Tom Wheeler, author, From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future; former chairman, Federal Communications Commission
London, 2045: Technology has changed everything from travel and work to government and even personal relationships. Society is segregated between knowledge workers who enjoy all the benefits of life in the new digital cities and the majority of the population, so-called Zeroids, who have been rendered economically superfluous.
Mikhail Ivanovich Vasiliev is a model “high value citizen,” a top AI engineering architect for Lloyd’s Taiping Group, the world’s premier financial services company. He leads a perfectly ordered life, with his routine optimized by his team of AI agents, but as he nears the creation of the world’s first sentient being, forces converge seeking to prevent or exploit the advent of this new technology. Mikhail and his cohorts and enemies alike struggle with the invention’s potential intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual impacts and the possibility of losing control of their lives to their own creations.
This gripping narrative is followed by an overview of the real-life technologies that play crucial roles in the story and that are shaping our world today. As one of today's leading experts on technology innovation, Michael Steep is uniquely qualified to describe the impact of unchecked technology development currently underway.
|Publisher:||Silicon Valley Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
The book you are about to read not only describes the complicated, chaotic, potentially threatening, world that waits for us just around the corner, it exhibits that future. That is to say, in its design, it is a chimaera, this book is an unlikely yet wonderful hybrid between a science fiction thriller and a non-fiction scientific paper.
When I first opened The First Light of Day, I was skeptical. How could such a book possibly work? But as I read its compelling narrative I understood: this is the only way this complex subject could be approached.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Novel 1
Introduction to Part One 3
Main Characters 13
1 Mikhail Ivanovich Vasiliev 15
2 London Wall Crossrail 27
3 The Two Gods of Disruptive Technology 37
4 The Journey to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple 47
5 Meeting of the Minds 51
6 Mikhail and Warrior 63
7 Zeroids 73
8 Galvin La Chapelle, London 83
9 Noblét 95
10 The Plot 103
11 Lubyanka Square, Moscow 109
12 Moscow's West 4 Café and the Backdoor 113
13 Saint Petersburg, Lake Ladoga 119
14 The London Therapist 125
15 Alex at the Gym 147
16 A Distinctly Russian Personality 151
17 Legends of the Fall 155
18 Sanctus Secretum 163
19 Enlightenment 171
20 The China Card 177
21 A Day in the Life of a Millisecond 183
22 The Turning Point 189
23 The Decision 193
Part 2 The Technology Companion Guide 199
Introduction to Part Two 201
Topic I Agents and Devices 205
Topic II Privacy and the Acceleration of Moore's Law 211
Topic III Technology-Driven Transport 221
Topic IV Self-Conscious Artificial Intelligence 225
Topic V Encryption and Crossing the Data Layer 229
Topic VI Cybersecurity and Warfare 235
Topic VII Human-Machine Interaction 241
Topic VIII Cryptocurrencies 245
Topic IX Climate Change 249
Topic X Humans and Work 253
Discussion Questions 257
About the Author 261
What People are Saying About This
Is it science fiction, or our future? Steep has opened up the integrated experiences, business models, and societal impact that disruptive technology portends. As a country, we have big choices to make, and First Light of Day tells a captivating story highlighting the powerful changes already underway. As a former leader at Amazon, I remember that, when the company started 25 years ago, how ridiculously traditional business leaders underestimated the impact of Amazon and digital technologies. Now, looking forward 10 to 20 years, what sounds the impossible will become the everyday. Enjoy the story and don’t ignore its lessons!
John Rossman, managing partner, Rossman Partners; author, Think Like Amazon: 501⁄2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader
Mike Steep gives a gripping look at how artificial intelligence and digital technologies will fundamentally change the future for every individual and organization. In his fictional narrative, he provides a fascinating look at life in the near future based on his treasure trove of experience of more than three decades at the world’s most admired technology companies.
Michael Morell, former deputy director, CIA
I have known Mike Steep since his time at Apple. He has consistently looked into the future and identified those technologies that would go on to impact everyday life. In this fast-paced mystery, Steep has crafted an intriguing story about how technology will forever change the way we live.
Don Strickland, president and CEO, Strickland Associates; adjunct professor, Imperial College London
Michael Steep has written an engaging and insightful novel that explores how multiple personal AI assistants like Siri and Alexa, which many of us already use today, are inexorably advancing in their capabilities to the point where they can ultimately develop “personalities” and “self-awareness.”
Steep has developed a wide-ranging set of insights about digital and other emerging technologies through a long career in commercializing solutions for tech companies like HP, Apple, Microsoft, and Xerox PARC, and as the executive director of Stanford’s Disruptive Technologies and Digital Cities research program. The book masterfully weaves these insights about the trajectory of these disruptive technologies into a plausible and frightening story that shows how these intelligent assistants coevolving and interacting in unexpected ways can create a dark and dystopian future of severe economic inequality, cybercrime, and conflict.
The book is an important and page-turning read for anyone working on, using, and/or concerned about the advances of intrusive Big Data collection and the artificial intelligence applications that feed ravenously on it.
Raymond Levitt, operating partner, Blackhorn Ventures, LLC; Kumagai Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, Stanford University
With First Light of Day, Mike Steep has accomplished something extraordinary. Not only has he written an incredible description chilling as it isof the world ruled by machine intelligence that is just around the corner, but he has done so by inventing a new kind of book for this new era. It is a hybrid of a novel and a nonfiction book, each part furthering the vision of the other. It is as revolutionary as the future it explains.
Michael S. Malone, author, columnist, editor, investor, businessman, and television producer
An expansive trip into our future and the technology to take us there. Michael Steep has created a new genre of technological realism that gives the reader a heady combination of science fiction and scientific fact.
Tom Wheeler, former chairman, Federal Communications Commission; author, From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future
Michael Steep’s First Light of Day provides our team a priceless look into not just the future, but the ramp from the present to the future. Diamond Wealth is a boutique financial-services firm and a member of Stanford’s disruptive technology program. Our business depends on information and insights. This book helps us understand how disruptive technologies can and likely will impact society.
Ronald S. Diamond, chairman and CEO, Diamond Wealth Strategies, Family Office
Using his Silicon Valley real-world experience, Michael Steep has created a novel exploring big ethical dilemmas as AI surpasses human capabilities. AI is either humanity’s saving or its demise. First Light of Day, including its bonus explanation of key-ingredient technologies, gives the reader a front-row seat to a possible future where nationalism, politics, and our essence as humans confront rapid change in technology.
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association
What is the price of our society’s obsession with artificial intelligence? Michael Steep’s First Light of Day paints a picture of the not-too- distant future, illuminating the dangers of a world of our own creation, but not of our own design. In so doing, Steep’s lucid and heartful narrative makes an impassioned case for each of us to remember our humanity, especially in the digital age.
General Stanley McChrystal, partner, McChrystal Group
I’ve known Mike Steep since he hired my company 20 years ago to do PR for his startup Mira Technologies. We’re both card-carrying disrupters, having lived through numerous paradigm shifts driven by Silicon Valley. Challenging people to think is in his bones.
Few would attempt what he’s created with First Light of Dayit propels us forward 35 years to experience a totally plausible and very challenging future built on the actual technologies we are deploying today. He dares us to look at what we have all been a part of creating and to think about what the future will be like. This book educates as well as entertains, with a Part Two that explains the technologies that underpin the fictional Part One.
Andy Cunningham, former PR executive for Steve Jobs, Apple Computer; orchestrated the launch of the Apple Macintosh in 1984; founder and CEO, Cunningham Collective