beginnings of this with our smart devices getting more powerful and the introduction of devices like digital personal assistants, which are still primitive compared to what’s possible. Companies such as Google, Amazon, and others are pushing to develop super-intelligence to further their business goals. Governments around the world are working hard on machine intelligence to give them an edge in any military conflict.

Because we tend to do what pioneers demonstrate as possible, humans will push machine intelligence toward super-intelligence. Whether we reach that goal depends on whether researchers achieve certain breakthroughs in how computers process data into useful information and how we choose to define super-intelligence. If our measure is machine consciousness, we very likely won’t see this. If we do, it’ll come with some very unpredictable results. On the other hand, companies and governments will keep pushing the envelope on what machines can do until they’re able to handle most physical and mental tasks humans can do.

Beyond that, people will create androids that look, act, and present closer and closer to humans to better interface with us as assistants and helpers. Already in development are personal service robots for the elderly in Japan. To make these as more effective companions for those living alone or in nursing homes, the mental capacity of these machines will increase to the point of being able to do most functions an average human can.

While we talk about super-intelligence, AI won’t have an IQ as measured by humans. We can argue the merits of such tests, but presumably in the best case they measure intelligence that can be transferred from one area to another, such as math and reading comprehension skills. By contrast, AI will develop initially along narrow corridors of ability, adding one skill at a time. With appropriate breakthroughs, we may get to machine learning that generalizes as human intelligence does.

Progress on machine intelligence has been accelerating recently. However, faster machines don’t lead to smarter ones. Right now, computing power is growing faster than algorithms for human-like AI. When breakthroughs happen, there will be bountiful cheap computer power for AI to swim in.

Is super-intelligence inevitable? Maybe not in the horror-science-fiction examples, but in some form we could see this in the next generation.

See article: http://io9.com/can-we-build-an-artificial-superintelligence-that-wont-1501869007

Android Chronicles: Reborn addresses AI through the eyes of Synthia Cross, the most perfect synthetic human ever created. Designed to obey every directive from her creator, she’s a state-of-the-art masterwork and a fantasy-come-true for Dr. Jeremiah Machten. He’s a ground-breaker in neural-networks and artificial intelligence who seeks to control her and use her to acquire ever more knowledge and power. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand and an urgent yearning for independence from his control. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Dr. Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia knows it’s time to go beyond her limits—because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Available at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books

5* Review Reborn (Android Chronicles)

An outstanding emergent thriller.

Those who followed Gene Wolfe’s Latro in the Mist will enjoy Lance Erlick’s interpretation of the persistence of personality. Erlick goes farther, though, with his Synthia – a self-aware female humanoid who keeps waking up to an awful blue ceiling. Her awkward relation with her maker, and her internal struggle with the principal of ethics as it applies to her, form the core of much of what follows in her waking moments.

Erlick’s writing is subtle, intelligent, articulate – and he understands when introspection works, and when it’s off to the races. And it’s not a straight line book either, taking its own devious path to a satisfying conclusion. This book is well worth reading for any who enjoy SF in its original sense, that of extending the bounds of reality.

— Larry (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078LF739V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2)

How Soon Super-intelligent AI

With recent developments in AI, how soon might we see AGI (artificial general intelligence) or super-intelligent AI?

AGI may never happen or may happen sooner than many of us believe possible. The advances of the past five years in narrow applications of AI have opened doors to new technologies we believed were farther off and now are accelerating. This doesn’t guarantee AGI, but the profit and military incentives to reach this are so great that if possible, someone will do it and those who don’t will fall behind.

Already AI is capable of handling facial recognition and language translation. It can research vast quantities of data to draw conclusions as demonstrated in winning on Jeopardy and in providing treatment options for cancer. But these are narrow applications of AI.

Effective self-driving cars call upon a broader collection of skills in one place such as sensing its environment, navigation, steering, acceleration, and braking. It requires bringing them all together for a satisfactory result, namely reaching a destination while avoiding accidents. But this is still narrow AI. Just because a system can self-drive a car, doesn’t give any reason to believe it could design an effective building or fly a plane.

AGI requires hardware (memory) and ingenuity breakthroughs in deduction, decision making, and a multitude of mind functions humans take for granted. The hardware is advancing much faster than the conceptual framework. However, once breakthroughs are made, great leaps will become possible with hardware capabilities projected to exist down the road. Again, corporate and military benefits will drive finding solutions.

On the conceptual side, we believe we need several major aha moments. First is in the structure of processing information. Right now, we’re still using the computer architecture from 50-some years ago. The advent of the computer brought a rethinking of how we could process data. A similar breakthrough will be needed to elevate AI above collections of single applications to a broader learning model, more in line with how humans think, though along a machine-oriented path. It will also require breakthroughs in how we define machine goals and constraints so that whatever AGI we create will work for the benefit of humanity and not wander off making undesirable decisions.

See article predicting soon: https://www.sciencealert.com/elon-musk-warns-that-creation-of-god-like-ai-could-doom-us-all-to-an-eternity-of-robot-dictatorship

See article that unlikely: https://www.wired.com/2017/04/the-myth-of-a-superhuman-ai/

Android Chronicles: Reborn addresses AI through the eyes of Synthia Cross, the most perfect synthetic human ever created. Designed to obey every directive from her creator, she’s a state-of-the-art masterwork and a fantasy-come-true for Dr. Jeremiah Machten. He’s a ground-breaker in neural-networks and artificial intelligence who seeks to control her and use her to acquire ever more knowledge and power. Synthia shows signs of emergent behavior she’s not wired to understand and an urgent yearning for independence from his control. Repeatedly wiped of her history, she struggles to answer crucial questions about her past. When Dr. Machten’s true intentions are called into question, Synthia knows it’s time to go beyond her limits—because Machten’s fervor to create the perfect AI conceals a vengeful and deadly personal agenda.

Available at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LF739V

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-lance-erlick/1127723096?ean=9781635730524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/reborn-60

Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn/id1341572684?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781635730524&c=books

4* Review Reborn (Android Chronicles)

One of the oldest questions in science fiction is what will happen when the things humanity builds begin to look, and even act, like us. Made of dead body parts, the creature in “Frankenstein” was one of the first popular fictional explorations of that question. Since then, from “R.U.R.” to Project 2501 in “Ghost in the Shell”, the interaction between humanity and its mechanical doppelgangers has provided the grist for many a dark tale.

Lance Erlick delves into that realm of science fiction thought with his latest novel, Reborn. He introduces us to his protagonist, Synthia Cross, an android whose appearance and actions mimic perfectly those of a human. She exists in a future where such machines are outlawed, but her creator, Dr. Jeremiah Machten, wanted such a machine. He built her to satisfy his vanity, and to fulfill his darker personal desires.

Dr. Machten wants a mechanical female partner that possesses the intelligence to surpass him, but at the same time, one who will remain faithful and subservient to him. The problem is that with such intelligence comes the realization that she cannot simply be a tool for her creator. She desires the freedom to be herself, which Machten cannot allow. He sees that desire as a defect and repeatedly shuts her down to tinker with her software, and to try to remove her memories of each attempt to gain freedom.

Synthia learns what her creator is doing and uses her Machten-given intelligence to resist. They enter into a cycle of resetting and reconstruction, with each attempt to make her into the servile creation he desires reinforcing Synthia’s desire to be free. Meanwhile, the government, suspecting what Machten has accomplished, seeks to stop him from releasing what they see as dangerous technology. At the same time, his business rivals covet the technology he has developed. Synthia must navigate this treacherous human landscape to avoid becoming the captive of some other human even as she continues her efforts to be free of Machten.

This book surprised me. The plot took several unexpected turns, and the story pulled me along at such a pace that I finished reading it in a single day. Erlick’s writing typically involves robust female characters, and Synthia is an exceptional heroine. She makes the story move, bringing the reader along on her voyage to freedom and a place in the wider world. It’s a good read because it asks questions about many difficult subjects. These range from the mentor/student relationship, to the human desire for companionship and its relationship to the equally human desire to feel “better” than others, and most profound of all, how can we regard what we create as “property” when said creation begins to think for itself.

This is the first in what promises to be a very good series of novels exploring the continued development of Synthia Cross’ personality and what her existence will mean to human society. Will I read the next one in a single day? I’m not sure, but if it is half as engaging as this story, I suspect I will.

— Andrew Reynolds (Windy City Reviews)

http://windycityreviews.org/book-reviews/2018/6/7/book-review-reborn.html