Nick Neville, a talented forensic accountant, takes on the ambitious job of auditing tech giant Cogvolve Corp, the renowned leader in the field of artificial intelligence. The company’s CEO, Michael Haas, is an acclaimed researcher whose brilliant high-tech innovations have earned him a reputation as one of the brightest minds in the world. The throng of protesters in front of Cogvolve’s imposing headquarters is Nick’s first indication of the challenges ahead of him. The company polarizes opinion across the globe: some awe at its advanced developments, while others protest the existential risks posed by its technology.
Leandro Faria is a night owl who spends an obscene amount of time listening to science podcasts during his commute, then writing about them at night after his wife and son go to sleep. Years ago, before he became nocturnal, he wrote a bestselling sports-betting book. He is an economist who holds degrees from Emory University and Vanderbilt University, and now works as a financial forecaster.
Captain Ken Elliot hurried down one of the long hallways of the State, War, and Navy Building. The bright sunshine of a clear summer day in Washington, D.C., illuminated the patterned marble floors and deep mahogany walls lined with portraits of America’s most decorated war heroes. Elliott rarely interacted with General Speltzer. Formidable stories about Speltzer’s accomplishments had trickled down to him through his superiors and their superiors. But Elliott had no idea why he had received orders to meet the General in his office. Knocking lightly on the door, he was commanded by a strong voice to come in. Elliott stopped to salute General Speltzer immediately after entering.