PAPER War – The Dawn of AI

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I found PAPER War – The Dawn of AI by Ryan LeKodak a fascinating read. With a parallel plot storyline, the reader is introduced to quite a few different characters. Among the most important is Manar Saleem, a coding and tech genius. Manar has built one of the top-performing AIs in existence: Helene. Helene is Manar’s pride and joy; his constant obsession. Manar builds an empire around this AI’s existence, a powerful one to say the least. Then, there is Ndidi Okafor, head researcher at the Okafor Autism Centre. In a project funded by her father, Ndidi has performed impressive research well beyond her years regarding autism spectrum disorder. Like Manar, she is extremely intelligent, simultaneously attending Harvard while instructing her own autism research staff. There are three other major important characters in this story: Jose, DJ, and CJ. Jose is a former CIA agent, one of the best of the best in his field. DJ and CJ are twins; CJ, a patient of Ndidi, and DJ, a Navy SEAL.

The reader may be wondering how all of these very different characters come together cohesively in one story. Well, it all begins with MAYDAY, a malfunction in the AI system Gaius. Set in a time where humans are unaware of how to function without AI, absolute chaos ensues. Trains, cars, ships, and planes—all powered by Gaius—fail, killing hundreds of thousands. After this devasting event comes the inevitable major question: What caused Gaius to fail? And will a horrific incident like MAYDAY happen again? PAPER War explores this topic in depth through these characters, allowing the reader a full multi-perspective view of the potential consequences and dangers of AI.

In a very timely novel, LeKodak touches on both pros and cons of AI usage. For example, at one point in the novel, AI is used to help perform surgery and save a life. At many other points, AI is simply used as a helpful tool in disseminating information. I liked how LeKodak did bring to light potential positives about AI in the future, not just an eerie outlook. LeKodak majorly touches on the negative potential consequences of AI in the future, including machine takeover and manipulation of humans. However, I love how LeKodak (whether he realized it or not) emphasized the value of the humanity behind AI machinery. Consistently bringing back the theme that AI needs to be monitored, filtered, and reprogrammed constantly by educated, intelligent humans was inspiring, in a way.

In a world where jobs and livelihoods are being increasingly threatened by AI’s potential, this book is a reminder that capable humans will always be needed, as machine malfunctions will inevitably happen and only mankind will be able to save the day.

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Reviewed By:

Author Ryan LeKodak
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 496 pages
Publisher RandallVision
Publish Date 20-Apr-2023
ISBN 9798987974285 Buy this Book
Issue May 2023
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy


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