Company Time v1.0
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Expert computer programmer John Farmer brings in his pet project to show it off, and an actual meeting occurs with Ozzy G. Osgood, his mega-perfectionist boss and–despite company policy against mingling–personal friend. Osgood has trouble understanding, but catches on when potential profits peek out–his, not the company’s. The eavesdropping Jerry Branson steals enough of John’s program to instigate his own profitable spree, but gets fired for the security breach.
The experimental software, Predictive Analysis, forecasts what people will type: commands, memos, email. Think ESP for computer terminals, artificial intelligence, heavy on the artificial. Like voice recognition software, it analyzes a training session and learns from its errors. John is particularly proud of the self-improvement module, which expands the program’s abilities, speed, and power. Exponentially, to his chagrin.
When Predictive Analysis successfully prognosticates an entire program before it’s even requested, John and Osgood get into trouble trying to explain it without letting on that they can see the future. Escalating the stakes and risks, John and Osgood slink around the offices at night trying to to outwit the company's security investigations–which the program precisely predicts and worst-case-scenario-izes. They repeatedly run Predictive Analysis to good and ill. In pursuit of profit, Osgood also runs it on the sly. Set loose on the company systems, the program poses ever worsening dangers.
Floundering in future-shocking troubles, they devise a desperate plan to extricate the innocent. Ah, but there are no secrets from Predictive Analysis.