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If we could, should we?

Cover of In the Blink of an Eye
A review of In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan

AI is all the buzz right now across a lot of platforms and there is much debate about whether the technology is actually a good thing or not. Me? I'm in wait and see mode - seeing some good applications, some bad ones and some that are downright weird.

The protagonist of Callaghan's new novel, Detective Chief Superintendent Kat Frank, falls more on the skeptical side of the issue. She isn't thrilled when, upon her return to active duty after the death of her husband, she's assigned to work with an AIDE (Artificially Intelligent Detective Entity) in a pilot program. Because they aren't sure what "Detective Lock" is yet capable of, Kat's team is assigned to work on cold cases. As they begin to work on the cases of two missing young men, Kat struggles to work with Lock. Yes, "he" can sort through data at an amazing speed, but his interpersonal skills need some work and she's afraid he may do more harm than good. But when the cases they're investigating begin to be a lot less cold, Kat has to put her suspicions about Lock (and his purpose) aside in order to resolve them.

The technology in the book is a bit more advanced than where we are right now, but not by much, which made this not only a gripping thriller, but one that posed some intriguing ethical and societal questions. Just how much power do we want to cede to AI? And once ceded, then what? I was intrigued by the premise and the questions it poses. Along the way I was also hooked by the story and characters, including Lock. I look forward to more in the series.


May 29, 2024