Terminally ill kids get a second chance in Mark Alpert‘s The Six. In the near future, technology has evolved at lightning speed, and Artificial Intelligence robots are set to overtake the service industry, assisting with health care, communication, and household tasks.
Despite our own deepest fears, embodied in pop culture by films like The Terminoator, society has embraced this emerging movement and relies on it to balance high standards with affordable service. Examining the latest developments in AI, it’s not difficult to imagine a sentient machine coming into existence in the next few years, and it doesn’t take a massive stretch of the imagination to think that perhaps this new being might not like us humans very much. The author’s research, outlined at the end of the book, demonstrates that we are on track to this very thing
The story is compelling: Adam, a young man dying of muscular dystrophy has lost most of his friends and the ability to care for himself. His father, a computer engineer for the Department of Defense, creates a weaponized robot system in order to preserve Adam’s mind. But he’s created something else as well: A malicious AI called Sigma, that has competed with other systems and won, and now sees humans as competitors. The consciousness of Adam and five other terminally ill teenagers are merged into robots in an effort to stop Sigma before it conquers the world and destroys everyone in it.
Alpert’s writing has been meticulously researched, from the description of Adam’s medical condition to the neuromorphic scanning process that allows The Six to essentially become machines. The dialogue flows, and the action is well executed, leaving the reader not just entertained, but educated. The moral dilemma also challenges one to examine the debate between mind and soul. Which one is everlasting? Which one defines us as humans?
Read this book.
Kinderlit.ca requested and received a copy of The Six in exchange for an honest review. Read about our review policy HERE.