copyright © Joe DiMaggio 2020
Bill DeSmedt has spent his life living by his wits and his words. In his time, and as the spirit has moved him, he’s been: a Soviet Area expert and US/USSR exchange student, a computer programmer and system designer, a telecommunications consultant, an Artificial Intelligence researcher, a son, a husband and lover, a father and grandfather, an omnivorous reader with a soft spot for science fiction and science fact, and now, Lord help us, a novelist. He’s tried to pack as much of that checkered history as he could into his “Archon Sequence” technothrillers Singularity, Dualism, and the forthcoming Triploidy.
Bill’s non-fiction writing credits include an unconventional two-part attempt to marry the fields of cognitive psychology and software engineering for the journal DataBase Programming & Design, a chapter on artificial intelligence in foreign language learning for Melissa Holland’s Intelligent Language Tutors, a beginner’s guide to natural-language processing for the Proceedings of the Computer Game Developers Conference, and a treatise on storytelling as a tool of military command for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Elsewhere and elsewhen, Bill has spent the past twenty-five years architecting the data structures, algorithms, and heuristics that enable computers to reason about targeted subject-matter domains the way humans do, and integrating the resulting knowledge engine with lexicons, parsers, discourse analyzers, and language generators to deliver production-ready Intelligent Conversational Agents.
He’s applied that expertise to creating MetaLang™: a knowledge-based, language-independent, fully authorable conversational agent technology, which employs state-of the-art natural language processing and knowledge representation capabilities (based on a homegrown 12,000-concept ontology) to simulate a variety of personalities, each able to hold up its end of a conversation. One of the applications built on that foundation is Herr Kommissar®, an error-remediating instructional scenario for intermediate learners of conversational German, cast in the form of an interactive detective game.
Bill and his wife Kathrin reside together with their miniature wirehaired dachshund Nicki in a hilltop aerie overlooking the riverside hamlet of Milford, Pennsylvania, home to 19th century philosopher/mathematician Charles Peirce as well as to the fabled Milford Science Fiction Writers Conferences of the 1960s founded by SF greats James Blish and Damon Knight — altogether, a storied history that has become an ever-flowing wellspring of inspiration.
A subterranean black hole is gradually devouring the planet.
But stopping it could mean destroying the future.
Artificial Intelligence, collective consciousness,
and life after death
— what could go wrong?
What if your newborn baby were endowed with
an entire third set of
— and it’s killing her?
As a physicist, I find that one of the most satisfying aspects of
Bill Desmedt’s SINGULARITY is that it does time travel right.
And, as a specialist in black hole astrophysics, I would also have to say that this is one of the most creative uses of primordial black-hole theory in science fiction.