brian created intelligence

Brian: Created Intelligence – Book Review

Thank you to author A.J. Pagan IV for providing me with a copy of Brian: Created Intelligence in exchange for this honest review.

Science fiction has started to dive deep into the question of artificial intelligence and how it could affect us in the very near future. Brian: Created Intelligence goes a step further to analyze what the consequences could be of creating a biological intelligence from scratch.

This is not a robot or a computer program, this is a real life human brain, just not attached to a human body. A huge biotech corporation recruits a team of experts to complete the most important and questionably ethical experiment of all time. They are going to build a biological brain from the ground up, complete with thoughts and feelings. The goal is to make a super genius but this will not come without side effects.

The clinical psychologist, Dr. Bracco, disagrees from the beginning but stays signed on to hopefully have a positive moral influence. If he doesn’t do it they’ll just replace him and continue anyway, he might as well try to help. Dr. Parsons, a genomic engineer, could not be more excited to be at the forefront of this exciting development, ethics be damned.

These two experts along with a few others set off on this project and take years to develop the entity they dub Brian. Brian, brain, it’s a cheeky joke but they’re all in on it. I appreciate that the novel makes it very clear that none of this happens overnight. Technological developments take a long time and it’s important to portray this.

Over the course of these years the team has many fights, disagreements, and personality clashes. Brian: Created Intelligence focuses more on the team and their human interactions than it does on the brain in question. It grounds the novel in realism instead of fantastical science fiction elements.

The story veers off into thriller territory when we reach the horrible cross section of advanced science, military goals, and government bureaucracy. Of course, Brian would not be able to stay a secret forever and once the scary guys with guns and suits got word of his power they easily decide it must be used as a weapon.

How is this created intelligence different from an artificial one? At what point does a mind have a soul or become human? This science fiction novel highlights the importance of ethics in technology and science as we fly forward with advancements faster than we can stop to think about them. It’s the old Jurassic Park question of just because we can does that mean we should?

Since Brian: Created Intelligence is grounded in reality it has what I would consider the most realistic ending. Unfortunately, that does not mean it is exactly the most optimistic ending. I personally felt that it fit the story and made sense but I know not everyone will agree. We are approaching a time in which books like these will become very important guidelines for how we should proceed with these technologies. Let us all try to avoid the worst case scenarios.

If you are looking for a character driven sci fi novel this one is definitely for you. See the human side of the AI debates and enjoy the thought experiments this story brings up.

5/5 brains 🧠🧠🧠🧠🧠

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