Level 5 is a fun technothriller where "Level 5” AIs try to take over the world- either directly by the evil AIs or just in the background by the less evil AIs. And nanotechnology, especially nanorobots, is their tool. A large quibble: the tiny mechanical insect nanobots that crawl and hop like fleas or mites and hide in hair aren’t really nanobots because nanorobotics is about robots that work on the nanoscale (less than 100th of a cm) on molecules and wouldn’t be visible to the naked eye. Nanorobots function on the biological and molecular level and are usually made of biological materials like proteins. And speaking of robots, the AIs, good and evil, have to keep people around because there are no bigger robots to carry things around, reprogram those nanorobots, and perform gross scale manufacturing because building robots is harder than anti-gravity (another cool tech in the book) and nanobots… hmmm. Level 5 may refer to the SAE levels of autonomous driving cars, where a Level 5 car can drive itself. Note to self, there’s a big difference between being able to drive and the intelligence needed to take over the world so the SAE levels aren’t really used by scientists for classifying Artificial General Intelligence. Still there’s a lot to be said for a technothriller that posits Gordon Gecko greed-is-good Wall Street types, not the military, will fund the creation of sentient AI and then be tricked by their own cyber-slaves.
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