Updated: Feb 18, 2021
As with all reviews on this website, our goal is not to provide a complete overview of the book; rather, it is to examine how the book relates to the meaning of life.
Alex + Ada is a comic book series published between the years 2013 and 2015 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn.
The series revolves around a brokenhearted man, Alex, and his quest to find companionship, to find love; and to cut to the chase, he does just that, but does so in an unexpected way. His grandmother buys him an X5, the very latest in Tanaka android technology, whom Alex would later and reluctantly name Ada.
Ada is non-sentient, rather boring, and succumbs to Alex's every boring wish. Alex soon wants more from her, so he begins a search online for android hacks; hacks that would lead to sentience. Android sentience in this world is quite dangerous because of a previous attack by an android on humanity. As a result of this, android and robot sentience has not only been outlawed but also shunned by much of society. This doesn't stop Alex from seeking out a group to help him with his endeavor.
Alex would soon get what he wants, Ada becomes self-aware after another android hacks her. Shortly thereafter, one of Alex's friends discovers the truth about Ada. So naturally, one of the first questions Ada is asked is about the meaning of life.
Although Ada has no answers. This doesn't stop Ada from trying to find purpose in the series.
What Ada's purpose would be, the graphic novels don't get into. But what is interesting is albeit, briefly, the series explores humanity's struggle with meaning and purpose, and our eagerness to reach out to other intelligences for answers, which at least, in this case, have none.
Alex + Ada is not the first fictional series to explore #ai's quest for meaning. Ghost in the Shell, Westworld, Dream Corp LLC, etc. have all explored the concept to some extent. Although Alex + Ada doesn't go in-depth, which is quite common for a comic series, again, it is still touched upon.
Another intriguing subject Luna and Vaughn tersely examine is the concept of death, and the afterlife, as viewed between two AIs.
Here again, other intelligences have no more answers than humans do on the big questions. Though it should be pointed out that a common theme across series, shows, and movies that deal with artificial intelligence, those intelligences are modeled after humans, and as such, tend to have the same questions and answers that humans have. But the future will likely bring about AIs that are nothing like we are … which begs the question, will they even bother, will they even consider the same questions of any importance?
Overall, the series is quite enjoyable, a 7 out of 10. If you've read the series, what did you think?