Welcome to my discussions of AI, Artificial Intelligence, characters in fiction.
Right off the bat you should know that I am not a Computer Science or AI guru. I have not formally studied AI, though I'd love to. I envy you who are lucky enough to dive daily into that marvelous pool of creativity.
My fascination with AI characters stems from my reading background but also from characters I've created for my books. I spent more time wondering about HAL in the epic '2001 A Space Odyssey' than I did the aliens who built the monolith.
Some of my AI characters are quite 'solid' in their abilities and focus. Like 'PIP' in my biotech/paranormal mystery, 'Genome'.
I spent a lot of time and effort to show that PIP's abilities are a result of the 'Geek Squads' constant exploration of what 'intelligence' is and how they needed an AI to make the bio-tech processes possible. PIP has a purpose in life. She's not just another pretty interface,
I also explore the need for having the massive computing power under the control of an AI, not just a complicated 'master' program. PIP controls the real-time, 3D, interactive, gymnasium-sized holodeck representation of DNA molecules for the researchers at Magnus Somnium, a bio-genetics research facility in Boulder, Colorado. It's a fictional company in the book, of course, but Magnus Somnium, LLC is a real company, created by yours truly to make mobile games and publish my books.
To make it 'believable' that MagSom staff could actually walk around inside a hologram of a human cell and 'play' with the DNA, I created an AI that communicates with the researchers via an avatar. Without PIP and the 3D holoroom the concept of manipulating DNA molecules fell flat in the story.
With PIP acting as the 'enabler' of the DNA exploration and manipulation concept, I could create a believable story line and at the same time adds some 'oh my God, I want one of those' moments.
In a way, PIP created excitement that a building full of bio-geneticist would not have. She became a full-fledged member of the team and gave me tons of opportunities to explore 'what ifs'.
BTW, PIP will be returning in several new books. I'm looking forward to pushing the limits of what we think is possible today. I'm also writing some young readers books based around a 'smaller version' of PIP. Cool beans!
My 'Arlo and Jake' series is a humorous, SciFi adventure that relies on AI as well. In these books I'm giving my right brain free rein, rather than my logical side. The results are wonderfully fun.
Though the AI's in A&J perform many, many purely computational tasks, like keeping a Nova Class Space Battleship functioning as it flies through the galaxies, I'm exploring my 'personal librarian' concept as well.
The 'Librarian' AI's are a marvelous blend of fact researcher, tutor, mentor and 'friend' to each of the crew of the battleship 'FTG Triumph', where my hero's fight the forces of evil throughout the Universe. These AI's can learn as much from a crewman as the crewman can learn from the AI. It's a partnership, not a 'Me User, You Computer', relationship.
So, let's continue to explore AI characters at a high-level and maybe dive into the depths of actual AI research together. It's going to be FUN!