First Light of Day: A Cautionary Tale of Our Future Written by One of Today's Leading Experts on Technology Innovation

First Light of Day: A Cautionary Tale of Our Future Written by One of Today's Leading Experts on Technology Innovation

First Light of Day: A Cautionary Tale of Our Future Written by One of Today's Leading Experts on Technology Innovation

First Light of Day: A Cautionary Tale of Our Future Written by One of Today's Leading Experts on Technology Innovation


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781735873121
Publisher: Silicon Valley Press
Publication date: 01/30/2020
Pages: 277
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Michael J.T. Steep has been at the forefront of technology for the last thirty years. He is the founder and director of Stanford University's Disruptive Technology & Digital Cities Program, and frequently speaks on managing technology and innovation to industry and government audiences. His expertise on disruption and innovation comes from the field as senior vice president of Xerox PARC and earlier in executive and management positions at leading tech giants including Hewlett-Packard, IBM. Microsoft, and Apple. He resides with his wife in Silicon Valley.

Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Part 1 The Novel 1

Introduction to Part One 3

Prologue 7

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

Acknowledgments 259

About the Author 261

What People are Saying About This

John Rossman

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

Michael Morell

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

Don Strickland

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 S. Malone

With First Light of Day, Mike Steep has accomplished something extraordinary. Not only has he written an incredible description— chilling as it is—of 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

Raymond Levitt

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

Tom Wheeler

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

Ronald S. Diamond

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

Gary Shapiro

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

General Stanley McChrystal

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

Andy Cunningham

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 Day—it 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

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