Can't recall what any of the title would be or who the author was. But the book involved the main character meeting a rich genius with a private island. He has an AI as his central computer, and it acted more like a teenage girl. His robots were emotional AIs too. And i remember a scene where part of their education was them in a room with a cow, they end up killing the cow and they learn how to control their robot bodies.
Also the main character ends up learning about the rich guys' plan for mining an asteroid as she is in a holodeck type room.
Seems like it should be easy to google this but my keyword combinations are coming up empty.
EDIT: OK someone else must have read this book. Let me summarize some more information I remember and see if that helps jog anyone's memory about reading this book.
- It is a full size novel, forgot the number of pages but definitely more than 100.
- It takes place in "the current day" or at least the near future, and on earth.
- Not sure if it was published in the 90s but i remember reading the paperback then. 94ish...
- The main character I think is a reporter, but maybe a graduate student.
- I remember the main character falling in love with the eccentric rich guy.
- The AI in the book is allowed to choose a gender.
- There are a large number of the robots I've mentioned living on the island.
- One of the robots runs out of power,that is sort of like death for them. But when they bring it back online it has some of its memories but it is a different personality.
- The rich guy is launching things into orbit from his island, part in the book where the main character gets too close to the launch site and is almost killed.
- The "holodeck" like room is more like current day VR. I remember the room changed shape and maybe had treadmill like properties to allow the person to move around and interact with objects.
- The end of the book or near the end has one of the robots observing the humans and thinking that they are different. Almost implying that different is bad or something. AKA robot uprising.
I'll keep updating this post with more information as I remember. But the critical pieces like character names I just can't recall.
The female protagonist has some sort of psychology background and has caught the attention of the wealthy genius telco/data magnate mentioned above. He has an AI controlling his systems/satellites which is having some problems and needs a little 'help'.
You're bang on with the holo deck and mining of an iron asteroid that he has towed in from the asteroid belt as iron in space in FAR more valuable than gold.
If any of this helps please let me know the authors name and or the ISBN of the book.
I do remember the rich guy was wondering if someone with a psychology background (the female main character, who jumped into this assignment because of something that happened in her professional of personal environment) could help his robots to overcome some mental problems.
She doesn't know upfront what she's stepping into, and has to discover for herself what's really happening on the island, namely robots who procreates themselves, and learn by trial and error.
I remember the book giving examples as how a human would not calculate exactly how much coffee he can put in a cup without spilling it while walking around with it, we learn by trial and error, sort of "fuzzy logic" (don't know if that term is used in the book).