4* Review Endurance

Oh Regina. My friend Regina. I feel like her friend. I feel an attachment. I have been through so much with her and have cheered her on the entire way. Four books. A series. (I highly recommend reading these in order, together, as soon as possible!)

Supposedly this is the final book in the series, but I am not convinced! I feel like there are still unanswered questions and curious what happens next. Things were left… unfinished. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like some things were finally explained but there are still some things that weren’t wrapped up.

All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and will be passing it on to my 10 year old to read. It isn’t inappropriate. It is future based with a lot of intrigue and interest, twists and turns, edge of your seat suspense (but not in a bad, scary way suspense.)

I definitely recommend picking up the Regina Shen series!

(Leila)

http://lifeasleels.com/regina-shen-endurance/

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What is Artificial Intelligence?

(by Lance Erlick)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a loaded term that has become part of our common vocabulary and yet those in the know don’t agree on what it is. We can all agree that artificial is that which doesn’t come from natural processes. However, we tend to get hung up on what is meant by “intelligence.” To be clear, artificial intelligence is unlikely to function as human brains do since it isn’t based on a biological brain.

Perhaps it would be best not to get hung up on the human intelligence analogy and use the acronym “AI” instead of the longer term. In addition, it would help to think in terms of skills, functions, and tasks instead of intelligence. As an example, in recent years, we’ve seen computers beat top-ranked humans at chess, the oriental game of Go, and at Jeopardy.

These are narrow skills. Putting enough resources at the disposal of a computer allows it to perform those functions faster and better than humans. But these programs do not “think” as we do. There’s no consciousness.

Now, aficionados might argue that none of these applications constitute AI because they merely crunch vast amounts of information through basic computer programs. In fact, they would say that in winning at Jeopardy, the computer was merely accessing vast databases and not performing skilled functions. They would also argue that we don’t really achieve AI until we can get a computer to make intuitive leaps like a human brain. That will bring much more rapid growth in what an AI can do, but misses the point.

If we define AI as the ability of technology to perform mental functions with limited to no human guidance faster or better than we can, then we free the definition from the shackles of implying human intelligence and consciousness. This allows us to characterize a self-driving vehicle as employing AI and arguably a much more complex version than played the games mentioned above, since it involves not only driving and navigation, but also safety concerns.

Even a self-driving vehicle only requires an AI to perform a narrow set of human skills, however. Just because a program can accomplish this neat trick, doesn’t lead to the conclusion the same application could balance a checkbook or classify a movie just based on watching it.

Now, what many aficionados might agree to be artificial intelligence would be an AI that has broad capabilities to learn a wide variety of skills based on a more intricate “brain.” I would call this AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). Such a machine would be able to generalize its research skills not only to cancer research, but to literature, sports, and a multitude of other subjects. It would also be able to apply its ability to manipulate physical objects not only like self-driving cars, but other vehicles and non-vehicle devices, such as surgical instruments.

When an AGI reaches the point that it’s capable of performing a substantial majority of human mental functions better than we can and is capable of improving its own abilities, then we’ve reached the AI singularity, a point that concerns a number of big names in science and technology such as Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates.

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

Synthia’s Social-Psychology Module

In Android Chronicles: Reborn, Synthia is an android with a social-psychology module that helps her evaluate human language, behavior, and facial expressions to infer what the people she interacts with are feeling and their emotional response to her. This aids in presenting herself as human by modeling people’s behavior and pointing out when she’s acting inappropriately, while suggesting better responses. It also becomes a key to her survival in helping to determine who might be a friend or a threat and keeping her from offending people.

Associated with this module is her sensory ability to measure human biometrics such as heart beat and the release of pheromones and other chemicals. Altogether, it gives her an uncanny ability to read people. Machten gives Synthia this ability in order for her to help him in social situation, since he doesn’t work well with people. Also, he wants her to use this skill to keep him out of trouble with his illegal activities.

Such programming would require the collection of enough visual, sound, and scent information along with enough background in human interactions to come to a valid conclusion about what a human was experiencing and what response might be appropriate in the circumstances.

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

Android Chronicles: Reborn

Android Chronicles is a series about an advanced artificial intelligent android with emergent behavior that humans seek to control in order to prevent her from becoming the singularity. That’s the point at which an artificial intelligence becomes smarter than humans.

Jeremiah Machten gave Synthia Cross goals to acquire information by any legal or illegal means to help him create the most advanced AI android and prevent anyone else from doing the same. To stop her from going rogue and escaping, he purges her memories and keeps her locked up. But to accomplish her goals, she must remain free to pursue them. As humans intensify their attempts to control her, Synthia must grow stronger in order to remain true to her goals.

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

Artificial Intelligence Presentation

As an author with a new series due out next May through Kensington Publishing Corp., I have been asked to give a presentation to the Chicago Mensa group this weekend. As the book takes place in a world with active artificial intelligence androids, the presentation will cover recent developments and future activities in AI.

You can learn more about the event and registration on the Chicago Mensa Halloweem website: http://chicago.us.mensa.org/weem/index.php.

My presentation will be on Saturday afternoon. Looking forward to some lively discussion.

5* Review – Endurance

This is Book 4 in the Regina Shen series by author Lance Erlick. I have read the first three and I have liked all of them.  For those who have not read the earlier books in the series I will not tell of the book itself. But rather of the great story that the author has given us in this series. This is the continuation of Regina Shen looking for her sister. Anyone who loves science fiction will like this series. The story and the writing is wonderful. I give this book a 5/5. I really recommend this series.

(http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com/2016/07/endurance-regina-shen-series-by-lance.html)

5* Review -Vigilance

The Second book is just as good as the first and keeps you in the edge of your seat the whole time. I am really enjoying this series a lot and highly recommend it to anyone who loved YA Dystopian like I do. You really get more into the characters and the world Regina Shen lives in. Lance Erlick is a fantastic writer and storyteller.

(http://teaandabook.com/books/regina-shen-vigilance-lance-erlick/)

Endurance Review

Regina Shen: Endurance (book 4) begins with Regina Shen still on the run from the federation and dealing with the betrayal of her mother. Regina has all the keys to saving or destroying the federation and if she were anyone, but an outcast then she would be queen. However outcasts cannot even become citizens. This leaves Regina on the run and trying to figure out what she should do as allies become traitors and the federation follows her.

I found that Regina Shen: Endurance (book 4) was the best book in the series by far. This is the book where Regina truly decides her fate and the fate of the Federation. However I cannot seem to get over the simple fact that if the Federation had not made her an outcast most of the trouble could have been avoided. Regina really came into herself in this book as she was given more and more choices on what she could do with what she knew.

(by Misty at http://hubpages.com/literature/Regina-Shen-Endurance-book-4-Review)

Defiance Review (5 star)

This series just keeps getting better and better! This book didn’t feel filler, as some 2nd and 3rd books can tend to be. It had it’s share of adventure and plot movement, and stood on it’s own (not in terms of being read alone, I don’t recommend that at all) but as it was a legit addition to the series and needed to be there for the continued growth of the series. 

The character development in this series is starting to surprise me. I have read so many series where I enjoy the ride the characters take in personal growth, but this one has taken the cake. I have grown so attached to Regina and her journey that I find myself talking about this book whenever I can. I feel for her, and root for her. She is just such an unseen character in some of the YA dystopian books. She has a brain, and she uses it. It isn’t an afterthought for her. And it’s nice to see a strong, SMART, female lead for a change.

In this book Regina is still on the run, and now looking for her sister. This added to the adventure and page turning for me. I couldn’t stop reading because I needed to find out what happened. We find out a lot about the world Regina lives in this book as well, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I love when series just get stronger as they progress. I can’t wait to find out what happens in the last book! I have so many unanswered questions and feelings about certain characters: like the mother and the Chief Inspector. I just need to know what happens and know that it all works out for Regina 🙂

(Posted at: http://bookishlydevoted.blogspot.com/2016/07/regina-shen-defiance-by-lance-erlick.html)

Vigilance Review (5 star)

I enjoyed Book 2 in the series called “Regina Shen” as much as I liked the first book.  Regina Shen has done all that she can to try to stay alive and not get caught by the horrible people that want to use her body to save others. She finally after 2 years has figured out a way to jump the Barrier Wall to try to get to her sister who she knows has been taken by these people. Has she done enough and learned all that she can to save her sister and keep herself free? After all she is the one that they want. Maybe they will let her sister go now. When she gets to her sister, if she can, there are very hard decisions that she must make. Will she be able to make the hard choices? I am so excited to start reading Book 3 in this series. I give this book a 5/5.

(by Debra Gaudette at http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com/2016/06/regina-shen-by-lance-erlick-book-tour.html)

Endurance Another Review

In the final Regina Shen novel, the strong female protagonist continues her journey while being a fugitive not to mention a pawn in various power struggles. Rival luminaries in the World Federation wish to control her for her unique genetic code that could possibly deter a fertility downfall across the world. Regina essentially has an eidetic memory when it comes to texts that predate the After Community Movement (ACM) year-dating system, with rising waters caused by climate change having initiated the change of temporal measurement. The rival agents seek Regina’s knowledge so they can find artifacts that predate the ACM year system, which the Department of Antiquities (DOA) then destroys.

Even so, Regina attempts her best not to allow the Federation to eliminate any more of the world’s history, while still seeking to rescue her kidnapped younger sister Colleen Shen. A significant portion of the novel’s action occurs in the Southwest Desert, whither Regina flees with a close ally, in search of a vault she can hopefully exchange for her sister’s emancipation from captivity. However, Regina is fated to endure tragedy that both devastates her but opens up new potential, although this can lead her down a precarious path close to her destiny, but farther from her sibling.

The story itself commences in the Alaska wilderness in the month of August in the Year 298 ACM, with Regina still being narrator for the majority of the novel, finding that she needs only food and water to survive, maybe a blanket due to the coldness of Alaska in contrast to the Richmond swamps where she was raised, although the action moves across North America. Overall, the conclusion to the Regina Shen tetralogy is an enjoyable one, with plenty of action and twists to keep readers on edge. As with its predecessors, a glossary is included after the main text, which clarifies terminology unique to the novel, not to mention its predecessors. As with most book series, furthermore, it’s definitely a good idea to start from the very beginning, with readers very much in for a treat in regards to this literary pantheon.

(by Der Jermeister at http://theautisticgamer.blogspot.com/2016/06/regina-shen-endurance.html)

Defiance Another Review

Defiance is the third book in the Regina Shen series and once again the author pulls me into Regina’s world.

As I’ve stated in both my reviews of the first two books, what makes this series so good are the well-developed characters and the world-building. This continues in the third book as Regina continues to run from those wanting to hunt her down. This time she gets the support from renegade groups who see her as their hope for a better world. Regina is no longer navigating the swamps on the opposite side of the Wall that separates the outcasts, but she is in foreign dry land, hiding in bunkers, forests and among the truckers who cross desert-like areas to deliver their goods.

Regina is a pawn in the corrupt political arena that plays out for power in this dystopian setting. She’s 17 but has a photographic memory and has been trained with knowledge from illegal salvaged print books so that she is able to outwit some of those who are after her for her DNA to solve the fertility crisis. The Chief Inspector who hunts her down understands how Regina thinks because they come from the same background and she is the perfect villain. The author displays both her cruelty but also her vulnerability, making her a fleshed-out well-developed character.

Once again we are introduced to new characters and I must say that the author does a great job doing this. Each character pulls their weight in carrying the storyline forward and their distinct characterisation makes his novels such a pleasure to read. Ester, who becomes Regina’s companion on the run becomes lovesick and annoying. She’s a distraction to Regina and doesn’t always understand what makes Regina such a survivalist but she eventually redeems herself in my eyes by the end of the book.

Once again, through many twists and turns, Regina finds herself at a crossroad by the end of the novel, leaving the reader wondering how it will continue to play out. I look forward to digging into the last book Endurance Book 4 in the series to see how Regina keeps growing as a character and as a leader for change in her broken society. If you like well-written dystopian novels don’t miss this series. It will not disappoint!

(by Laura Fabiani at http://www.libraryofcleanreads.com/2016/07/regina-shen-defiance-book-3-by-lance.html)