logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: artificial
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-30 22:15
Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell
Embers of War - Gareth L. Powell

Three years ago, Conglomeration and Outward forces were at war. One of their most terrible battles was fought on and around the planet Pelapatarn. On the orders of her superiors, Captain Annelida Deal directed Conglomeration ships to lay waste to everything on the surface of Pelapatarn. The planet's sentient jungle would die, as would hundreds of thousands of civilians and both Outward and Conglomeration troops, but Captain Deal's superiors believed that this one terrible move would end the war, and Deal agreed with them.

In the book's present, the war is indeed over, but the peace between the two sides is wary and tense at best. Sal Konstanz, formerly a member of the Outward forces and a horrified witness to the carnage at Pelapatarn, is now a member of the House of Reclamation, a politically neutral group dedicated to rescuing survivors of damaged/wrecked ships. She's the captain of the Trouble Dog, an ex-Conglomeration ship seeking to atone for the bombing of Pelapatarn.

When a passenger liner mysteriously shuts itself down, the AI equivalent of committing suicide, the Trouble Dog is the closest House of Reclamation ship available to rescue any survivors. Unfortunately, this mission has more complications than the Trouble Dog or any of her crew realizes.

I picked this one up because I'm drawn to stories with prominent AI characters in them. Trouble Dog was my favorite thing about this book, although I feel like Powell didn't go as far with her as he could have. For example, Nod kept saying how sad Trouble Dog was, something that Sal couldn't see and that Trouble Dog herself probably would have disagreed with (battleship AIs aren't supposed to feel sad about taking lives). In the book, AIs are grown from cloned human cells and, after a period of time, those organic parts sometimes bleed into their personalities more than their creators intended. Trouble Dog had clearly grown a conscience during the war and had indicated that she regretted her actions. Nod's chapters made it seem like she was maybe feeling more than she could process or fully recognize. I'm not sure the rest of the book ever confirmed that, though, and I feel like that thread eventually got dropped.

I'm not sure why the book's blurb and several reviews called this a fast-paced story. It really wasn't. Trouble Dog spent most of the book journeying to the wreck, with a couple stops here and there. I found myself thinking that at least half the people who survive shipwrecks must die of their injuries, dehydration, or starvation waiting to be rescued if it always takes House of Reclamation ships that long to arrive.

The characters and their gradually intersecting paths kept my attention well enough, despite the surprisingly drawn out journey to the downed ship. Sal battled with guilt over the death of one of her crew members and worried about what she'd do after she was thrown out of the House of Reclamation as she expected she soon would be. Ona Sudak's secret was blindingly obvious, but I looked forward to seeing what her final destination would be, as she tried to evade death/capture on a strange, planet-sized alien artifact. Ashton Childe, a Conglomeration agent desperate to be assigned somewhere cooler than the jungle he seemed fated to spend the rest of his life in, didn't interest me as much, but I at least wanted to see how he tied in with Sal, Trouble Dog, and Ona Sudak.

The book alternated between chapters from various characters' POVs (first-person, but thankfully not present tense). I didn't feel like most of the POVs were very well-differentiated, but the only one that actively annoyed me was Nod's. Nod was Trouble Dog's very alien engineer. Considering how important Nod was to Trouble Dog's continued ability to function, it was a little shocking how rarely anyone ever seemed to think of the character. I often forgot it even existed.

Even so, Nod's constant mental grumbling about the World Tree, Trouble Dog's damage, and the way no one on the ship ever thanked it for its work was kind of annoying. The part that really got to me, though, was the final chapter, where Nod thought something to the effect of "I know an important thing that I don't plan to tell anybody, but if someone thought to ask me..." Either tell them or don't, Nod. Wallowing in it like this makes you a jerk, especially if this thing you know could get people killed.

The ending was a disappointment. Trouble Dog said they were ushering in an era of "peace and diplomacy rather than a hawkish reliance on military strength" (402), but I disagreed. You know the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"? That's the feeling I got from the ending, and I didn't get enough of a sense that the characters truly realized what they were unleashing. The only exception was maybe Trouble Dog, but she seemed to think the end justified the means, which was odd considering her history. Despite my worries about where Powell plans to go with all of this, I'll probably read the next book once it's out.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

Like Reblog Comment
text 2018-06-29 08:49
Global AI in Healthcare Market to register 39% Growth in 2018

The Global AI in Healthcare Market Size is expected to surpass USD 750 Million by 2018. The industry is expected to cross over US$ 10 Billion by 2025 end.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is largely seen as fourth industrial revolution. Healthcare is one such sector where AI is gaining higher traction. The industry has shifted from medical products based era to real-time outcome based care and now to predictive and preventative care modellings (AI, Augmented reality and Robotics). Intelligent solutions will be the backbone of the future healthcare industry. Early entrants will be able to maximize their business reach and create a brand recognition in the sector. It is due to this that many AI based startups has emerged in last few years. Over 250 companies emerged in Healthcare AI market post 2015. The numbers are expected to further increase with technological advancement and overall profitability margins from the sector.

There are thousands of data across various healthcare field that are unstructured. Successful structuring of data could not only save time but also maximize the operational output. Much of the demand for AI is expected to be seen in drug discovery programs.

Bekryl’s market research report, Global Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Market Size Analysis and Industry Opportunity, finds North America to account for 58% of global sales in 2018. North America is pioneer in AI with most of the engaged companies are headquartered in the region. Furthermore, U.S. national healthcare expenditure is expected to increase from 17.9% in 2017 to 19.9% of total GDP by 2025. AI in healthcare will reach over US$ 5.5 billion by 2025 in U.S. This could potentially save over US$ 120 billion to US healthcare economy. Percent penetration will rise not only among medical devices and biotech companies but also hospitals, payers and insurance companies.

Some key trends from the global Healthcare AI market:

Trend#1: Artificial Intelligence companies are focusing on partnership/acquisition to strengthen their business presence and product portfolio

In the last few years, the competition has heighted in the Healthcare AI market with emergence of many new entrants. Leading companies are either going for mergers & acquisitions or partnership with small and midsize companies so as to ensure long term sustainability. For instance, in June 2018, EarlySense acquired cardiac predictive analytics (eCART) developed by Dana Edelson. Another company – Athenahealth – partnered with NoteSwift to offer AI powered HER (electronic health record) documentation. In the same year, 3M entered in partnership with C3 IoT to offer artificial intelligence based solutions for healthcare sector.

Trend#2: Innovative Product Development

Product development has been at the core of the strategy for most companies. Product and service offering differentiation could help company to expand its business presence organically. Various companies are coming with innovative product offerings so as to create their own niche in the segment. For instance, in January 2018, CLEW Medical developed healthcare predictive analytics software to analyze critical health situation. Another company – Beyond Verbal – developed emotions based analytical tool. The company is working on product development that could predict illness through user’s voice modulation.

Some key Global Healthcare AI Market Players are General Vision, Inc., Icarbonx Co. Ltd., Intel Corporation, IBM Corporation, Next It Corp., Nvidia Corporation, Oncora Medical, Inc., Enlitic, Inc., Alphabet Inc., Atomwise, Inc., Cyrcadia Health, Inc., Lifegraph Ltd., Microsoft Corporation, Modernizing Medicine Inc., Welltok, Inc., and Zebra Medical Vision Ltd.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-14 03:21
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) (audiobook) by Dennis E. Taylor, narrated by Ray Porter
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - Dennis E. Taylor

Bob just sold his successful tech company and is massively rich. One of the first things he does with his newfound wealth is sign up to have his head cryogenically frozen upon his death. Not long after that, he's killed in an accident...and wakes up more than 100 years later as an AI. He is now property, and he's been selected as one of four candidates for the job of exploring and colonizing space for FAITH, the government that owns him. It's a good thing that Bob views this as his dream job. First, however, he has to beat the other three candidates, keep from going crazy like so many other AIs in the past, and avoid being destroyed by one of the many groups that don't want this project to succeed. Although Bob does make it into space, it's a rockier beginning than he expects.

I can't remember if I bought this on sale or if I used an Audible credit, but, either way, it was a waste. I only managed to finish it in a reasonable amount of time because of Ray Porter's excellent narration. He made the lengthy technical explanations slightly more bearable. His range of female voices seems to be pretty limited (I think this is the third audiobook he's narrated that I've listened to), but since none of the prominent characters were female and there were maybe only three female characters with speaking roles, that wasn't really an issue here.

I picked this up because I like books with prominent AI characters. Bob was technically an AI, even though he'd started off as a human. For me, the best part of the book was the period between when Bob woke up as an AI and when he was launched into space. I enjoyed reading about him adapting to his new life and skills, even as I rolled my eyes a bit at how easily everything came to him.

The first part of Bob's life in space, before he started replicating himself, was tolerable, but not great. I wasn't a fan of Bob's decision to build a VR environment for himself. Taylor's reasoning for it sounded okay (AI craziness is at least in part caused by sensory deprivation, because the human minds the AIs are built from expect sensory input they aren't getting), but I didn't want to read about some guy living in his magical environment that he could change at will. I vastly preferred it when Bob was housed in a very nonhuman body that was little more than a camera and some manipulators.

When Bob began populating his environment with animals, including a beloved cat from back when he'd still been human, I began to worry that he'd start recreating people he'd known and loved when he was alive. My biggest fear was that he'd recreate his ex-girlfriend. I was surprised and relieved that it never once crossed Bob's mind to do any of this.

After Bob found a stopping point and began replicating himself, the story branched a bit and should have become more interesting. Instead, it became more tedious and considerably less focused.

Each Bob renamed himself in an effort to make things less confusing, and the book followed multiple Bob POVs. I did my best to keep count, and by the end the total Bob count was 30 and the total number of Bobs who got to be POV characters was up to 9 or 10. This was one of the few aspects where I regretted the audiobook format a bit, since the different Bob POVs were briefly identified at the beginning of a section/chapter and were often difficult to tell apart if I missed hearing Porter say their names. Although each Bob viewed the other Bobs as having radically different personalities, the personality differences weren't as noticeable in the different POV sections.

One of the Bobs (Bill) opted to stay in one place and act as a Bob factory, tech researcher, and communication center. One set of Bobs headed back to Earth to see how things were going and whether there was even any point in looking for habitable planets anymore. Most of the other Bobs went in different directions and began exploring - some of what they found tied in with the storyline involving Earth, some of it led to action scenes involving an enemy AI, and some of it had nothing to do with anything as far as I could tell. Probably setup for the next book.

The discovery of the Deltans, intelligent but low-tech beings on one of the Bob-discovered planets, fit into the last category. Sadly, I found it to be more interesting than the primary storyline involving the fate of humanity, even as Bob's actions and plans made me more and more uncomfortable.

Bob (original Bob) discovered the Deltans and, at first, decided just to watch them. He gradually became more involved, to the point that he

considered culling one of the Deltans' natural enemies, the gorilloids, in order to make the Deltans' lives easier. Another Bob disapproved of this, although I got the impression that his disapproval was based more on his dislike of making the Deltans dependent on the Bobs and less on any qualms about genocide. Original Bob spent a lot of time studying the Deltans and almost no time studying the gorilloids. I wasn't as willing as he was to discount the possibility that the gorilloids were also sentient and sapient beings.

(spoiler show)


We Are Legion (We Are Bob)'s biggest problem was that it was boring. Taylor included a massive amount of technical detail, and I really just did not care. I say this as someone who largely enjoyed the scientific explanations and technical details in Andy Weir's The Martian.

It probably didn't help that I couldn't bring myself to care about the various Bobs and their storylines, either. The humans in Taylor's vision of the future were largely annoying and seemed determined to literally argue themselves to death. Rather than talk to each other, share knowledge and resources, and generally help each other out, they preferred to argue about who got to evacuate first and then refused to so much as share a planet. As for the Bobs, I never became very attached to any of them and

didn't even feel a twinge when any of them died. After all, the Bobs themselves barely mourned each other, and they could always just make new ones, even though the personalities wouldn't be the same.

(spoiler show)


Early on, Bob worried about losing his humanity and was reassured that he was still human when he regained his ability to grieve for the family members of his who'd long since died. Honestly, though, he should have continued to worry, because that moment of grief seemed to be his first and last deeply felt emotion in the entire book.

I don't currently plan on continuing this series. I'm not sure I could take another book filled with dozens of iterations of Bob, even with Ray Porter narrating it.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-07 22:44
Star-gazing SecUnits: “Artificial Condition - The MurderBot Diaries 2” by Martha Wells
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells


“But you may have noticed that for a terrifying murderbot I fuck up a lot.”

In “Artificial Condition - The MurderBot Diaries 2” by Martha Wells



The very unfamiliarity of SF is one of its attractions for me. It slows down the reading and speeds up the need to think, both within and across books (intertextuality). Familiarity, similarity? Try reading these in a row, then come back and tell me you were on familiar ground all the while and that your mind is still in the same shape: "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", "Ubik"; "Version Control"; "The Gradual", "The Dispossessed" and "The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories" (no author names).

Setting a story in another place or another time enables speculative fiction like the one Martha Wells attempts with her MurderBot series to explore ideas that literary fiction might really struggle with. I'm interested in divided societies … Irish … English … Dorset … Croatia … Bosnia … Israelis and Palestinians …


If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-07 17:26
Review: Artificial Conditions
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells

Is anti-social sole passenger partners with ship AI to solve a mystery a new genre? Because the two best novellas I've read this year are both in it. 

 

A follow-up to the Nebula Award winning All Systems Red, this novella is a fun ride. This time, the murderbot wants to just watch some shows and figure out a little about their past, but a ship AI insists on explaining the flaws in the plan and then, of all the rude options, helping. And humans are, as usually, just the worst at risk assessment.

 

These stories have such a great sense of humor. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?