Generative AI Creates KARA
2022 was the year of Generative AI. Dall-E generated artwork based on a text prompt. Others, like MidJourney, soon followed. Chat-GPT started generating essays on demand based on text prompts, and the tech giants, Microsoft and Google, started a new search war to create a new chat-based search tool. This is a search where the chatbot can talk to you about almost any topic instead of just showing you a series of links that you need to read yourself. In Microsoft's demo, they reference the sources alongside the conversational answer.
In 2023, Microsoft has announced integrations with several of their products, including Teams, Outlook, MS Office, and of course, Bing. This is a chance for Microsoft to gain share in the lucrative search market.
Other types of generative AI have also started to gain increased adoption. You can create music, videos, and more, all by typing in a prompt.
I decided to try creating an AI generated video this way. I used Midjourney to create an avatar of Kara from The Quantum Contingent and then had the AI from D-id.com turn the image from Midjourney into a talking head. Here's a brief clip of the video.
Of course, instead of reading something you or I write, she could just as easily read something generated by Chat-GPT... completing the trifecta of generative AI. You can also use AI generated background music instead of the built in clip I used from iMovie.
If you haven't read The Quantum Contingent yet, I encourage you to check it out! I'm hard at work on the sequel, Quantum Time. I'm 45,000 words in, and look forward to sharing it with you when it is done!
Drop your comments and questions below!
Open AI's CHATGPT
Open AI's ChatGPT is turning lots of heads on the internet. There are numerous articles out there from reputable sources, so I won't try and write a full in-depth article here. I just want to highlight some of the more amazing examples I've seen and talk about some of the implications of such a tool. One of the biggest questions out there is if we are seeing the birth of the tool that displaces Google. Google, the champion of search, is where most people turn to ask questions. The idea of searching for answers on the internet via a search engine essentially gave everyone an augmented intelligence of all of the trivia you might hear at a bar, or every cat video worth its salt. ChatGPT is working to raise the game. Instead of asking google and getting a list of links back that may get you the answer you want if you read through the links, imagine if you could talk with an expert on just about anything and get a well educated answer back on the topic. (and yes Google does surface some answers directly to certain queries now too) \
Here are some simple examples of how ChatGPT could take the concept way beyond Google.
The queries can be how to write a program, or to simply be a request to go ahead and be said program so that you can interact with it.
It can explain concepts at different levels.
Heck, it can even make decent jokes.
I got to ask a couple of queries before the system became overloaded with demand. Now that I see what it is capable of, I can't wait to go back and further refine my queries. (Of course I asked it about scenarios I'm working on for the sequel to The Quantum Contingent.) One of my queries is below. (It continued beyond the image shown... I was testing it from my phone) So, yes, my next novel will have a car chase in the self-driving future... it makes for some interesting drama...
Want to learn more? I recommend checking out the NYT's article at:
This is where I saw the above examples first... (before going to explore further on twitter)
Drop you comments/questions below!
AI Generated art
AI-generated art is making a splash. What are the implications to creative professions? I've added two images below, inspired by a scene in my book, The Quantum Contingent. One was generated using Dall-E 2 from OpenAI and one by the program Midjourney. Both demonstrate the power of AI artwork. Will this eliminate graphic artists from book cover design, illustrators of books, or even threaten human-generated art in general?
Already, artwork generated by Midjourney won an award at the Colorado State Fair. Not all thought this was fair.
I think we will see a separate category for AI generated art in a matter of months if not sooner, but that only helps with contests. Will people buy a painting if you can generate one with carefully selected words and a few iterations of an AI program to create your own unique piece of art? Should AI generated Art list the name of the person who generated it as the artist, or should it clearly call out how it was created? Am I the artist of the images below? I don't think so. Do we create a credits screen for the artwork including the people who developed the AI?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this burgeoning field. (Oh, and do you recognize this scene from the book?)
Oh, and what other fields will AI disrupt?
Until next time,
Image above was generated using mid journey, image below was generated using Dall-E 2.
First, thank you to all of you who have read The Quantum Contingent. I hope you enjoyed the book. I know I enjoyed the journey of creating it. I had lots of help. One of the common questions I get is, ‘Are you going to write another book?’ And the answer is yes! I do want to write a sequel. I’ve finally learned a little about how this entire process works, so I may as well take my learnings and try again. It should be easier the second time, right? The next book will be a sequel. It will be more complicated than The Quantum Contingent because it will take place in two time periods. (I don't want it to be too easy) First, it will take place shortly following the end of The Quantum Contingent in 2029. In addition, it will have an entangled timeline from 2049… twenty years later. This will allow me to stretch some technology limits to almost sci-fi levels. I’ll still try to achieve a sense of realism, but as a result will explore technologies much more advanced than those in The Quantum Contingent. For example, I’ll take the metaverse beyond the simple virtual reality conference rooms of 2028. My question for you, is what technologies do you want to see? Are there locations around the globe you’d like me to cover? I’ve started the book. (but don’t have that one year retirement anniversary deadline hanging over me this time) I’ve got some fundamental plot points laid out and have some good locations that I didn’t include in the first book. I even have close to 5000 words written. So, I think it will be a reality. I just don't know when.
The photo below is from one of the new locations in the sequel. Does anyone know where it is from?
Anyway, if you have any thoughts, I’m all ears. Thanks for listening.
For those of you that bought the paperback edition of The Quantum Contingent, the chapter heading photos are small and in black and white. I thought I'd share a gallery of the photos for those that wanted to see a more detailed version of the color photo. The photos represent the location of the chapter. (Note that some chapters use the same photo, since they are in the same location.)
There are also two photos that are highly stylized versions of other location photos. This is when the chapter is in one of the virtual reality conference rooms. For example, Chapter 30, The Hunt is a chapter set in 'cyberspace' and shows a stylized photo of the location of The Quantum Contingent's Ops center. The same unaltered photo is used when they are physically at the Ops Center. The same effect is used for Quotient's Nexus conversation. Some other photos were stylized simply for aesthetics, for example, Amsterdam.
(all photos are personal photos and are presented in the order they appear in the book, (duplicates not included) except for Chapter 25, The Scuttlebutt, which for some reason decided to show up a few chapters late.)
The Audible version is here
Haven't read The Quantum Contingent yet? Never fear, the Audible Book is here... Now you can LISTEN to The Quantum Contingent. Narration by Stephen Carter. https://lnkd.in/ghmchyyh
Libraries are great!
Libraries make an entire world of reading available to everyone! Sometimes book clubs avoid buying books because they don't want to collect so many copies, but they enjoy reading. Some people can't afford to buy a book just for fun. Fortunately, we have libraries! The first known library was in Nineveh; in what is today Iraq. It was established in the 7th century BCE by the Assyrian ruler Ashurbanipal. It was thought to hold about 30,000 cuneiform tablets, organized by different topics.
Libraries solve the problem of access to knowledge by making reading treasures (and increasingly movies, songs and other literary works) available to communities for free. Today's libraries are still treasure holds of great works, but in addition to physical works, they also have digital works. The Quantum Contingent is available in many libraries today digitally via Hoopla, a digital media service available in libraries around the U.S. and Canada. Here's a map of the libraries that Hoopla partners with and the areas they cover. Read more about Hoopla at: https://www.hoopladigital.com
So, if you want to check out The Quantum Contingent, but aren't ready to buy a copy for any reason, you can check it out via Hoopla and many local libraries! If you are part of a book club and would like to buy The Quantum Contingent as a group, contact me for a book club group discount!
World Quantum Day!
That’s right, April 14th is World Quantum Day! Who knew? There is no better day to try The Quantum Contingent than today! Now that The Quantum Contingent is live on Amazon I'm hearing about more people receiving their copy of the book. I just wanted to say thanks to all that have purchased the book and a very special thank you to those that have read it!
(No, I didn't plan for it to go live the week of World Quantum Day. It was just luck.)
Why is World Quantum Day on April 14th? (From the world quantum day website: https://worldquantumday.org)
"The World Quantum Day is celebrated on April 14, a reference to 4.14, the rounded first digits of Planck’s constant: 4.135667696×10−15 eV.s = 0,000 000 000 000 004 135667696 electronvolt second, a product of energy and time that is the fundamental constant governing quantum physics."
What about the audible version of The Quantum Contingent?
The audible version is in production! It is now on Chapter 40, so it won't be long before you are reading the blog post about it's release!
Happy Quantum Day!
The Amazon pre-release sale is set to end April 12th. Based on activity on the pre-release page, (both pre-release sales and the number of people who simply browse the page) Amazon will estimate how many copies it will sell in what parts of the country and place orders for its warehouses both in the US and abroad! Once it has the physical copies in its warehouses, Amazon will end the pre-sale, and begin shipping books to those who pre-ordered and the book will show as "available" instead of as for "pre-sale" on Amazon's site.
If you haven't purchased your copy yet, now is the time! Pre-release sales are a big factor in how many copies Amazon stocks, so thanks to all who purchase one! Amazon link here!
I've gotten 4 reviews so far from readers of the Kindle version of The Quantum Contingent. All 5 stars! Your reviews help sell books, so if you are so inclined, I'd appreciate you taking the time to do a review. Special thanks to those who already did!
For those of you that prefer to listen to books instead of read them, never fear, the audio book is coming! I'm working on the Audible version with my narrator, Stephen Carter, entrepreneur extraordinaire, and founder of The Seed Tree Group. Read about Stephen and his recent book on his Amazon Author page. Stephen has recorded the first 38 chapters already. I'll let you know when the audible version of The Quantum Contingent launches!
Remember, The Quantum Contingent makes a great gift!
Enjoy your day! Talk soon,
One of the fun things about writing a book is that you can hide “Easter eggs” in the story. Some are personal that only close friends will recognize, others are there for anyone to find. One good place to find hidden meaning is in character names. One of the characters in The Quantum Contingent is Dean Dalek. The name Dalek is derived from a character from Dr. Who. Similarly, the names Jack and Sarah are tied to some famous characters. Jack is tied to Jack Bauer and Jack Reacher. Sarah is tied to the outstanding spy, Sarah Walker, from the TV Show, Chuck. In The Quantum Contingent, the character known as the Lion has the last name Clayton, the same as John Clayton II, or Tarzan. In the Disney movie version, Clayton is a villain, Tarzan’s biological younger cousin. Tasha, the president’s daughter is the namesake of Tasha Yar from Star Trek, The Next Generation. Star Trek is just one of the many popular culture references in the book. Of course, Martin Austin is a reference to the Aston Martin, James Bond’s preferred ride. Did you notice any other good character name connections? (Just a warning, many are just “names”… and don’t have a backstory!)
As you know, each chapter from The Quantum Contingent has an associated song. The songs provide another opportunity for hidden connections in the book. There is a line from the song Starship in it’s corresponding chapter. The diner in Castle on the Hill’s chapter is named none other than Castle on the Hill. Have fun finding the song to chapter connections.
One of the other popular culture references hidden in the book is LOST. The JJ Abrams hit TV Show. If you are a LOST fan, you’ll find the numbers, Hugo’s van, and even a fitting character name. (There is a Marvel reference in the character names as well.)
The drone ship that SpaceX uses in the book is called “Flexible Demeanor.” This is because the real drone ships that SpaceX uses are named after spaceships in the legendary Sci-Fi author Iain M. Banks books. I selected another spaceship from his novels for the name of the SpaceX drone ship in the The Quantum Contingent to keep up the tradition.
Some of the home descriptions are based on my own home. For example, the photos at the chapter headings of Sarah’s Smile and The Capture are described as hanging in Sarah and Desmond’s home. I have them hanging in the foyer of my home. (And they are shown below)
If you need a good novel for some spring break reading, Try The Quantum Contingent!.
Greg's blog will cover some of the things he learned as well as some of the tech and locations he used in his new novel, The Quantum Contingent.