Intelligence Horizon, released at the end of 2022, the much anticipated sequel to Intelligent Consent
The future for Anastasia and Robert is balanced on a knife-edge. They are key developers of scanning technology used to copy the structure of the human brain and load it into intelligent robots. Their malevolent employer, Augustin, plans to kill them if they try to leave, but also when they outlive their usefulness. They also come under threat from an organisation intent on the elimination of all advanced robots. Meanwhile, two intelligent robots, Rob and Sam-renamed-Penny, have been sent to Mars to help Augustin achieve his all-consuming dream. Can they fend-off attacks by trans-planetary bandits, and use all of their cunning to outwit Augustin?
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Regaining consciousness after an accident, Robert Harper is devastated to find his mind has been copied into a robot named Rob.
As an intelligent machine, Rob feels that nobody believes he has the right to determine his own future. Worse, an arms manufacturer wants his technology for use in their weapons systems. Through many twists and turns he struggles to avoid capture, make sense of his very existence and overcome his own prejudices.
“What terrible disaster had occurred? Perhaps there’d been an accident while he was in the experimental brain scanner. Perhaps he’d suffered catastrophic nerve damage and that was why his muscles were failing to respond.”
“Dragging his eyes away from the hypnotically spinning disk, he considered what would be the most effective way to disable Sam. He didn’t like to think of it in terms of killing him..”
In many ways technology is advancing so quickly it threatens to move beyond what is governed by regulations and laws. We see examples in genetic engineering, human cloning and smart autonomous weapons. The creation of self-aware robotic systems still lies in the future. However, it is an interesting and thought-provoking exercise to consider how their use might be regulated and the ethics involved. Would they have any right to a continuing existence? Would they have any control over how they might be used? As Rob deals with the challenges of being a self-aware artificial intelligence, these are some of the underlying issues that confront him.
Friday 6th March 2020 – Listen to the podcast where I discuss Intelligent Consent with Henry Grossek for Casey Radio “Viewpoints” https://anchor.fm/viewpoints/episodes/Intelligent-Consent-with-Andrew-Russell-eb8vba/a-a1kt3jv
Sunday 8th March 2020 – I talked about Intelligent Consent with Headley Gritter on 3RRR The Party Show. Podcast accessible via rrr.org.au
|Praise for Intelligent Consent |
Uncannily real, unquestionably scary. This novel is a fascinating exploration of the challenges confronting an intelligent robot. Gripping and fast-paced, it addresses ethical and personal issues between robots, their creators and those bent on their exploitation. An ever-widening spiral of action held my complete attention to the very end.
Professor Kevin Warwick, the world’s first cyborg and leading expert in cybernetics.
An intriguing and compelling novel with twists and turns to the very end. Intelligent Consent exposes the issues and ethics and yes, the possible traumas of uploading minds. And whether minds might retain carbon chemistry emotions and desires, even within metallic bodies. It is a timely novel in an age of increasingly intelligent robots, exposing issues of embodiment, agency and identity. Having been a researcher in intelligent robots Andrew Russell is well credentialed to speculate on the implications of transitioning minds from human bodies into robot replicas. Not only enjoyable to read, Intelligent Consent provokes and perplexes! A highly recommended publication.
Stelarc, Performance Artist