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Turing Evolved by David Kitson


  • novel
  • adventure
  • action
  • romance
  • science fiction
  • future
  • virtual worlds
  • artificial intelligence

Fecha

27/05/2012

Autor

Webmaster


It seems that since the beginning of time humanity has always had that doubt as to how real its reality is. As well as to never be quite sure as what makes us human. The advent of the Digital Age has done nothing but create a new layer of doubt while not providing any true new data either to backup or refute theories that point in either direction.

Through Turing Evolved David Kitson presents us with his own take on the issue. What makes us human? What is reality? How do we deal with human attributes when talking about non-human intelligence? How do we define reality? What is real? How do you work out the middle ground between what is real to me, from what is real to you?.

On one of his papers, Alan Turing, proposed a test to help sort out the moment that a machine can be said to think. In the 1950's the concept was very straight forward: have a judge engage in a conversation with a second party (human or machine), at some random point switch the second party (to machine or human), if at the end of the test the judge is unable to tell at which point was the second party a machine or a human, then the former can be said to qualify as thinking. Or at least, as he would put it, be good enough in the imitation game.

I read Turing Evolved in it's second edition, provided free as all those before, and although it certainly feels better than what complains point out is wrong on the first, it contains a few typos, strange sentences and maybe a few narrative snafus. But even so, it is a great read. As someone versed in the world of bits and bytes I found it engaging, fun and very entertaining. The ending came with a welcomed, and somewhat unexpected, twist.

If there is something for which Kitson deserves extra recognition is for finding proper acronyms for so many words that, to us, sound so normal. HEAVEN, ANGEL, DEMON all of them refer, in the novel, to technology and machinery that when broken down to its compound terms still sound right, and not at all out of place.

In attempting to answer the questions posed at the start of this article Kitson plays with ideas and concepts that can also be seen in The Matrix trilogy, as well as in the Thirteenth Floor film. Along those he presents us with AI that live their life to the service of humanity as a helping hand, a little in the line of Ghost in the Machine and other Japanese Animé films that also play with the idea of humanity, individuality, real or artificial.

Turing Evolved is a novel that has action, betrayal, love and sci-fi with characters that we can like, and some we can hate. It mixes that dual-reality idea we see in The Matrix with a little bit more of sci-fi through the presence of non-genetic beings, in essence AI, that are there to help humanity in every way they can. Of course, it doesn't take long for things to become much more complicated than that.

We experience the adventure behind the eyes of Jonathan Carlson, a recently discharged DEMON pilot, who finds himself without work and without friends in a new city. Because of his military career he has implants that allow him to engage in virtual connections and be there, in all the sense of the word. As he starts a new job, with the Mindspace Samaritans, his sense of who is real, what is reality, and which world is truly his own starts to get blurry. Even more so when circumstances put him in the unique situation of being able to save... an ANGEL.

One of the good things of having two realities to explore is that there can be two levels of action. Both as deadly, both as fast. More so in a world where tanks have gone out of fashion as have large surface vehicles and they have been replaced by giant humanoid shaped exoskeletons like those seen in the Evangelion Animé TV series, MechWarrior or SHOGO: Mobile Armor Division games. There is something very special about being able to wield such power, even if not everyone is able to make good use of it.

As an Indie writer David Kitson certainly does a great job to bring his unique world into life. It might not be in a perfect and highly polished manner but what matters is the world he creates, the characters he presents us, the adventure he allows us to share. And these, are as good as they get.

WetWeb by Robert R. Haney

Visit the official website at Turing Evolved.


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