In 2017, scientists began using the comprehensive digital world of the popular video game Grand Theft Auto to test artificial intelligence meant for self-driving cars.
In 2042, they used the Los Angeles-like world of Los Gatos from the even more popular game ‘Outlaw’ to test A.I. meant for cybernetic organisms; the singularity. The ‘Outlaw’ experiment, as it comes to be known, is practically an afterthought, intended as a safe way to catch “thought anomalies”, cognitive failures, and general threats to human life prior to real world testing.
But soon, Dmitry, the Estonian career criminal and in-game character given A.I. capabilities, begins to slowly realize something is off about his environment. A bottle of water sits upon a table in a way that’s contrary to physics. An electrical tower on the edge of the desert where his mother lives seems to have moved fifty yards for no apparent reason. Doors that are impossible to open. The strange behavior of ‘people’ around him; always ready for a fight over the dumbest of infractions.
All of these add up to one seriously flawed simulated world that Dmitry attempts to navigate while also dealing with his drug addicted crime boss; an increasingly brutal underworld made worse by the new Russian chess master and crime lord Nicolai; a mother recently diagnosed with cancer who needs money for treatments; and finally, a growing sense of empathy for the plight of innocents in the world of Los Gatos combined with distrust towards the very ‘reality’ that surrounds him.
Find the Needle is the journal Dmitry kept during his ‘alive time’ in the Outlaw, machine learning experiment.
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Frank Perrotto began writing stories at a very early age. Fascinated with movies and the process of filmmaking, he attended the University of Southern California film program and soon after, turned his passion for telling stories into a career as a television editor. He’s worked on shows for networks such as Nickelodeon, Discovery, Bravo, History Channel, Travel, and many others. Frank has also directed several successful independent short films and a feature, and placed in the top 10% of several screenwriting competitions.
Frustrated with the non-stop “creative” notes of his day job and the seemingly endless number of gatekeepers in the film and television industry, he turned to writing short stories and novels as a creative outlet. Find the Needle is his first series of novels.