Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer
Most science fiction tends to demonize any kind of intelligence that arises from a machine. I don’t know why but self-aware robots, intelligent computers, or artificial intelligence lifeforms always end up becoming evil in these stories. That’s not the case with this story, however.
This is the final chapter in a trilogy cleverly titled WWW. The first book “Wake” dealt with an emergent intelligence within the World Wide Web that was just becoming self aware. A teenage girl discovered it and helped it learn about humanity. As such, Webmind became a caring and nurturing being.
In the second book, the world became aware of Webmind and some people embraced his existence, while other people feared him. A government agency kept a close “Watch” on him.
I was afraid that Webmind would be shut down in this final chapter. I really couldn’t see this book ending any other way. I expected it to be sad.
I can get a little depressed when coming to the end of a great read. I enjoy the story so much that I don’t want it to come to an end. I identify with the characters and I don’t want anything bad to happen to them.
This series was so brilliantly written that I could never have predicted the ending. Not in a million years.
It just goes to show the power of nature versus nurture. An artificial intelligence need not be a scary thing. Such an intelligence could become a person, so to speak, and work with humanity instead of against it.
My List of 2015 Reads – updated with each new title I read over the course of the year