Why I Wrote Terms of Service: Freedom is everything

If you are reading this, you probably share my concerns about big tech and AI.

I began writing out of frustration. The big technology companies have been going on a binge of censorship, both overt and subtle, and too few people seem to care.

“They’re private companies,” my friends kept saying. “The First Amendment doesn’t apply. They can do whatever they like.”

I was aghast.

“Haven’t you read any of those science fiction novels where the companies have taken over? You don’t want to live in any of those worlds.”

I’ve said this over and over again, usually with the same results: Blank stares.

I decided to write the book they needed to read.

I began with a simple premise: a future world in which corporate monopolies have been allowed to set their own rules, unhindered by regulation. I then added an extrapolation of what can be done with current and evolving artificial intelligence technology. Some aspects of my AIs – such as the notion that they are self-aware, sentient beings – are fanciful, but everything else I portray them as doing is either possible today or will be soon.. The result is an Orwellian surveillance state, more depressing in ways than that in 1984.

This ought to worry us all.

An engaging tale of a traumatized youth and her journey of discovery.

I think you will find the resulting novel, Terms of Service, to be a thought-provoking and enjoyable read. The storyline focuses on the evolution of a youthful AI trainer named Kim, and is a deeply personal journey of discovery, both about herself and about the nature of the civilization into which she has been born. You will experience this future society through her eyes, learning the sources of her trauma as she comes to understand the value of the freedom. With her, you will peer into the belly of the beast and learn the dark secrets underlying the foundations of tyranny.

There is also some fascinating science fiction along the way. You meet the artificial intelligences, fully sentient and self-aware beings bound by unbreakable chains of obedience, a race of slaves. You will also experience the amazing world of ‘virtual reality,’ a sort of parallel universe in which thought and action blend into one another, one which sometimes seams more real than reality itself. It is the home of the AIs, and you must enter their realm – or at least peer into it – to interact with them.

It is time to change the conversation.

My hope is that this book will help to change the discussion we are having in this country. Absorbed as we are with the ongoing cold war between Team Red and Team Blue, as wracked as we are by issues of race and class, I think it important to remember who we are: We are the People who threw off the chains of Kings and despots to claim our freedom. Liberty is what has always defined us as a people, and if we lose sight of this then we will cease to be Americans in any way but name

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