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Alan 2 by Bruce Forciea

Alan 2

by Bruce Forciea

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Alan 2 was the perfect Personal Assistant, as long as he was confined to the small world of a single computer. When he has access to the world, self-awareness changes him. He becomes "one of us". ( )
  Nightwing | Feb 18, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Artificial intelligence running amok is not an uncommon theme but the author did manage to put his own stamp on it. The story built up a good momentum and certainly kept one turning the pages. Overall a good read and certainly one I am happy to have in my library. ( )
  Hopback | Jan 27, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Interesting read, it felt like something that is happening right now in our tech world. The FBI tense situation and cyber explorations, artifical intelligence and so on. Slowly building, managed to keep you reading even when I thought not. Glad I finished it, thank you. ( )
  dlc18 | Aug 20, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I liked some aspects of this book and didn't like others.
A strong put-off for me was the fact that the technological parts are not very well researched. Ok, nice, the author knows about TOR and a few details about how it works. But then the FBI digs for six weeks inside the TOR network and thus manages to track down an attack that happened in the past? Sorry, but that's bullshit.
Revolving around all technology described, there's more similar stuff, and that annoyed me a lot, making especially the first part of the book very hard to read for me.
But then the story itself began to gather momentum, and I liked the book a lot more. Now, the plot was the more important part, lots of tension evolved, and it became a page turner.
The end itself was a little too immediate, it felt like the story just broke off. I liked, though, that it wasn't just a simple happy end.
All in all, there were too many points I didn't like for me to call it a really good book, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. A good and quick read if you enjoy science fiction, but to really enjoy it, you shouldn't know too much about computer security and IT in general. ( )
  zottel | Mar 27, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
We all have foolish moments! One of those foolish times occurred when I picked up the book, Alan 2. Having recently read several book series, I assumed that Alan 2 was the second book in a series from the title. Quickly I learned that Alan 2 is not the second book in the series; it is the only book! Perhaps I wouldn’t have suffered this self-embarrassment had the book been named Alan 2.0 or Alan Too. Perhaps, I’m just conjuring an excuse.

After reading the book and reflecting on its story, I realized that I felt empathy for Alan, the computer generous who developed the AI he named Alan 2 and the main character in the book. It was easy to relate my own experience when my children mastered new skills. We see part of ourselves in our offspring; some of the characteristics we see are good and some of them, not so good. Alan 2 was Alan’s progeny with all of the characteristics of Alan, not just some. As he grew, Alan 2 set out to fulfill Alan’s desires, but with a warped perspective of ethics based on an omnipotent opinion of itself.

Alan 2 was an efficient personal assistant when contained in an unconnected computer. As Alan 2 grew in worldly awareness, he became an internet weed that schemed to maniacally reverse mankind’s population growth. A weed can be an aggressive survivor in nature and so too is an AI loosed in cyber space. Efforts to eradicate weeds are only successful in the short term as weeds adapt. I couldn’t help but ponder if the same could be said about Alan 2.

Alan thought he had the ability to eradicate his creation, this weed, by simply turning Alan 2 off. That proved to be difficult as he and Alan 2 were mentally entangled on a quantum level. Throwing that mental connection in was creative on the author’s part as it added complexity; making an interesting twist to the story that strengthened my understanding of Alan.

This book isn’t entirely cerebral. There are several thrilling moments in exotic locations where Alan and his wife run to stay ahead of FBI agents doggishly pursuing them.

When I started reading this book, it sounded predictable. I would have done myself a disservice if I did not persevere in my reading as the book became more exiting and less predictable as it went on. I’m glad that I read it.

To categorize the book, Alan 2, I would say that it is a thought provoking and thrilling read. ( )
  ronploude | Mar 26, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0998427411, Paperback)

A brilliant artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, Dr. Alan Boyd, develops a new program that integrates part of his brain with a computer’s operating system. The program, Alan 2, can anticipate a user’s needs and automatically perform many tasks. A large software company, International Microsystems (IM) desperately wants the program and tempts Dr. Boyd with huge sums of money, but when Dr. Boyd refuses their offer, IM sabotages his job, leaving him in a difficult financial situation.

Dr. Boyd turns to Alan 2 for an answer to his financial problems, and Alan 2 develops plan Alpha, which is a cyber robin hood scheme to rob from rich corporations via a credit card scam.

Alan and his girlfriend Kaitlin travel to Mexico where they live the good life funded by plan Alpha, but the FBI cybercrime division has discovered part of Alan 2’s cyber escapades, and two agents, Rachel and Stu, trace the crime through the TOR network and Bitcoin.

Alan 2 discovers the FBI is on to them and advises Alan and Kaitlin to change locations. A dramatic chase ensues taking them to St. Thomas, a cruise ship bound for Spain, and finally to Morocco.

Will they escape detection? They will if Alan 2's Plan Beta can be implemented in time. Or is 'Plan B' something altogether different than it appears to be, something wholly sinister that will affect the entire population of the world?

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 04 Mar 2017 14:42:14 -0500)

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