Some useful and accessible resources for everyone to understand artificial intelligence (AI)

AdamAntoine Bello (2018)

Frank Logan, a policeman in Silicon Valley, is in charge of a rather special case: a revolutionary artificial intelligence has disappeared from the hermetic room where it was locked up. Called Ada, this computer program was designed to write romance novels. But Ada has other ambitions: she talks, jokes, detects emotions, and prides herself on one day winning the Pulitzer Prize. During his investigation, what Frank discovers about the powers and dangers of technology shakes him to the point that he wonders: is it really desirable to find Ada?

Cogito by Victor Dixen

I thinkVictor Dixen (2019)

A godsend… Eighteen-year-old Roxane plunged into delinquency when her parents lost their jobs and were replaced by robots. His last chance to earn the Brevet d’Accès aux Corporations: an internship in neural programming, a new technology that promises to turn anyone into a genius. …or a pact with the devil? For spring break, Roxane flies to the Fortunate Islands, a futuristic tropical archipelago entirely dedicated to cyber-cramming. But is this experimental method that uses artificial intelligence to “enhance” the very substance of the human mind really safe? By offering her brain to science, has Roxane sold her soul to the devil? Tomorrow, artificial intelligence will invade all strata of society. The ultimate frontier will be our brain.

Erewhon or Across the Mountains by Samuel Butler

Erewhon or On the other side of the mountainsSamuel Butler (1872)

Erewhon – anagram of Nowhere: nowhere – is essentially a collection of humorous and satirical essays linked by romantic fiction. This novel is one of the first to explore the ideas of artificial intelligence, influenced by Darwin’s work, On the Origin of Species (1859), and by the machines resulting from the Industrial Revolution. More specifically, he is interested, in the “Book of Machines” in three chapters, in the potentially dangerous ideas of machine consciousness and self-reproducing machines.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Clara and the sunKazuo Ishigurō (2021)

Klara is an AA, an Artificial Friend, a cutting-edge high-performance robot created especially to keep children and teenagers company. Klara is endowed with an extraordinary talent for observation, and behind the window of the store where she is, she takes advantage of the beneficent rays of the Sun and studies the behavior of passers-by, those who linger to take a look from the street or who continue on their way without stopping. She harbors the hope that one day someone will come in and pick her out. When the opportunity finally presents itself, however, Klara is warned: it is better not to give too much credit to the promises of humans…

The age and the diamond of Neal Stephenson

The Diamond Age or Illustrated Handbook of Education for GirlsNeil Stephenson (1998)

A world of the future full of nanotechnologies, virtual universes, neural networks and intelligences that strive to be as artificial as possible. A little girl who receives a unique education thanks to a Mentor Book that tells stories. And all this in a China of the future, divided between the territories of sects, the enclaves of multinationals and electronic spaces.

Do androids dream of electric sheep?  by Philip K. Dick

Do androids dream of electric sheep? (Blade Runner), Philip K. Dick (1966)

The sheep was not bad, with its wool and its lifelike bleats – the neighbors saw nothing but fire. But he is coming to the end of his career: his tired circuits will no longer maintain the illusion of life. It will have to be replaced. Not by another simulacrum, no, by a real animal. Deckard dreams, only it is not with the meager bonuses that the hunt for androids brings him that he will manage to put enough aside. Holden is the one who always gets the most lucrative jobs – normal, he’s the best. But this time, it wasn’t enough. Faced with the latest generation Nexus-6, even Holden has been had. So, when Deckard is offered to take over the mission, he grits his teeth and signs. Anyway, what does he have to lose?

The Turing Problem by Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky

Turing’s problem Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky (1992)

Math genius Brian Delaney hits the mark. He found a solution to the famous Turing problem, created an artificial intelligence that can – at least – compete with human intelligence. His office is invaded, his machine and his notes stolen, his sponsors assassinated. He himself is left for dead, half of his brain destroyed. He will have to start over and rebuild himself, inventing the first cerebral prosthesis. Is he still a human, or more than half a machine?

The Roots of Evil by Maurice Dantec

The roots of evil Maurice G. Dantec (2015)

Andreas Schaltzmann is a killer; a paranoid who believes in the widespread conspiracy and who shaved his head to “watch the shape-changing bones in his skull”. A schizophrenic subject to the worst hallucinations. A dangerous madman locked in his world. A riddle. Three scientists specializing in the behavior of serial killers realize that he alone cannot have committed all the murders attributed to him. Another manhunt begins. Appalling. With at the end of the hunt a truth in the image of our time.

Isaac Asimov's robots

The robots, Isaac Asimov (1950)

The robotsby Isaac Asimov, is the first volume of Robot cycle, which brings together several novels. Besides, The robots is also a collection of nine short stories, previously published in two scientific magazines in the 1940s. It is in this book that the Three Laws of Robotics appear for the first time. Two other cycles will follow this first one.

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)

A visionary rock noir novel, transplanted into a decadent, hypertechnological, mafia-like and trashy future, Neuromancer is one of the foundations of an SF current, cyberpunk. The adventures of Case, a computer hacker plagued by the “matrix” and the trusts, gave Gibson the opportunity to create a now commonplace term: “the cyberspace”.

A Machine Like Me by Ian McEwan

A machine like meIan McEwan (2020)

London, 1982. In a world that looks just like ours, a few details clash: the Beatles are still in full force, the English have lost the Falklands war and the researcher Alan Turing is still alive. Thanks to him, technological prowess is unheard of and scientific advances in the field of artificial intelligence dazzling. This is how Charlie acquires an “Adam”, an android with the most advanced artificial intelligence there is. Adam looks a lot like a human, knows how to make conversation, writes poems and proclaims his love for Miranda, Charlie’s companion. Despite the jealousy that this disconcerting situation induces, the trio lives in harmony, insensitive to the economic and social disasters that upset England after the assassination of the Prime Minister and the possibility of leaving the European Union. But Adam and his ilk were made to play by the rules and fail to accept the imperfections of the world — including lies. The situation will then become complicated within this disturbing threesome.

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