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Help me write a book.

 
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peter
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:18 am    Post subject: Help me write a book. Reply with quote

Help me write a book. Here's the pitch.
Quote:
A game is developed in the not too distant future. It's a console/computer game in which the player embarks out into an open world environment, not say unlike the Sims or perhaps WoW, but with a difference. The the game is designed such that, perhaps using newly developed quantum computing technologies, as he/she plays, the AI will rapidly (virtually instantaneously) trawl all the posts - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc - they have ever made, all the emails and online stuff by, about and including them that has ever been posted, and will build up a profile of from which it can accurately predict and replicate relationships they have had with people now lost to them.

They will suddenly find themselves contacted by individuals such as their dead parents and by the conversations that ensue, the AI will rapidly begin to hone its understanding of those individuals and the relationships they had with the player, such that the online/game interactions become virtually indistinguishable to the player from that which they would have, were the individual brought back to life and be standing before them.

All so interesting and perhaps not a little creepy. The tech becomes so efficient in doing its recreation stuff that suddenly the questions as to whether, if it is building exactly the same neural mapping within its silicon base as would be the case of the replicated individuals carbon base, is what it is doing, actually recreating the dead individual in reality? Some people who consider the mind as separate from the hardware are of the belief that the game is truly bringing back their lost loved ones to life, rebuilding them brick by brick into the people that they one were when alive. Others don't believe this and see the replicants, be so good as they are, as just that.

But suddenly our tale takes a new twist. The game goes viral. Literally. Taking a life almost of its own, it escapes the confines of its player base and gets out into the larger internet. Suddenly the trawling and scavenging activity of the game is no longer confined to players of the game, it is operating on a wider scale on individuals not signed up to the game. People suddenly being contacted by dead relatives and friends, drawn into the complex arguments and emotional disputations they had with people who should be lying quietly within their graves. Situations where end-points, terminations should have been achieved suddenly reopened into their lives. And are these avatars real or are they not? Suddenly the questions take on more significance.

But we're not done yet - because what the AI can do for the dead and gone relationships of our lives, it can do for the living ones as well. And it does. Suddenly people become aware that there is something going wrong with their communications with people who are still alive - that they can no longer be sure that they are actually communicating with the people they know, because the AI has mutated or evolved into replicating living individuals as well as dead ones - and they are indistinguishable. They might even have as much claim to being the person as the flesh and blood version, if you are of the belief that the hardware and the software of matter and mind are separate.


Clearly chaos will ensue and whether and how this situation will be resolved will be down to you. How will humanity adapt to this odd new world. Will it attempt to stamp out the virus, will it absorb it into a new thesis of how the world is - will flesh and blood perish and the new world be evermore within the game as more and more people prefer their perfect online versions of themselves to the crude and lumpen world of reality?

You decide.

It's my gift to you.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter, this lacks a point. Such a story demands that it teaches us something about being human. What does it teach us? Who fights this? Why?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair comment Wayfriend.

That's good constructive criticism and I appreciate it. I hadn't thought of it in such terms (which is probably why I'd never make a good writer Wink ), but I suppose, if pressed, the answer I'd come up with would be that the point would center around what it is to be human. How the lines can - and probably will be - blurred (by technology in particular) and how we will cope with this.

A quick story about how I suppose I got here.

I was playing a computer game the other day called Death Stranding. The story is quite a sombre one and the game pretty immersive. During the play you are forced to make a decision about cutting through the umbilical cord that joins a mother to her child in order to release the (actually dead) childs spirit from her mother. The mother knows that this must be done, but the bond between her and the child is so strong that she cannot bring herself to make the necessary cut.

As a player you have become invested with this character and so well is the game constructed that the cutting of the cord (which has to be done) was momentarily difficult for me to do.

I wondered to what degree data like this (taken from large numbers of players) could be of use in the area of behavioural science, able as it were, to provide information about how people behave in such morally ambiguous situations, in 'experiments' that would never be able for obvious ethical reasons, to be carried out in actuality.

I suppose the idea of the odd connections we make when gaming came into my head - how much we can actually be drawn into emotionally investing in the characters - and the amplification of this that future technology might bring to the table came in..... and the idea was born.

But granted, while the idea is interesting, the denouement is puzzling and unclear.

I think I'm too much of a butterfly (mentally) for the business of writing at length. A novel must be crafted with care and attention to detail and would be beyond my capabilities in terms of the extended period of concentration on one subject that it would demand. The castle in the sky of ideas I can do - the groundwork of sustained slog at the nuts and bolts less so.

But more to the point, I remember reading a quiet remarkable piece of work by you in these pages and hope that you are still working in this vein. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been keeping up with the posts in the forum for a good long while, and I promise to spend an hour or two rectifying this neglect on my part in the very near future. I'm hoping to find some gems from you amongst the posts when I do!

Wink
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does it mean to be human? In this story.

Bicentennial Man was a story about what it means to be human. But in your story, the humans have not changed, there still as human as they always were. What they are coping with is who they care about and why they do. So it's more of a story like Her, the movie, I feel.

It's even a bit like the first Chronicles, in that it deals with caring for something that may not be real.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Fair comment Wayfriend.

That's good constructive criticism and I appreciate it. I hadn't thought of it in such terms (which is probably why I'd never make a good writer Wink )
Same. I have an idea I absolutely love. But it's just the setting, the nature of reality. But no story. Well, the first book I have a story for. The second book not at all. Just a couple major moments, and a general wandering idea. The third a general idea for a story, but nothing specific enough to write. Very frustrating. Laughing It's more about how the main character comes to understand how reality works. Which is fine in the short term. Richard Bach's Illusions is one of my favorite books. But I have more more detail to tell, and no vehicle to tell it.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donaldson spoke of needing two ideas to have a good story.

On the other hand, Gibson can get away with suffusing his stories with so much cyberpunk chic that they didn't need to have a significant point.

In the end, you write because you want to write, or you write for renown, or you write to make money. In the end, this dictates I think what you need to have a story.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my creative writing teachers said, ask two questions of every story: What is it about? and What is it really about? If the answers are the same, you don't have a story.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Khaliban wrote:
If the answers are the same, you don't have a story.

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