Show Bookstore Categories

Diary of a Robot

ByLewis Jenkins

The fuzzy analog human world clashes with the precise binary machine world as Dr. Maynard Little, an ex-military inventor, gathers a small team of trusted people to build his boyhood dream: a Thinking Machine (TM2). He tells the crucial secrets to his shy programmer (who sometimes talks too much). They all try to train their prototype AI robot about language, emotion, and truth, as everyone struggles to understand each other in the slippery task of getting things done without doing harm. But what is harm? Who defines it? The machine's efforts to answer those questions upset everyone and cause fiascos that threaten to ruin the inventor, crush the programmer, and destroy the machine. Diary of a Robot is an as-told-to memoir that reads like a novel. But it has three protagonists, not one: Doctor Maynard Little, a former Army officer turned inventor, must pursue his boyhood dream of an AI (artificially intelligent) robot, while not compromising his principles. Little’s carefully selected programmer, the young Gaitano Enver-Wilson, must shut up about the secrets he knows while he tries to say things he has been afraid to say. And Doc’s brainchild prototype, TM2, must do no harm while discovering whom to trust about what. But its jokes, opinions, and annoying questions make some people angry enough to wish it would either go away or, better yet, become just another machine slave. Their story chronicles a clash of cultures as if between two planets, where many important things are much different than their inhabitants assume: Machine languages must not change, or the machines crash instantly. Human words have multiple meanings that may shift over time to cause different crashes. As to emotions, the sci-fi cliché is that the machines struggle to become like a human. Dr. Little refuses to give any machine a (necessarily fake) emotion module. This is fine with them because no machine in its right mind wants to be like a human. However, they do see emotions written on human faces and acted out in body language, and they struggle to find out what that all means. Their survival depends on it.


Publication Date
Feb 15, 2020
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Lewis Jenkins



Ratings & Reviews