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Early Praise for “First Light of Day”


“With ‘First Light of Day,’ Mike Steep has accomplished something extraordinary. Not only has he written an incredible description—chilling as it is—of the world ruled by machine intelligence that is just around the corner, but he has done so by inventing a new kind of book for this new era. It is a hybrid of a novel and a nonfiction book, each part furthering the vision of the other. It is as revolutionary as the future it explains.”

- Michael S. Malone, author, columnist, and television producer



“What is the price of our society’s obsession with artificial intelligence? Michael Steep’s ‘First Light of Day’ paints a picture of the not-too-distant future, illuminating the dangers of a world of our own creation, but not of our own design. In so doing, Steep’s lucid and heartful narrative makes an impassioned case for each of us to remember our humanity, especially in the digital age.”

- General Stanley McChrystal, partner, McChrystal Group



“An expansive trip into our future and the technology to take us there. Michael Steep has created a new genre of technological realism that gives the reader a heady combination of science fiction and scientific fact.”

- Tom Wheeler, former chairman, Federal Communications Commission;

author, From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future



“Mike Steep gives a gripping look at how artificial intelligence and digital technologies will fundamentally change the future for every individual and organization. In his fictional narrative, he provides a fascinating look at life in the near future based on his treasure trove of experience of more than three decades at the world’s most admired technology companies.”

- Michael Morell, former deputy director, CIA



“Using his Silicon Valley real-world experience, Michael Steep has created a novel exploring big ethical dilemmas as AI surpasses human capabilities. AI is either humanity’s saving or its demise. ‘First Light of Day,’ including its bonus explanation of key-ingredient technologies, gives the reader a front-row seat to a possible future where nationalism, politics, and our essence as humans confront rapid change in technology.”

- Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association



“Michael Steep has written an engaging and insightful novel that explores how multiple personal AI assistants like Siri and Alexa, which many of us already use today, are inexorably advancing in their capabilities to the point where they can ultimately develop ‘personalities’ and ‘self-awareness.’


Steep has developed a wide-ranging set of insights about digital and other emerging technologies through a long career in commercializing solutions for tech companies like HP, Apple, Microsoft, and Xerox PARC, and as the executive director of Stanford’s Disruptive Technologies and Digital Cities research program. The book masterfully weaves these insights about the trajectory of these disruptive technologies into a plausible and frightening story that shows how these intelligent assistants coevolving and interacting in unexpected ways can create a dark and dystopian future of severe economic inequality, cybercrime, and conflict.


The book is an important and page-turning read for anyone working on, using, and/or concerned about the advances of intrusive Big Data collection and the artificial intelligence applications that feed ravenously on it."

- Raymond Levitt, Kumagai Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, Stanford University;

operating partner, Blackhorn Ventures, LLC



“Is it science fiction, or our future? Steep has opened up the integrated experiences, business models, and societal impact that disruptive technology portends. As a country, we have big choices to make, and ‘First Light of Day’ tells a captivating story highlighting the powerful changes already underway. As a former leader at Amazon, I remember that, when the company started 25 years ago, how ridiculously traditional business leaders underestimated the impact of Amazon and digital technologies. Now, looking forward 10 to 20 years, what sounds the impossible will become the everyday. Enjoy the story and don’t ignore its lessons!”

- John Rossman, author, Think Like Amazon: 50½ Ideas to Become a Digital Leader;

managing partner,Rossman Partners



“I have known Mike Steep since his time at Apple. He has consistently looked into the future and identified those technologies that would go on to impact everyday life. In this fast-paced mystery, Steep has crafted an intriguing story about how technology will forever change the way we live.”

- Don Strickland, president and CEO, Strickland Associates;

adjunct professor, Imperial College London

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