First Light of Day: A Cautionary Tale of Our Future Written By One of Today's Leading Experts on Technology Innovation

by Michael J.T. Steep

"An expansive trip into our future and the technology to take us there."

—Tom Wheeler, author, From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future; former chairman, Federal Communications Commission

"Illuminating the danger of a world of our own creation, but not our own design."

—General Stanley McChrystal, partner, McChrystal Group


London, 2045: Technology has changed everything from travel and work to government and even personal relationships.

Society is segregated between knowledge workers, who enjoy all the benefits of life in the new digital cities, and the majority of the population, so-called Zeroids, who have been rendered economically superfluous.

Mikhail Ivanovich Vasiliev is a model “high value citizen,” a top AI engineering architect for Lloyd’s Taiping Group, the world’s premier financial services company. He leads a perfectly ordered life, with his routine optimized by his team of AI agents, but as he nears the creation of the world’s first sentient being, forces converge seeking to prevent or exploit the advent of this new technology. Mikhail and his cohorts and enemies alike struggle with the invention’s potential intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual impacts and the possibility of losing control of their lives to their own creations.

This gripping narrative is followed by an overview of the real-life technologies that play crucial roles in the story and that are shaping our world today. As one of today's leading experts on technology innovation, Michael Steep is uniquely qualified to describe the impact of unchecked technology development currently underway.

What people say about it

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, editor, investor, businessman, and television producer

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

About the Author

Michael J.T. Steep

Michael J.T. Steep has been at the forefront of technology for the last thirty years. He is the founder and director of Stanford University's Disruptive Technology & Digital Cities Program, and frequently speaks on managing technology and innovation to industry and government audiences. His expertise on disruption and innovation comes from the field as senior vice president of Xerox PARC and earlier in executive and management positions at leading tech giants including Hewlett-Packard, IBM. Microsoft, and Apple. He resides with his wife in Silicon Valley.

Michael JT Steep