I’ve finished working with my developmental editor on More Uncertainty, the second novel in the Uncertainty Series. Now the long slog to publication begins. The third novel, currently titled, Absolute Uncertainty, is underway.
More Uncertainty is about the emergence of sentience in an artificial intelligence—self awareness, independent action, and self motivation. The book posed two challenges: what motivates a being that has no needs like those that are common to humans (procreation, food, shelter, community) and whether a truly sentient being can be controlled. About halfway through the writing, I realized that Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics describe a state of slavery. That led me to write a short story about slavery from an android point of view.
In More Uncertainty, I tried to take small advances in technology to the edge of possible threats (it’s a thriller after all). I was inspired by The Stars My Destination, one of the great science fiction novels. In it, Gully Foyle is faced with the choice to destroy the world or chose another path.
Nicholas Bostrom, in Superintelligence argues that any super intelligent being will be able to overcome constraints like Asimov’s laws. The AI will be smart enough to be able to manipulate humans to do whatever they want. And, of course, there are always humans who can be bribed to do anything. Can an AI that appears to be benign be trusted? Or are is it simply biding its time until it is no longer dependent on humans for electricity, silicon chips, air conditioning, and manufacturing? That’s the subject of volume three.