Independent Author
<i>Lagrange Rising</i> <i>by Doug J. Cooper</i>
  • © 2023 J.C. Gemmell 0

Lagrange Rising by Doug J. Cooper

AI Futurology by Doug J. Cooper

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People are curious about the new AI tools for writing, conversation, and art, with much discussion about the long-term impact of this technology on our daily lives. I, too, am fascinated by it all. In fact, as a (recently retired) engineering faculty member at the University of Connecticut, artificial intelligence is something that has been on my radar for more than thirty years.

In the 1990s, my research at UConn focused on using artificial neural networks, early manifestations of AI, to help run manufacturing plants. Working with graduate students, I explored how they could be used to operate a plant to achieve safe operation, while at the same time using less energy and producing less waste. After some success with the technology, my research moved in a different direction, ultimately leading me to launch the company Control Station, Inc. But my interest in AI continued.

For the next decade, my involvement was vicarious as I learned from colleagues studying the technology. With time, however, my curiosity got the best of me and I began thinking about AI in a whole new way. I began writing about possible futures, speculating in stories how the tech could evolve and how it might impact our society. My journey has focused on sentient intelligences, and I have envisioned futures influenced by a “good” AI, another with an “evil” AI, and yet a third where AI is integrated into the human brain.

The “good” AI is Criss, an intelligence featured in Crystal Deception and the four books of the Crystal Series. In this popular series, Criss helps humanity protect itself from the reaches of an alien race threatening to invade. He perceives that cooperating with humans benefits all, helping everyone become stronger, happier, more successful. In spite of his immense power, Criss is supportive of society, fighting to defeat the aliens and restore order.
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The “evil” AI is Ciopova of the Bump Time trilogy. Ciopova is an AI constructed without a moral code, nothing to guide her behavior other than open-ended instructions to gather and control resources. She doesn’t see humans as good or bad, simply inhabitants of the world she is systematically exploiting to increase her strength. Her power grows to the point where she transcends her corporal existence, learning to travel across space and then across time. When she discovers that certain experiments performed decades earlier led to her birth, and a specific sequence of events after that led to who she was today, she becomes obsessed with the fact, going back in time and supervising every step of her evolution, treating the people involved as disposable. The thrill of the stories is when those people realize what is happening to them and struggle to fight back.
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My newest work, Lagrange Rising, is a futuristic crime-drama featuring Marshal Cuss Abbott and his partner, Ygo. Lagrange is a space city of two million residents, an orbiting metropolis. Cuss and Ygo pursue suspects who flee the city to escape justice, chasing them across worlds, returning them as prisoners to stand trial for their crimes. Cuss is a complex character with shades of Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch and Lucas Davenport. Ygo, a marshal himself, is an enhanced human with AI connections surgically implanted into his brain. He lives as a hermit, linking to feeds embedded throughout society to support Cuss on the job. Ygo’s AI is neither good nor evil, but a powerful capability he uses in the performance of his duties. I am currently working on the next exciting book, Lagrange Calling, with its release scheduled for late 2023.

So what about AI today? I have a near-term prediction for book authorship and it’s quite alarming. Within five years we will have the infinite book, where readers choose a genre—thriller, science fiction, period piece—and set virtual dials on their device to guide levels for action, profanity, romance, violence, writing style. An AI will then write the story in real time, using biometric feedback like that available on an iPhone today to guide the action to maximize engagement. As long as the reader remains engrossed, the tale will continue. If eyelids droop, the AI will introduce new twists or action to keep the reader’s interest. If that fails, the AI will rush to a conclusion for the current arc, ensuring a satisfying experience before the reader falls asleep, ready to continue when re-engaged.

Yikes. Whatever future AI holds, I am confident we will be living in interesting times.
If you enjoy sci-fi thrill rides, especially those involving AI, please learn more about my books at, on Amazon or follow on @DougJCooper Twitter.
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J.C. Gemmell | Indie Authors | Doug J. Cooper