The Economics of AI: Example

I recently had a great time at the 68th British National Science Fiction Annual Convention: meeting old friends; making new ones; attending some fascinating panels…

The panels prompted my restless mind to explore tangential threads, as they should. Example…

During the Artifical Intelligence (AI) panel, someone mentioned that when driverless trucks take over, some 3.5 million USA truckers will lose their jobs. Another 5 million support staff, such as truck stop workers, will be redundant, too. Most of them won’t have high-value transferable skills in such a new environment, so that’s nearly 8.5 million people on the dole within the few years it takes for trucking companies to convert to driverless.

8.5 million ex-workers. And that’s from the introduction of just ONE AI “device”.

  • Who’s going to pay the ex-truckers’ welfare benefits, health care, pensions…?
  • Will resurgent Unions fire up a protest movement and blackmail the trucking industry?
  • Will there be riots?
  • Will governments ban such AIs to protect human jobs?
  • Will candidates for elected office seek to ban such AIs to protect human jobs, especially in election years? (AIs don’t vote. Yet. But that’s another topic.)

Although these were remarkable data and I sympathize with the threatened workers, their families and whoever will be taxed more heavily to fund the bloating welfare system, thoughts of two financial aspects popped into my mind unbidden:-

  1. At the end of their working lives, AIs can be sold off for scrap or salvage: no one pays a company when it sheds human workers.
  2. AIs don’t get pensions or geriatric health care, so there are no ongoing payments by the state when their “working lives” end.

There MUST be a story there.

  • How would those financials work out in the longer term?
  • How will the displaced people spend their time?

Among the solutions offered by the panel was the suggestion that the redundant humans could turn their hands to the production of high-ticket “artisanal” objects. Hmm… 8.5 million instant craftspersons whose latent skills suddenly emerge overnight without years of training and practice? (Just like Rey using the Force and lightsabers, and piloting starships without any training…)

Hmm… The Force must be strong in the trucking industry.

Or… Maybe they could get domestic AIs to turn their produce into higher-quality and hence higher-ticket items? Who would pay for the domestic AIs? And that defeats the point of having human-crafted objects, doesn’t it? Or does it, if humans created the AI’s? But it would not be the ex-truckers who programmed the craft-skilled AI’s…

As the saying goes, “It’s complicated.”

JANUS PARADISI

 

I am delighted to announce the publication of the second novel in my JANUS PARADISI series, set in the open source Paradisi Chronicles universe.

Take a look at both ebooks here.
Or read the first chapter of FACES OF JANUS here.

In FACES OF JANUS, Angel Flores’ security agents uncover the lie behind Earth’s greatest corporate conspiracy. They fight for places on humanity’s incredible journey.

Her lover, Zag, assembles a team of special ops warriors but falls for Katya, an operative with a secret past. Betrayal and secrecy on all sides put the whole plan at risk.

The hardest journey is the one on Earth. The stars can wait.



In JANUS CHALLENGE, Angel’s team have maneuvered their way aboard a great spaceship bound for a paradise planet in another galaxy.

But the battle is not over. They must seize the ship before the voyage can begin. Their special skills are needed again and again as the journey continues.

Zag struggles with his love for both Angel and Katya, whose behavior becomes more erratic until Angel’s life and the fate of the entire ship rest in her hands.

And when they arrive in that far galaxy, they face more conflict…


If you’re interested in becoming a Beta Reader or receiving Advance Review Copies, for future releases, please sign up here.

Happy Reading!
Andy

Faces Of Janus: 100% 5 star!

Reader Reviews

51i8civxul-_ac_us240_ql65_With Janus Challenge straining at the release leash as March approaches, I’m starting to gather 5-star reviews for Faces of Janus (the first in my Janus Paradisi series)

Samples of kind words from readers…

I should have read this sooner! 😀

Intrigue, romance, fight between the classes. And for me a small kinship with the locale of the story, New Phoenix, Arizona.

There is fighting, spying, affairs and questions of whose loyalties lay where.

Even though there are few likable people, I really enjoyed this book, and their standoffish characters were integral to the plot so it fitted. The web of deceit and the clues littered through the chapters had me glued. The revelations were dropped like bombs, making them all the more shocking. It isn’t very fast paced but flows and has lots of action. I felt invested in their fight and finding out what was going on so I’m happy that there will be a book 2.

I have read many of the Paradisi books and this is one of my favorites.

Another enjoyable read. I’m really enjoying the different perspectives from the group of authors who have joined together to write the Paradisi Chronicles. Keep the stories coming!

Thanks to you all!

I’m always happy to get feedback…

… even from readers who liked it less than 5 stars 😉

Beyond Beginnings: Sequels

A Good Year End

In November 2016 I became a published novel author, building on my years as a short story writer. 51i8civxul-_ac_us240_ql65_51vykdagqhl-_ac_us240_ql65_

Where do you go from there?

You write the sequel.

Actually, I started writing the sequel long before I published “Faces of Janus“. It’s already gone out to beta readers, for publication in Spring 2017.

My Janus Paradisi novels run in parallel to Cheri Lasota’s Paradisi Exodus series. Our protagonists occupy the same place and time. Our characters come together and cooperate while pursuing their own objectives within a five book arc, so all planning had to be cooperative.

I had to understand her characters–their motivation, strengths, and weaknesses, abilities and relationships… We had to compare where she wanted her plot to go and where I wanted mine to go.

519bvtemdxl-_ac_us240_ql65_Underlying the whole exercise were the canon requirements of writing in a wider open-source universe, where many other writers establish circumstances or technology or characters that impinge on our stories. It’s a fascinating experience. Together we overcame all the obstacles.

So how did that work?

I’m not a plotter. I know who my characters are, where they are and what they want. I know where I want them to end up on the last page. I mark down a few “key” events for them to encounter on their journey. Then I sit back and let them control my fingers hitting the keyboard. It’s their story, after all, so I let them tell it. Often, the story they make me tell is different to the one I had in mind. (That really screws up plotting.)

So I’m a Pantser, writing by the seat of my pants. (Personally, I prefer the term “Organic” to “Pantser”. It51yudiocoel-_ac_us240_ql65_ sounds more professional.)

Cheri is a plotter. The events in every chapter are planned out well before she starts writing. Her characters go where she tells them, or else.

Naturally, my “Organic” gave way to her “Plotting”. There was no way we could share adventures without strict plotting. Together, we outlined the storylines covering the next two or three novels in our series.

Hectic Days Ahead in 2017

  • A print version of “Faces of Janus” is in the works
  • Janus Challenge” is with beta readers
  • Work progresses on the third in the series, targetted for publication in late Summer, 2017

I wish you all happy reading during the remaining bleak midwinter. Here are some suggestions: other novels set in the Paradisi Chronicles universe…

51yby8qvtjl-_ac_us240_ql65_ 51qz8pehc2l-_ac_us240_ql65_ 51mk7nuybrl-_ac_us240_ql65_ 51kzpp03val-_ac_us240_ql65_ 51-ersenpyl-_ac_us240_ql65_ 51cqqam2bwl-_ac_us240_ql65_
51i8civxul-_ac_us240_ql65_

What’s With Wattpad?

I heard a few good things about Wattpad during 2014.

Wikipedia (December 20, 2016) says…

Wattpad is an online storytelling community where users post written works such as articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems, either through the website or the mobile app…

As of April 2014: [Yes, 2014]

  • 85% of its traffic and usage comes from mobile devices,
  • the site has 35 million unique visitors per month,
  • there are over 100,000 story uploads per day,
  • there have been over two million writers.

… According to the profiles visible on the site, many of these authors are teenagers.”

I took a look and found it full of YA, Romance and Undead Fantasy (not my genres), mostly written by teens. Still, I thought I’d give it a try and uploaded some short stories (horror, hard scifi…) to test the waters. I had a reasonable readership response, but few Likes or comments. Okay (shrug), I’m not Rowling or Atwood or Howey (yet). I’m not going to get swarms of eager readers seeking out every word I electronically utter (yet).

Persevering, I tried a novel.

In 2015, I started uploading chapters of my slowly developing “paranormal noir” novel. It’s actually more noir than paranormal but I write stories, not anally specific sub-sub-genres, so that’s the closest category I can claim for it. I call it “Bogart. With a ghost. Maybe.

Strange results

I had very few readers. Okay, weak promotion by me, no sex, wrong genre, bad writing, no monsters, no sex, overly mature themes (not “adult”), no sex… Lots of reasons for low readership. (Definition: “Adult themes” means lots of sex.)

But here’s the rub:

  • more people read chapter five than chapters three or four, and
  • chapter one was the least read (at the time)
Baffling!

I pressed on and submitted a few more chapters. The reader numbers continued to be inconsistent. I received one comment and one Like. (Thank you both.)

Seriously deterred, a few months ago I uploaded chapter one of my novel “Faces of Janus” to pre-announce its arrival on the market.

I received a couple more comments and Likes across my entire set of works. Nothing special, no interest.

I gave up and stopped checking my account.

Surprise, but still Strange

As I started to write this post, I checked the readership figures to post those oddly distorted early results.

Hmm… While I was busy ignoring my Wattpad account, I’d collected a growing readership for the short stories as well as for the novel chapters. But the readership pattern is still strangely skewed. Here’s the stats…

 

Can anyone make any sense of that readership pattern? Because I can’t.

Perhaps Wattpad is a platform for any aspiring authors reading this. But I’m not convinced it’s right for me.

 

December Treats!

15390723_10154793261232920_2707749709715942433_n

An early Merry Christmas treat for you all. (Or a treat for whatever you celebrate at this time of year.)

I have joined together with a group of brilliant authors to bring to your attention some excellent, sky-high Sci-fi & Fantasy novels at low, low prices. For more info, click here!

You can painlessly squeeze the whole set into your kindle-stocking as each novel costs 99-cents or less.

Better still, treat a few friends! Make someone merry this December.

(If you don’t have a few friends to treat, well… Merry Christmas, anyway, and I hope Santa brings you some in 2017.)

 

Insights on a Launch

cid_cacf5aae-676f-46cb-b6a4-de5dd38d7479

Interviews with Janus Security Corporation personnel

Angel Flores : Executive Officer

“I worked hard to get from a favela to the executive floor of JCorp tower. Huge office, wonderful view, penthouse suite… I had always aimed for the stars. It was just a metaphor, until one day… If I had stuck to my job and my affair with the company owner… But I am not made that way. Satisfaction leads to stagnation. I am just not made that way.

“It started with a few odd coincidences and my curiosity making me dig deeper. Or perhaps it started with my affair turning tedious. Or both. Perhaps it was Zag being there at the right time when I needed someone strong.

“Anyway, one day the real stars came within reach. How could I not grasp that opportunity with both hands?

“Zag? Yes, he was crucial to my plans. How did I feel about him? He was… everything. Did I show him this? Not enough, perhaps. I am just not made that way.”

Zag Bishop : Operations Manager

“I’d been trouble as a kid in the lower city. The military fixed that, or most of it. Then contract work I can’t talk about. Then to JCorp and Angel. Happy times. I loved them both. Did she love me back? I’m not good with emotion. I blame the work I did.

“So this space conspiracy thing came along and turned everything on its head. Would it have been better to quit and get a new job? Who knows? I’m tactics, not strategy. The strategy was Angel’s, from the start. The kidnaps and killings? Just part of the job.

“With Earth falling to pieces, escape to the stars seemed a good idea. Escape with the woman I loved. Sounded good. But which woman?”

Katya Ulyanov : Operative

“I had a secret. A dangerous one. A secret that could get me thrown into the desert. And I’d fallen for a damned cop. How did he feel about me? I knew how I felt about him. One day I hated him, the next… I guess I’d been let down too many times. He said I had a trust issue. No wonder, with my past.

“So I decided to be the best operative Zag had. I did a few crazy things to get his attention. It didn’t help that my PTSD, my other secret, kept getting in the way.

“Then the space thing came along. Changed everything.”

Faces of Janus” : launched November 6, 2016 Available from your local Amazon store

FACES OF JANUS : Published

cid_cacf5aae-676f-46cb-b6a4-de5dd38d7479Can a handful of security agents overcome the greatest corporate conspiracy and reach the stars?

In the last decades of the twenty-first century, the wealthiest, most powerful families on Earth choose to escape the increasingly failing planet by constructing ten vast ships that would ferry mankind to colonize Mars.

It was a lie. Continue reading

Paradisi Chronicles Anthology

The latest in a long line of Chronicle Worlds Anthology best sellers just hit the Amazon electronic shelves!

paradisiAnother world. Another chance…

In the last decades of the twenty-first century, seeking to escape a devastated Earth, ten families focus on constructing spaceships to colonize the world they call New Eden, in the Paradisi System. But the world they claim for their own is already inhabited, and the Ddaerans, although human in appearance, possess abilities that the Founders and their descendants do not…

In this latest title in the acclaimed ‘Future Chronicles’ series of speculative fiction anthologies, twelve authors take us on that incredible journey with adventurers, scientists and colonists, as they push the boundaries against the unknown, against alien civilization, and themselves.

Discover Chronicle Worlds. Discover Paradisi.

Discover Paradisi here.

Contributing Authors: Samuel Peralta, Cheri Lasota, Louisa Locke, Ashley Angelly, Claire Davon, Lindsay Edmunds, SJ Mayeski, Andy McKell, Bill Patterson, Joseph Robert Lewis

Continue reading

A Beginner’s Tale #3

Large FoJIt has been a long journey, but here I stand on the verge of publishing my first novel.

I always wanted to write, but my first High School English teacher convinced me I was barely literate. I think he resented me being taller than him, as a later (taller) teacher promoted me from bottom of the class to (almost) pole position.

Too late!

It was my final year of school and my small fantasies had been strangled. Hurrah for education! Continue reading