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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

3.9 (255 )
5 star
 (73)
4 star
 (110)
3 star
 (53)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (229 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Story
3.9 (222 )
5 star
 (73)
4 star
 (82)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (11)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 12-26-12
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 12-26-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    509
    ratings
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    191
    159
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    12
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    Performance
    Story
    "Short but defintely sweet"
    What made the experience of listening to Avogadro Corp the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Avogadro Corp?

    The very end. What the hell!!??!!


    What does Rob Granniss bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did a fine job activating the characters. They resonated well with me, and I am confident it will with you as well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The end, which moves pretty quick, but is a turn around that caught me off guard.


    Any additional comments?

    Not a huge stretch from our current reality. Recommended highly for tech thriller followers, and anyone else who enjoys near future forecast stories.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ceasar Spring, Texas, United States 09-27-13
    Ceasar Spring, Texas, United States 09-27-13 Member Since 2013

    Hello world!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    20
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    Story
    "Great story and how it unfolds"
    What did you love best about Avogadro Corp?

    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!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Avogadro Corp, Who said AI had to be intentional"


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. S. F. Cbg Cheyenne, WY United States 03-19-13
    S. S. F. Cbg Cheyenne, WY United States 03-19-13 Member Since 2006

    Greenjean

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love the plot."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Avogadro Corp to be better than the print version?

    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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Ribaudo Sayreville, NJ 10-19-12
    G. Ribaudo Sayreville, NJ 10-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Loving it all over again!"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard FOXBORO, MA, United States 05-22-14
    Richard FOXBORO, MA, United States 05-22-14 Member Since 2012

    A good way to get through the work day.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    52
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    Story
    "William Hertling, my new favortive author!"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 12-31-12
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 12-31-12 Member Since 2004

    audiobookaholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    222
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    163
    52
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    15
    1
    Overall
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    Story
    "Diversionary Tactics"

    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?

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margo New Mexico 02-10-14
    Margo New Mexico 02-10-14 Member Since 2002

    Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    181
    ratings
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    181
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    Performance
    Story
    "I liked the premise"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Freeman SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 09-21-14
    Freeman SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 09-21-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "i enjoyed the story, but no char development"

    and in addition to no character development, the narrator seemed pretty bored with the story. it's like he was trying to put us to sleep. despite all that, since i liked the genre, i liked it enough to finish.

    0 of 0 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
    26
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    4
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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 08-04-14
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 08-04-14 Member Since 2007

    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)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Skip it. Too formulaic with flat characters."

    ummm... okay.

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Martin
    Aston Clinton, United Kingdom
    12/8/12
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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