Explores how computers are reshaping ideas about what it means to be human profiling the annual Turing Test to assess a computer's capacity for thought while analyzing related philosophical, biological, and moral issues.
What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us about Being Alive
Author: Brian Christian
AI is on the brink of a new dawn. And so are we . . . Telling the difference between humans and computers used to be easy. But artificial intelligence is now so advanced that it is capable of behaving, and even thinking, in ways that have long been considered exclusive to humankind. The time has come to rethink what being human actually means . . . In The Most Human Human Brian Christian goes to talk to the world's leading artificial intelligences, battling against them in the renowned Turing Test competition, in order to find out what they're capable of - and what makes us unique. The result is a funny, shocking, inspiring, deeply humane and intelligent book that reaches into every aspect of our lives, from work to school, speed-dating to chess, to psychiatry, video games and the criminal law. 'Remarkable. A philosophical joyride. The day a machine creates work of such wit and originality, we should all be very worried.' The Times 'An epic tour of philosophical, linguistic and scientific discovery. We stop off in places as far-flung as existential anxiety, predictive text and Gary Kasparov's defeat by Deep Blue. A lively, personable read and an empowering affirmation of our species.' Time Out 'Lively, thought-stirring, entertaining, invaluable.' New Statesman 'Dense with ideas, terrific.' New Yorker
What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us about Being Alive
Author: Brian Christian
Publisher: Penguin UK
Category: Artificial intelligence
For the first time in history, we are interacting with computers so sophisticated that we think they're human beings. This is a remarkable feat of human ingenuity, but what does it say about our humanity? Are we really no better at being human than the machines we've created? By mimicking our behaviour and conversation, computers have recently come within a single vote of passing the Turing Test, the widely accepted threshold at which a machine can be said to be 'thinking' or 'intelligent'. In this witty, wide-ranging and inspiring investigation, Brian Christian takes the recent and breathtaking advances in artificial intelligence as the opportunity to rethink what it means to be human, and what it means to be intelligent, in the 21st century. Competing head-to-head with the world's leading AI programmes at the annual Turing Test competition, he uses their astonishing achievements as well as their equally fascinating failings to reveal our most human abilities: to learn, to communicate, to intuit and to understand. And in an age when computers may be steering us away from these activities, he shows us how to become the most human humans that we can be. Drawing on science, philosophy, literature and the arts, and touching on aspects of life as diverse as language, work, school, chess, speed-dating, art, video games, psychiatry and the law, The Most Human Human shows that that far from being a threat to our humanity, computers provide a better means than ever before of understanding what it is.
A Defence of Humanity in the Age of the Computer
Author: Brian Christian
Publisher: Penguin UK
Each year, the AI community convenes to administer the famous (and famously controversial) Turing test, pitting sophisticated software programs against humans to determine if a computer can “think.” The machine that most often fools the judges wins the Most Human Computer Award. But there is also a prize, strange and intriguing, for the “Most Human Human.” Brian Christian—a young poet with degrees in computer science and philosophy—was chosen to participate in a recent competition. This playful, profound book is not only a testament to his efforts to be deemed more human than a computer, but also a rollicking exploration of what it means to be human in the first place.
What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive
Author: Brian Christian
A fascinating exploration of how computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such problems for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us. In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian (who holds degrees in computer science, philosophy, and poetry, and works at the intersection of all three) and Tom Griffiths (a UC Berkeley professor of cognitive science and psychology) show how the simple, precise algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of human memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.
The Computer Science of Human Decisions
Author: Brian Christian,Tom Griffiths
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Much of the innovative programming that powers the Internet, creates operating systems, and produces software is the result of "open source" code, that is, code that is freely distributed--as opposed to being kept secret--by those who write it. Leaving source code open has generated some of the most sophisticated developments in computer technology, including, most notably, Linux and Apache, which pose a significant challenge to Microsoft in the marketplace. As Steven Weber discusses, open source's success in a highly competitive industry has subverted many assumptions about how businesses are run, and how intellectual products are created and protected. Traditionally, intellectual property law has allowed companies to control knowledge and has guarded the rights of the innovator, at the expense of industry-wide cooperation. In turn, engineers of new software code are richly rewarded; but, as Weber shows, in spite of the conventional wisdom that innovation is driven by the promise of individual and corporate wealth, ensuring the free distribution of code among computer programmers can empower a more effective process for building intellectual products. In the case of Open Source, independent programmers--sometimes hundreds or thousands of them--make unpaid contributions to software that develops organically, through trial and error. Weber argues that the success of open source is not a freakish exception to economic principles. The open source community is guided by standards, rules, decisionmaking procedures, and sanctioning mechanisms. Weber explains the political and economic dynamics of this mysterious but important market development. Table of Contents: Preface 1. Property and the Problem of Software 2. The Early History of Open Source 3. What Is Open Source and How Does It Work? 4. A Maturing Model of Production 5. Explaining Open Source: Microfoundations 6. Explaining Open Source: Macro-Organization 7. Business Models and the Law 8. The Code That Changed the World? Notes Index Reviews of this book: In the world of open-source software, true believers can be a fervent bunch. Linux, for example, may act as a credo as well as an operating system. But there is much substance beyond zealotry, says Steven Weber, the author of The Success of Open Source...An open-source operating system offers its source code up to be played with, extended, debugged, and otherwise tweaked in an orgy of user collaboration. The author traces the roots of that ethos and process in the early years of computers...He also analyzes the interface between open source and the worlds of business and law, as well as wider issues in the clash between hierarchical structures and networks, a subject with relevance beyond the software industry to the war on terrorism. --Nina C. Ayoub, Chronicle of Higher Education Reviews of this book: A valuable new account of the [open-source software] movement. --Edward Rothstein, New York Times We can blindly continue to develop, reward, protect, and organize around knowledge assets on the comfortable assumption that their traditional property rights remain inviolate. Or we can listen to Steven Weber and begin to make our peace with the uncomfortable fact that the very foundations of our familiar "knowledge as property" world have irrevocably shifted. --Alan Kantrow, Chief Knowledge Officer, Monitor Group Ever since the invention of agriculture, human beings have had only three social-engineering tools for organizing any large-scale division of labor: markets (and the carrots of material benefits they offer), hierarchies (and the sticks of punishment they impose), and charisma (and the promises of rapture they offer). Now there is the possibility of a fourth mode of effective social organization--one that we perhaps see in embryo in the creation and maintenance of open-source software. My Berkeley colleague Steven Weber's book is a brilliant exploration of this fascinating topic. --J. Bradford DeLong, Department of Economics, University of California at Berkeley Steven Weber has produced a significant, insightful book that is both smart and important. The most impressive achievement of this volume is that Weber has spent the time to learn and think about the technological, sociological, business, and legal perspectives related to open source. The Success of Open Source is timely and more thought provoking than almost anything I've come across in the past several years. It deserves careful reading by a wide audience. --Jonathan Aronson, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California
Author: Steve WEBER
Publisher: Harvard University Press
A timely and important book that explores the history and future, as well as the societal and ethical implications, of Artificial Intelligence as we approach the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution Zarkadakis explores one of humankind's oldest love-hate relationships—our ties with artificial intelligence, or AI. He traces AI's origins in ancient myth, through literary classics like Frankenstein, to today's sci-fi blockbusters, arguing that a fascination with AI is hardwired into the human psyche. He explains AI's history, technology, and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as—perhaps most tellingly—what AI reveals about us as human beings. In Our Own Image argues that we are on the brink of a fourth industrial revolution—poised to enter the age of Artificial Intelligence as science fiction becomes science fact. Ultimately, Zarkadakis observes, the fate of AI has profound implications for the future of science and humanity itself.
Author: George Zarkadakis
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Category: Technology & Engineering
BLADE RUNNER meets THE MATRIX in this gripping thriller with an incredible twist. When ex-demon pilot Jon Carlson meets beautiful humanitarian Rachel, it's a match made in heaven. Literally, because Rachel's an angel. She's also an AI controlled android of immense power and capability. As Jon finds himself drawn into the world of these enigmatic creations of mankind, he unknowingly becomes involved in a program to create autonomous superweapons intended to fight the next war.
Author: David Kitson
Publisher: Harper Collins
Philosophy Through Film offers a uniquely engaging and effective approach to introductory philosophy by combining an anthology of classical and contemporary philosophical readings with a discussion of philosophical concepts illustrated in popular films. Pairs 50 classical and contemporary readings with popular films - from Monty Python and The Matrix to Casablanca and A Clockwork Orange Addresses key areas in philosophy, including topics in ethics, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, free will and determinism, the problem of perception, and philosophy of time Each unit begins with an extensive introduction by the editors and ends with study questions linking readings to films Features chapter by chapter discussion of clips from films that vividly illustrate the critical philosophical arguments and positions raised in the readings
Key Texts, Discussion, and Film Selections
Author: Richard Fumerton,Diane Jeske
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
New York Times Best Seller How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology—and there’s nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who’s helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial. How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today’s kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle? What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn’t shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues—from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.
Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Author: Max Tegmark
Category: Technology & Engineering
"Savvy and insightful." --New York Times Technology has become the architect of our intimacies. Online, we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends, and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication. But this relentless connection leads to a deep solitude. MIT professor Sherry Turkle argues that as technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down. Based on hundreds of interviews and with a new introduction taking us to the present day, Alone Together describes changing, unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, and families.
Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Author: Sherry Turkle
Publisher: Basic Books
"A globe-spanning investigation into the Transhumanist movement, considering the tech billionaires, scientific luminaries, and DIY body-hackers attempting to prolong, improve, and ultimately transcend the limits of human life"--
Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death
Author: Mark O'Connell
A surprising, charming, and ever-fascinating history of the seemingly simple game that has had a profound effect on societies the world over. Why has one game, alone among the thousands of games invented and played throughout human history, not only survived but thrived within every culture it has touched? What is it about its thirty-two figurative pieces, moving about its sixty-four black and white squares according to very simple rules, that has captivated people for nearly 1,500 years? Why has it driven some of its greatest players into paranoia and madness, and yet is hailed as a remarkably powerful intellectual tool? Nearly everyone has played chess at some point in their lives. Its rules and pieces have served as a metaphor for society, influencing military strategy, mathematics, artificial intelligence, and literature and the arts. It has been condemned as the devil’s game by popes, rabbis, and imams, and lauded as a guide to proper living by other popes, rabbis, and imams. Marcel Duchamp was so absorbed in the game that he ignored his wife on their honeymoon. Caliph Muhammad al-Amin lost his throne (and his head) trying to checkmate a courtier. Ben Franklin used the game as a cover for secret diplomacy.In his wide-ranging and ever-fascinating examination of chess, David Shenk gleefully unearths the hidden history of a game that seems so simple yet contains infinity. From its invention somewhere in India around 500 A.D., to its enthusiastic adoption by the Persians and its spread by Islamic warriors, to its remarkable use as a moral guide in the Middle Ages and its political utility in the Enlightenment, to its crucial importance in the birth of cognitive science and its key role in the aesthetic of modernism in twentieth-century art, to its twenty-first-century importance in the development of artificial intelligence and use as a teaching tool in inner-city America, chess has been a remarkably omnipresent factor in the development of civilization. Indeed, as Shenk shows, some neuroscientists believe that playing chess may actually alter the structure of the brain, that it may be for individuals what it has been for civilization: a virus that makes us smarter. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Or How 32 Carved Pieces On a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science, and the Human Brain
Author: David Shenk
Publisher: Anchor Canada
Weighing in from the cutting-edge frontiers of science, today’s most forward-thinking minds explore the rise of “machines that think.” Stephen Hawking recently made headlines by noting, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Others, conversely, have trumpeted a new age of “superintelligence” in which smart devices will exponentially extend human capacities. No longer just a matter of science-fiction fantasy (2001, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Her, etc.), it is time to seriously consider the reality of intelligent technology, many forms of which are already being integrated into our daily lives. In that spirit, John Brockman, publisher of Edge. org (“the world’s smartest website” – The Guardian), asked the world’s most influential scientists, philosophers, and artists one of today’s most consequential questions: What do you think about machines that think?
Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence
Author: Mr. John Brockman
Can a robot survive in the wilderness? When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is--but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island's unwelcoming animal inhabitants. As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home--until, one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her. From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.
Author: Peter Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Future Imperfect describes and discusses a variety of technological revolutions that might happen over the next few decades, their implications, and how to deal with them. Topics range from encryption and surveillance through biotechnology and nanotechnology to life extension, mind drugs, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. One theme of the book is that the future is radically uncertain. Technological changes already begun could lead to more or less privacy than we have ever known, freedom or slavery, effective immortality or the elimination of our species, and radical changes in life, marriage, law, medicine, work, and play. We do not know which future will arrive, but it is unlikely to be much like the past. It is worth starting to think about it now.
Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain World
Author: David D. Friedman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press