Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 11 hours and 53 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Audible.com Release Date: August 25, 2015
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Best Sellers Rank: #176 in Books > Computers & Technology > Computer Science > Robotics #234 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Industrial, Manufacturing & Operational Systems > Robotics & Automation #275 in Books > Audible Audiobooks > Science > Technology & Engineering
In 1967, Richard Brautigan, the patron saint of hippiedom, published a poem in a collection under a title copied for this book. In the poem’s final stanza, he envisioned a world run by robots that to so many readers then must have seemed entirely fanciful:I like to think(it has to be!)of a cybernetic ecologywhere we are free of our laborsand joined back to nature,returned to our mammalbrothers and sisters,and all watched overby machines of loving grace.Now, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times technology and science reporter John Markoff examines Brautigan’s vision in the light of nearly fifty years of technological development. His conclusion? Ambiguous. However, one thing emerges clearly: “just as personal computing and the Internet have transformed the world during the past four decades, artificial intelligence and robotics will have an even larger impact during the next several.”Markoff is unclear what that impact will be. He describes the enduring debate about the consequences of automation, which came to the fore in popular media in the 1950s. The question, of course, is whether robots will displace humans — and ultimately even eliminate us! — or simply expand our capabilities. Some of today’s most audacious thinkers, including Stephen Hawking, Bill Joy, and Elon Musk, have issued dire warnings about the dangers inherent in the possibility of runaway automation, while others such as Ray Kurzweil welcome the prospect with open arms, even claiming the potential for human immortality in advancing machine intelligence.
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