M H Shakir explores the effects of artificial intelligence in terms of disability
With people living longer and the over 65 population on the increase, Buckinghamshire-based clinician M H Shakir wondered what would happen if medical advances meant we could prolong human life.
Described by BBC News as ‘one of the hottest topics on the planet right now’, artificial intelligence is an area of developing interest and it was these two contributing factors that inspired Buckinghamshire-based Shakir’s debut novel Aalot’s Revenge. Set in a dystopian world faced with an increasing population, there are no solutions except to take advantage of the use of artificial intelligence to care for the elderly citizens.
The eponymous novel details Aalot’s attempts to get back at his parents. Bitter for having been born severely disabled, Aalot blames his parents’ selfish ways for his situation. He decides to infiltrate the minds of his parents by adapting the technology that aids his disability. Having taken control of his father, he causes him to risk everything by launching a project to reintroduce human-like robots as a solution to the shortage of carers for the elderly. Both illegal and highly controversial, the project reignites past fears regarding what are referred to only as the ‘troubles’, situations that occurred when robots became totally independent.
As a clinician who specialises in geriatrics, Shakir has often wondered how artificial intelligence could help the older population. ‘The rapid technological advances in the world could easily lead to disaster, especially with the practical issues associated with advances in medicine and people living longer.’
Copies of M. H. Shakir's dystopian novel, Aalot's Revenge, are available upon request from Matador.
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