His name is carefully guarded from the general public but within the secretive inner circles of the ultra-rich Dr. Alex Hoffmann is a legend - a visionary scientist whose computer software turns everything it touches into gold. Together with his partner, an investment banker, Hoffmann has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence ...
His name is carefully guarded from the general public but within the secretive inner circles of the ultra-rich Dr. Alex Hoffmann is a legend - a visionary scientist whose computer software turns everything it touches into gold. Together with his partner, an investment banker, Hoffmann has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that tracks human emotions, enabling it to predict movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But then in the early hours of the morning, while he lies asleep with his wife, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of their lakeside house. So begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts, with increasing desperation, to discover who is trying to destroy him. His quest forces him to confront the deepest questions of what it is to be human. By the time night falls over Geneva, the financial markets will be in turmoil and Hoffmann's world - and ours - transformed forever.
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-12-12 In this smart but uneven thriller on technology run amok from bestseller Harris (The Ghost Writer), Dr. Alex Hoffmann, an American scientific refugee from the abandoned Texas supercollider who lands on his feet at CERN in Geneva, eventually goes on to found one of the world's most successful hedge funds. Hoffmann's secret VIXAL-4, an artificial intelligence project that forecasts financial market movements, appears to have a mind of its own, which is more than can be said for its creator. Unbeknownst even to his English avant-garde artist wife, Hoffmann has shown signs of serious mental problems in the past. Could a series of strange occurrences in the present be random, the work of a mole in Hoffman's company, or part of his unconscious pattern of self-destruction? Pure science enjoys an uneasy existence with large profit making at the expense of downward-market spirals. Despite some less than engaging characters and a story that sags a bit, this novel's philosophical underpinnings will keep most readers engrossed. 200,000 first printing; 5-city author tour. Agent: Michael Carlisle. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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