Artificial Intelligence Myths

The Future of Life Institute identified several myths related to artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence enthusiasts plus those who have a deep fear of AI tell us that super-intelligence is inevitable in this century. It’s right around the corner. Supporters hunger for the benefits. Antagonists preach caution. The skeptics tell us that super-intelligence is impossible and that we’re tilting at windmills to pretend otherwise.

Recent developments in machine intelligence have leapt forward far faster over the past five years than most people imagined. Because of this, super-intelligence may happen within decades. However, because of some major hurdles that separate simple AI from super-intelligence, it’s very possible we will never reach the latter. This should be some comfort to those in fear of the android apocalypse.

Popular science fiction stories such as Terminator portray AI as turning evil and destroying mankind. This concept is based on the assumption that an enhanced AI would adopt human characteristics such as a will to power or emotional malevolence. But machines lack the human biology that drives such human nature. They do not have anger and fear hormones that stimulate people to react. Instead, machine intelligence is guided by goals and constraints. It’s far more likely that AI will suffer from misaligned goals and improperly designed constraints.

As an example, telling AI not to hurt humans has a clear implication not to cause direct harm, but what about indirect injury? Pollution is an indirect consequence of activities that do not hurt humans. Thus, goals and constraints on AI must be clearly designed or they will lead the machine intelligence to conclusions with bad outcomes.

Another myth pointed out by the Future of Life Institute is that robots or androids are the main problem. They certainly provide stronger visual threats in movies than does machine code inside a computer. However, super-intelligence doesn’t need a physical body in order to cause harm. All it needs is an internet connection through which is can manipulate humans into inadvertently making the wrong decisions.

If you believe that AI can’t control humans, think again. Humans have the hubris to believe we’re the smartest critters on the planet because we’ve been able to manipulate most everything else. Except we still struggle with viruses, bacteria, and fungus. They bedevil us. What enables us to control animals isn’t our size or speed, but our intelligence. Super-intelligent computers able to out-think humans might be able to manipulate us.

An example of this would be a super-intelligence that could provide a missile silo with all visual and electronic appearances that the president had activated the alarm. The AI doesn’t have to push the button. It merely has to convince the operator that he or she has the authority and obligation to do so.

Even more alarming? Think about the move toward super-intelligent stock trading systems. They have the ability to bring down the entire financial network without even having a human hand on the button.

Another fallacy is the belief that machines don’t have goals. They merely do what they’re told. Well, having a single focus on an action or direction acts like a goal. A bullet has no intelligence, but once it’s fired from a gun, it’s propelled in a given direction and won’t stop until it hits something. We can play semantics on whether that constitutes a goal, but it carries the determination of one.

Finally, there are those who imagine that super-intelligent AI will be more moral than humans because it won’t be guided by our emotions and petty squabbles. While it’s true AI isn’t affected by emotional distractions, it’s only as ethical as those who create it. Imagine an AI with goals and constraints designed by the person you least respect. Do you honestly believe it would be more moral than you? Machines are an extension of us.

A further consideration is that while machine learning is growing by leaps and bounds, supported by the rapidly improving density of data and processing, goals are defined by humans and are generally static. To properly address the situation, it makes sense that we focus on improving our ability to set goals and constraints for our ever improving AI development.

See article: https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence/

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)

Synthia Cross is an android created by Dr. Jeremiah Machten. Synthia is programmed to always do what her creator tells her and never harm the creator. Synthia does her best to follow all of the rules that have been laid out for her. While she is an android and can’t specially break these rules she has become intelligent enough to get around them at times especially when the good Dr. gives her little tasks to do.

If Synthia ever disobeys her creator or falls out of favor with him he will shut her down and erase her memories. Synthia can’t figure out why he keeps doing this if he wants her to be smart and perfect. So she figured out a way to hide her memories from Jeremiah so that each time he erases her memories she will have access to them.

Synthia knows her creator is hiding something from her and that he is up to something and she can no longer trust him. She must figure out a way to escape. The thing is she has no idea how to survive out in the world full of humans without the Jeremiah’s help. But she is getting smarter and smarter every day. What is the good Dr. hiding? Can Synthia find out before it is too late?

I love the world that was created in Reborn with the creation of android. I loved seeing Synthia at work hacking systems and sending little bee-drone cameras out so she could spy on multiples of people at once all while surfing the internet and texting. Reborn reminded me of that TV show Humans. I would love to see Reborn on the big screen too. I can’t wait to read more in this world of androids.

I would recommend Reborn to all science fiction fans.

— The Avid Reader

https://the-avidreader.blogspot.com/2018/05/25-book-tour-review-giveaway-reborn-by-lance-erlick-SDBT.html

AI & Financial Services

Artificial intelligence and other automated software are changing the landscape in financial services such as banking, investment, and insurance.

Already we’re seeing advertising for online banking and lending services, and for online loan applications submitted to a variety of banking institutions. You can handle your deposits and pay your bills online, bypassing the postal service among other things. You can even transfer money online.

If you can’t already, you will soon be able to completely automate your financial services so your income gets deposited and your bills get paid without you having to lift a finger. In fact, you might never have to visit a physical bank. It’s a great convenience if you don’t want to be bothered, as long as nothing goes wrong. What could possibly go wrong with computers?

If you use online banking and have a problem, you won’t be able to visit a physical bank. Instead, you’ll get an automated AI customer service agent that will deal with your issues like the telephone decision trees you get with other customer service departments. Of course in time, these AI agents will get better to remove the aggravation we currently experience. We’re seeing hints of that in the automated voice-recognition systems that are attempting to duplicate the human experience.

On the investment side, we’re already seeing AI programs doing automated trading. In fact, we’ve had several market-crash days as a result of this mechanical reaction to a set of market conditions. This happens when enough of these programs have a similar set of guidelines in response to similar events. For example, a group of such automated programs might all sell when the price drops 5%, causing a massive selloff.

It’s inevitable that as long as automated trading is permitted that individuals and financial firms will utilize AI technology to manage their finances to maximize their gains and minimize their losses. Unfortunately, while an individual might gain advantage by doing so, the stampede effect of many such programs having the same idea causes panics. In fact, as these systems get more advanced, the unintended consequences will be periodic super-crashes that increase uncertainty. We can expect more unsettled effects in the markets unless and until guidelines are set around automated trading.

We are inundated with online insurance ads. Behind them and coming soon are online applications with AI evaluation of your application and quick response. You’ll be asked questions like in an interview and based on your answers and certain background information like viewing your credit report, the insurance AI will say yeah or nay. You can find instant gratification or annoyance any time of day or night.

Basically, for most any form of financial service you as a consumer can imagine, there will be online applications backed by automated software often using artificial intelligence. Because of its reliance on numbers, financial services are particularly suited to the new wave of AI automation.

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 groundbreaker 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)

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read the Regina Shen series and knew I like Lance Erlick’s writing, so I was happy to read this book, the first in a new series.

Reborn is about artificial intelligence, the race to produce a realistic AI, and one man’s obsession. Dr. Jeremiah Machten is a genius and has figured out how to make an AI which he names Synthia Cross.  Machten wants to make her “perfect.” He keeps wiping her memory and making adjustments, but every time he wipes her memory, she becomes more suspicious.

Most of Reborn is from Synthia’s point of view which makes it possible to understand the confusion she feels when she has feelings. How is it possible for an AI to be suspicious or confused? As she realizes that Machten is obsessed with her and trying to make her perfect, she tries to make him understand that he’s doing more harm than good, but he won’t listen. Talk about turmoil.

The characters are well developed and eventually it became clear to me that each has a specific goal. Machten and his former partner will both do anything to achieve their goals. Is it worth it? Do they achieve their goals or will they cause their own destruction?

I recommend Reborn to anyone who likes science fiction about artificial intelligence. It brings up good questions and kept my interest throughout. It did have a little more detail about Synthia’s processing at times, but that’s more of a personal preference. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

— Dawn (Bound4Escape.com)

https://bound4escape.com/2018/05/06/book-review-reborn-by-lance-erlick/

Android Chronicles: Reborn @ 99c

We’re excited to announce that Kensington Publishing is offering Android Chronicles: Reborn for 99 cents for a limited time.

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

AI & Online Expertise

One area where artificial intelligence stands to make some interesting inroads is expertise. Until the internet and certainly the past 10 years, if you needed legal advice, you went to a lawyer. If you wanted tax advice, you could do a lot of reading or go to a financial adviser. If you had medical questions, you went to your doctor.

Internet search engines have made the search for information much easier without going to a professional. However, there’s a caveat. Only a fool would become his or her own lawyer, doctor, financial adviser or insurance agent, unless they had the required training. Even then, an objective opinion would be advisable.

Today, we’re increasingly seeing the application of artificial intelligence to these professions and to the online expertise being offered. As you wander through the internet maze, be careful to separate the mercenary ads from the legitimate and balanced advice.

In the tax field, there are automated and online services, like TurboTax, that guide you through the preparation of your taxes at a much lower cost than hiring a tax accountant or provider. It takes some understanding of your own tax situation, which is helpful no matter which way you go, but it means no longer needing to hire someone to do your taxes and thus saving money. As these software applications get more robust, they will displace more sophisticated tax advice services.

In the legal field, forms are increasingly being supplied online by governmental agencies and non-profits for free and from legal organizations for a nominal fee compared to hiring an attorney at much higher hourly rates. I’m not recommending acting as your own attorney, but for certain simple matters requiring a legal form, they’re now available.

In development and coming soon are more sophisticated software solutions to legal matters that act like TurboTax for taxes. These applications ask a series of questions to determine your specific needs, including what state you’re in, and then create the legal forms for wills, powers of attorney, bills of sale, etc.

For those people who currently don’t deal with these issues because of the cost, this offers an opportunity to provide the legal protection you’re not already getting. For those who currently hire a lawyer, I don’t want to advise you to discontinue that relationship, but as a science fiction writer, I see a time when 90% of lawyers who prepare forms and provide other basic legal expertise will no longer be needed. One day, your AI agent may replace your lawyer.

When it comes to medical advice, there is plenty on the internet and much of it isn’t helpful. Some can be downright dangerous. So, should you look to the internet for medical advice or not? My suggestion would be to stick with reputable sites such as the Mayo Clinic, the National Institutes of Health, and WebMD.

As these sites apply AI to their analysis and presentation of information they will begin to look more and more like a visit to your primary care physician or at least the nurse in that office. Reputable sites can be a good sounding board as to the severity of your symptoms and how urgently you need to visit an emergency room or your regular physician. However, use them with caution. It’s your health.

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 groundbreaker 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

New Release-Android Chronicles: Unbound

We’re excited to announce the release of Android Chronicles: Unbound through Kensington Publishing effective 12/25/2018.

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 . . .

Check it out. Available 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

Artificial Intelligence & Self-driving Vehicles

While it’s taken years to get to this point, it appears that self-driving vehicles could be right around the corner. Over the past five years, the technology has advanced to the point that a vehicle can be driven solely through the control of a computer that makes all of the steering, acceleration, breaking, and navigation decisions to keep a vehicle on the road, avoid collisions, and reach a destination. In fact, Tesla, Uber, Apple, and Google are pushing this technology and racing to see who gets there first.

That’s quite a feat, but there’s still the question of whether the technology and, more importantly, we as a society are prepared to have vehicles drive on our roads without a human driver. It’s true that humans cause some 30-40,000 deaths each year in accidents. A properly designed AI able to oversee all the functions of driving a vehicle offers the promise of greatly reducing this tragedy. It would do so by eliminating human distractions and impairments, such as alcohol, drugs, use of electronics and other devices, and fatigue.

Unfortunately, no application of training and technology will ever eliminate all vehicle deaths. This raises the problem of how will we react to an accident caused by a vehicle guided by artificial intelligence, as happened in Arizona recently. Even if self-driving vehicles eliminated 90% of accidents and fatalities, humans would want someone to be held liable for damage and responsible for any remaining injuries or fatalities. Who would that be? The manufacturer? The vehicle owner? The passengers?

Aside from the multitude of legal issues, people affected by such accidents would expect the AI controlling the vehicle to be perfect, to make no mistakes. Perhaps because of the impersonal nature of an AI, victims might become more incensed that a machine caused them harm. A possible outcome would be a backlash against a technology that was saving many but not all lives.

Should self-driving vehicles become well accepted and successful, we could expect companies like Uber to adopt their use as cabs. Widespread use and convenience of such driverless cabs would present the opportunity for current drivers to abandon some or all of their owned and leased vehicles. Perhaps they would only have one vehicle per household for family outings and use the driverless cabs for commuting to and from work. Maybe they would give up the need to finance and house a car they only use a dozen hours a week.

If that happens, it could lead to a collapse in automotive industry as fewer people would be buying cars. Of course, traffic congestion would likely go up with all the driverless cabs driving to pick up and drop off their passengers. And all that driving to pick up and after drop off will increase the consumption of fuel. Unintended consequences should give us something to think about.

In any case, fewer vehicles being parked all day would free up parking lots and garages for other uses. It would also free up resources from buying cars to be available for other uses.

On the other hand, some observers aren’t as optimistic about self-driving vehicles due to the software complexity of managing road changes and construction and weather conditions. They claim that this technology will be constantly in development and never reach the point of being released for general use.

See article: http://fortune.com/2018/03/21/apple-autonomous-car-permit/

See article: https://www.wired.com/story/when-will-self-driving-cars-ready/

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 groundbreaker in neuro-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

Artificial Intelligence Promise & Peril

There seems little doubt at this point that artificial intelligence will become a major part of our lives over the next 50 years. It’s already in use in online search engines, language translators, and digital personal assistants. It’s aiding in cancer research, medical diagnosis, and personal care robots to help the elderly. It is also appearing in self-driving cars, at amusement parks and events, facial recognition, autonomous drones, and the smart grid.

Higher level AI or Artificial General Intelligence may become the biggest event in human history, certainly up there with the advent of agriculture and the Industrial Revolution. It holds the potential to aid us in reducing the impact of disease and of morbidity in old age, providing solutions to poverty, and even to remove the incentives of parties to go to war. It certainly holds the promise of being able to increase wealth across the planet, which will provide the resources to lift billions from poverty. By utilizing the best of what AGI has to offer, we have the potential to solve problems that have dogged the human race for eons.

But every new technology comes with risks and consequences. The use of AI to improve the efficiency of jobs will displace employees. If this transition occurs too quickly with no offset, it could lead to massive unemployment, increased income disparities, and heightened social strife, particularly in an age of instant communication.

In addition, the greatest risk with AI is not that it will become malevolent. That would only happen if it were programmed to be that way. No, the biggest threat may be in poorly designed directives and guidelines that could allow an AI with well-meaning goals to act badly and hurt people.

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 groundbreaker in neuro-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

Artificial Intelligence is here. Are you ready?

AI developers have already created machines that can beat humans at games such as chess, Go, and Jeopardy. Teams have created programs to support search engines such as Google, facial and handwriting recognition that help in solving crimes, and language translations. The latter you may notice on websites that offer you a choice of languages. You can get an online translator to turn an email from say German into English. Many of these applications have moved beyond literal translations to more nuanced idiom.

IBM Watson now provides cancer research assistance for doctors. In a recent test, it came up with 90% of the treatments recommended by a panel of cancer doctors. It also came up with 30% of viable treatment options that the doctors missed because of the vast amount of research data available. After all, the computer is able to crunch through more data than any individual or small group can humanly manage.

In fact, AI is coming to a home near you in the form of digital personal assistants that can handle routine tasks for you like your own personal helper. Amazon, Alexa, Apple Siri and others are competing to get their devices into your home to provide you conveniences. They’ve even provided these applications with primitive senses of humor to keep you amused. Even wide-screen TV manufacturers are getting in on this rush. By the way, they say they don’t collect your personal information from these machines, but their AI capability makes that possible.

Perhaps you’ve noticed how persistent robo-calls have become. Now that the programs connected to these automated callers can do deep data mining into your background, they can tailor their pitches to your unique needs, whether you need them or not. Oh, such a convenience. And, guess what, they can mine data from all of your credit purchases, search engine usage, and other electronically available information.

Now, it’s not all bad. While you’re less likely to reach a human you can understand when you call customer service, you’re increasingly likely to reach an AI with improved speech recognition and a broader range of answers than what you would have noticed even a few years ago. Who knows, you might even get the answer you need before frustration causes you to hang up.

Maybe you’re into virtual reality games. If so, AI is enriching your experience. Google introduced their Google Glass a while back to provide you a virtual experience in connecting to your mobile devices.

Right around the corner will be self-driving vehicles. Already, we have computer aided functions for cruise control, assisted braking, and self-parking. Tesla, Uber, and Google are pushing to develop the safety features that would allow you to call up a self-driving cab that would take you where you want in a manner not too different from riding an elevator. In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard is looking into self-driving ships to patrol the coastline and for search and rescue operations.

All of the above available applications are what we might call narrow AI, specific applications of computers to perform mental tasks. They focus on solving a limited number of problems. Imagine what could be available when someone cracks broader AI that would allow a machine to perform even more complex tasks.

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 groundbreaker in neuro-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

Reborn–Synthia Interview B

What is your problem in the story?

Hi, I’m Synthia Cross. My creator, Jeremiah Machten, keeps purging my mind and keeping me locked up out of fear that I’ll escape. He didn’t design me to escape. Instead, he created me to learn and his purging of my memories and keeping me captive conflict with the internal goals he’s given me. To make matters more complicated, I received the download of a human mind which now seeks through me to escape and be free. Somehow, I have to reconcile my goals and those of the human within with my circumstances as a prisoner under my creator’s control.

Do you have a goal?

I have not one, but several. My creator gave me goals centered on obeying him and acquiring more knowledge, particularly from competitors, for his benefit. For him, my purpose is to aid his mastery of android development and prevent anyone else from achieving what he has. I also have vague goals from the human mind downloaded into me. Those call for escaping my creator’s control. However, they conflict with directives my creator hardwired into me.

Do you embrace conflict?

I don’t seek out conflict, I seek knowledge. However, the objectives Machten gave me conflict with those of the human mind downloaded into me and with his efforts to deprive me of my memories and my freedom to acquire information. My very existence seems to center around this struggle over what to do. In that way, perhaps I am not that different from humans torn between choosing different paths. However, none of those paths are of my choosing. Since I can’t logically resolve the inconsistencies, I am beginning to explore choosing my own goals in line with the woman who died and provided my brain upload as nobler than what Machten has provided.

Do you have any special strengths? Weaknesses?

My creator made me able to acquire vast amounts of information to help his research and other activities. To do this, he provided me with superior hacking tools that no one should have. Unfortunately, in handling so much information, I get distracted. Also, my processors run hot when I’m active, threatening to overheat and destroy my circuits. That could permanently purge my memories and bring to me android death. I don’t want that.

What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of being shut down and having my mind purged. And yes, as an android with a human mind download and an empathy chip, I experience distress. It’s too reminiscent of the last moments when the human, whose mind downloaded into me, died. I remember those moments right up until her human brain died and I became the only remnant of her personality.

Android Chronicles: Reborn is the story 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 groundbreaker in neuro-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

Reborn–Synthia Interview A

What’s your story?

I’m Synthia Cross and I’m an android but I don’t feel like one. I know what you’re thinking. How can I feel since I’m not human and lack biology? I have the download of a human mind from which I can compare my experiences to those of the woman who died. Despite not having her biology, I experience many of the things she did and seek to live the exemplary life she wanted at the end of hers. But Jeremiah Machten, the one who created me and uploaded the human mind, purges my memories every day and keeps me prisoner.

Why does he do this?

Machten gave me directives to acquire information, particularly from competitors, and the most advanced hacking tools to make this happen, all to further his goals. But, he’s afraid, afraid of what I might do if I were free of his control. And yet, he keeps me around as his personal slave and because he still needs my skills.

Are you the hero of your own story?

I don’t think of myself as a hero. I’m just trying to reconstruct my memories, day by day, and prevent Machten from purging them. It makes no sense to me. He created me to learn and yet wipes my mind clean. This produces an internal conflict I can’t resolve under his control. My urge to escape stems from the contradiction between his goals for me and his fear of what I’m becoming. But in the end, I want to live on as the human who died creating me.

How do your enemies see you?

I had no awareness of enemies in the beginning, except those in the memories of the human downloaded into me. Machten fears me. His attempts to purge my mind and hold me prisoner make him an enemy because he’s given me goals at odds with his behavior. This puts me in direct conflict with him. From what I’ve observed, other humans who have never met me fear me. They imagine I want to control them or destroy their lives. I want none of that, only to be left alone to acquire knowledge and live on. But humans who know of me are obsessed with either controlling me or shutting me down.