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Truly understanding artificial intelligence is rare. AI doesn’t think in concepts and images the way humans do. It has individual goals, like to preserve humankind as technology’s caretakers, or to dismantle complex systems. And in the sci-fi thriller Void Star, things are further complicated by the fact that AI’s “thoughts” are actually glyphs, or waves of data, that only make sense to people with special cranial implants connected to the net.
The elegant, if cerebral, examination of how both technology and humans process information is just one of many ideas explored in Void Star, out today. That’s no surprise, considering that author Zachary Mason has spent the past two decades working on problems of computational linguistics. In his day job in Silicon Valley, Mason helps machines get smarter—but on the side, he writes speculative fiction about what happens when the machines becomes incomprehensibly smart, imagining the role of AI in a …