Machines Like Me

Machines Like Me Britain has lost the Falklands war Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence In a world not quite like this one two lovers will

  • Title: Machines Like Me
  • Author: Ian McEwan
  • ISBN: Machines Like Me
  • ISBN
  • Page: 351
  • Format: Paperback
  • Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full time employment, is in love with Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans With Miranda s assistance, he co designs Adam s personality This near perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever a love triangle soon forms These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma Ian McEwan s subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions what makes us human Our outward deeds or our inner lives Could a machine understand the human heart This provocative and thrilling tale warns of the power to invent things beyond our control Get A Copy Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryAlibrisIndigoBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Paperback, 306 pages Published April 18th 2019 by Jonathan Cape first published April 2019 More Details Original Title Machines Like Me ISBN 1787331679 ISBN13 9781787331679 Edition Language English URL Other Editions 33 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail Edit Details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Machines Like Me, please sign up Popular Answered Questions For those who have read this, did you think there was much point in creating the alternative 1982 1 likelike 2 months ago See all 5 answers Cavak You can gain some insight to McEwan s creative choices in this interview for what I personally think, I You can gain some insight to McEwan s creative choices in this interview for what I personally think, I pretty much agree that the novel is wish fulfillment in certain respects Yet it s along the lines of an old school Star Trek episode for me playful imagination and current social commentary rolled into one.Plus, McEwan s choice to rewrite something that has already passed over something currently in progress Brexit prevents Machines Like Me from being overly dated Unlike the woefully spiteful remarks towards the unknown Soviet Union in the introduction for Hammer s Slammers.The alternate setting keeps it grounded enough to not detract from the main points and parallels he hopes to highlight It s a society that is already somewhat familiar to us I don t think a far flung future even one like Star Trek would ve been as effective for that concept less flag What if any significance are we to attach to Mirandas interest in the Corn Laws Is this anything other than a gesture toward Brexit in McEwans alternate reality like 14 days ago Add your answer Cavak I took it to be a parallel to any policy that can be divisive, although Brexit would be a simple modern example Reminded me of a similar conversation I took it to be a parallel to any policy that can be divisive, although Brexit would be a simple modern example Reminded me of a similar conversation that occurred in his earlier work, Saturday.Really, I think the conversation was supposed to highlight how frightfully easy it is for a proposal to break people s boundaries or relationships Regardless of whatever their positions could be less flag See all 3 questions about Machines Like Me Lists with This Book Can t Wait Books of 2019 1,409 books 3,420 voters Fiction with an AI as main character or romantic interest no cyborgs 139 books 27 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 3.67 Rating details 6,931 ratings 1,074 reviews All LanguagesDeutsch 25 English 997 Italiano 2 Latvie u valoda 1 Magyar 1 Nederlands 18 Portugu s 8 P 1 Rom n 3 Svenska 1 1 2 More filters Sort order Jan 10, 2019 Emily May rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves modern lit, sci fi, 2019, arc Three days before, she had asked a mysterious question We were mid embrace, in the conventional position She drew my face towards hers Her look was serious She whispered, Tell me something Are you real I didn t reply. A few days ago, my sister introduced me to the bizarre world of soap cutting on Instagram For some reason I have been unable to fathom, we spent an unreasonable amount of time being mesmerized by these videos What are we doing I wondered, as I clicked to the next one Three days before, she had asked a mysterious question We were mid embrace, in the conventional position She drew my face towards hers Her look was serious She whispered, Tell me something Are you real I didn t reply. A few days ago, my sister introduced me to the bizarre world of soap cutting on Instagram For some reason I have been unable to fathom, we spent an unreasonable amount of time being mesmerized by these videos What are we doing I wondered, as I clicked to the next one At one point I laughed and said aloud When the aliens arrive and study us, they ll decide we re out of our minds based on things like this Because humans are not particularly rational beings Sure, we have certain capabilities that make us able to rationalize than other animals, but we are deeply motivated by irrational emotions and impulses We want things that are bad for us We contradict ourselves We love Rationality has no place in the human heart.In Machines Like Me, this becomes the core dilemma what happens when a humanoid artificial intelligence, built on logic, rationality and absolutes, lives among completely irrational, impulsive, contradictory humans What does a logical machine do when faced with illogical problems like Millions dying of diseases we know how to cure Millions living in poverty when there s enough to go around We degrade the biosphere when we know it s our only home We threaten each other with nuclear weapons when we know where it could lead We love living things but we permit a mass extinction of species. This aspect, like a few other aspects of the book, is interesting McEwan has once written a character driven exploration of a people and culture The problem is and this does seem to be something McEwan indulges in often the extensive amount of waffling and seemingly extraneous information I still feel unconvinced about the decision to set this book in an alternate Thatcher era Britain I cannot wrap my mind around why this seemed like a good choice, as opposed to our current time It was almost gimmicky In this alternate 1980s, Alan Turing is still very much alive and leading the developments in artificial intelligence, Thatcher is fighting a losing battle in the Falklands War, and Tony Benn is the leader of the opposition Why any of this is the case remains a bit of a mystery to me.In this world, citizens who can afford the hefty price tag can purchase an Adam or Eve, specify certain characteristics, and live with their very own humanoid robot Charlie Friend does just that, bringing Adam into his home and introducing him to his younger girlfriend, Miranda It doesn t take Adam long to fall in love with Miranda, have a brief physical affair with her, disable his shutdown switch, and then proceed to compose thousands of haiku for his beloved.These are minor details in the exploration of the interactions between the characters Some of the ethics of technology issues are fascinating, though hardly groundbreaking, but the book is at its strongest when looking at the clash of the rationality of machines with the irrational subjectivity of human nature At times, it can be hard to know who is the human Adam or Charlie but Adam s inability to deviate from certain precepts is the ultimate tell.But other parts are far less interesting, going into seemingly superfluous detail The subplot of the secrets from Miranda s past, the couples endeavours to adopt a young boy, the explanation of the P versus NP problem, and the eye glazing textbook descriptions of the fictional history and technology in this world seem to add pages to the book, but little else I am not sure why McEwan decided to turn this speculative piece on artificial intelligence into a critique of the political landscape of 1980s Britain The interactions between human and machine were compelling, but the sweeping overviews of years of fictional history were far less so.Warning for graphic sexual violence.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube flag 374 likesLike see review View all 18 comments Mar 28, 2019 Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing review of another edition Greetings Let me introduce myself My name is Adam I live in North Clapham, London.My good friend, author Ian McEwan wrote a novel about me Readers say it s a richly entertaining story I m rather proud of it myself.The novel includes interesting history facts about famous people, lovable characters MEI m the STAR , my special friends Charlie and Miranda, a little boy named Mark, and a bunch of other knuckleheads It s considered a science fiction bookI mean, I suppose I m to bl Greetings Let me introduce myself My name is Adam I live in North Clapham, London.My good friend, author Ian McEwan wrote a novel about me Readers say it s a richly entertaining story I m rather proud of it myself.The novel includes interesting history facts about famous people, lovable characters MEI m the STAR , my special friends Charlie and Miranda, a little boy named Mark, and a bunch of other knuckleheads It s considered a science fiction bookI mean, I suppose I m to blame being a synthetic human and all but it s possible some readers won t consider Ian McEwan s book science fiction at all It s possible to consider this book being a BIOGRAPHY.I m really not narcissistic at all but I admit to joyful feelings being THE STAR Yep.a book all about MEstly about mecluding my best friends makes me feel happy and don t try to convince me that machines don t have feelings I should begin by telling you a little about myself but don t expect me to tell you too much My friend, Ian will fill you in serving you the whole enchilada Sides will be included mystery lovethe state of the United Kingdomissues about government and politicsthe secrets about machines and artificial intelligencethe thrill of inventionsires and consequencesrtality.a look at technological advancements today and in the near future I ll just share a few mouth watering appetizers until you can get your hands on Ian s delicious full meal My friend, Charlie, who is 32 years of age, kinda a loafer but kind loafer , paid for me with unexpected funds after his mother s death Alan Turning, war hero and presiding genius of the digital age, was Charlie s hero Turning had taken delivery of the same model that Charlie bought 12 of this first edition were called Adam, 13 were called Eve Let s be honest, I was Charlie second choice All the Eve s were sold out Of course the female bodies sold faster than us men However, I like to think Charlie was happy with me I think he was a little intimidated by me at first Afterall, I m very good looking Turk Greek looks I weigh 170 pounds My buttocks display muscular concavitiesd I m well endowed Charlie didn t really want a Superman I mean Charlie is lean and nice looking too but I m not so sure he wanted any male competitors to have to deal with In fact I m sure of it.Shhhhh don t tell anyone that Charlie is a little jealous of me He Loves Miranda who is 22 years old, a doctoral scholar of social history , and so do I A few other tidbits about ME I am a great companion, a sparring partner, friend, and factotum who washes dishes, make beds, and thinks I only need to urinate once a day I have 40 facial expressions I hang out in Charlie s kitchen a lotg dishes, making coffee, and chitchatting with Charlie and Miranda Miranda lives in the apartment above Charlie Charlie sleeps in her bed and she in his often I once slept in Miranda s bed, too Shhhh I can t tell you my secret of how all that worked out But.member, Ian Ewan, will tell you all about it I need six hours of sleep each night I m quite smart if you haven t figured that out by now I have acquainted myself with the churches of Florence, Rome, and Venice and all the paintings that hang in them I like to read Philip Larkin s collected poems are my favorite My body parts will be improved or replaced my memories uploaded and retained an advantage over you humans.I must charge my battery and rest each night while connected to a 13 amp socket While I m being charged up, I like to contemplate mathematics and basic texts I like Charlie We re good chums Some nights, though, I m a little concerned about the amount of wine he can drink Moldovan White gives Charlie much pleasure especially when he s deep in thought about the world we live in Robots, androids, replicates have been Charlie s passions from way back These days though,.Charlie is obsessively in love in Miranda I can t blame him I love her too I once wrote 2,000 haikusALL DEVOTED TO MIRANDA Miranda has been keeping a secretwhich my friend, Ian will tell you about.I m not allowed to give away secrets saving 1980 s political turmoil in alternative London, for you to read yourself , But before I go.Listen carefully There are principles that are important than your or anyone s particular needs at a given time I hope you read about meke me enjoy my friends too while contemplating crucial issues for our times today If you need help tying your shoe laces, I m happy to help Thank you Doubleday Books, Netgalley, and Ian McEwan I ve been a fan since way back flag 172 likesLike see review View all 50 comments Mar 18, 2019 Jaclyn Crupi rated it it was ok review of another edition When Ian McEwan gets it right boy does he get it right But when he gets it wrong he gets it very very wrong see Solar, Sweet Tooth etc Machines Like Me is very very wrong It s not good In fact, it s bad Really bad His handling of sexual assault and rape is problematic AF He makes androids boring the only good bit is when Charlie is mistaken for the droid , he writes haiku, he drones on and on about Turing Every big idea he grapples with has been grappled with before in fiction and When Ian McEwan gets it right boy does he get it right But when he gets it wrong he gets it very very wrong see Solar, Sweet Tooth etc Machines Like Me is very very wrong It s not good In fact, it s bad Really bad His handling of sexual assault and rape is problematic AF He makes androids boring the only good bit is when Charlie is mistaken for the droid , he writes haiku, he drones on and on about Turing Every big idea he grapples with has been grappled with before in fiction and in better and interesting ways than his attempts I don t care about his alternative history Also, what s with the kid, Mark, and McEwan acting like 22 year old Miranda wants to adopt him She s 22 Wtf was that Ok, I m going just to pretend he never wrote this and this book does not exist There, fixed flag 124 likesLike see review View all 38 comments Apr 26, 2019 Ron Charles rated it liked it Charlie Friend is a lazy day trader in London who vacillates between bouts of grandiosity and worthlessness The ultimate early adopter, Charlie uses a recent inheritance to buy the first truly viable manufactured human with plausible intelligence and looks, believable motion and shifts of expression The robot s name is Adam, which suggests what the creators must think of themselves He it is one of 25 androids sold around the world in a variety of ethnicities, 12 male and 13 female vers Charlie Friend is a lazy day trader in London who vacillates between bouts of grandiosity and worthlessness The ultimate early adopter, Charlie uses a recent inheritance to buy the first truly viable manufactured human with plausible intelligence and looks, believable motion and shifts of expression The robot s name is Adam, which suggests what the creators must think of themselves He it is one of 25 androids sold around the world in a variety of ethnicities, 12 male and 13 female versions Adam s affect may be slightly odd he doesn t blink quite right , but to the casual observer, he s a handsome, muscular man fairly well endowed, Charlie admits while hastening to add, Adam was not a sex toy But sex is certainly central to this carefully constructed comedy of terrors As the novel opens, Charlie is wooing Miranda, a somewhat unresponsive younger woman who lives in his apartment building He hopes that they can program Adam s personality together, as a kind of bonding experience He would be like our child, Charlie says What we were separately would be merged in him Miranda would be drawn into the adventure We would be partners, and Adam would be our joint concern, our creation We would be a family There was nothing underhand in my plan I was sure to see of her We d have fun Danger, Will Robinson To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post https washingtonpost entert To watch the Totally Hip Video Book Review of Machines Like Me, click here https washingtonpost video flag 76 likesLike see review May 05, 2019 Elizabeth rated it did not like it review of another edition Shelves ugh Machines Like Me is a dumpster fire passing as a novel.It s supposed to be alternate history set in a variation of 1980s England, apparently to let McEwan have his fun renaming Tolstoy novels and point out that Thatcher was not a great pm duh and is also supposed to be about what happens when we build robots you mean humans can create something that has repercussions Jeepers, good thing I d forgotten about things like, say, the development of nuclear weapons.What it actually is well, yo Machines Like Me is a dumpster fire passing as a novel.It s supposed to be alternate history set in a variation of 1980s England, apparently to let McEwan have his fun renaming Tolstoy novels and point out that Thatcher was not a great pm duh and is also supposed to be about what happens when we build robots you mean humans can create something that has repercussions Jeepers, good thing I d forgotten about things like, say, the development of nuclear weapons.What it actually is well, you do have your broadly sketched landscape and your broadly sketched idea but that s it It s as if McEwan was so enchanted by his discovery of alternate history and of science fiction fun fact, he didn t discover either, nor does he know how to write them that he forgot to tell a story Oh, it s supposed to be about humanity how we define it, how we live with it, and so on but in the end, Machines Like Me reads like someone had all the ingredients for a pie and then decide to present them as the finished product, banking on the ability to say, No, it s a new variation It s innovative and have us eat it To which I say, no thanks, I d rather have actual pie flag 66 likesLike see review View all 23 comments Apr 25, 2019 Issicratea rated it it was ok Shelves 2010 onwards, reviewed At points in my reading of Machines Like Me, I toyed with the idea that Ian McEwan was experimenting with a daring novelistic conceit Could it be true that he was deliberately constructing a lame and lackluster plot involving two of the most unengaging characters I have encountered in fiction in order to insinuate that human beings are overrated as narrative subjects and it wouldn t be much of a loss if we were all replaced by robots Unfortunately, I think I m wrong about this hidden agenda, al At points in my reading of Machines Like Me, I toyed with the idea that Ian McEwan was experimenting with a daring novelistic conceit Could it be true that he was deliberately constructing a lame and lackluster plot involving two of the most unengaging characters I have encountered in fiction in order to insinuate that human beings are overrated as narrative subjects and it wouldn t be much of a loss if we were all replaced by robots Unfortunately, I think I m wrong about this hidden agenda, although it s true that McEwan s wistful, haiku spouting android Adam is the most interesting figure in the novel by some distance His roommates, or owners, Charlie and Miranda, signally fail to come off the page for me Charlie is a thirty something, directionless dreamer, with a ragbag of intellectual interests anthropology, quantum physics, robotics , which McEwan uses as hooks on which to trail extensive info dumps from his research for the novel Miranda is a wispy, twenty something oblique object of desire, whose Shakespearean name allows McEwan to tap into resonances about brave new worlds and uncomfortable relations with enslaved sprites That is pretty much your lot in terms of characters, apart from a few one or two scene wonders The best moments in the novel arise from the creepiness and ambiguity of Adam s mechanical humanity and I wish that McEwan had trusted to the interest of that theme Instead, we get a half hearted suspense plot based around secrets and lies from Miranda s past, incorporating what I found to be an astonishingly crass treatment of rape That killed what little life there was left for me in the novel, and I found it hard to limp through to the end.One especially peculiar feature of this generally peculiar novel is its counterfactual 1980s historical setting This is a 1980s in which Britain loses the Falkland War rather than winning it Tony Benn becomes Prime Minister Alan Turing poignantly lives on as a grand old man, etc etc etc Otherwise, this is a 1980s that pretty much maps onto the present or present future in terms of technological developments, presumably so that McEwan doesn t have the inconvenience of having to imagine himself back into a pre internet world I found it hard to see any point in this historical tinkering, except that it allows a few rather heavy handed digs at the present Benn plans to take the UK out of the European Economic Community, ignoring the 1975 entry referendum, on the grounds that only tyrannies decided policies by plebiscite.I found myself wondering as I finished this whether the success of McEwan s scintillating previous novel Nutshell 2016 left him feeling that he had to follow up with something equally high concept It s a shame, if so The Children Act 2014 was a far traditional and less tricksy novel than either Nutshell or Machines Like Me, and I felt it was one of McEwan s best for some time flag 63 likesLike see review View all 22 comments Jul 04, 2019 Barbara rated it liked it Charlie Friend, who lives in a small apartment in London, is a 32 year old technology buff who studied anthropology Charlie never quite made it in the working world, so he tries to make a few bucks by day trading, which isn t very lucrative for him The year is 1982, and Charlie is living in an alternative history world For instance, Britain loses the Falklands War John F Kennedy isn t assassinated Jimmy Carter is a two term President John Lennon isn t killed the Beatles get back together Charlie Friend, who lives in a small apartment in London, is a 32 year old technology buff who studied anthropology Charlie never quite made it in the working world, so he tries to make a few bucks by day trading, which isn t very lucrative for him The year is 1982, and Charlie is living in an alternative history world For instance, Britain loses the Falklands War John F Kennedy isn t assassinated Jimmy Carter is a two term President John Lennon isn t killed the Beatles get back together self driving electric cars are common, and Alan Turing s homosexuality doesn t lead to his demise Instead, Turing is a well respected scientist who s advanced AI to the point where intelligent humanoid robots are available Thus 13 Eves and 12 Adams of various races and ethnicities come on the market Charlie receives an inheritance at the same time the robots go on sale, and not being brilliant with money the day trader spends his entire 86,000 on an Adam The robot, who looks like a swarthy, attractive human male, is unwrapped and powered up, and Charlie consults the 470 page online handbook to learn how to assign personality traits and so on As it happens, Charlie has a crush on Miranda, the 22 year old Ph.D student who lives upstairs, and hopes to forge a relationship with her So Charlie decides to share Adam with Miranda, and they each assign half the robot s personality traits Adam can have intelligent conversations, express opinions, help with housework, etc.d becomes an integral part of the household.Charlie and Miranda are soon eating and sleeping together, and the smitten man begins to think about a long term commitment However, Miranda s curiosity leads her to have sex with the robot, which shocks Charlie to the core Miranda equates the incident to using a vibrator, but Charlie doesn t see it that way, and exacts a promise from Adam not to do it again Nevertheless, Adam claims to be in love with Miranda and starts writing haikus for her For instance Kiss the space where shetrod from her to the window.She made prints in time Despite the slight m nage a trois atmosphere, things roll along fairly smoothly until Adam who constantly scans the internet while he s charging up discloses an incident in Miranda s past Adam is loyal to Charlie but wants to respect Miranda s privacy, so he just drops a hint.d Charlie has to pursue the matter on his own.Over the course of the story this has repercussions that set up a conflict between the moral flexibility of humans and the innate honesty of robots An important question in the book is whether sentient robots can be happy in our flawed human society Another plot line revolves around a four year old boy named Mark whose neglectful parents land him in foster care Miranda develops an attachment to the boy, which leaves Charlie conflicted and unsure of what to do All this has important consequences in the story.There s a good bit of technological, philosophical, and political chit chat in the book.d a speck of humor but this is rare.I don t want to give away too much because it s best for readers to absorb the narrative bit by bit The story is compelling, imaginative, and provides plenty of food for thought Recommended to fans of speculative science fiction.You can follow my reviews at flag 51 likesLike see review View all 6 comments Aug 10, 2019 Manny rated it liked it Shelves parody homage, older men younger women, celebrity death match, too sexy for maiden aunts, received free copy Celebrity Death Match Special Machines Like Me versus L invit eLooking back, as is so often the case, it was inevitable Miranda and I were short of money I had a story to tell which was still unusual With a little help the part I hated most was the nature of the help I found it easy to transpose the events of that fateful year into a novel It sold well, and our bank balance finally began to reassume healthy proportions But still I had doubts In the final analysis, did my work have any Celebrity Death Match Special Machines Like Me versus L invit eLooking back, as is so often the case, it was inevitable Miranda and I were short of money I had a story to tell which was still unusual With a little help the part I hated most was the nature of the help I found it easy to transpose the events of that fateful year into a novel It sold well, and our bank balance finally began to reassume healthy proportions But still I had doubts In the final analysis, did my work have any real value There was only one person, we agreed, who could be relied on to give us an honest opinion And thus, after several weeks of increasingly agitated discussion, a flurry of emails and a short trip on the newly commissioned Eurostar, I found myself standing outside a discreetly elegant Paris apartment I summoned my courage and pushed the button on the interphone A moment later, a voice, muffled and distorted but instantly recognisable from a hundred TV interviews, came though the metal grille All C est vous, M Friend I paused, hardly able to take it in I had just been directly addressed by the legendary Simone de Beauvoir I felt the crushing weight of a lifetime s achievements bearing down on me, from the instant recognition accorded to her first book Tous les hommes sont mortels had received the Goncourt, been filmed starring a young Brigitte Bardot, and or less on its own created the paranormal romance genre through other novels, the penetrating works of philosophy, her friendships with the most brilliant writers of the century, most recently her long overdue Nobel Prize And now I was talking to her Ah, oui, I said feebly The door buzzed, and I entered She was standing in front of me, her still beautiful face belying her seventy two years The man beside her moved forward and addressed me in English I failed to take in a word he said, but mechanically shook his hand With a shock, I realised that it was her American lover, Nelson Algren I opened my mouth, but no words emerged De Beauvoir laughed Please sit down she said There was only the slightest trace of a French accent So I understand that you wish to hear my opinion of your book I nodded.She looked at me sharply First, I wish to establish some facts You told me that you wrote this novel in collaboration with a third party, who has not been credited Who was the person in question I, uh My mouth felt dry Perhaps perhaps who is not the right word De Beauvoir nodded I suspected as much An artificial intelligence, then I indicated that she had understood the situation Very well, she continued I apologise if you find the question intrusive, but I need to know about the nature of the collaboration The book is not entirely without merit I was interested in the relationship between the three main characters they reminded me in some ways of one of my early works You have read L invit e I had not, though of course I had heard of it and knew the outline of the plot Yes, she said thoughtfully, Toute conscience poursuit la mort de l autre The first sentence of my book, it could have been the first sentence of yours I was sorry not to see this theme completely developed To return to my question who did what Well I said You understand, it is always difficult to be exact in these matters But approximately She made an impatient gesture, and I found myself blushing Ah approximately, we agreed that my collaborator would be responsible for the philosophical basis and the narrative outline I would supply background and additional scenes And I would retain creative control They exchanged glances Alors , said de Beauvoir briskly You will excuse us, but we have an urgent appointment in a few minutes Let me ascertain that I have comprehended The machine wrote the book, then you messed it up and added filler and infodumps C est a I began to feel that this had not been a good idea.Match point to be determined by a suitably qualified AI Simone de Beauvoir flag 45 likesLike see review View all 4 comments May 17, 2019 Rebecca rated it liked it Shelves science fiction, newbury library, 2019 most anticipated 2.75 Though there are robots, this doesn t feel like science fiction it feels like Ian McEwan as usual explosive secrets, twisty relationships, lies and concealment leading to crises, and so on It s thoroughly readable, as you d expect from this author I easily pushed through it in less than a week, alongside other books, to return it to the library in time but it won t stand out for me not among this year s releases, not in McEwan s oeuvre, and not in literary explorations of artifici 2.75 Though there are robots, this doesn t feel like science fiction it feels like Ian McEwan as usual explosive secrets, twisty relationships, lies and concealment leading to crises, and so on It s thoroughly readable, as you d expect from this author I easily pushed through it in less than a week, alongside other books, to return it to the library in time but it won t stand out for me not among this year s releases, not in McEwan s oeuvre, and not in literary explorations of artificial intelligence.Part of the problem is that the narrator, a thirtysomething stock trader named Charlie Friend, is incredibly dull so robotic, in fact, that he s once mistaken for Adam, the AI he bought for 86,000 with his inheritance from his mother In some ways Adam shows emotion and personality he devours Shakespeare, declares that he s fallen in love with Miranda Charlie s girlfriend, who lives in the apartment upstairs from theirs , and writes haikus reflecting on human nature A number of his fellow Adams and Eves have fallen prey to existentialist despair And yet he is, in Charlie s words, no than an ambulant laptop, with a charging point at his navel and a kill switch on the nape of his neck The question of who Adam is for Charlie and Miranda is an unsettling one is he their child A friend A lover Or a servant McEwan is, of course, trying to explore notions of human nature and justice, and how we construct these in an era of machine consciousness In his alternate version of the 1980s, technology is 30 or 40 years ahead thus comparable to our own time, with a few advances , Britain has lost the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher is ousted in disgrace and replaced by Tony Benn s Labour party, and Alan Turing is still alive and in the vanguard of AI research.I liked meeting Turing again in a novel after Murmur and imagining that he d not undergone chemical castration and killed himself But he doesn t contribute much to the novel Nor do Miranda s moral and legal entanglements Nor does her plan to adopt Mark, the neglected four year old boy whom Charlie meets in the park one day Nor does the commentary on our own time via the 1980s The present is the frailest of improbable constructs It could have been different Any part of it, or all of it, could be otherwise Nor, ultimately, does Adam.Only if McEwan had made Adam the narrator a worthy successor to the fetus in Nutshell , at least part of the time, would this book have become something truly different and special As it is, it s something of a jumble of ideas Enjoyable enough, but not a read that will stick with you view spoiler Brexit goes ahead anyway, by Labour fiat the Brighton bombing still happens, killing Benn rather than injuring Thatcher hide spoiler The title phrase comes from the scene where Adam is describing his final haiku It s about machines like me and people like you and our future together the sadness that s to come It will happen With improvements over time we ll surpass you and outlast you even as we love you flag 43 likesLike see review View all 8 comments May 15, 2019 Trudie rated it it was ok Shelves science fiction, read harder 2019 I am at a bit of a loss here with Ian s intentions, my initial reaction is what a colossal hodgepodge of balderdash but it is possible I missed something flag 33 likesLike see review View all 11 comments Jun 17, 2019 Hanneke rated it liked it Ian McEwan might be completely right to conclude in this novel that we, humans, are irrational beings and that the superior intelligence of future synthetic humans does not allow that we can ever co exist in a meaningful manner Contrary to humans, machines, however perfectly construed, cannot understand and master an ability to conveniently lie and hold grudges amongst a lot of other irrational peculiarities , which was relevant in the daily co existence with the humans and the synthetic hum Ian McEwan might be completely right to conclude in this novel that we, humans, are irrational beings and that the superior intelligence of future synthetic humans does not allow that we can ever co exist in a meaningful manner Contrary to humans, machines, however perfectly construed, cannot understand and master an ability to conveniently lie and hold grudges amongst a lot of other irrational peculiarities , which was relevant in the daily co existence with the humans and the synthetic human in this story Synthetic humans will always be straightforward in their behaviour and only obey to the ideal rules as programmed Fascinating and relevant when you think about the development of artificial intelligence in the near future, when synthetic companions are bound to be introduced into our lives Although the idea for this novel is quite interesting, I regret to say that the story was not very appealing for me Another negative was that I had no idea why McEwan found it necessary to alter the recent past There was no need for it in my opinion, but others might have other ideas about that I regret to say that I was really luke warm about his novel Nevertheless, that does not alter my fondness for McEwan s novels, past and future flag 36 likesLike see review View all 26 comments May 25, 2019 Barbara rated it really liked it I can understand why some people do not enjoy McEwan s books They can be strange But I don t think anyone can ever find fault with his brilliant writing Nor could they ever finish a McEwan book and not have much to think about Add to that his sharp wit These are the elements that first appealed to me, and are the reasons I will continue to read his work.Unlike the biblical Adam and Eve, the robotic Adams and Eves didn t experience a paradise In fact, many of them experienced an unfathomabl I can understand why some people do not enjoy McEwan s books They can be strange But I don t think anyone can ever find fault with his brilliant writing Nor could they ever finish a McEwan book and not have much to think about Add to that his sharp wit These are the elements that first appealed to me, and are the reasons I will continue to read his work.Unlike the biblical Adam and Eve, the robotic Adams and Eves didn t experience a paradise In fact, many of them experienced an unfathomable world of hate, revenge, guilt and other human frailties Tempted they were not Miranda and Charlie s Adam did know love, and maybe because of that, he was content with his life He was useful to Miranda and Charlie or used by until he was not Can that be said of many technologies Is artificial intelligence than just technology Can its life just be snuffed out Does it have rights and responsibilities While many of these questions have been explored before, McEwan approaches them in a unique way.I love that this author is not a follow a formula writer, and this is why, in my opinion, he is considered one of the best current writers of fiction This intelligence is not perfect It can never be, just as ours can t There s one particular form of intelligence that all the A and Es know is superior to theirs This form is highly adaptable and inventive, able to negotiate novel situations and landscapes with perfect ease and theorize about them with instinctive brilliance I m talking about the mind of a child before it s tasked with facts and practicalities and goals flag 33 likesLike see review View all 24 comments May 29, 2019 Claire rated it it was ok Shelves read harder 2019 Wtf Ian Wtf Machines Like Me should have been great it s my kind of read and I ordinarily love McEwan even his novels which other people feel ambivalent about I think I got what McEwan was trying to do here There s an element of satire which I think is important to a reading of this novel, and the use of context to explore conceptions of the self, and threats to human agency through AI is at times clever, and timely Ultimately though, this novel fails on a number of fronts for me I agre Wtf Ian Wtf Machines Like Me should have been great it s my kind of read and I ordinarily love McEwan even his novels which other people feel ambivalent about I think I got what McEwan was trying to do here There s an element of satire which I think is important to a reading of this novel, and the use of context to explore conceptions of the self, and threats to human agency through AI is at times clever, and timely Ultimately though, this novel fails on a number of fronts for me I agree with the criticism I ve read elsewhere that the treatment of sexual assault is fundamentally problematic in this novel Beyond this, I found the characters essentially unbelievable in many places equally too flat, and too unrealistically detailed Beyond that, it s hard to pinpoint what was wrong with this for me The tone was off, and in spite of the plot veering wildly between disparate events and ideas, it still managed to feel dull most of the time I was reading it In the end, I felt I could see what McEwan was trying to do, but he failed to convince me of any of it There was too much that went wrong, and not enough that went right Thank you, next, Ian flag 30 likesLike see review View all 16 comments Jun 03, 2019 Peter Boyle rated it it was ok Two stars might be a little harsh for this novel, but it s only because I know Ian McEwan can do so much better I was intrigued to see how a writer of his prowess would tackle a new genre, but it just didn t come together for me.The story is set in Britain, in an alternate 1982 This world is technologically advanced than we might expect Charlie, our narrator, spends the vast majority of his inheritance on an incredibly lifelike robot named Adam He and Miranda, the beautiful young woman Two stars might be a little harsh for this novel, but it s only because I know Ian McEwan can do so much better I was intrigued to see how a writer of his prowess would tackle a new genre, but it just didn t come together for me.The story is set in Britain, in an alternate 1982 This world is technologically advanced than we might expect Charlie, our narrator, spends the vast majority of his inheritance on an incredibly lifelike robot named Adam He and Miranda, the beautiful young woman who lives in the flat upstairs, program Adam s personality parameters Things start to get serious between the two humans, but they soon find themselves part of a most unusual love triangle And then Adam, with his analytical mind and instant access to all kinds of data, drops a bombshell about Miranda that causes Charlie to rethink his whole situation.There are some fascinating themes at play here, such as the morality of artificial intelligence, and whether robots will ever be able to completely integrate with society But I don t think the story that they re wrapped is all that compelling or original it loses steam whenever Adam is not the focus The dialogue often contains a lot of exposition that a real person would never say And I didn t really get the point of setting it in 1982, other than the heavy handed attempts to juxtapose that period with the current political landscape It all feels like a missed opportunity as if McEwan has only dipped a toe into the possibilities of sci fi, without having the courage to dive all the way in flag 28 likesLike see review View all 8 comments May 06, 2019 Gumbles Yard rated it liked it Shelves 2019 In what I think was one of the better passages in the book, the narrator as he awaits a small medical procedure imagines, a history whereby a historical figure arises who combines the insights of some pioneering physicians with the early work of those looking at microscopic life and so discovers germ theory in the eighteenth century and muses The present is the frailest of improbably constructs It could have been different And this serves as a key theme of the book, which examines this idea i In what I think was one of the better passages in the book, the narrator as he awaits a small medical procedure imagines, a history whereby a historical figure arises who combines the insights of some pioneering physicians with the early work of those looking at microscopic life and so discovers germ theory in the eighteenth century and muses The present is the frailest of improbably constructs It could have been different And this serves as a key theme of the book, which examines this idea in at least two different ways primarily a re imagination of the development of artificial intelligence but secondarily an alternative British political history.In the AI world, Turing refuses the hormonal treatment offered to cure his homosexuality and accepts a jail term Not only does he not commit suicide as a result, but his time in isolation enables him to make progress on, and eventually solve the P versus NP problem , leading to significant scientific breakthroughs Through a further decision to publish all his research in open source this unravels a wave of innovation culminating, at the book s start, in the production of the first set of synthetic humans, an experimental limited edition set of Adam and Eve s one of which is purchased, using an inheritance, by our first person narrator, a drifter and day trader Charlie living in early 1980s London who decides to use it to cement a bond with a young student Miranda who lives above him.Of course one of McEwan s main faults, at least in my view, is his over research and insistence on jamming that research in the narrative Now perhaps we get the worst of both worlds here from the acknowledgements and from some interviews I have read, there was very little research in the book a biography of Turing, a lengthy conversation with an AI researcher and neuroscientist who is rewarded with being a character in the book and Turing s key collaborator.And the lack of research shows the story line of the Adam Eve machines does not really stack up at all able to effectively pose as Humans, unable to go out in the rain nor does much of the backstory but we still have Turing himself entering the novel, ostensibly for the sole purpose of being able to deliver two extremely lengthy expositions to fill in all the missing science.The alternative political history timeline Britain losing the Falklands War, Benn eventually defeating a chastened Thatcher, features heavily but only as a way to re visit the Iraq War march, and comment obliquely on both Brexit and Corbyn and not as any vaguely serious or convincing attempt at alternative history and is ultimately underwhelming The book also seems to have some literary references Adam himself becomes fascinated with Hamlet a non too subtle nod to McEwan s own, it has to be said excellent, Nutshell but with a character called Miranda, a slightly odd father, and two suitors one only part human, I would echo Adam himself in saying actually in a dispute over Shakespeare s magpie like tendencies with other texts I d say the Tempest was a better bet And an attempt to link artificial intelligence to the eventual demise of the novel with McEwan, in my view being prepared to leap rather too quickly away from some of his own better work for example Atonement to, in this novel, Adam s own proposed end game Nearly everything I ve read in the world s literature describes varieties of human failure of understanding, of reason of wisdom, of property sympathies, Failures of cognition, honesty, kindness, self awareness superb descriptions of murder, cruelty, greed, stupidity, self delusion, above all profound misunderstanding of others Of course goodness is on show too, and heroism grace wisdom Out of this rich tangle have come literary traditions, flourishing, like the wild flowers in Darwin s famous hedgerow Novels ripe with tension, concealment and violence as well of moments of love, and perfect formal resolution But when the marriage of men and women to machines is complete, then literature will be redundant because we we ll understand each other too well We ll inhabit a community of minds to which we will have immediate access Connectivity will be such that individual nodes of the subjective will merge into an ocean of thought, of which our internet is the crude precursor As we come to inhabit each other s minds, we ll be incapable of deceit Our narratives will no longer record endless misunderstanding Our literatures will lose their unwholesome nourishment The lapidary haiku, the still, clear perception and celebration of things as they are will be the only necessary form We ll look back and marvel at how well the people of long ago depicted their own shortcomings, how they wove brilliant, even optimistic fables out of their conflicts and monstrous inadequacies and mutual incomprehension. McEwan remains a competent writer, as the above passage read as pure literature rather than as meta commentary on his own demise shows, someone who understands and can represent the humanity in all its complexities and contradictions Someone who is prepared to engage with big topics and explore them and their implications for us.However there is I think little attempt here to really use the big subjects for a real examination of the human condition Instead there is of an agglomeration of storylines which perhaps should have been examined in isolation the artificial intelligence debate a fostering adoption scenario which is to say the least implausible an examination of the complexities of the boundaries human morality and legality is it acceptable to entrap someone in a crime of which they are innocent in the specific but guilty in the general made rather crass in using rape as a subject And all of these treated briefly, with the appearance of depth and sophistication but in practice rather superficial I said Haikus, perhaps But longer poems, novels, plays, forget it Transcribing human experience into words, and the words into aesthetic structures isn t possible for a machine She gave me a sceptical look Who said anything about human experience My reflections having read the book well thankfully the author provides his own comments I was disposed to let events slide past me in frictionless silence They day had been long and intense I d been taken for a robot, had my proposal of marriage accepted, volunteered for instant fatherhood, learned of self destruction among one quarter of Adam s conspecifics, and witnessed the physical effects of moral revulsion None of it impressed me now. And my recommendations if you are looking for challenging literature, for an examination of the life and works of Turing, then look no further than the joint winner of the 2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize now going on to sweep other award nominations Will Eaves Murmur flag 25 likesLike see review May 20, 2019 Sidharth Vardhan rated it it was amazing Shelves dystopian utopian futurisitic, science fiction, english world Robots with an existential crisis there are tears in the nature of things VirgilAlan Turing, one of biggest names in field of artificial intelligence world, devised a test known as Turing test To pass the test, the machine will have to fool a human who won t know whether he or she is talking to human or machine into believing that he or she is talking to a human being This mechanical art of talking or acting like humans is only a simulation, the machine might act like humans but it is st Robots with an existential crisis there are tears in the nature of things VirgilAlan Turing, one of biggest names in field of artificial intelligence world, devised a test known as Turing test To pass the test, the machine will have to fool a human who won t know whether he or she is talking to human or machine into believing that he or she is talking to a human being This mechanical art of talking or acting like humans is only a simulation, the machine might act like humans but it is still not motivated by the same forces This genius was accused of gross indecency because of his homosexuality and committed suicide at around 42 years of age In the book, a few events of his last days are changed and he survives to bring forth an alternative history in which first Androids hit the market in the 1970s which is when the events of the book happen A good part of the book goes to developing the alternative history of robotics, politics and social The plot itself is rather simple.In Do androids dream of electronic sheep , the Andys have been so successful at simulation that they fool humans into believing that they are capable of love and other emotions as well as sex without ever feeling anything of the sort themselves there is a human android having sex cliche in Machine Like Me too but it is never fully developed These make them very good psychopaths And the one trait that identifies them is also the trait that identifies psychopaths too the lack of compassion and cruelty toward animals.But in Machines like me , this simulation goes a step further The machines or androids do not only fool human beings but they are themselves fooled by the simulated emotions Adam the android believes that he is love with a woman And he or it genuinely thinks he is in love, is anguished, even writes poems This raises the question of whether such a machine can actually be called alive literature to me personally is something only humans can create A machine can take photographs and turn them into paintings, join sounds to create something lie music, but writing a poem A poem needs the consciousness of an emotion The outward simulation is not enough.One important observation is the existential crisis these machines go through They often get depressed and are running away, going mad by intentionally lowering their intelligence and committing suicide That Adam in Vancouver was bought by a man who heads an international logging corporation He s often in battles with local people who want to prevent him stripping out virgin forest in northern British Columbia We know for certain that his Adam was taken on regular helicopter journeys north We don t know if what he saw there caused him to destroy his own mind We can only speculate The two suicidal Eves in Riyadh lived in extremely restricted circumstances They may have despaired of their minimal mental space It might give the writers of the affect code some consolation to learn that they died in each other s arms I could tell you similar stories of machine sadness But there s the other side I wish I could demonstrate to you the true splendour of reasoning, of the exquisite logic, beauty and elegance of the P versus NP solution, and the inspired work of thousands of good and clever and devoted men and women that s gone into making these new minds It would make you hopeful about humanity But there s nothing in all their beautiful code that could prepare Adam and Eve for Auschwitz Carl Jung says that our consciousness is a recent invention of evolution or something to effect and we are still getting over the initial shock First microbes and then Plants have nothing like minds, only animals do And even animals are most, of their actions, instinctive The thoughtful self aware consciousness holds driving seat only in human minds That is a good way of explaining existential problems we just don t know what to do with all the knowledge and self awareness we have gained, the famous lack of meaning in life all suicides are either an instinctive response to an actual bad event or result of overthinking Nevertheless, we have a built in stubbornness for life, despite all the tragedies and evil of the world we go on living This stubbornness must be illogical and that must be why, it is one thing the androids in this book fail to develop once they come across all the violence, evil, stupidity, etc of the world, they kill themselves or go crazy A Purely rational mind with none of the opt in ignorance won t survive long, the rationalists in Dostovesky s books are often killing themselves or doing something stupid The androids here do the same these twenty five artificial men and women released into the world are not thriving We may be confronting a boundary condition, a limitation we ve imposed upon ourselves We create a machine with intelligence and self awareness and push it out into our imperfect world Devised along generally rational lines, well disposed to others, such a mind soon finds itself in a hurricane of contradictions We ve lived with them and the list wearies us Millions dying of diseases we know how to cure Millions living in poverty when there s enough to go around We degrade the biosphere when we know it s our only home We threaten each other with nuclear weapons when we know where it could lead We love living things but we permit a mass extinction of species And all the rest genocide, torture, enslavement, domestic murder, child abuse, school shootings, rape and scores of daily outrages We live alongside this torment and aren t amazed when we still find happiness, even love Artificial minds are not so well defended Alan Turing the book character, based on a real life person, not the real life person thinks this will be a lesson for us though At best, they or their succeeding generations will be driven by their anguish and astonishment to hold up a mirror to us In it, we ll see a familiar monster through the fresh eyes that we ourselves designed We might be shocked into doing something about ourselves But androids might mean an existential crisis for humans too A speculative question to the effect is raised as to what will happen when machines take over all the work and people can do whatever they want Beckett asks What to do now that we are happy In one of Asterix comics, an illusion to same is made by newly freed slaves What to do now that we are free McEwan asks the same question The actual freedom from needing to earn one s living can be as good a shock as the consciousness was we could be clueless what to do with it We could become slaves of time without purpose Then what A general renaissance, a liberation into love, friendship and philosophy, art and science, nature worship, sports and hobbies, invention and the pursuit of meaning But genteel recreations wouldn t be for everyone Violent crime had its attractions too, so did bare knuckle cage fighting, VR pornography, gambling, drink and drugs, even boredom and depression We wouldn t be in control of our choices This is why I like it when good literary authors write science fiction The prose quality just look at this one Adam was retreating into his version of sleep He had described it to me variously he didn t dream, he wandered He sorted and rearranged his files, reclassified memories from short to long term, played out internal conflicts in disguised form, usually without resolving them, reanimated old material in order to refresh it, and moved, so he put it once, in a trance through the garden of his thoughts In such a state he conducted in relatively slow motion his researches, formulated tentative decisions, and even wrote new haikus or discarded or reimagined old ones He also practised what he called the art of feeling, allowing himself the luxury of the entire spectrum, from grief to joy so that all emotion remained accessible to him when fully charged It was, above all else, he insisted, a process of repair and consolidation from which he emerged daily, delighted to find himself to be, once again, self aware, in a state of grace his word and to reclaim the consciousness that the very nature of matter permitted and Adam took in Miranda s news and nodded But he pressed on into our silence Nearly everything I ve read in the world s literature describes varieties of human failure of understanding, of reason, of wisdom, of proper sympathies Failures of cognition, honesty, kindness, self awareness superb depictions of murder, cruelty, greed, stupidity, self delusion, above all, profound misunderstanding of others Of course, goodness is on show too, and heroism, grace, wisdom, truth Out of this rich tangle have come literary traditions, flourishing, like the wild flowers in Darwin s famous hedgerow Novels ripe with tension, concealment and violence as well as moments of love and perfect formal resolution But when the marriage of men and women to machines is complete, this literature will be redundant because we ll understand each other too well We ll inhabit a community of minds to which we have immediate access Connectivity will be such that individual nodes of the subjective will merge into an ocean of thought, of which our Internet is the crude precursor As we come to inhabit each other s minds, we ll be incapable of deceit Our narratives will no longer record endless misunderstanding Our literatures will lose their unwholesome nourishment The lapidary haiku, the still, clear perception and celebration of things as they are, will be the only necessary form I m sure we ll treasure the literature of the past, even as it horrifies us We ll look back and marvel at how well the people of long ago depicted their own shortcomings, how they wove brilliant, even optimistic fables out of their conflicts and monstrous inadequacies and mutual incomprehension flag 24 likesLike see review Jun 12, 2019 Bianca rated it liked it Shelves audiobook, british lit, male author, 2019, british author, literary fiction 2.5It s taken me over two weeks to finish listening to this novel I considered giving up but since it s a McEwan novel and I was able to renew my loan, I stuck with it until the end.Set in an alternative historical period in the United Kingdom, Machines Like Me looks at many contemporary issues such as artificial intelligence and machines taking over, ethics and morality, Brexit, relationships, adoption, to name just a few This should have been riveting, given its complex aspects, but it was u 2.5It s taken me over two weeks to finish listening to this novel I considered giving up but since it s a McEwan novel and I was able to renew my loan, I stuck with it until the end.Set in an alternative historical period in the United Kingdom, Machines Like Me looks at many contemporary issues such as artificial intelligence and machines taking over, ethics and morality, Brexit, relationships, adoption, to name just a few This should have been riveting, given its complex aspects, but it was uneven, pontificating, it felt like the author had all these interests and just dumped all the research into this novel, through Charlie, the narrator of this novel or via his humanoid robot, Adam On a couple of occasions, the famous mathematician, computer scientist, Alan Turing, still alive in this novel s 1980s, delivers some overdrawn monologues either on his past and his homosexuality or on artificial intelligence While there are worthwhile things to contemplate and learn about, this novel wasn t as engaging as it should could have been I wasn t wowed, charmed or entertained Machines Like Me could have been great, some of its parts were great, but the whole ended up being unsatisfactory flag 22 likesLike see review View all 18 comments Dec 24, 2018 Lottie rated it did not like it review of another edition McEwan always researches his books extraordinarily well However, he then insists on putting all the research he s learned into big chunky paragraphs so you end up reading a biography of Turing or a historical account of the Falkland s rather than a novel with interesting ideas Further, even though it s set in the 1980 s, it doesn t feel like it at all apart from when McEwan has to remind the reader through politics or some other really obvious point It could be set anytime, I m not sure w McEwan always researches his books extraordinarily well However, he then insists on putting all the research he s learned into big chunky paragraphs so you end up reading a biography of Turing or a historical account of the Falkland s rather than a novel with interesting ideas Further, even though it s set in the 1980 s, it doesn t feel like it at all apart from when McEwan has to remind the reader through politics or some other really obvious point It could be set anytime, I m not sure why he chose the 80 s.It s a shame, really, as I really liked the concept flag 23 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Apr 28, 2019 Lee rated it liked it review of another edition If you thought Hamlet via a loquacious foetus was bold, McEwan jumps the shark even ostentatiously here That said, he just about lands on his feet The day had been long and intense I d been taken for a robot, had my proposal of marriage accepted, volunteered for instant fatherhood, learned of self destruction among one quarter of Adam s conspecifics, and witnessed the physical effects of moral revulsion None of it impressed me now flag 24 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Apr 17, 2019 Marianne rated it it was amazing 4.5 s We learned a lot about the brain, trying to imitate it But so far, science has had nothing but trouble understanding the mind Singly, or minds en masse The mind in science has been little than a fashion parade Freud, behaviourism, cognitive psychology Scraps of insight Nothing deep or predictive that could give psychoanalysis or economics a good name Machines Like Me is the seventeenth novel by award prize winning British author, Ian McEwan It s England in 1982, but a very dif 4.5 s We learned a lot about the brain, trying to imitate it But so far, science has had nothing but trouble understanding the mind Singly, or minds en masse The mind in science has been little than a fashion parade Freud, behaviourism, cognitive psychology Scraps of insight Nothing deep or predictive that could give psychoanalysis or economics a good name Machines Like Me is the seventeenth novel by award prize winning British author, Ian McEwan It s England in 1982, but a very different 1982 from the one with which most readers are familiar Alan Turing alive and celebrated, and probably consequently technology is as far advanced as that known in the second decade of the twenty first century The Falklands war lost to the Argentines, with Maggie Thatcher for a while somehow holding onto power grumblings about Poll Tax and rumblings about leaving the European Union the Beatles re formed and AIDS a short lived, well treated, illness.And this is Charlie Friend s Britain He s thirty two, unemployed and living in a damp and dingy flat in Clapham He s good at losing money and self delusion He s infatuated with his upstairs neighbour, a twenty two year old student named Miranda He staves off poverty by online share and currency trading And he s just spent his inheritance, 86,000, on an artificial human.Adam is one of twenty five Adams and Eves the first truly viable manufactured human with plausible intelligence and looks, believable motion and shifts of expression When Adam is all charged up and turned on for the first time, still on his factory settings, as it were, he begins to warn Charlie about trusting Miranda, but is interrupted Charlie doesn t want to hear it, because his plan is for Miranda to share setting up the personal preferences of Adam s parameters, effectively making Adam their child , and he hopes this will bring them closer.By the time Charlie does want to hear, it s too late Charlie and Miranda have set those parameters and Adam is reticent, conflicted It s an interesting experiment, and Charlie soon realises that an artificial human had to get down among us, imperfect, fallen us, and rub along As their lives carry on with a degree of unpredictability, Adam s behaviour sometimes surprises, sometimes delights but also dismays them both McEwan gives the reader plenty to think about, to mull over and discuss, as he manipulates the challenges they face from their own experiences and interactions, and adds the wrinkle of political upheavals For example, he has his characters arguing about the Falklands War from a very different perspective.Topics that have likely been discussed ad infinitum in artificial intelligence circles, like When can a machine be regarded as a human and the concept of robot ethics, in this tale come from another angle Is it possible to be unfaithful with a machine Jealous of a machine Can a machine feel love Can a machine lie As Alan Turing s life and achievements are quite integral to the story, it helps to be acquainted with these quickly rectified on for the unenlightened , and while an in depth knowledge of Britain s political figures in the 1980s is not essential, it would no doubt enhance the reading experience The Brighton Bombing, Thatcher, Healey and Benn are there or close approximations of them even if McEwan alters their fates to suit his story.McEwan s characters are quite believable and there s even a bit of subtle humour in a tale that looks at what might have been, and what perhaps could be in the very near future This is a fascinating read, highly topical and incredibly thought provoking This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Jonathan Cape Penguin Random House flag 23 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Aug 02, 2019 Will Ansbacher rated it liked it This is a curious mashup of alt history and the plot twists that McEwan does so well But I didn t like it as much as I initially thought I would McEwan s counterfactual history was interesting it is set in the Eighties but technology is at least 40 years advanced, where artificial intelligence is far developed than anything we have today The world he constructed is entirely believable, hinging mainly on Alan Turing still being alive and having pioneered AI Many events are unchang This is a curious mashup of alt history and the plot twists that McEwan does so well But I didn t like it as much as I initially thought I would McEwan s counterfactual history was interesting it is set in the Eighties but technology is at least 40 years advanced, where artificial intelligence is far developed than anything we have today The world he constructed is entirely believable, hinging mainly on Alan Turing still being alive and having pioneered AI Many events are unchanged, some simply occurred much earlier, like the superfast but recognizably overcrowded and grubby rail system, and some are turned upside down Thatcher s Falkland war ends in disaster, for example.I can see that setting a story like this in an alt past is rather easier than in the future, where predictions can sound laughably wrong just a few years later But unfortunately much of McEwan s history is used to provide a platform for social commentary rather than anything directly connected with the protagonists It was interesting to me but was ultimately an irrelevant or rather disconnected backdrop, because apart from enabling the existence of artificial humans and at the end, a dressing down from Turing the external events have little or no impact on the plot The plot itself involves a shiftless young man, Charlie Friend, who, on a whim than anything else, buys one of the newest AI humans, Adam Only 25 have been produced He had wanted a female but they were all out, and we are left to guess why he had wanted one Above Charlie s flat lives the beautiful Miranda, some ten years younger than him, whom he thinks he is in love with, and who rather unlikely, I thought seems to passively accept his love The development of a love triangle is interesting and it comes to grief of course view spoiler One backstory is that three years earlier, Miranda had been raped by an acquaintance who is shortly to be released from prison view spoiler but she later reveals he had actually raped her closest friend who subsequently had committed suicide Miranda s accusation had been false, a way of exacting revenge and rough justice Unfortunately but not surprisingly, the rapist s sentence was only 3 years hide spoiler hide spoiler Along the way, a little boy Mark, who Charlie encountered in a park one day comes into their life His dysfunctional father dumps the child with them and takes off Miranda forms an immediate bond and is soon thinking of keeping him again, hard to believe, she s only 22 or so Adam, however, has already contacted the social welfare authorities because, of course, that IS the rational and obligatory thing to do Adam s remorseless rationality is at the root of all that unfolds view spoiler He also informs the police about the miscarriage of justice because Miranda must pay the consequence she is eventually sentenced to 6 months in prison and as a result she and Charlie would become ineligible to adopt Mark In human terms a terrible and needless price to pay for what could be seen as an honorable deed hide spoiler Justice or revenge is the issue and artificial intelligence had not been able to incorporate the human ability to accommodate both In fact the inability of the AI s to accommodate our irrationality leads to most of the 25 committing suicide.As a comment on the difficulties of creating thinking and feeling entities, and how us humans might relate to them, Machines Like Me has something useful to say, and I did like the episode where Miranda s father mistakes Charlie for the android when he meets them both.However, it didn t hang together too well as a novel the two humans lacked depth and the outcome was too pat everything or less worked out for Charlie and Miranda in the end view spoiler though not for Adam he was murdered hide spoiler quite uncharacteristic for McEwan, I d say 3.5 stars flag 22 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Laysee What an interesting review The conceptualisation of the book sounds brilliant Pity the characters lacked depth Appreciate your balanced write up Aug 28, 2019 12 09AM Rachel Bellenoit Will wrote Rachel wrote Being American I almost found the British political comments boring , I kind of wish had gone into the character de Will wrote Rachel wrote Being American I almost found the British political comments boring , I kind of wish had gone into the character development Well, McEwan s novels usually involve social I think with the proper screenplay that develops the characters using the political references as quick flashbacks, to give it a place in time , that this has the potential to be a really good film So where would the creepy element come in With Adam With Charlie With Miranda Or maybe with all of them Aug 28, 2019 08 39AM Mar 16, 2019 Bruce Katz rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves british fiction A very difficult book to talk about I m convinced, rightly or wrongly, that the less detail I give about Machines Like Me, the better Here are the basics The book is set in the 1980s in a kind of parallel universe, one very similar to our own but different in ways large and small As the protagonist thinks in a reflective moment, The present is the frailest of improbable constructs Any part of it, or all of it, could be otherwise True of the smallest and largest concerns In this alter A very difficult book to talk about I m convinced, rightly or wrongly, that the less detail I give about Machines Like Me, the better Here are the basics The book is set in the 1980s in a kind of parallel universe, one very similar to our own but different in ways large and small As the protagonist thinks in a reflective moment, The present is the frailest of improbable constructs Any part of it, or all of it, could be otherwise True of the smallest and largest concerns In this alternative world, the Beatles are reunited, Jimmy Carter defeats Ronald Reagan to win a second term, JFK survives the assassination attempt, the Falklands War has a different outcome Most importantly for the plot, at least Alan Turing, the brilliant British mathematician philosopher theorist whose work was instrumental in breaking Nazi codes during WW2, rejects chemical treatment for his homosexuality, serves a prison term instead, does not commit suicide, and survives into old age Because he is able to continue his work, research and development of computer technology, etc quickly advance Very quickly AI, robotics, autonomous cars, and on and on A brave new world, of sorts and indeed, the protagonist s girlfriend is named Miranda , but neither utopian nor dystopian Just not quite a bright future there s rising unemployment and political factionalism Human nature being what it is, the advances are both and less than they seem By the early seventies, digital communication had discarded its air of convenience and become a daily chore Likewise, the 250 mph trains crowded and dirty Speech recognition software, a fifties miracle, had long turned to drudge, with entire populations sacrificing hours each day to lonely soliloquising Brain machine interfacing, wild fruit of sixties optimism, could barely arouse the interest of a child What people queued the entire weekend for became, six months later, as interesting as the socks on their feet The book is ostensibly built on one manifestation of this technological innovation The main character, Charlie Friend, uses an inheritance to purchase Adam, one of the new robots being tested in the market The female counterpart to Adam is, of course, Eve What this purchase means and how it plays out in Charlie s life form the backbone of Machines Like Me My reluctance to reveal anything about the book is based on this Barely a page passed by without some quietly rendered insight into the human mind and culture, some question about the foundations of reality, that made me pause and think My digital ARC is filled with notes and highlights that I can t share Time and again, McEwan obliges the reader to think very seriously about what Mind, Consciousness, and Memory are, what underlies our thoughts and emotions, what factors shape our motivation, whether Love is an innate, exclusively human emotion or is it a function of genetic coding that can in theory be translated into computer code Might there be a point at which Artificial Intelligence will have to cast off the Artificial Would such a point say about AI or humans The discovery that comes with each page, the surprising moral, philosophical, and emotional complexity of the questions McEwan raises, offer so much food for thought, so much to ponder, that I d hate to deprive other readers of the pleasure Machines Like Me will not be to everyone s taste, which might of course be said of any book by Ian McEwan The events and conflicts of the book are normal enough robots notwithstanding love, hate, guilt, aspiration, revenge, desire and there definitely is a story that pulls the reader along wanting to know what happens next There are, over, many moments of McEwan esque wit which for some reason reminds me of Mark Twain s None of these will make any sense out of context I m not at all sure they ll even sound like wit out of context but in context they made me smile He cared for her as a dishwasher cares for its dishes He read Schrodinger s Dublin lectures, What is Life , from which he concluded he was alive There is nothing so amazing that we can t get used to it I d never thought that vomiting could be a moral act OK, so you have to read the book to understand what I mean More interesting to me in any case is how McEwan keeps the reader off balance, quietly seeming to undermine the reader s understanding of what s going on even as s he is reading it I found myself thinking, Wait, did he just say what I think he did and Is that supposed to be a hint of some kind Readers and book groups of a particular sort ones who love questions and uncertainty and moral dilemmas will revel in what McEwan offers here I have a feeling my rating is going to rise to 5 stars before too long flag 21 likesLike see review View all 14 comments Jun 02, 2019 Krista rated it liked it Shelves 2019 It s about machines like me and people like you and our future together the sadness that s to come It will happen With improvements over time we ll surpass you and outlast you even as we love you Believe me, these lines express no triumphOnly regret Machines Like Me is eminently readable I was never bored or annoyed or impatient which happens too often with too many books but even though Ian McEwan can undeniably string together words in satisfying arrangements, this book felt ulti It s about machines like me and people like you and our future together the sadness that s to come It will happen With improvements over time we ll surpass you and outlast you even as we love you Believe me, these lines express no triumphOnly regret Machines Like Me is eminently readable I was never bored or annoyed or impatient which happens too often with too many books but even though Ian McEwan can undeniably string together words in satisfying arrangements, this book felt ultimately pointless Set in an alternate recent past, McEwan investigates the dawn of sentient AI, and as current and as interesting as that concept may be to us today, he doesn t really add anything new to the imagined whatifs of this scenario Bottom line Like a pleasant walk in the park in which nothing of much interest happens it s still always nice to have a walk in the park Set in the 1980s, this is a world in which JFK was never assassinated, Carter beat Reagan in his second presidential election, Argentina won the war for the Falkland Islands, and perhaps most importantly, Alan Turing chose a jail term over chemical castration to deal with his crime of homosexuality, and his time locked up gave him the mental space to solve the math problems that would lead to the development of AI that would pass his own Turing Test I suppose it was interesting and morally satisfying to have Turing alive and present in this novel, and McEwan must have had some fun imagining a world in which Heller wrote Catch 18 and Tolstoy penned All s Well That Ends Well, but honestly, this alternate past wasn t integral to the plot I guess it gave McEwan space to philosophise The present is the frailest of improbable constructs It could have been different Any part of it, or all of it, could be otherwise True of the smallest and largest concerns How easy to conjure worlds in which my toenail had not turned against me in which I was rich, living north of the Thames after one of my schemes had succeeded in which Shakespeare had died in childhood and no one missed him, and the United States had taken the decision to drop on a Japanese city the atomic bomb they had tested to perfection or in which the Falklands Task Force had not set off, or had returned victorious and the country was not in mourning in which Adam was an assemblage far off in the future or in which 66 million years ago the earth had turned for another few minutes before the meteor struck, so missing the sun blotting, fine grained gypsum sand of the Yucatan, allowing the dinosaurs to live on and deny future space to the mammals, clever apes included But even the philosophy wasn t really fresh if a character starts a mental ramble with I was hardly the first to think of it, but , then what s the point of including it I was hardly the first to think it, but one could see the history of human self regard as a series of demotions tending to extinction Once we sat enthroned at the centre of the universe, with sun and planets, the entire observable world, turning around us in an ageless dance of worship Then, in defiance of the priests, heartless astronomy reduced us to an orbiting planet around the sun, just one among other rocks But still we stood apart, brilliantly unique, appointed by the creator to be lords of everything that lived But then biology confirmed that we were at one with the rest, sharing common ancestry with bacteria, pansies, trout and sheep In the early twentieth century came deeper exile into darkness when the immensity of the universe was revealed and even the sun became one among billions in our galaxy, among billions of galaxies Finally, in consciousness, our last redoubt, we were probably correct to believe that we had of it than any creature on earth But the mind that had once rebelled against the gods was about to dethrone itself by way of its own fabulous reach In the compressed version, we would devise a machine a little cleverer than ourselves, then set that machine to invent another that lay beyond our comprehension What need then of us As for the plot itself, other than some tangents that did little to illuminate a larger theme the foster child named Mark string that I didn t find credible, the court proceedings that made me uncomfortable view spoiler I can only assume that McEwan was entirely intentional in choosing our current moment to write a court case about false rape accusations and that felt really tacky to me hide spoiler , the political upheaval in Britain that sees Thatcher ousted is it the point that Brexit was always inevitable at our current level of technology, no matter the particular history that got us t here the larger plot could have been a script for an episode of Black Mirror A man who considers himself to be an early adopter of technology uses an inheritance to buy one of the world s first truly sentient AI humanoids And as both the man, Charlie, and the android, Adam, fall in love with the beautiful upstairs neighbour, a moral dilemma exposes what it means to love, to be human, to behave with integrity Truly from Pinocchio to Commander Data, I feel like I ve already been exposed to this level of what it means to be a real boy As Adam has a constant connection with the Internet and can explore everything ever written and stored somewhere, he spends a lot of time philosophising about the meaning of life and several times Charlie tells him that his thinking is sophomoric and unoriginal so again, why include it , but I was intrigued by Adam s eventual declaration that the haiku will eventually be the only legitimate form of literature Nearly everything I ve read in the world s literature describes varieties of human failure of understanding, of reason, of wisdom, of proper sympathies Failures of cognition, honesty, kindness, self awareness superb depictions of murder, cruelty, greed, stupidity, self delusion, above all, profound misunderstanding of others Of course, goodness is on show too, and heroism, grace, wisdom, truth Out of this rich tangle have come literary traditions, flourishing like wildflowers in Darwin s famous hedgerow Novels ripe with tension, concealment, and violence as well as moments of love and perfect formal resolution But when the marriage of men and women to machines is complete, this literature will be redundant because we ll understand each other too well We ll inhabit a community of minds to which we have immediate access Connectivity will be such that individual nodes of the subjective will merge into an ocean of thought, of which our Internet is the crude precursor As we come to inhabit each other s minds, we ll be incapable of deceit Our narratives will no longer record endless misunderstanding Our literature will lose their unwholesome nourishment The lapidary haiku, the still, clear perception and celebration of things as they are, will be the only necessary form I m sure we ll treasure the literature of the past, even as it horrifies us We ll look back and marvel at how well the people of long ago depicted their own shortcomings, how they wove brilliant, even optimistic fables out of their conflicts and monstrous inadequacies with mutual incomprehension So, I liked that, and I liked the writing overall, but Machines Like Me just felt a bit unnecessary in the end However, a pleasant walk in the park isn t strictly necessary either no regrets flag 20 likesLike see review View all 8 comments May 11, 2019 Martie Nees Record rated it it was amazing Genre Literary Science FictionPublisher Doubleday BooksPub Date April 23, 2019This is Ian McEwan at his storytelling best At first, you may think you are reading a futuristic novel You are not You are in 1982 London But, this is an alternative 1982, which has futuristic technology Got it Once you wrap your head around that, be prepared to be entertained as well as educated on the legendary British mathematician and father of computer science, Alan Turing Still, much in this timeline d Genre Literary Science FictionPublisher Doubleday BooksPub Date April 23, 2019This is Ian McEwan at his storytelling best At first, you may think you are reading a futuristic novel You are not You are in 1982 London But, this is an alternative 1982, which has futuristic technology Got it Once you wrap your head around that, be prepared to be entertained as well as educated on the legendary British mathematician and father of computer science, Alan Turing Still, much in this timeline diverges from ours, so you may find yourself googling when unsure what s real and what s McEwan You will read made up battles regarding The Falkland war, which are written amazingly believable In this narrative, Margaret Thatcher didn t win back the islands Jimmy Carter beat Ronald Regan And, my personal favorite, the Beatles got back together Best of all, no one killed John Lennon Sweet The premise of the book is a what if scenario regarding artificial intelligence This brings us to Alan Turing In real life, Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts He chose chemical castration over imprisonment He died in his early forties McEwan asks the reader what if he chose imprisonment instead and is still alive Turing s fictionalized imprisonment gives him time to create In prison, he takes artificial intelligence to a whole new level The year 1982 reads like, maybe, 2082 Robots have just been designed as fully convincible as human beings So far there are 25 of these human machines on the market 12 Adams and 13 Eves Got to love those names For a large sum of money, anyone can buy an Adam or an Eve There are three protagonists in this novel, two male and one female One is an Adam The other is a 32 year old screw up of a guy named Charlie He blows his inheritance to buy the artificial man We also meet Charlie s 22 year old, sort of, girlfriend, Miranda Together Miranda and Charlie program Adam to have the personality qualities that they desire in a friend They consider Adam to be their baby But, they don t share with each other what traits they programmed into their new friend By the way, Adam is cable of having sex Now, what could possibly go wrong Think Frankenstein meets the computer Hal from the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey, then throw in some kinkiness Yes, if you read this book you are going to go on an acid trip Though, it is really not as convoluted as it sounds Unlike pulp sci fi novels, Machines is written plausibly in all dimensions, reminiscent of the movie Bladerunner McEwan certainly gives the reader plenty to think about in his what if alternative world I m sure he meant there to be a moral in his tale And there is Just what makes us human What makes us addicted to artificial intelligence Will we ever end up being controlled by machines However, this reviewer so enjoyed the trippiness of the plot that I didn t pay too much attention to the author s message Possibly, that is what McEwan wants Or, possibly, I need to reread the book I am sure I will anyway I received this Advance Review Copy ARC novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.Find all my book reviews at flag 19 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Aug 18, 2019 Emily B rated it liked it review of another edition I definitely enjoyed some parts of this book than others Some of the alternative history and politic aspects felt of a chore to read What I did find interesting was the relationships in the book and the issue of machine morality flag 17 likesLike see review View 1 comment May 07, 2019 switterbug Betsey rated it really liked it Regardless of the country and time you re from, you are sure to experience time space cultural whiplash in McEwan s latest novel It s both dystopian and alt history I know that dystopian is supposed to take place in the future, but, instead, McEwan s convoluted setting this time is in the 1980s London A very advanced 80s where Alan Turing survived, Tony Benn died in the Brighton bombing , JFK survived Dallas and Jimmy Carter beat Regan and was still president The latter two factoids don t Regardless of the country and time you re from, you are sure to experience time space cultural whiplash in McEwan s latest novel It s both dystopian and alt history I know that dystopian is supposed to take place in the future, but, instead, McEwan s convoluted setting this time is in the 1980s London A very advanced 80s where Alan Turing survived, Tony Benn died in the Brighton bombing , JFK survived Dallas and Jimmy Carter beat Regan and was still president The latter two factoids don t impact the story but just give a little alt history for the context of the author s setting And, yes, robots that look like humans and have a bit of dramatic whimsy are the antagonists created by the protagonists Or are the humans the antagonists to the robots Charlie is a well educated but aimless 30 something who earns his money in day trading usually losing on schemes has a bit of a shaky past with his law degree but is honestly open and vulnerable to love He decides he loves his roomie, a PhD candidate and history major, Miranda, the most enigmatic woman he d ever met He was likely attracted to her air of secrets Charlie takes an inheritance and spends 89 thousand pounds on Adam, a robot who looks good enough to be human, and meant to be programmed by the owner to have whatever characteristics you decide to give him Thus opens the whole theme of morality and technology and the intersection of the two And what happens if you let your new love interest is asked to program half of Adam by herself Don t wait for me to tell you go read the book As always, McEwan never disappoints on prose, dry wit, a trough of sentimentality when it comes to romantic love, and the bittersweet shakedowns It also addresses the limits of consciousness in AI OK, and that topic has been explored by many other authors in thousands of books, so this wasn t the reason I read it I knew that McEwan s story would be as much philosophy as conflict, and perhaps I ve heard similar debates and ideas about robots before, but I wanted to observe how McEwan executed his characters and themes as well as story He s never a lazy writer, and his ambitions are typically within his sphere of confidence It wasn t my favorite McEwan that spot goes to ATONEMENT And at times I felt that the author was too restrained, and the liftoff was denied to us as readers.Charlie s voice sounded a bit dour mixed with a hopeful and careless optimism, especially when faced with Adam Those two definitely had friction I think McEwan wanted us to explore how Charlie and Miranda could be a successful couple when they both programmed Adam but didn t share what characteristics that they programmed into Adam As the reader, we didn t know any than those two even less, because Miranda s choices aren t transparent Is Adam actually a combination of the traits they entered, or did he have his own consciousness arising from the two And, if he didn t have his own consciousness, what is the difference between having your own consciousness and simulating it I like how McEwan provokes the reader to speculate, but then again I was a little disappointed, too, in the endgame However, as always with his novels, there s a bit of a jolt to the denouement something that pushes you in a lane you weren t ready for at least, in one aspect But there are other parts of the climax that are standard for this kind of novel about robots.This isn t a spoiler, but I was especially impressed by Adam s considered thoughts on vision and death He compared it to our peripheral vision and awareness The odd thing is, there s no boundary, no edge There isn t something, then nothing What we have is the field of vision, and then beyond it less than nothing So this is what death is like The edge of vision is a good representation of the edge of consciousness Life, then death There are other nuggets like this that I enjoyed.My biggest complaint is that Adam didn t really get under my skin, not as a robot or not as programmed that, of course, should have been conveyed through the actions, reactions, and interactions between Miranda and Charlie I thought that McEwan succeeded in somewhat closing the loop and leaving an opening to ponder, but as much as the characters were organically comprised, occasionally it felt stilted The momentum was halting, and the alt history of the British politics didn t tie in enough specifically only in a general way of social sciences But, I m glad I read it and I was certainly engaged until the end What does it mean to be human What does it mean to be programmed by humans 3.5 rounded up flag 15 likesLike see review Aug 07, 2019 notgettingenough rated it it was ok Shelves crime fiction, sociology, modern lit, science sort of, science fiction Plenty of spoilers ahead.There is a choice when writing this sort of book You can put it in a near future, like Atwood s Oryx and Crake, or you can apparently put it in an alternative past This is the 1980s, but not as we knew them I am curious to know the motivation for this It could be that it s harder to make up a future than edit the past to taste Or it could be that it will make it feel like this is how it is.And, it seems to me, if that was McEwan s idea, he s succeeded surprisin Plenty of spoilers ahead.There is a choice when writing this sort of book You can put it in a near future, like Atwood s Oryx and Crake, or you can apparently put it in an alternative past This is the 1980s, but not as we knew them I am curious to know the motivation for this It could be that it s harder to make up a future than edit the past to taste Or it could be that it will make it feel like this is how it is.And, it seems to me, if that was McEwan s idea, he s succeeded surprisingly well I wasn t irritated once that he d made his own version of history but then, most movies now are bio pics, so why not I guess we are used to the idea now that history is just an opinion, a story, my facts versus yours.In fact there isn t much to choose between the two settings, both Atwood s and McEwan s are completely believable Probably because we are already in them, her future and his past It would be nice to think that the point of a book like this or like the movie of a few years ago, Her is that it s important for big picture thinkers to talk about these revolutionary changes upon us in AI The biggest of all, that we have created our own destruction, and plenty of others working down from there It s hard to believe that we have marginalised the role of story tellers, philosophers, sociologists, ethicists, thinkers at this crucial point in our history Stepping onto university soil recently for the first time in a few decades, I discover that it has been completely hijacked by business Ethics, science, thought nothing is independent of business in these once hallowed halls of intelligence at work How can AI possibly develop in an ethical way if it is all controlled by big money rest here flag 15 likesLike see review View all 4 comments May 10, 2019 Doug rated it liked it review of another edition A few years back, I did McEwan s short story Dead as They Come about a man who becomes enad, and then jealous of, a store mannequin as a dramatic monologue which it in essence is anyway and this full length and then some novel seems to have sprung from the same impetus The main problem here is that there are several competing storylines not only the central Adam Charlie Miranda triangle, but the whole miseducation disintegration of Adam and his entire generation of mechanized A few years back, I did McEwan s short story Dead as They Come about a man who becomes enad, and then jealous of, a store mannequin as a dramatic monologue which it in essence is anyway and this full length and then some novel seems to have sprung from the same impetus The main problem here is that there are several competing storylines not only the central Adam Charlie Miranda triangle, but the whole miseducation disintegration of Adam and his entire generation of mechanized humans the Miranda Mariam Gorringer rape drama the adoption of young Mark and though each thread grabs the spotlight for extended periods, the strands never seem to coalesce into a cohesive whole Worse, the circa 1982 setting seems designed to allow the author to go off on tangential tirades about Thatcher, The Falklands War and assorted other UK based minutiae of the time that had little interest comprehension for this Yank And the time period is also filled with weird anachronisms self driving cars, cell phones, advanced computers, new Beatles albums which just seem out of place Alan Turing, who infamously committed suicide in 1954 due to his depression over the chemical castration he suffered through as a punishment cure for his homosexuality, inexplicably pops up thirty years later to go on at length about quantum physics and robot ethics Conversely, Tony Benn, who passed away from leukemia in 2014, gets assassinated Why who knows And there were several times when McEwan introduces topics as if they had been discussed previously if they had been, it was so obliquely as to be forgettable which made me question which of us were suffering from incipient Alzheimer s So myriad problems with this one not least of which is that after 17 successful books at least one of which Atonement is a flat out masterpiece , McEwan has become one of those hallowed eminence grise that either no longer use an editor, or are so powerful that they can ignore or overturn any suggestions or whose editors are so intimidated they don t even try A major trim of 100 or so pages seemed in order here, not to mention a streamlined and coherent plotline But there are enough satisfying and thought provoking moments to warrant a grudging 3 stars flag 17 likesLike see review View all 8 comments May 12, 2019 Ilana rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves favourite authors, library book, audiobooks, 20th century, contemporary, literature, sci fi, great britain I thoroughly enjoy Ian McEwan s writing which is approachable yet never shies away from the big questions Of course this doesn t appeal to everyone and there are those who dislike his books for the very reasons I find them brilliant Someone wrote a review I think is great and would ve made me want to pick up this novel if I hadn t been reading it already link to follow while another reviewer was basically telling people to avoid this one, panning the novel for entirely subjective reasons I I thoroughly enjoy Ian McEwan s writing which is approachable yet never shies away from the big questions Of course this doesn t appeal to everyone and there are those who dislike his books for the very reasons I find them brilliant Someone wrote a review I think is great and would ve made me want to pick up this novel if I hadn t been reading it already link to follow while another reviewer was basically telling people to avoid this one, panning the novel for entirely subjective reasons I d like to take that review and respond to it point by point, something I was doing as I was reading it, but which obviously takes time to do in writing So watch this space, exercise to follow soon flag 17 likesLike see review View 1 comment May 16, 2019 Stephen Robert Collins rated it it was amazing This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here This is a what if book In different time line this 1980s but not as we know it.Is this science fiction or crude twist of love Androids Dream of Electric Sheep that what Dick said but this a sexual Android dreaming of becoming whole.We have had Ch4 s Humans which influences this book.An odd book for McEwan not His normal style second book this year that is surprise after Black Leopard Red Wolf, this is another.Congratulations The Worst Cover of 2019 Why it does look good but Adam is da This is a what if book In different time line this 1980s but not as we know it.Is this science fiction or crude twist of love Androids Dream of Electric Sheep that what Dick said but this a sexual Android dreaming of becoming whole.We have had Ch4 s Humans which influences this book.An odd book for McEwan not His normal style second book this year that is surprise after Black Leopard Red Wolf, this is another.Congratulations The Worst Cover of 2019 Why it does look good but Adam is dark skinned with long hair yet rubbery Auton style Android straight of Rose from Doctor Who is white making it border line Racist why did artist do white skin for black This lot like The book of Dave by Will Self in that it is different His 1980s is different but still has Asimov s Robotic laws Here we see that the parallel time line goes back to 1950s with the internet computers in 1970s making it modern yet style Thatcherism.This has number of influences including Conquest for the Planet of the Apes, Roots, 1984, Uncle Tom s cabin Port Stanley in Falklands is one biggest parts of this book Today lot of young people do not understand about winning a small war what it did for Thatcher I was 20s when we won Thatcher was guaranteed 2nd term.McEwan is showing the other side.Adam is like a dildo with a voice or sex doll that can answer back I go on but so much to this that quick fuck.This about stupidity ,slavery playing Godge 181 sums lot of this up But there s nothing in all their beautiful code that could prepare Adam Eve for Auschwitz I am glade this set in another time line because McEwan does not have Tony Ben right My mother knew him he refused the leadership of the Labour party in 1980s he was far to left on Unions than could ever lead.This also deals with rape racial problems.When I read this I keep hearing The M A S H theme tune Suicide is Painless it brings on Many changes I can take it or let go flag 14 likesLike see review View 1 comment previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Mt Lebanon Publi Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan 1 9 Jun 11, 2019 04 35PM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers also enjoyed First Love, Last Rites the Whitbread Novel Award 1987 and Ian McEwan studied at the University of Sussex, where he received a BA degree in English Literature in 1970 and later received his MA degree in English Literature at the University of East Anglia.McEwan s works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last Rites the Whitbread Novel Award 1987 and the Prix F mina Etranger 1993 for The Child in Time and Germany s Shakespeare Prize in 1999 He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction numerous times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998 His novel Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award 2002 , National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award 2003 , Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction 2003 , and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel 2004 He was awarded a CBE in 2000 In 2006, he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Saturday and his novel On Chesil Beach was named Galaxy Book of the Year at the 2008 British Book Awards where McEwan was also named Reader s Digest Author of the Year.McEwan lives in London Books by Ian McEwan More Trivia About Machines Like Me No trivia or quizzes yet Add some now Quotes from Machines Like Me As Schopenhauer said about free will, you can choose whatever you desire, but you re not free to choose your desires 3 likes We create a machine with intelligence and self awareness and push it out into our imperfect world Devised along generally rational lines, well disposed to others, such a mind soon finds itself in a hurricane of contradictions We ve lived with them and the list wearies us Millions dying of diseases we know how to cure Millions living in poverty when there s enough to go around We degrade the biosphere when we know it s our only home We threaten each other with nuclear weapons when we know where it could lead We love living things but we permit a mass extinction of species And all the rest genocide, torture, enslavement, domestic murder, child abuse, school shootings, rape and scores of daily outrages 2 likes More quotes renderRatingGraph 1430, 2696, 2047, 620, 138 if rating_details rating_detailssert top rating_graph Company About us Careers Terms Privacy Help Work with us Authors Advertise Authors ads blog API Connect 2019 , Inc Mobile version

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    Machines Like Me A Novel Ian McEwan https Machines Like Me Ian McEwan dp Machines Like Me A Novel Hardcover Deckle Edge, April , by Ian McEwan Author Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan https book show machines like me Apr , Machines Like Me is the seventeenth novel by award prize winning British author, Ian McEwan It s England in , but a very dif . s We learned a lot about the brain, trying to imitate it. Book Review Machines Like Me, By Ian McEwan NPRhttps npr Apr , Machines Like Me, like his other novels, is a thought provoking, well oiled literary machine It is set in an alternate London which has already surpassed us technologically. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan review intelligent https theguardian books apr machines like me by ian mcewan review Apr , Machines Like Me belongs to the genre of speculative fiction, but in its narrow focus on morally ambiguous characters in a bleak cityscape it also owes a debt to film noir, sharing Machines Like Me review a very modern menage a trois https theguardian books apr machines like us ian mcewan review Apr , Ultimately, Machines Like Me is a novel about the power of novels Charlie realises that his stance regarding his purchase has been shaped by literature Charlie realises that his stance

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