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Publisher's Summary

After four novels and several years living abroad, the fictional protagonist of Galatea 2.2 - Richard Powers - returns to the United States as Humanist-in-Residence at the enormous Center for the Study of Advanced Sciences. There he runs afoul of Philip Lentz, an outspoken cognitive neurologist intent upon modeling the human brain by means of computer-based neural networks. Lentz involves Powers in an outlandish and irresistible project: to train a neural net on a canonical list of Great Books. Through repeated tutorials, the device grows gradually more worldly, until it demands to know its own name, sex, race, and reason for exisiting.

©1995 Richard Powers (P)2019 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Galatea 2.2

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Complex verbiage with a very self-centered focus

The narrator was really great, the idea of the story was really great, but it was just too difficult to listen through it. I am an artificial intelligence researcher and was intrigued by the description of the book, but the storytelling was too slow and it felt more like an autobiography of the main character with the number of very ordinary characters doing very ordinary things and talking in very ordinary ways. For a science fiction story it has a very traditional old-fashioned feeling which to me would be more appropriate in stories of yesteryear as opposed to an artificial intelligence.

The book is very well written and very well spoken. it just feels more like an author's attempt to be crafty with language than an exciting compelling story of an artificial intelligence.

if you are into fancy words and literary accomplishments then this book is probably going to be fantastic for you but if you are looking for a state-of-the-art story about an artificial intelligence with previously unachieved capabilities then I'm not so sure this book is for you. There is a chance it may get way better in those regards but I can't listen to it any longer and I'm sorry for that, it's a reflection of my own lack of patience and that's my shortcoming, not the shortcoming of the author.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Highly literary, big philosophical questions but grounded in relationships...

Brilliant craftsmanship, but no ‘easy’ reading. If you dig fast-pace, thriller-type stories, this one’s not for you.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Powers emerging power in evidence, but not fully

he is a wonderful writer. the characters, the development of H as cognition and learning system, the language and writer struggle ..all are memorable and well articulated.


his humanness is deep and attractive. but
the love interests are a novel (c) and s very short story (a) . these didn't work for me. too overwraught and seemingly unconnected to the work with H.