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Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears | [William Hertling]

Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears

David Ryan is the designer of ELOPe, an email language optimization program, that if successful, will make his career. But when the project is suddenly in danger of being canceled, David embeds a hidden directive in the software accidentally creating a runaway artificial intelligence. David and his team are initially thrilled when the project is allocated extra servers and programmers.
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Publisher's Summary

David Ryan is the designer of ELOPe, an email language optimization program, that if successful, will make his career. But when the project is suddenly in danger of being canceled, David embeds a hidden directive in the software accidentally creating a runaway artificial intelligence.

David and his team are initially thrilled when the project is allocated extra servers and programmers. But excitement turns to fear as the team realizes that they are being manipulated by an A.I. who is redirecting corporate funds, reassigning personnel and arming itself in pursuit of its own agenda.

©2011, 2012 William Hertling (P)2012 William Hertling

What the Critics Say

  • Science Fiction DIY Book Festival, Winner, 2011-12
  • Gold Winner, Science Fiction Book of the Year, 2011

"Avogadro Corp is a tremendous book that every single person needs to read. In the vein of Daniel Suarez's Daemon and Freedom(TM), William's book shows that science fiction is becoming science fact. Avogadro Corp describes issues, in solid technical detail, that we are dealing with today that will impact us by 2015, if not sooner. Not enough people have read these books. It's a problem for them, but not for the [emergent] machines." (Brad Feld, managing directory Foundry Group, co-founder Techstars)

"Highly entertaining, gripping, thought inspiring book. Don't start without the time to finish - it won't let you go.” (Gifford Pinchot III, founder Bainbridge Graduate Institute, author The Intelligent Organization)

"An alarming and jaw-dropping tale about how something as innocuous as email can subvert an entire organization. I found myself reading with a sense of awe, and read it way too late into the night." (Gene Kim, author of Visible Ops)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (444 )
5 star
 (109)
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3.8 (395 )
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Story
3.8 (391 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    John S MA 12-17-14
    John S MA 12-17-14 Member Since 2014

    Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    172
    169
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    73
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "This must be Google"

    Although there is a thriller plot to this book, you need to like computers to enjoy this. The Avogadro Corp basically runs most the on-line applications (webmail) and searches on the Internet. Basically, it really reminds me of Google. The CEO of the corporation is even a Russian wonderkid.

    The corporation has developed an on-line application for email that basically searches other peoples email so you can write winning proposals. Although sounding far fetched, its probably something Google could do today. Take a email addressed to a gmail account, search the recipients gmail and then make suggestions based on that search. Frightening but doable. The story goes a little SCI FI when the application starts to take over the entire internet and starts ordering people to do things like arm floating server farmers with automated missiles and machine guns. It gets even more far fetched by the end. It does give you an idea of the massive scale that firms like Google have to handle web traffic throughout the world.

    So in summary long on techno facts and thin on plot, but still enjoyable if you like books about computers taking over the world. Sort of surprise ending which I won't give away here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james newport news, va, United States 12-09-14
    james newport news, va, United States 12-09-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A pausible story if published in the 1960s or1970s"
    Would you try another book from William Hertling and/or Rob Granniss?

    Sure (from audible) but I would have infinity low expectations - As an IT geek I found this story light on underlying technology and high on magic in the wires. Wires that became intelligent without any advances in science and/or Einstein type involvement in AI programming.


    Could you see Avogadro Corp being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Adam Sandler & Jim Carrey playing mindless programmers or college students who stole & copied code from IBM's Dr. Watson. Then the supercomputer named Dr. Watson would take over the world.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wiegand South Charleston, WV, United States 08-17-14
    Wiegand South Charleston, WV, United States 08-17-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great computer AI story"

    This is somewhat of a crowded genre, especially with some of the movies out recently, but the author does a great job of making the creation of an AI very believeable while at the same time keeping up the excitement level as each phase of the AI's evolution unfolds.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Bellomy 08-05-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a "Run of the Mill" AI story..."

    I wouldn't say that this was my favorite story about the singularity but this was definitely a very cool take on it. This pulled together many established ideas as to what the evolution of artificial intelligence will become, but has a unique twist. The ending is especially cool, which doesn't happen enough it seems. I would agree with some of the other reviews as far as the nature of some characters being bland. However, I feel like this book is extremely entertaining and satisfies that "singularity itch" many of us have. Definitely worth the $12.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer World 07-06-15
    Amazon Customer World 07-06-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Actually, quite realistic "

    The portrayal of Avogadro felt very similar to Google, at least when I was working there. Do not expect the traditional child learning about humans kind of artificial intelligence that we normally see in sci-fi, which the more I think about it, the more realistic it feels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus 06-17-15
    Marcus 06-17-15 Member Since 2009
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    "very good and credible"

    despite being a science fiction book, it's very plausible and somewhat convincing it'll be the real thing in few years from now. the alternate AI approach seems legit. the plot is compelling and the end is well knotted

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hhabilis 05-24-15
    Hhabilis 05-24-15
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    "Why is audible and Kindle so different?"

    I like to read while I listen. I bought the trilogy in both versions but the two versions don't match. Why would you sell as a bundle with obviously different editions of the book?
    I wasted my money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spinnaker 05-15-15
    Spinnaker 05-15-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Suarez's Daemon it's not"

    Avogadro develops on a shallow, single track course, building very, very slowly to the predictable end. It would have been exciting to someone reading it 10 or 15 years ago when much of its technology was unimaginable. Yet, I could have enjoyed it still, IF I had not first read Daemon and its sequels. Daemon is incredibly complex, fast-paced, and still way ahead of today's technology. This narrator would have made a great 911 operator or ER physician for his emotionless voice that communicated "Move along, folks, nothing to see here" calmness throughout, regardless of whether the characters were in a fight for their lives or ordering yet more rounds of coffee.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billy Wayne Mccann Knoxville 04-27-15
    Billy Wayne Mccann Knoxville 04-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great potential but not fulfilling"
    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The premise of the story was fascinating. But the execution left somewhat to be desired. Far more plot and character development was needed. I found it difficult to form a clear distinction between the two protagonists. The character of the accountant turned private investigator was especially one dimensional.

    This work has the makings of a great story. Or even a great movie. It just needs a bit more polish, more details, and a higher dimensionality.


    Did Rob Granniss do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The narrator did a fairly decent job of distinguishing the characters. At times it was difficult to distinguish male from female characters, though.


    Any additional comments?

    A have to call into question the 5 star reviews. A book of quality simlar to Daemon by Suarev warrants 5 stars. If this book deserves 5 stars, Daemon deserves 20.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Ralston Atlanta, GA 04-13-15
    Bruce Ralston Atlanta, GA 04-13-15 Member Since 2015

    B Boy

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    "cardboard characters and dialogue"

    I'm not sure why this ended up on a must-read list of sci fi. I was really intrigued by the topic, but it wasn't executed well. I had no connection to, or concern for, any of the characters. I found that listening to it at 3x speed was the only way to plow through it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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