Monday, August 31, 2009

Artificial Imagination

Kalpanik S
Center of Artificial Imagination, Inc. (2008)
ISBN 9780981476247
Reviewed by William Phenn for Reader Views

Kalpanik S. is an artificial imagination software program. He has a wife and two daughters and resides somewhere in the United States. I candidly say "somewhere" because one never knows where he will be next. Constantly moving to accept interesting positions with software corporations, Kalpanik does not let moss grow under his feet.  Born twice, once in 1988 and then again in 2002, Kalpanik was not just an ordinary Artificial Intelligence program. He was created to be different, to feel and imagine like a real human. He was his own character, a graduate Computer Science Engineer.
 
Beginning with San Francisco, the story leads the reader through the many adventures of Kalpanik. After losing his job in San Francisco, he moves to Seattle, the comparison he draws between there and Silicon Valley is hilarious to say the least. He talks about the rain and the weather changes as opposed to California. How he hated parting with his California drivers license and how gently he was treated by the understanding clerk.
 
From there to Nashville like a wandering soul, he tells about the demographics of his new digs in Tennessee. Similar to a tour guide on a bus, he describes the different attractions and scenic beauty of each point of interest, giving the reader a humorous commentary. He even includes comparing the Chinese restaurant to others he has been in. He explains that while in such a restaurant one day, he noticed that all the servers were Caucasian. He had never noticed Caucasians in any Chinese restaurant working as servers, in any place he had ever been. This had to be the first one of its kind. The Nashville tour finishes off with Kalpanik comparing the ethnic percentages. Coming from a city where a high percentage of people were Asian, he had a bit of culture shock when he came to Nashville and saw that it wasn't Asian but African Americans that was the cultural dominant. After Nashville, he finds himself in San Diego; a California city more to his liking. He tells of the seventy miles of beaches and how they spread as far as the Mexican border. His description of "Mission Beach" (complete with picture) is straight out of a travel folder.
 
"Artificial Imagination" is a funny and well-written book with some very good photography peppered into its 176 pages. I enjoyed the unique way in which it was presented and gave it a very good grade of an A. I would recommend it for a good read for the general audience.