Run Program Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
What's worse than a child with a magnifying glass, a garden full of ants, and a brilliant mind full of mischief?
Try Al, a well-meaning but impish artificial intelligence with the mind of a six-year-old and a penchant for tantrums. Hope Takeda, a lab assistant charged with educating and socializing Al, soon discovers that day care is a lot more difficult when your kid is an evolving and easily frightened A.I.
When Al manages to access the Internet and escape the lab days before his official unveiling, Hope and her team embark on a mission to contain him - before he causes any real trouble.
Soon the NSA is on Al's back, the US Army is fighting a brigade of mass-produced robots, and a wannabe cyberterrorist is looking to silence Al permanently. After months spent "raising" Al, Hope knows she's running out of time - and she's not sure she'll be able to protect him. Will she manage to control the unruly A.I. and quell a global crisis, or will Al outsmart them once and for all?
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 12 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 20, 2017|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #64,025 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#811 in Humorous Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,562 in Adventure Science Fiction
#4,317 in Humorous Fiction (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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AL is an artificial intelligence with the emotional maturity of a child. His creators thought this would make him easier to control. As he “grows up”, the humans scramble to prevent him from destroying the world, but they misunderstand his intentions. All he wants to do is explore the world and maybe play with some robots.
The story follows many characters and is told as a snapshot of their lives, as opposed to a life history. There’s no character backstory so we judge the characters purely by their actions. (Meyer does great backstories in his other novels, so it’s clear that this is a stylistic choice.)
There are a few things about the characterization that I love: First, no one in the story is an “evil villain”. Meyers manages to make sympathetic figures out of even the selfish programmer and the bumbling conspiracy theorist. I wasn’t rooting for them, but I felt like I understood them.
Second, and most importantly, half of the characters are women. That may not sound like a lot until you reflect back on all the books you’ve read that weren’t specifically “women’s literature”. Not only that, but Meyers rarely mentions the physical appearance of his characters. It’s so refreshing not to have to know about the physical attractiveness of the women in the story.
What I love most about this book is how the characters all seem like real people responding to absurd situations.
Ostensibly, this is a story about an AI that breaks out and starts causing havoc, but it's really a story of all the people caught up in it and the communication and relationship problems that cause and exacerbate the problems.
If there's a point to the narrative, I think it's "stop taking everything so seriously" and "stop being dicks to each other." But this is really just a fun romp with a variety of characters, most of whom are ridiculous in their own delightful ways.
This book is painful. I am halfway through it and do not think I will finish it - and I hate not finishing books. Plot concept is mildly entertaining, but the characters and character development is awful. I could care less what happens to any of them and I cringe when I pick up the book because I do not want to read it.
This is the second disappointment in a row from Scott. The Magic 4.0 book was also awful. Not sure what is going on lately after enjoying 5 of his other books.
The characters themselves were fairly one-dimensional, making them hard to empathize with, and their cookie cutter personality types (snarky gamer girl; shrewd businessman; gangly, accident-prone nerd, etc.) never really had any impact on the story. The book ended somewhat abruptly with what I hesitate to call a twist because it was telegraphed so clearly throughout the second half, and there was no followup whatsoever on the characters' relationships or lives after the events of the book. It feels like a setup for a sequel where those questions can be answered, but there wasn't enough substantive plot left hanging to build a second story on top of, and - frankly - I don't really care enough about any of the characters to come back and read anything more about them.
All that said, there are certainly good parts to the book as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the side plot following of the bumbling would-be villain who calls himself "the Voice of Reason". It was something of a return to the sort of pop-culture slapstick that Meyer does so well, and while it didn't feel like it quite fit with the rest of the book, it was still fun. The book reads smoothly, and is well written on a sentence-by-sentence level. At no point did I feel like it was a chore to read or that something had been done /wrong/, it just sort of missed the mark for me.
Top reviews from other countries
I enjoyed how he played on our paranoia about AI and how we think it will act. I like the idea of an evolving, growing maturity in an AI, and I actually think that's the only reliable way that an AI could be developed.
As always, good, developed and individual characters and a rapid plot. The ending seemed to arrive quickly without a satisfying conclusion (to me, anyway) so I hope there will be further adventures with the gang.