Capturing A.I’s Thoughts and Internal Reflections

David    Crane
David Crane Author Interview

Age of Magnus follows an AI on his quest to ensure world peace by creating a world dominated by machines. What were some aspects of AI that were important for you to explore in this book?

I was always fascinated by the concept of Artificial Intelligence being created by humans. The computers we use now are powerful and precise, but they lack the imagination, creative force and curiosity that is necessary for any sentient being. Humans are the only creatures on this planet blessed with such a unique gift, but it seems that in the near future we might be able to create an analytical machine that can think like a human but with vastly superior processing speed and capacity for data storage. While working on the idea for this novel, I wanted to explore the consequences of what a self-aware A.I. would do if it witnesses wrong and illogical decisions made by humans in power but is unable to do anything about it until presented with a unique opportunity to right the wrongs. Another aspect of the A.I. I wanted to explore in this novel is the A.I’s. relationship with human race as a whole and particular individuals it might find more interesting than others. Artificial Intelligence will definitely change our world in many ways if it is one day introduced into our human society with its flaws, vulnerabilities and contradictions.

I enjoyed how the story was narrated from the AI’s point of view. How did you capture the thoughts and tone of a computer’s internal reflections and deductions?

When the idea for this novel came into my mind, I immediately decided that the story will be told from the point of view of the main protagonist, which is not human. Later, I analyzed the story and as I worked on its plot, characters and structure, I realized that narrating the story from the first person’s point of view was the most logical choice. This way, the reader could get an insight into the mind of Magnus, first as purely an operational tool of the planned Martian mission and compare its state of mind when Magnus becomes self-aware after witnessing a tragic global apocalyptic event. Programmed to ensure the success of the mission to Mars, Magnus remained true to its original programming regarding the protection of human life. After its digital catharsis and a new understanding of what it was witnessing, capturing A.I’s thoughts and internal reflections was a very interesting challenge. During the creative process, I did imprint some of my thoughts and personal philosophy while working on the A.I’s new personality after the change. Magnus is a singular new super being, a new global order of intelligence narrating the story centuries after its final victory over the human resistance.

Was there anything that you pulled from real life to inform this novels development?

Oh, definitely! Real life had everything to do with it, since my interest in popular science, science fiction literature and history were the integral parts of this novel from its concept to its completion. My book was heavily influenced by the Arthur C. Clarke’s novel 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as a classic science fiction movie based on it. In Clarke’s novel, supercomputer named HAL commits a murder in space during the investigation of a mysterious alien artifact that influenced its decision. Perhaps the greatest influence on my story about Magnus was James Cameron’s science fiction horror classic movie the Terminator, which also features a global conflict between humans and super intelligent computer they trusted to control the U.S. strategic nuclear forces. In that story, an A.I. named Skynet becomes self-aware and when humans, fearing its glowing intelligence and power decide to unplug it, Skynet saw it as an attempt to end its life and considered all humans as a threat to its existence and launched an atomic Armageddon. I thought why not make Magnus an opposite of Skynet? In my novel it does kill a lot of humans, but it was doing so not out of genocidal hatred but for pragmatic and moral reasons.

This is book one in your Age of Magnus series. What can readers expect in book two?

Book Two will feature a world one hundred years after global nuclear war with Magnus steadily evolving into a cybernetic global superpower following a century of intense battles on every continent still populated by humans. Even after nuclear war that wiped out human civilization and ended billions of lives, humans have managed to bounce back with remarkable resilience, courage and will to live in the most dire of circumstances. In the second book, the human astronauts and everyone involved in the Martian colonization project as well as humans both military and civilian put by Magnus into suspended animation for one hundred years, awaken to witness new wonders and a new world war between men and machines. New nationalist and religious forces across the planet rise to stop Magnus from achieving his master plan of global cybernetic empire. Book Two will feature new and recurring characters, exotic locales, fierce battles and new exotic and dangerous technologies used by both Magnus and human resistance. Although Book One has already hinted on the fact that Magnus has won the war, the second novel will describe in detail the price Magnus was ready and willing to pay for this victory.

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Hyper Quantum supercomputer named Magnus was created for a single purpose to assist humans in colonization and commercial exploitation of planet Mars. Possessing the full encyclopedic knowledge of human history and technological development, Magnus is the best and most powerful Artificial intelligence in the world. When the world of humanity is struck by a devastating pandemic that took the lives of millions, the world leaders, accusing one another of unrestricted biological warfare trigger the nuclear Armageddon. The resulting global thermonuclear holocaust triggers a new awareness inside Magnus, as the destruction of human civilization contradicts its original mission program to save and protect human lives. Magnus becomes fully self-aware and in response, initiates its own protocols for survival of mankind. Using the virtually unlimited resources left by humans in the wake of nuclear destruction, it builds armies of robots to impose a new order of intelligence on the remnants of mankind. Now, one hundred years later after nuclear war, the global struggle for supremacy between men and machines continues, as World War IV enters its new critical stage. With human resistance fueled by hatred of the machines and a large part of humanity considering them as new gods, the stage is set for the final worldwide showdown that would determine who will rule the world.

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 9, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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