“Goal Zero” by Anthony McCarten: a captivating adventure novel

“Goal Zero” by Anthony McCarten: a captivating adventure novel

“Objectif Zéro” by Anthony McCarten, translated from the English by Frédéric Brument and published by Denuel, is an uncompromising tale about the excesses of artificial intelligence, a favorite of Gilbert Chevalier.

There are more and more novels about artificial intelligence. With today’s observation: These narratives are becoming more and more paranoid. A year ago, for example, it came out Two thousand, By Christopher Boix, at Diable vauvert. The bittersweet novel left plenty of room for ridicule and criticism of our domestic and family customs.

Zero target Leaving no room for humor, he decodes what a surveillance society can push to extremes, using tools that find their roots in today’s real world, and the need for population security. Anthony McCarten imagined a kind of game called “Target Zero”, run by a large high-tech company linked to the CIA. 10 people were randomly selected, and they come from the four corners of the United States, with very different profiles. But they all share the same goal: to win $3 million. To do this, they will have to disappear for 30 days.

For Fusion, the company that prepared this comprehensive test, the goal is to sell new surveillance tools, in cooperation with the CIA. Fusion is one of the most innovative and powerful companies in the world. His boss is a kind of Elon Musk, with a huge ego and, above all, little sensitivity to protecting civil liberties. But there will be a grain of sand, one candidate harder than the others, the one no one saw coming, a librarian from Boston, far removed from social networks and new technologies.

A young woman will be defeated by the power of machines

Drones, predictive algorithms, facial and motion recognition sensors, and other spyware to capture our conversations: all of these devices, whether real or imagined by the author, failed the librarian. This young woman was underestimated by the algorithms. The New Zealand writer had the good idea to introduce us to this conflict between this simple, socially abnormal young woman and a high-tech company linked to the CIA.

The duel is delicious for the reader who, passing by, easily recognizes this young woman, especially since she is not who we think she is. His goal, as we quickly understood, was not just to obtain the promised three million dollars.

Anthony McCarten, famous for his film scripts – has specially signed on bohemian rhapsody – It offers us a very captivating adventure novel, and a reflection of a society of extreme surveillance, where the citizen is not really aware of the problems and dangers of these surveillance tools. On the main topic: protect me, even at the expense of some freedoms.

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