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Robotics

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  1. 1 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5 (1)
    13.8 hrs • 3/15/2016 • Unabridged

    A timely and important book that explores the societal and ethical implications of artificial intelligence as we approach the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution George 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 science fiction 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.

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    In Our Own Image by George Zarkadakis

    In Our Own Image

    13.8 hrs • 3/15/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5 (1)
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  2. 11.9 hrs • 8/25/2015 • Unabridged

    As robots are increasingly integrated into modern society—on the battlefield and the road, in business, education, and health—Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times science writer John Markoff searches for an answer to one of the most important questions of our age: Will these robots help us … or will they replace us? At the dawn of the modern computer era, two Pentagon-financed laboratories began researching artificial intelligence. At one facility, a small group of scientists and engineers worked to recreate the human mind, while at the other, a similar group worked to augment it. For the past four decades, the dichotomy between artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation (AI versus IA) has been at the heart of the revolution in computing science. Now, as the pace of technological change continues to accelerate, automated systems are confronting their designers with fundamental moral choices that have emerged too quickly for society to weigh their consequences. In Machines of Loving Grace, New York Times reporter John Markoff, who was the first reporter to describe the World Wide Web, explores this issue. Markoff travels across the country, from the brain trusts in Palo Alto and Silicon Valley to the expanding tech corridor between Boston—home of MIT—and New York, the latest incubator for future tech development. He evaluates the present state of the AI versus IA debate; goes deep inside the science-fiction worlds of Battlestar Galactica, Terminator, and the Jetsons, which are fast becoming a reality; and talks to the insiders—scientists, entrepreneurs, ethicists, hackers, and others—who are shaping the future. The result is an incisive and chilling look at our lives today—and what may come tomorrow.

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    Machines of Loving Grace

    11.9 hrs • 8/25/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 6.8 hrs • 12/2/2014 • Unabridged

    Four undocumented Mexican American students, two great teachers, one robot-building contest … and a major motion picture.  In 2004 four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California–Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much. But two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. And build a robot they did. Their robot wasn’t pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition—and yet, against all odds … they won!  But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.

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    Spare Parts

    6.8 hrs • 12/2/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    7.6 hrs • 6/5/2012 • Unabridged

    The stranger-than-fiction story of the ingenious creation and loss of an artificially intelligent android of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick In December 2005, a young robotocist on his way to Google headquarters lost an overnight bag on a flight somewhere between Dallas and Las Vegas. In it was the fully functional head of an android replica of Philip K. Dick, cult science fiction writer and counterculture guru. It has never been recovered. In a story that echoes some of the most paranoid fantasies of a Dick novel, listeners will get a fascinating inside look at the scientists and technology that made this amazing android possible. The author, who was a fellow researcher at the University of Memphis Institute for Intelligent Systems while the android was being built, introduces listeners to the cutting-edge technology in robotics, artificial intelligence, and sculpture that came together in this remarkable machine and captured the imagination of scientists, artists, and science fiction fans alike. There are also great stories about Dick himself—his inspired yet deeply pessimistic worldview, his bizarre lifestyle, and his enduring creative legacy. In the tradition of popular science classics such as Packing for Mars and The Disappearing Spoon, How to Build an Android is entertaining and informative—popular science at its best.

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    How to Build an Android by David F. Dufty

    How to Build an Android

    7.6 hrs • 6/5/12 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
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  5. 11.3 hrs • 3/1/2011 • Unabridged

    That Monday afternoon, in high school gyms across America, kids were battling for the only glory American culture seems to want to dispense to the young these days: sports glory. But at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California, in a gear-cluttered classroom, a different type of “cool” was brewing. A physics teacher with a dream, the first public high-school teacher ever to win a MacArthur Genius Award, had rounded up a band of high IQ students who wanted to put their technical know-how to work. If you asked these brainiacs what the stakes were that first week of their project, they’d have told you it was all about winning a robotics competition, building the ultimate robot and prevailing in a machine-to-machine contest in front of twenty-five thousand screaming fans at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. But for their mentor, Amir Abo-Shaeer, much more hung in the balance. The fact was, Amir had in mind a different vision for education, one based not on rote learning, on absorbing facts and figures, but on active creation. In his mind’s eye, he saw an even more robust academy within Dos Pueblos that would make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)coolagain, and he knew he was poised on the edge of making that dream a reality. All he needed to get the necessary funding was one flashy win, a triumph that would firmly put his Engineering Academy at Dos Pueblos on the map. He imagined that one day there would be a nation filledwith such academies, and a new popular veneration for STEM, a “new cool” that would return America to its former innovative glory. It was a dream shared by Dean Kamen, a modern-day inventing wizard, often-called “the Edison of his time,” who’d concocted the very same FIRST Robotics Competition that had lured the kids at Dos Pueblos. Kamen had created FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) nearly twenty years prior. And now, with a participant alumni base approaching a million strong, he felt that awareness was about to hit critical mass. But before the Dos Pueblos D’Penguineers could do their part in bringing a new cool to America, they’d have to vanquish an intimidating lineup of “super-teams,” high school technology goliaths that hailed from engineering hot spots such as Silicon Valley, Massachusetts’ Route 128 technology corridor, and Michigan’s auto-design belt. Some of these teams were so good that winning wasn’t just hoped for every year, it was expected. In The New Cool, Neal Bascomb manages to make even those who know little about, or are vaguely suspicious of, technology care passionately about a team of kids questing after a different kind of glory. In these kids’ heartaches and headaches, and yes, high-five triumphs, we glimpse the path not just to a new way of educating our youth but of honoring the crucial skills a society needs to prosper. A new cool.

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    The New Cool

    11.3 hrs • 3/1/11 • Unabridged
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  6. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    20.4 hrs • 10/7/2010 • Unabridged

    A military expert reveals how science fiction is fast becoming reality on the battlefield, changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and ethics that surround war itself.Singer’s previous books foretold the rise of private military contractors and the advent of child soldiers—predictions that have proved all too accurate. Now he explores the greatest revolution in military affairs since the atom bomb: robotic warfare.We are now seeing a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make the stuff of I, Robot and The Terminator a reality. Over seven thousand robotic systems are now in Iraq; pilots in Nevada are remotely killing terrorists in Afghanistan; scientists are debating just how smart—and lethal—to make their current prototypes; and many renowned science fiction authors are secretly consulting for the Pentagon.Blending historic evidence with interviews from the field, Singer vividly shows that as these technologies multiply, they will have profound effects on both the front lines and the politics back home. Replacing men with machines may save some lives but will lower morale and psychological barriers to killing. The “warrior ethos,” which has long defined soldiers’ identity, will erode, as will the laws of war that have governed military conflict for generations.Paradoxically, the new technology will also bring war to our doorstep. As other nations and terrorist organizations obtain their own robotic weapons, the robot revolution could undermine America’s military preeminence. While his analysis is unnerving, there’s an irresistible gee-whiz quality to the innovations Singer uncovers. Wired for War travels from Iraq and Afghanistan, where these machines are now fighting, to modern-day “skunk works” in the midst of suburbia, where tomorrow’s technologies of war are quietly being designed. In Singer’s hands, the future of war is as fascinating as it is frightening.

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    Wired for War by P. W. Singer

    Wired for War

    20.4 hrs • 10/7/10 • Unabridged
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  7. 11.5 hrs • 11/4/2009 • Unabridged

    From Pygmalion falling for his chiseled Galatea to Dr. Frankenstein marveling at his creature to the man-meets-machine fiction of Philip K. Dick and Michael Crichton, humans have been enthralled by the possibilities of emotional relationships with their technological creations. Synthesizing cutting-edge research in robotics with the cultural history and psychology of artificial intelligence, Love and Sex with Robots explores this fascination and its far-reaching implications. Artificial intelligence expert David Levy looks at the evolution of human interactions with their machines as technology has become more sophisticated and cultural attitudes toward love and sex have changed over the years. His shocking yet persuasive argument is that the entities we once deemed cold and mechanical will soon become the objects of real companionship and human desire.

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    Love and Sex with Robots by David Levy

    Love and Sex with Robots

    11.5 hrs • 11/4/09 • Unabridged
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