September 16, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
My To-Read list is growing faster than I could ever hope to keep pace. I’m promising myself that I’m going to read tonight. Unfortunately, that’s a pledge I’ve made and broken for too many nights recently, but tonight I’m determined. Nothing will stand in my way. Too much to read; too little time. First world problems? Maybe so, but today’s project isn’t helping my conundrum – it’s another book worth making time for. Actually, Alan promises to be more than a book (about a young bit of code who grows up in a way no program before him ever has – with awareness, consciousness and the ability to ask questions that no computer has been able to answer – maybe never will); Alan will be a spoken-word performance, distributed freely as a podcast for anyone interested in looking at life through the eyes of something maybe only partially alive at all. Back it before September 18.
Alan is a novel I’m writing that has a computer program as a main character. It follows a programmer named Garth as he helps his program, which he names Alan, as it develops from a simplistic text-based prompt to a fully integrated robot. The story itself will explore what makes us who we are, artificial intelligence, and a trip through how pop culture looks at AI and robots. Want a taste?