Edge Hill lecturer Dinesh Allirajah has contributed to a unique new anthology about artificial intelligence: Beta-Life: Stories from an A-Life future.
From award-winning publishing house Comma Press, Beta Life features top fiction writers paired with scientists and experts in artificial intelligence or unconventional computing in a unique literary experiment which seeks to explore and imagine the possibilities for artificial life in the year 2070.
Associate Tutor in Creative Writing in the Department of English and History Dinesh Allirajah said: “For my commission, I was paired with Professor Francesco Mondada, who has done pioneering work in the development of domestic help robots designed to replace or augment household objects and appliances. Guided by Francesco, I imagined what life in a 2070 family home might be like in a fully roboticised environment, and my story, The Longhand Option, placed the idea of technology, that evolves according to the problems we have, alongside a depiction of the writing process, which also depends on problems for its existence.”
Supported by TRUCE (www.truce-project.eu), the project began in Autumn 2013, with a meeting of authors and scientists at the European Conference on Artificial Life, in Taormina, Sicily. After a period of consultation on the subject of the scientist’s research, each writer wrote a short story for inclusion in the book. The collection includes stories from leading authors, including Frank Cottrell Boyce (who wrote the screenplays for Welcome to Sarajevo and 24 Hour Party People, as well as the script for the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony), Adam Marek (winner of the 2011 Arts Foundation Short Story Fellowship) and Stuart Evers (winner of the London Book Award). Each story is accompanied by an afterword, written by the scientist, describing the scientific context to the fiction.
The book is available now from Comma Press’s website www.commapress.co.uk or in Kindle version from Amazon.