HARLIE (Human Analogue Robot, Life Input Equivalents), is a computer into which all human knowledge is being fed. He's supposed to be self-monitoring as well as reproducing the human brain's capacity and creativity to the nth power, but of late HARLIE's been inducing his own non-rational states -- "tripping" electronically -- and composing poetry. He may be able to out-think everyone, but he has the emotional matority of an 8-year-old, or perhaps a barely post-pubescent teen. Research psychologist David Auberson and hardware specialist Don Handley have to figure out what HARLIE's up to, as well as justify the project to the corporate Board of Directors, who don't see any profit value and are poised to shut it down. Meanwhile, HARLIE tries his hand at matchmaking David with executive secretary Annie Stimson, as well as discussing the nature of intelligence and human love with Auberson. This 1972 Gerrold novel is delightfully thought-provoking.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus
HARILE is an artificial intelligence developed not in a scientist's lab (mad or otherwise) but in Silicon Valley. He can pass a Turing test, but can he convince a short-sighted board of directors of his fiscal viability? With his continued existence in jeopardy and his personality still evolving, HARLIE divides his attention between an ongoing Socratic dialogue with his creator, David Auberson, the invention of GOD (the Graphic Omniscine Device, a supercomputer add-on that will give him almost infinite power), and hacking into his company's computer system (as well as top secret government installations) to blackmail the executive who plans to shut him down and sell him for parts.
This is David Gerrold at his best, creating a cracking good science fiction story as an excuse to explore philosophical and social ideas.
The review of this Book prepared by Darren Zieger