The Turing Option

The Turing Option

by Harry Harrison

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The Turing Option 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is a problem in today's society; people are born ugly: with parents who value challenging their kids; believe it or not, we are still in the dark ages both technologically and socially; these are the only reasons that I can think of to explain the poor reviews of this book; for some reason, they have a conditioned reaction against technical talk; i guess if they are not pampered throughout the book, then they don't like it . . .
gbanville on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is not written with a great deal of skill and style, it is more a popularization of some interesting ideas from artificial intelligence enthusiasts.The way it is presented reminds me a great deal of one of my other books, [The Silicon Man].
uvula_fr_b4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harry Harrison of course is one of science fiction's "grand old men," and Marvin Minsky is a leading light in the nascent field of artificial intelligence (AI). The Turing Option is a true Gernsbackian novel (a lovely term referencing the grandfather of American science fiction, Hugo Gernsback, Jr., which has since been replaced by the vaguely porny-sounding "hard SF" as the descriptor of choice) set in the not-too-distant future (the book opens in 2023) which explores the boundary between artificial and organic (or "real") intelligence as well as the sources of human personality. The lead character is a young scientist who survives an assassination attempt even though he is shot in the head; as his knowledge is desperately needed by his employers, the AI technology that he'd developed is utilized to reconstruct his brain and, with it, his mind: his knowledge, personality and memories. This is one of the rare instances where a lecture in thriller clothes works; indeed, I was far more interested in the didactic segments than the plot itself (corporations with their own private armies, espionage and "black ops" services trumping national governments, waging guerilla war on each other, yadda-yadda-yadda). There is a lot to absorb, but it is so fascinating that it never bogs down; indeed, I had to force myself to read it more slowly in an attempt to retain more of the information conveyed. Deeply thought-provoking and easily the best thing I've read by Harrison thus far (admittedly that isn't much), I will definitely be re-reading this again at some point. And again. And again. Michael (Mr. "There's No Such Thing as Global Warming!") Crichton only wishes he could write this well. The funny/sad thing is, I'd be willing to bet that The Turing Option is now as out-of-date as the prospects of K. Eric Drexler -- who offers a complimentary blurb on the inside front cover.