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
"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)
The complexity of the story, and the obvious knowledge of the topic the author has, and carried forward to the story and the characters . Very enjoyable.
The very end. What the hell!!??!!
He did a fine job activating the characters. They resonated well with me, and I am confident it will with you as well.
The end, which moves pretty quick, but is a turn around that caught me off guard.
Not a huge stretch from our current reality. Recommended highly for tech thriller followers, and anyone else who enjoys near future forecast stories.
Great book, and from the point of a programmer. Its exactly how I would expect a distributed AI would appear. I was very taken in by this book and it filled everything I expected of it. Sometimes in my mind I removed the word "Avogadro" and used Google because that's what it felt like. Just one part I disliked but it's so specific to me I'm not going to mention it. 4 out of 5!
ELOPE , that's not even a person or even someone that you can directly interact with happens to be the best character from my view.
"Avogadro Corp, Who said AI had to be intentional"
A good way to get through the work day.
This is a great book and overall an even better series of books.The author does a great job telling the story and keeping your attention. If you like sci-fi this is a great listen. Listened to the whole series and enjoyed every bit of it.
Utterly believable. You will never think the same about your email or computers. Great premise. Unpredictable enough to keep you listening. Narration is a bit weak but acceptable- he could use more emotion and varying of his voice. Character development could go slightly deeper but overall wonderfully original and well crafted.
It's rare that I read a book twice, or even listen to a book I've previously read. However, I did it with Avogadro Corp. and I'm loving it all over again! William Hertling's story keeps you turned in. I spend a great deal of time on the road and find audible books are comforting and relaxing....if the stories and characters are well developed, and the reader doesn't distract me from the book. Avogadro Corp. checks all the boxes.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
It was not very well written, and I think this poor writing (specifically dealing with character development/behaviour) took too much away from what, otherwise, might have been an okay story. Maybe.
It is a lot like Daemon except, of course, much more lecturey and person-does-A and then person-does-B formulaic. The writing simply didn't flow, and there was little suspense.
This might be because the characters were not very distinct or "real" feeling, so... basically, we don't care what happens to whom or why... they all sound the same, so it is hard to tell if it was person one or person two who had something happen to them.
Was the techy component good?... well... it was better than the character development, but... again, it was written so stiltedly that it felt like I was reading a how-to manual. And I don't know that the tech was as "cutting edge" as it thinks it is. Sure, it's not "real" at the moment, but this author certainly isn't the first to use a self-actualizing AI as the premise of a story.
And the sub-title makes no sense at all. Oh well, live and learn. I won't be looking for any more books by this author.
The narration was okay. There is no sex or gore and the language is too dull to even have much in the way of swearing.
I like an AI book that has a somewhat plausible premise. I guess I'm willing to believe just about anything is possible in cyber space. What I had some reservations about was the "meat space." When the body count starts to go through the roof, a book starts to lose me. I have to roll my eyes when multiple software moguls get killed off all at once and it just seems to be another day at the office.
Other than that nit, I will be reading the second in the series and consider this a credit well spent.
A fun romp through a not-so-distant future in which a thinly-disguised Google goes off the Ruby-On-Rails. Can we code "Do No Evil" into our software? Will artificial intelligence save us or imprison us?
Which human impulse is stronger - hope or fear?
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
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.
This series (The Last firewall, and the two Avogadro books) remind me of how Star Wars is written. It's a beautiful world that I want to know all about... but dang if I don't get frustrated at how the story is being told sometimes!
ELOPe of course! The method and causes for its transition to intelligence was beautiful, logical, and very well written.
I felt like he was literally narrating, not telling the story. I don't need full dramatization, but the narration felt flat, and words/phrases regularly lacked emphasis that would have made the story feel more real, and meanings more clear.
Not quite but close. the subject matter was interesting and compelling, but it wasn't quite to the "I can't put it down" level for me.
"Ran away from circus, became computer programmer."
This book has a great premise (thought Robert Harris does it better in The Fear Index - Highly Recommended), BUT,it seems that the author has spend all his time in large corporations (naming no names, Google) and doesn't seem to understand the laws of narrative credibility.
It doesn't really work if I hear that the characters are about to undertake some breathtaking bourne-identity style intervention, but are held up by their adversary for three days because someone refuses to set a meeting with their secretary.
Big companies do indeed work like this, but fiction? not so much...
Still, if you can take all of that with a pinch of salt, it's a harmless enough read, and something about it kept me going till the end.
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