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I Still Dream
The timing of this novel’s publication is spot on. It is a story about the growth of artificial intelligence, how we increasingly live our lives and conduct our relationships online – and how much of ourselves that ultimately remains stored in cyberspace.
But it is also a deeply moving account of one woman, computer expert Laura Bow. We meet her first as a troubled teenager in 1997. It is the early heady days of the internet and Laura is a reclusive geek, depressed and self-harming. In her London bedroom she spends her time developing a rudimentary AI system, initially a kind of enhanced diary, with which to share her thoughts. Ten years later she becomes a leading programmer and is head hunted to work in Silicon Valley for a company whose own AI driven interface platform, Scion, is being developed.
The book dips into Laura’s life every 10 years, taking us through current times and on into the future. Scion becomes the essential personal assistant operating system installed on computers across the world. As the level and complexity of the system develops beyond the expectation of its creators the question becomes ‘who ultimately is in control’?
This is a thrilling and visionary look into the future but also a study of love and loss and what makes us human.
HarperCollins paperback, £8.99