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The Two Faces of Tomorrow

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  699 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Survival test.
Civilization had grown so complex that only a world-wide computer network could control everything. But the computer was only logical - it lacked common sense. And its all-too-logical decisions were beginning to cause too many near-fatal accidents.
The solution was on the drawing-boards - a universal, self-aware and self-programming computer, equipped with jud
Mass Market Paperback, 392 pages
Published June 12th 1979 by Del Rey (first published May 12th 1979)
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Apr 29, 2014 YouKneeK rated it really liked it
I didn’t read the synopsis for this book until after I had read the book. I’m glad I didn’t, because the synopsis pretty much sums up the first third of the book. Where’s the fun in that?

After I had read a few pages, my initial thought was that this was going to be a “computers take over the world” type of book. It wasn’t quite like that. I had been on the right track, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the characters show some common sense and forethought. In stories where technology has run
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of Hard Science Fiction and stories of AI
This (barely) makes three stars for me. What I liked? Well, this is hard science fiction, and one that, astonishingly, despite a 1979 publication doesn't feel dated. The novels centers on the dilemma of Artificial Intelligence that gives us the two faces of tomorrow. A powerful, self-aware computer can be a partner of humanity giving us an exciting, unlimited future--or can be an unbeatable adversary (think Terminator). To test which future is likely, Project Janus sets up on a Space Station whe ...more
David King
Nov 22, 2011 David King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel is set in the mid-21st century and follows a team of scientists lead by Dr Raymond Dyer who are attempting to develop a computer programme that is capable of learning, adapting and using something similar to the common sense inherent in humans. When a computer programme manages to almost kill a group of engineers due to its logical handling of a situation, Dr Dyer and his team are brought in to discuss the ramifications. The various discussions and thoughts around the situation leads t ...more
Sean Randall
Sep 28, 2011 Sean Randall rated it liked it
"HESPER machines were learning machines, designed to be capable of identifying connections between previously nonrelated factors in order to solve new problems or to solve old ones in newer and better ways."

This sounds great, until the machines in question decide that using conventional earth-moving equipment to shift an obstruction is an outdated fashion and dropping bombs on the area is a quicker way of getting the job done, as the opening of this book shows. The operator said "absolute best
John Loyd
May 29, 2016 John Loyd rated it really liked it
TITAN, a semi-intelligent computer system integrating all the HESPER units on the moon gets a priority request for help in removing a ridge. Instead of sending bulldozers it bombs the area almost killing the five men near the site.

Ray Dyer leads a group of computer scientists at CUNY working on building common sense into computers. The near disaster on the moon threatens the funding for his project. A colleague takes him to a hearing in Washington with the premise that what they need to do is mo
Andrew Petalik
This books explores computer intelligence. Not the typical "will computers get smart and decide to replace us", but a very brilliant concept of "A computer may be smart, but does it have common sense?"

The book begins with a system called Titan that runs lots of the mundane tasks around the world and the moon. There are mining stations that launch raw ore for delivery to a waiting station, all controlled by Titan.

A request is put in to excavate a particular spot on the moon. Normally, the ETA for
Dec 22, 2008 Raja99 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks-baen
Why I Reread this Book: First, because a friend of mine is working on a non-fiction book with related themes (and indeed because the subject matter interests me). Second, because I started rereading it as a test of a new eBook reader on my iPhone (Air Sharing).

This is a serious and carefully-thought-out approach to the question of whether it is safe to incorporate imperfectly-understood AI into a world-spanning computer network upon which the world depends. Or, in modern terms, would it be desir
Rodney Carlson
Feb 04, 2014 Rodney Carlson rated it it was amazing
This is my second favorite book by this author (Code of the Lifemaker is first) Once again, what I like about Hogan is that I get Redbull added to my imagination. The “what if” factor that he adds to his work.

What if we could create a living/thinking computer?
What if it decided to entertain its own agenda?
What could we do to protect ourselves?
Coming from different origins/abilities, what items would be alien to our thinking?
In what ways could we communicate?
How could we relate?

This book describe
Karl Smithe
May 05, 2012 Karl Smithe rated it it was amazing
This is the most realistic Artificial Intelligence story I know of. It may not be the best written science fiction but good sci-fi is a good story involving science not "literature".

This is a story of the near future from the perspective of 1978. Tiny computers are everywhere integrating the functioning of society. But the expert systems are still making dumb mistakes. As a result of a dumb mistake some workmen are nearly killed on the Moon. So they decide to evolve an artificial intelligence to
Sep 04, 2014 Stacey rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, science-fiction
An interesting idea, how could it turn out so boring? Characters that are indistinguishable from each other, too much talking and very little doing, coupled with long descriptions of the surroundings of the space station.
The premise, while interesting, wasn't very well thought out either. Two guys are working to teach a computer how to get along in the human world and it never occurs to anyone to try and teach Spartacus what a human even is? Perhaps if they had told it in advance that there are
Jul 20, 2015 Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
An excellent story of a live experiment of an AI's power. While written a while ago, it still comes across as real and current. The insights, actions and reaction are very plausible and exciting. The story mostly follows the AI development team; including as they split up to work in different areas.
Jun 09, 2016 Slhanley rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Machine - Artificial Intelligence - created to protect humanity. Wanting to see if it works, scientists put it aboard a space station and proceed to throw everything humanity has against it to see if it can protect itself. It grows, learns, and wants revenge. Pretty trite now. It has been done many times since, but it was a good premise at the time.
Carlos "CAP"
Aug 29, 2015 Carlos "CAP" rated it it was amazing
Fascinating and engaging. Offered the one way to test for artificial intelligence that is risk managed and controlled against humans. Reminded me on a "Person of Interest" episode that had a flashback were Finch had to de-activate a series as he was determining if the machine was "safe".
Tom Potter
Jul 18, 2015 Tom Potter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
If you liked or loved 2001: A Space Odyssey, then you will most likely love this. I think it is better than 2001. The reason it's often compared is because it's about an artifical intelligence that takes over, and man attempting to defeat it.
Jay Sprenkle
Jul 01, 2016 Jay Sprenkle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
A great action story. It would make a great movie. Turns out Mr. Hogan was predicted the future. Google's AI is having the same kinds of problems described here. They're just embarrassing so far... Recommended!
Jan 13, 2013 Marianne rated it liked it
Shelves: mine, sci-fi
There are a lot of novels about super intelligent computers either saving or destroying civilization. It's rare to read one from the perspective of actively building such an intelligent computer. Though not an epic tale, this book covers some interesting possibilities, and I enjoyed the reading.
Nov 23, 2010 Charlotte rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 29, 2012 John rated it really liked it
I liked this book, seemed a little less hard SciFi that some of James P Hogan's other Sci-Fi books. However it was rather predictable using the AI stereotype that for whatever reason, computers and AI will attempt to turn against its masters.
Keith Bell
Nov 29, 2011 Keith Bell rated it really liked it
I great novel that would be an even better movie today. Although written in 1979, it remains relevant to today and can be read as if written yesterday.
Timothy Boyd
Jan 15, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it
Very good SiFi adventure story. Watching the computer evolve sentient thought was interesting. Very recommended
Feb 26, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Moving and insightful and far ahead of its time, this book was full of action, adventure, science, and epic despair. Beautiful and amazing.
Corey Ovendale
Corey Ovendale rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2010
Bob Grant
Bob Grant rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2015
Bill Davis
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Mar 04, 2012
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Aug 06, 2012
Joseph Bales
Joseph Bales rated it really liked it
May 26, 2012
Dan Stoner
Dan Stoner rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2010
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Oct 11, 2013
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James Patrick Hogan was a British science fiction author.

Hogan was was raised in the Portobello Road area on the west side of London. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he worked various odd jobs until, after receiving a scholarship, he began a five-year program at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough covering the practical and theoretical sides of electrical, electronic, and m
More about James P. Hogan...

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“The scene beyond was eerie - a tortured jungle of torn pipes and jagged twisted-metal sculptures rearing up out of nightmare chasms of shadow being cast by a few emergency lamps glowing dull red to preserve night vision. As her eyes adjusted to the gloom, she made out several shadowy helmeted figures crouching over weapons in the darker recesses and behind makeshift parapets of smashed machines and crumpled wreckage.” 0 likes
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