Thinking Machines

Thinking Machines

The Quest for Artificial Intelligence--and Where It's Taking Us Next

Book - 2017
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"A fascinating look at Artificial Intelligence, from its humble Cold War beginnings to the dazzling future that is just around the corner. When most of us think about Artificial Intelligence, our minds go straight to cyborgs, robots, and sci-fi thrillers where machines take over the world. But the truth is that Artificial Intelligence is already among us. It exists in our smartphones, fitness trackers, and refrigerators that tell us when the milk will expire. In some ways, the future people dreamed of at the World's Fair in the 1960s is already here. We're teaching our machines how to think like humans, and they're learning at an incredible rate. In Thinking Machines, technology journalist Luke Dormehl takes you through the history of AI and how it makes up the foundations of the machines that think for us today. Furthermore, Dormehl speculates on the incredible--and possibly terrifying--future that's much closer than many would imagine. This remarkable book will invite you to marvel at what now seems commonplace and to dream about a future in which the scope of humanity may need to widen to include intelligent machines"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : TarcherPerigee, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780143130581
Branch Call Number: 006.3 DOR 2017
Characteristics: xi, 275 pages ; 21 cm


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May 07, 2017

This book was given a favorable review in the New York Times by Ray Kurzweil ( ) which is why I wanted to read it, because Ray Kurzweil has invested heavily in artificial intelligence research. This book did give a clear easy-to-understand history of the development of artificial intelligence, pointed to new applications of AI which are being developed now, and talked a bit about future directions the technology might take.

Where I found the book was a bit skimpy was in the author's acknowledgement of the potential for abuse which is created when governments and private corporations collect and own the massive data sets required to develop these applications. But maybe that wasn't part of the author's purpose in writing the book to discuss these potentials for abuse. In order to get a more rounded-out picture of this problem, I recommend also reading Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier, who is a widely respected writer on internet security and privacy. Here is a link to his blog:

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