eBook - 2015
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A thoughtful, poignant novel that explores the creation of Artificial Intelligence--illuminating the very human need for communication, connection, and understanding.

In a narrative that spans geography and time, from the Atlantic Ocean in the seventeenth century, to a correctional institute in Texas in the near future, and told from the perspectives of five very different characters, Speak considers what it means to be human, and what it means to be less than fully alive.

A young Puritan woman travels to the New World with her unwanted new husband. Alan Turing, the renowned mathematician and code breaker, writes letters to his best friend's mother. A Jewish refugee and professor of computer science struggles to reconnect with his increasingly detached wife. An isolated and traumatized young girl exchanges messages with an intelligent software program. A former Silicon Valley Wunderkind is imprisoned for creating illegal lifelike dolls.

Each of these characters is attempting to communicate across gaps--to estranged spouses, lost friends, future readers, or a computer program that may or may not understand them. In dazzling and electrifying prose, Louisa Hall explores how the chasm between computer and human--shrinking rapidly with today's technological advances--echoes the gaps that exist between ordinary people. Though each speaks from a distinct place and moment in time, all five characters share the need to express themselves while simultaneously wondering if they will ever be heard, or understood.

Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2015
ISBN: 9780062391216
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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May 17, 2016

Too much uninteresting rambling and repetition from each character. Some interesting ideas but so much flotsam to wade through before getting there.

Nov 17, 2015

Like Robopocalypse, you slowly piece the plot together - girls are getting attached to their lifelike AI dolls, and when the dolls are outlawed, the girls seem to go into comas. But like Cloud Atlas, a wide variety of voices across many eras tell the whole story - an early colonial girl, Alan Turing, the creator of the robots, and, finally, one of the robots itself. So good. Satisfying on literary, scientific, and emotional levels. Read it!

Oct 15, 2015

Very reminiscent of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas in the structure and narrative voices. I loved this book and felt invested in all of the story lines individually and even more so at their intersections.

Aug 04, 2015

I really liked the premise of this book, but found the execution lacking.


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