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Publisher's Summary

We unconsciously imprint our prejudices on Ais. Can they become mentally ill like their creators?

If one becomes psychotic, is shutting it down murder?

What if he fights back?

Liam, a gifted engineer, is trying to save the world, by finding a way to let industry mine for metals without the environmental disasters that make the news. Nanobots mining asteroids are the answer, and they are being tested on the dark side of the moon. But Gene, the AI tasked with helping him, spirals down the path of schizophrenia and is on track to mine the moon to dust - and without the influence of the moon, the ecosystems that mankind depends on for its survival as a species will be lost. This leaves Liam and his colleagues to battle the creation and his own demons to save humanity - who are oblivious to the potential destruction around the corner.

©2020 Peter McAllister (P)2020 Peter McAllister

What listeners say about The Code: If Your AI Loses Its Mind, Can It Take Meds?

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Exploring the limits

Intriguing story with a few unexpected twists.
Josiah did a great job with the performance - consistent with voices, accents, and expression.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun AI story

The Code was a fun thought experiment on AIs and the possibility of them suffering mental illness like other sentient beings. The setup was my favorite part of the story. A major corporation has played around with the idea of small AIs mining precious metals out of the Earth. Theoretically, it would be cheaper, environmentally sound, and no risk to human workers. So it looks like the Moon is a good place to test this out, right? Hahahaha! Things are not going as planned and the moon mining AI, Gene, has taken things further than anyone expected. Now the humans are facing an extinction-level event.

Liam is the smarty scientist called in to troubleshoot the problem. Everyone is looking for a way to stop Gene but there are a lot of hurdles in the way. To add to that, he’s now on a few hitlists. So he gets a squad of bodyguards to keep him alive. Ruby, his wife or long-term girlfriend, isn’t too happy at first but she’s quick to understand and support him. I like their cat.

The US government gets involved because they have the gear to get a mashed-up crew to the Moon. There’s some Australians and at least one of Liam’s bodyguards. Despite the seriousness of the base story, the plot moves along at a fast pace. There’s no time for deep contemplation or character development.

While there are several female characters, the two main ones are romantic interests. Also Liam learns the real names of his male bodyguards but not the ladies. He gave them all nicknames at the beginning yet kept referring to the female bodyguards by these nicknames throughout the story. I really felt like the ladies were pushed to the backseat and wanted more out of them.

The ending was OK. It tries to rally some hero sentimentality but it felt a little forced and flat to me. It did answer the plot even if it left the bigger question of AI mental health unaddressed. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Josiah Robinson was a good pick for narrating this book. He had a soft-spoken, thoughtful voice for Liam even as he managed to capture the good old boy voices for many of the astronauts and government officials. I liked his Australian accent. Robinson has decent feminine voices for the female characters. Some of the male Australian voices blended together for me sometimes but the text did a good job of keeping track of who was talking. There were no tech issues with the recording. 4.5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Peter McAllister. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good characters and not super technical

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Peter McAllister. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Gene, an AI programmed to use nanobots to mine ores on the moon is mistakenly using the incorrect software. It causes Gene to perform his task too well and by the time it’s discovered, Liam and his colleagues are hard-pressed to figure out how to stop Gene before the AI causes the end of the world.

The thing I like most about The Code is that it seems believable to me, and it isn’t super technical. I’ve read several books about out-of-control computers, and they were so technical with little character development that I had difficulty finishing them. The Code is not like that! Instead of being technical, the techs say this is possible or that is possible without going into detail.

Liam, the main character, is well developed. He’s very intelligent but has a mental illness as well which he takes medication for. I found it interesting that they think that Gene is schizophrenic. It seems crazy that an AI could have a mental illness, but their reasoning is sound.

The narrator did a good job relating the story. His timing and inflections were good, it was easy to follow, and he changed his voice just enough to know when someone else was speaking.

If you like science fiction without all of the technical talk, I definitely recommend The Code.