Life Artificial by David Eubanks

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SUMMARY: Artificial Personalities called PDAs are evolved, bred ruthlessly for survival skills, and then released in the wild to succeed and pay The Company for every clock cycle of their Time, or fail and become a shadow on a backup device. The world they compet

It's 40,000 words; far too long to post here. You can find it at No ads or requests for your cash. I'm a mathematician who researches survival, and much of the story is based on that research.