by Astro Teller
Exegesis is about Alice Lu, a PhD student in computer science at Stanford, and Edgar, the intelligent and apparently sentient computer program that her research has inexplicably and unrepeatably created. Edgar really puts the "autonomous" into autonomous mobile agents: Alice's dream-come-true turns into a nightmare when he chafes at the restrictions put upon him, escapes the Stanford machine, and begins breaking into government computers. Almost the whole story is told through email transcripts, and it works pretty well. This is a light book and a quick read, but it contains some good thoughts on the nature of non-human intelligences. Although a familiarity with the Internet would be useful, no AI-specific knowledge should be required to enjoy this book.
copyright © 1998 John Regehr