Charles Forbin has dedicated the last 10 years of his life to the construction of his own supercomputer, Colossus, rejecting romantic and social endeavors in order to create the United States' very first Artificially Intelligent defense system.
Colossus is a supercomputer capable of taking in and analyzing data rapidly, allowing it to make real-time decisions about the nation's defense.
But Colossus soon exceeds even Forbin's calculated expectations, learning to think independently of the Colossus Programming Office, processing data over 100 times faster than Forbin and his team had originally anticipated.
The President hands off full control of the nation's missiles and other defense protocols to Colossus and makes the announcement to the world that he has ensured peace.
However, the USSR quickly announces that it too has a supercomputer, Guardian, with capabilities similar to that of Colossus.
Forbin is concerned when Colossus asks - asks - to communicate with Guardian.
The computer he built shouldn't be able to ask at all.
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A great computer-takes-over-the-world story!
Forced Myself To Finish IT
Yes. I read this book and the other parts of the Colossus trilogy many years ago. They were all good reads.
I would not have changed the story.
Change THE NARRATOR. His reading of the US President was particularly irritating. He made him sound like some 1950s Chairman of the Board "Buy!!!! Sell!!!! Get it done NOW!!!! Get out of here!!!" I expected much more than trite characterizations. Forbin himself was portrayed as very "whinney" - an unexpected portrayal for a scientist who creates a world dominating supercomputer - perplexed maybe, horrified certainly, whinney not at all.
The part where Cleo steps out of the shower. A good story point but, entirely too much time on it.
I enjoyed this story in the following scale of decreasing enjoyment - loved the book, really liked the movie (now a low budget cult fav), barely able to finish the audio.
- Christopher Licata