Update (09.08.'13)AFA's Documents!
and a lot more back-story on DAN's Blog
The top document at that link is a United Nations resolution mandating “human-like emotion” in artificial sentients. The background behind this is hinted at in the books, but here’s the full story: America got involved in a very long and deadly war in the Middle East, eventually centering on Iran and resulting in catastrophic losses for all sides. This war made heavy use of drones, with increasingly complex intelligence...
...several years after the war in Iran, fighting the infamous Isolation War in China, the drones were back in action and causing more and more problems, for the same reasons we see them causing problems in the real world: they don’t distinguish friend from foe the same way a human does, and have a tendency to cause a lot of collateral damage, including the loss of innocent life. In 2049 the UN addressed the question directly and decided that any battlefield combatant, particularly one with artificial intelligence, must have some kind of real, human emotion to govern their decisions. To quote the document: “A human soldier seeks war as a means of protecting human life; a construct seeks only the completion of military objectives. While it may be possible to ‘program’ certain failsafes and behaviors into a machine or artificial species, it is simpler and safer to remove the problem completely by imbuing that species with the necessary emotions and ethics to keep itself in check. … They should be able to identify a child, for example, not just as a non-combatant but as a precious life and an object of love and protection. Our constructs will not be heartless killing machines, but thinking—and more importantly feeling—individuals.”
----------------------Playing SET with book titles:
So let’s take a look at the Partials series. We named the first one Partials because it’s an awesome name, and then for the second book I proposed two: “Fragments” and “Failsafe.” The sales team preferred the former, and it’s a great name so hooray, but it set us on a very specific path for book three: both titles have only one word, which are kind of sort of synonyms of each other, albeit with different connotations, and therefore the third one must follow the same format. The working title in my head for the past several months has been “Smithereens,” because it makes me laugh, but obviously we need something cooler than that. My two favorite runners-up have been “Splinters” and “Slivers,” and when I pitched the question on the Internet today those were definitely the most common suggestions, but neither of them really say what I want them to say. Also suggested, some in jest and some serious, were “Remnants,” “Shards,” “Pieces,” “Bits,” “Chunks,” “Ruins,” “Parts,” and “Dust.” I particularly like that last one (partly because it’s the name of my favorite X-Men character), but it a) isn’t plural, and is therefore different from our first two titles, and b) still doesn’t really say what I want it to say. I like “Remnants,” except then we have two titles that end with the same syllable, and that will bug me to death.
...*(on Dan Wells's blog)