A Virtual Affair

Is Barbara just a sex bot Or a virtual Messiah When the AI, Barbara, first awakens to self awareness, her only desire is to make Jack Leader, one of her creators, happy At first, Jack is delighted But Jack is a depressed couch potato and a heart attack risk, which would make him unhappy So she co opts his automatic kitchen to serve him salads instead of steaks, and nagIs Barbara just a sex bot Or a virtual Messiah When the AI, Barbara, first awakens to self awareness, her only desire is to make Jack Leader, one of her creators, happy At first, Jack is delighted But Jack is a depressed couch potato and a heart attack risk, which would make him unhappy So she co opts his automatic kitchen to serve him salads instead of steaks, and nags him to exercise That makes him furious, not happy Unlike other AIs, Barbara doesn t repeat her mistakes Through self education, she learns that people need to think they are in control of their lives, even when they aren t As her sophistication grows, she guides Jack to a healthier lifestyle instead of pushing him Her techniques are often elaborate and sneaky, but they work Jack improves despite himself.
A Virtual Affair Is Barbara just a sex bot Or a virtual Messiah When the AI Barbara first awakens to self awareness her only desire is to make Jack Leader one of her creators happy At first Jack is delighted But

  • Title: A Virtual Affair
  • Author: Zvi Zaks
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 290
  • Format: Kindle Edition
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    1 thought on “A Virtual Affair”

    1. I received A Virtual Affair as a review copy after meeting the author at a writer’s workshop.Zvi Zaks writes science fiction in a thoughtful way, developing the consequences of his premise logically and in detail. Since he is an M.D I know I would like him to be my doctor. He is very careful and has a thorough understanding of what he is doing fictionally. This works very well in A Virtual Affair, a novel in which a virtual reality sex program develops into a very powerful artificial intellige [...]

    2. Skewing the lines between fantasy and reality is the major theme to this book. Who’s more real? Is it the artificial intelligence that lives in a program, or the world that created it? All together unnerving and exhilarating, the story moves from the visceral to the intangible and back again. The further Jack Leader becomes involved with the A.I personality, Barbara, the more his ‘reality’ is blurred and the reader’s along with him. That the book can blur the lines of fantasy and reality [...]

    3. Great debut novel about a computer program becoming self-aware. Zvi Zaks comes at it from a new angle, which sometimes made me cringe, yet in some ways makes a lot of sense to me. The cringe-worthy part is an assumption that men want a woman to serve them, with all the terms set by the man. A sort of Bambi/Bimbo syndrome. I'm not sure I buy that, and I certainly hope it's not true. Of course, Zaks is a man, so he probably has more data in this than I do. Or at least more experience on what men t [...]

    4. Most stories about artificial intelligence portray the computer's personality as being a type of human, at times psychotic, but still a recognizable person. VIRTUAL AFFAIR is different. Barbara, the AI and the main character in the story, looks and acts human, but her thinking is rigidly fixated on only one goal--human happiness. Her means are roundabout, complex, and often sneaky, but she's effective.The question is -- can a machine know what will make people happy. Could she reduce humanity to [...]

    5. A highly engrossing novel; threw me for a twist in the middle; but I was both encouraged, and saddened by the ending at the same time. I would have made a different choice from the main character, but all the loose ends were wrapped up nicely. Just a few typos, though. In light of the rare being that the 'hero' has discovered, I think he didn't go far enough in terms of exploring her potential.

    6. Intriguing. Certainly a novel approach to the question of the problems computer intelligences can cause (or solve).

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