[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1482514885″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KTlyRNtfL._SL160_.jpg” width=”105″]There are books that pump high octane into my optimistic cylinders and get me revved up for the future. Memories With Maya (MwM) is one of them and it sat on my Kindle for far too long. I have had the privilege of being on futurist panels and chatting at length with Clyde Dsouza. He has a number of books and is deeply knowledgeable about technology.
Clyde’s background made me skeptical about his ability to write a compelling and gripping piece of fiction. I found myself confronting this skeptical pre-conceived notion within the first few chapters, where I was quickly immersed into a world of the not-too-distant future. Dsouza uses his fluency of technology to weave a captivating narrative combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR), among other cutting edge technologies.
What surprised me was the love interest and overall flow from the first-person perspective. The plot was moving, even gripping, and was easy to relate to, causing me to empathize with the descriptive characters. Without giving too much away, one of my favorite quotes from the book is:”EMOTIONS ARE LIKE A VIRUS, a common cold…disrupting the flow of logic in the mind.”
The protagonist Daniel, to me, is an archetype for an ideal transhuman. His drive to hack his destiny pushed me to confront any complacency I have about the life I am living. MwM inspired me to look introspectively and reflect upon how I can optimize, amplify and indeed hack my own reality and destiny.
As a futurist I am constantly confronted with how people perceive and react to many concepts regarding the future. People hear about a new discovery or technology and default to what they have seen in a movie or read in a book. In talking about Artificial Intelligence, most, reflexively think about Skynet from Terminator. Authors like Clyde who producing new Sci-fi novels like MwM make me that much more of an optimist. My hope is people will default to well thought-out, technologically grounded, futuristic sci-fi. I am truly excited to read the sequel that he has in the works. After finishing the book I followed up with Dsouza to ask him a few questions:
-If you were to elaborate on one technological advancement from the book and its impact in our world which one would it be?
C: True see-through and lightweight Augmented Reality capable visors. There is a need for this. While Google glass is a start, it’s not really AR in the purist’s sense of what AR is.
Glasses from Vuzix, come the closest so far, but I am optimistic that within the next few years we’ll get true see-through AR glasses or large field-of-view video-see through glasses.
Of course that is only one part of AR utopia. The other is tracking algorithms and graphics power to integrate realistic augmented content seamlessly and at the approximately correct depth.
-Now that some time has past since the book‘s release, what new technologies are lining up with those in the book?
C: The science in MwM has been based on immediate to near future extrapolation of current technology. I wanted to ground the story in real plausible science, even at the risk of having some chapters read like a how-to manual on AR technology. However I’ve had a nice time handling ‘info dumps’ creatively.
I try to keep the books website www.dirrogate.com updated as much as possible as I come across technology that lines up with those in the book. There are quite a few examples in there from Drone technology to reading emotions with a kinect -like depth cam…and even AI.
-Have any new developments surprised you in the last year?
C: I try to read as much as I can, and have joined many science centric groups on LinkedIn and Facebook besides following sites such as Wired. Nothing has surprised me, but I’m sure I will soon come across something in technology or progress in AI that will make me go, “Wow,” and then I’ll use it as inspiration when writing the sequel – The Dirrogate!
To conclude, treat yourself to this awesome glimpse of our future. Its guaranteed to get you thinking about these exponential times.[easyazon-link asin=”1482514885″ locale=”us”]Memories With Maya[/easyazon-link]