This is the worst book I have read in a long time. It seems primarilya conduit for the authors' opinions and theories, masked as a hi-techindustrial espionage mystery. The characters seem conceived by adolescents. They are consistently unlikeable, uninteresting, and unchanging, serving primarily to voice arguments that Minsky has only slightly more completely addressed in his previous book, The Society of Mind. The inane and boring plot shows a glimmer of promise at the very end for two reasons: One is a betrayal that is unexpected only because it appears in this otherwise flat book. The other is a one-page encounter with the only character who is even mildly interesting.
The pointed descriptions of everyday use of technology now being researched at the MIT Media Lab is distracting. The authors use grammar that is adulterated by the frequent, jarring, annoying omission of the subjects of sentences, both in the narrative as well as human and robot dialogs. This type of writing has the pretense of revolutionary style, while really exposing a complete lack of expressiveness.
If you want to know Minsky's theories about AI as well as his opinions on a wide range of subjects, you will find The Society of Mind far more thought-provoking and interesting than this book. If you want a simply but clearly articulated vision of the future as suggested by the work at MIT's Media Lab, read Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital. If you want entertaining and surprising science fiction about robots, read Isaac Asimov's short stories. Read them by the light of a fire, and fuel it with The Turing Option. END