Thursday, March 06, 2014

Memories with Maya by Clyde Dsouza

Title: Memories with Maya
Author: Clyde Dsouza
Genre/Age Range: Science Fiction, 17+
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: February 27, 2013

A story of one man's determination to HACK his destiny, even if it meant challenging Divine Providence...
The story looks at how augmentation technology will affect emotions, intimate human relationships, and our very evolution as a species.
"EMOTIONS ARE LIKE A VIRUS, a common cold...disrupting the flow of logic in the mind." Daniel reminds himself.
Dan's work involves creating commercially viable AR solutions. The recession and an explosion of data-cops is drying out his streams of income.
He turns to close friend, Krish, a researcher in Artificial Intelligence, in the hope that they can come up with ideas for the Entertainment market. His girlfriend, Maya, and her family return to their homeland after her father passes away.
Dan and Maya continue their relationship via Dirrogates (Digital Surrogates), experiencing human touch through haptics. Krish gets a job at the prestigious A.I.R.I. Using AIRI's lab, Krish and Dan, create an advanced visor with Augmented Intelligence built in.
They dub it "Wizer."
A Board member at AIRI sees potential in the Wizer other than what Dan and Krish have in mind.
At a test in a nightclub, things go wrong...
Can the Wizer "insure memories" and be a catalyst to accelerate the journey toward eventual Singularity?
The (subtle) underlying philosophy in the story is about preparing the common man for our eventual Technological Singularity. If the goals of Transhumanism are to be embraced, they need to be explained to everyday people, in everyday language and using everyday settings. Only then can a road-map for Transhumanism be built.
Memories with Maya also poses the question: Can we transcend the Human Lifecycle?
The plausible science in the story details how AR & AI will merge to create Digital Surrogates in our own likeness - our DIRROGATES.

As the summary shows this is a sci-fiction novel, a genre I rarely read but always enjoy. There is a lot of tech talk which I don't understand entirely but the beauty of this book is that it didn't much affect my reading experience. Story is fairly entertaining and all the characters are well developed & strong. Over all the book is well written. It keeps you interested through out.
At first I didn't like Dan's character much. He seemed to me to be an opportunistic, who is afraid of commitments but likes to keep his options open. But as the story unravels I formed a connection with his character and the tragedy surrounding it. He is very much interested in Maya, his best friend's sister. They have a relationship based on comfort.
When she moves to India with her family Daniel meets Kelly. Although he is still in a sort-of-relation with Maya, he is also interested in Kelly. When she purposes a business opportunity, for a while Dan seriously considers taking it but in the end he decides to go to India and work on the "Wizer" he and Krish created.
Krish is his best friend and both are working on AI technology together. They are well on the road to success and fame when in a tragic incident Maya dies. Then Dan creates a "Dirrogate" of Maya. he is devastated by her death and uses his tech-knowledge to some how bring her back to life and deal with his grief. The story poses certain questions about human integrity, belief-system and how technology plays its role in both good and bad ways. It makes us think as to what is right here and what isn't? It is a heart touching story which tells how greed can lead to misuse of technology which should be used only for the betterment of society and human life.
The best thing about this book is the way the author has merged the two themes (science and love) together. It is not only about scientific technology but also a tragic love story of Daniel and Maya. A definite 4-star as far as my opinion goes.

About Author: 
Clyde DeSouza is a Creative Technology Evangelist. He explores tech advances in Augmented Reality, Real-time Game engines and Stereoscopic 3D and their influence on human perception. His non fiction book: "Think in 3D" has been seen on a growing number of film-sets and is used as prep reading by Directors and Cinematographers. His second book: "Memories With Maya" is a fiction novel in the hard science/metaphysical genre. The story look s at the impact Augmented Intelligence will have on intimate human personal relationships and our very evolution as a species.

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