Our Robots, Ourselves

Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy

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Author: David A. Mindell

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698157664

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 208

View: 8277

“[An] essential book… it is required reading as we seriously engage one of the most important debates of our time.”—Sherry Turkle, author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age From drones to Mars rovers—an exploration of the most innovative use of robots today and a provocative argument for the crucial role of humans in our increasingly technological future. In Our Robots, Ourselves, David Mindell offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the cutting edge of robotics today, debunking commonly held myths and exploring the rapidly changing relationships between humans and machines. Drawing on firsthand experience, extensive interviews, and the latest research from MIT and elsewhere, Mindell takes us to extreme environments—high atmosphere, deep ocean, and outer space—to reveal where the most advanced robotics already exist. In these environments, scientists use robots to discover new information about ancient civilizations, to map some of the world’s largest geological features, and even to “commute” to Mars to conduct daily experiments. But these tools of air, sea, and space also forecast the dangers, ethical quandaries, and unintended consequences of a future in which robotics and automation suffuse our everyday lives. Mindell argues that the stark lines we’ve drawn between human and not human, manual and automated, aren’t helpful for understanding our relationship with robotics. Brilliantly researched and accessibly written, Our Robots, Ourselves clarifies misconceptions about the autonomous robot, offering instead a hopeful message about what he calls “rich human presence” at the center of the technological landscape we are now creating. From the Hardcover edition.

Our Robots, Ourselves

Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy

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Author: David A. Mindell

Publisher: Viking Adult

ISBN: 0525426973

Category: Artificial intelligence

Page: 260

View: 5450

Our Robots, Ourselves provides a provocative exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between human and machine. Employing first-hand experience, extensive interviews and the latest research from MIT and elsewhere, David Mindell shows how people operate with and through robots and automated systems and how these interactions will continue to impact our work, experiences, and professional identities in the coming years. A vivid storyteller, Mindell will change the public's misconceptions about the autonomous robot.

Digital Apollo

Human and Machine in Spaceflight

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Author: David A. Mindell

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262266680

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 384

View: 7502

As Apollo 11's Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, a program alarm in the guidance computer's software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrong responded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring the computer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for a triumph of human over machine. In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famous moment as a starting point for an exploration of the relationship between humans and computers in the Apollo program. In each of the six Apollo landings, the astronaut in command seized control from the computer and landed with his hand on the stick. Mindell recounts the story of astronauts' desire to control their spacecraft in parallel with the history of the Apollo Guidance Computer. From the early days of aviation through the birth of spaceflight, test pilots and astronauts sought to be more than "spam in a can" despite the automatic controls, digital computers, and software developed by engineers.Digital Apollo examines the design and execution of each of the six Apollo moon landings, drawing on transcripts and data telemetry from the flights, astronaut interviews, and NASA's extensive archives. Mindell's exploration of how human pilots and automated systems worked together to achieve the ultimate in flight -- a lunar landing -- traces and reframes the debate over the future of humans and automation in space. The results have implications for any venture in which human roles seem threatened by automated systems, whether it is the work at our desktops or the future of exploration.

Robot Futures

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Author: Illah Reza Nourbakhsh

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262018624

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 133

View: 5073

With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and part digital.The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the effort to make walking,talking androids that are indistinguishable from people. Future robots will have superhumanabilities in both the physical and digital realms. They will be embedded in our physical spaces,with the ability to go where we cannot, and will have minds of their own, thanks to artificialintelligence. They will be fully connected to the digital world, far better at carrying out onlinetasks than we are. In Robot Futures, the roboticist Illah Reza Nourbakhshconsiders how we will share our world with these creatures, and how our society could change as itincorporates a race of stronger, smarter beings. Nourbakhsh imagines a future that includes adbotsoffering interactive custom messaging; robotic flying toys that operate by means of "gazetracking"; robot-enabled multimodal, multicontinental telepresence; and even a way thatnanorobots could allow us to assume different physical forms. Nourbakhsh follows each glimpse intothe robotic future with an examination of the underlying technology and an exploration of the socialconsequences of the scenario. Each chapter describes a form of technologicalempowerment -- in some cases, empowerment run amok, with corporations and institutions amassing evenmore power and influence and individuals becoming unconstrained by social accountability. (Imaginethe hotheaded discourse of the Internet taking physical form.) Nourbakhsh also offers acounter-vision: a robotics designed to create civic and community empowerment. His book helps usunderstand why that is the robot future we should try to bring about.

Alone Together

Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

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Author: Sherry Turkle

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093663

Category: Psychology

Page: 400

View: 5903

"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.

The Robot

The Life Story of a Technology

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Author: Lisa Nocks

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780313331688

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 192

View: 7619

Discusses the history of robotic technology, from mechanical toys, to factory machinery, to recent advancements in artificial intelligence.

Between Human and Machine

Feedback, Control, and Computing Before Cybernetics

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Author: David A. Mindell

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801880575

Category: Computers

Page: 439

View: 9640

"In contextualizing the theory of cybernetics, Mindell gives engineering back forgotten parts of its history, and shows how important historical circumstances are to technological change." -- Networker

The Future of the Professions

How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts

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Author: Richard Susskind,Daniel Susskind

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191022411

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 801

This book predicts the decline of today's professions and describes the people and systems that will replace them. In an Internet society, according to Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind, we will neither need nor want doctors, teachers, accountants, architects, the clergy, consultants, lawyers, and many others, to work as they did in the 20th century. The Future of the Professions explains how 'increasingly capable systems' - from telepresence to artificial intelligence - will bring fundamental change in the way that the 'practical expertise' of specialists is made available in society. The authors challenge the 'grand bargain' - the arrangement that grants various monopolies to today's professionals. They argue that our current professions are antiquated, opaque and no longer affordable, and that the expertise of the best is enjoyed only by a few. In their place, they propose six new models for producing and distributing expertise in society. The book raises important practical and moral questions. In an era when machines can out-perform human beings at most tasks, what are the prospects for employment, who should own and control online expertise, and what tasks should be reserved exclusively for people? Based on the authors' in-depth research of more than ten professions, and illustrated by numerous examples from each, this is the first book to assess and question the relevance of the professions in the 21st century.

Heartificial Intelligence

Embracing Our Humanity to Maximize Machines

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Author: John Havens

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698169034

Category: Self-Help

Page: 288

View: 8528

As we program machines to be more like humans, how will they know what we value, if we don't know ourselves? The notion of robots gaining consciousness is beginning to become a reality, but the future of human happiness is dependent on our ability to teach machines what we value the most today. Featuring pragmatic solutions drawing on economics, emerging technologies, and positive psychology, Heartificial Intelligence provides a road map to help readers embrace the present and better define their future. Using fictional vignettes to help readers relate to larger concepts, this book paints a vivid portrait of how our lives might look in either a dystopia of robot dominance or a utopia where we use technology to enhance our natural abilities and evolve into a long-lived, super-intelligent, and caring species.

Machines of Loving Grace

The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots

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Author: John Markoff

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062266705

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 3857

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 machines help us, or will they replace us? In the past decade alone, Google introduced us to driverless cars, Apple debuted a personal assistant that we keep in our pockets, and an Internet of Things connected the smaller tasks of everyday life to the farthest reaches of the internet. There is little doubt that robots are now an integral part of society, and cheap sensors and powerful computers will ensure that, in the coming years, these robots will soon act on their own. This new era offers the promise of immense computing power, but it also reframes a question first raised more than half a century ago, at the birth of the intelligent machine: Will we control these systems, or will they control us? In Machines of Loving Grace, New York Times reporter John Markoff, the first reporter to cover the World Wide Web, offers a sweeping history of the complicated and evolving relationship between humans and computers. Over the recent years, the pace of technological change has accelerated dramatically, reintroducing this difficult ethical quandary with newer and far weightier consequences. As Markoff chronicles the history of automation, from the birth of the artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation communities in the 1950s, to the modern day brain trusts at Google and Apple in Silicon Valley, and on to the expanding tech corridor between Boston and New York, he traces the different ways developers have addressed this fundamental problem and urges them to carefully consider the consequences of their work. We are on the verge of a technological revolution, Markoff argues, and robots will profoundly transform the way our lives are organized. Developers must now draw a bright line between what is human and what is machine, or risk upsetting the delicate balance between them.

We, Robots

Staying Human in the Age of Big Data

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Author: Curtis White

Publisher: Melville House

ISBN: 1612194567

Category: Philosophy

Page: 280

View: 5070

In the tradition of Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget, a rousing, sharply argued—and, yes, inspiring!—reckoning with our blind faith in technology Can technology solve all our problems? Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many of our most famous journalists, pundits, and economists seem to think so. According to them, “intelligent machines” and big data will free us from work, educate our children, transform our environment, and even make religion more user-friendly. This is the story they’re telling us: that we should stop worrying and love our robot future. But just because you tell a story over and over again doesn’t make it true. Curtis White, one of our most brilliant and perceptive social critics, knows all about the danger of a seductive story, and in We, Robots, he tangles with the so-called thinkers who are convinced that the future is rose-colored and robotically enhanced. With tremendous erudition and a punchy wit, White argues that we must be skeptical of anyone who tries to sell us on technological inevitability. And he gives us an alternative set of stories: taking inspiration from artists as disparate as Sufjan Stevens, Lars von Trier, and François Rabelais, White shows us that by looking to art, we can imagine a different kind of future. No robots required.

Robot-Proof

Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

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Author: Joseph E. Aoun

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262344327

Category: Education

Page: 216

View: 6880

Driverless cars are hitting the road, powered by artificial intelligence. Robots can climb stairs, open doors, win Jeopardy, analyze stocks, work in factories, find parking spaces, advise oncologists. In the past, automation was considered a threat to low-skilled labor. Now, many high-skilled functions, including interpreting medical images, doing legal research, and analyzing data, are within the skill sets of machines. How can higher education prepare students for their professional lives when professions themselves are disappearing? In Robot-Proof, Northeastern University president Joseph Aoun proposes a way to educate the next generation of college students to invent, to create, and to discover -- to fill needs in society that even the most sophisticated artificial intelligence agent cannot. A "robot-proof" education, Aoun argues, is not concerned solely with topping up students' minds with high-octane facts. Rather, it calibrates them with a creative mindset and the mental elasticity to invent, discover, or create something valuable to society -- a scientific proof, a hip-hop recording, a web comic, a cure for cancer. Aoun lays out the framework for a new discipline, humanics, which builds on our innate strengths and prepares students to compete in a labor market in which smart machines work alongside human professionals. The new literacies of Aoun's humanics are data literacy, technological literacy, and human literacy. Students will need data literacy to manage the flow of big data, and technological literacy to know how their machines work, but human literacy -- the humanities, communication, and design -- to function as a human being. Life-long learning opportunities will support their ability to adapt to change. The only certainty about the future is change. Higher education based on the new literacies of humanics can equip students for living and working through change.

Our Molecular Future

How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World

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Author: Douglas Mulhall

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1615922679

Category: Computers

Page: N.A

View: 2965

This is a vital book for those who care about the environment, society and deploying new technology to check the destructive power of humankind.- Allan Thornton, President, Environmental Investigation Agency, Washington, DC., and recipient of the Albert Schweitzer MedalThis book will shake conventional environmental wisdom to its roots. ... A landmark work that should be read by environmentalists and businesspersons alike.- Patrick Moore, cofounder, Greenpeace; president, GreenspiritIn Our Molecular Future [Mulhall] neatly outlines why our increasing ability to manipulate single atoms and molecules is a concern, and lays out the opportunities and threats this technology presents. And it''s surprisingly readable, unlike most of the nanobabble in the science journals. In the end, as Mulhall admits, he poses more questions than he answers. But that''s a good place to start.-New ScientistI just finished reading Douglas Mulhall''s outstanding new book Our Molecular Future . . . and I highly recommend it. Put this one at the top of your list! . . . In an easy to read format, with very few forays into geek-speak, Mulhall presents his well considered and thoroughly researched theories. Overall, an excellent overview for those who wish to understand how disruptive and enabling technologies may save us from ourselves and from mother nature. And along the way you will learn a lot about how nanoscale technologies may enhance our lives, provide abundance for all, and greatly raise the standard of living for everyone. . . . Rating: five stars out of five.- Rocky Rawstern, Nanotech NowWhat Alvin Toffler''s Future Shock was to the 20th century, Our Molecular Future will be to the 21st century.'What will happen to our jobs, health care, and investments when the molecular revolution hits?How might artificial intelligence transform our lives?How can molecular technologies help us cope with climate changes, earthquakes, and other extreme natural threats?Our Molecular Future explores some intriguing possibilities that answer these questions and many others. Douglas Mulhall describes the exponential changes that are about to be wrought by the nanotechnology and robotic revolutions, which promise to reduce the scale of computing to the nanometerùa billionth of a meterùwhile increasing computing power to almost unimaginable levels.The resulting convergence of genetics, robotics, and artificial intelligence may give us hitherto undreamed-of capacities to transform our environment and ourselves. In the not-so-distant future, our world may include machines that scour our arteries to prevent heart disease, cars and clothes that change color at our whim, exotic products built in our own desktop factories, and enhancements to our personal financial security despite greatly accelerated obsolescence.But while technology is making these fantastic leaps, we may also encounter surprises that throw us into disarray: climate changes, earthquakes, or even a seemingly improbable asteroid collision. These extremes are not the nightmare scenarios of sensationalists, Mulhall stresses, nor are many of them human induced. Instead, they may be part of nature''s cycleùrecurring more often than we''ve thought possible.The good news is that this convergence of catastrophe and technological transformation may work to our advantage. If we''re smart, according to Mulhall, we can use molecular machines to protect ourselves from nature''s worst extremes, and harness their potential benefits to usher in an economic renaissance.This visionary link between future technology and past disasters is a valuable guide for every one of us who wants to be prepared for the twenty-first century.Further Praise for OUR MOLECULAR FUTURE:A provocative and profoundly convincing message from the future.- Graham Hancock, archaeological journalist and author of Fingerprints of the GodsIn a breezy, journalistic style, Our Molecular Future takes us on a tour through some of the issues that will preoccupy ma

Living with Robots

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Author: Paul Dumouchel,Luisa Damiano

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674971736

Category: Computers

Page: 270

View: 5005

Living with Robots recounts a foundational shift in robotics, from artificial intelligence to artificial empathy, and foreshadows an inflection point in human evolution. As robots engage with people in socially meaningful ways, social robotics probes the nature of the human emotions that social robots are designed to emulate.

Machine Ethics

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Author: Michael Anderson,Susan Leigh Anderson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 113949774X

Category: Computers

Page: N.A

View: 4075

The new field of machine ethics is concerned with giving machines ethical principles, or a procedure for discovering a way to resolve the ethical dilemmas they might encounter, enabling them to function in an ethically responsible manner through their own ethical decision making. Developing ethics for machines, in contrast to developing ethics for human beings who use machines, is by its nature an interdisciplinary endeavor. The essays in this volume represent the first steps by philosophers and artificial intelligence researchers toward explaining why it is necessary to add an ethical dimension to machines that function autonomously, what is required in order to add this dimension, philosophical and practical challenges to the machine ethics project, various approaches that could be considered in attempting to add an ethical dimension to machines, work that has been done to date in implementing these approaches, and visions of the future of machine ethics research.

Darwin's Devices

What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of Technology

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Author: John Long

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465029280

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 9555

What happens when we let robots play the game of life? The challenge of studying evolution is that the history of life is buried in the past—we can’t witness the dramatic events that shaped the adaptations we see today. But biorobotics expert John Long has found an ingenious way to overcome this problem: he creates robots that look and behave like extinct animals, subjects them to evolutionary pressures, lets them compete for mates and resources, and mutates their ‘genes’. In short, he lets robots play the game of life. In Darwin’s Devices, Long tells the story of these evolving biorobots—how they came to be, and what they can teach us about the biology of living and extinct species. Evolving biorobots can replicate creatures that disappeared from the earth long ago, showing us in real time what happens in the face of unexpected environmental challenges. Biomechanically correct models of backbones functioning as part of an autonomous robot, for example, can help us understand why the first vertebrates evolved them. But the most impressive feature of these robots, as Long shows, is their ability to illustrate the power of evolution to solve difficult technological challenges autonomously—without human input regarding what a workable solution might be. Even a simple robot can create complex behavior, often learning or evolving greater intelligence than humans could possibly program. This remarkable idea could forever alter the face of engineering, design, and even warfare. An amazing tour through the workings of a fertile mind, Darwin’s Devices will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about evolution, robot intelligence, and life itself.

Modern Robotics

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Author: Kevin M. Lynch,Frank C. Park

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107156300

Category: Computers

Page: 544

View: 7679

A modern and unified treatment of the mechanics, planning, and control of robots, suitable for a first course in robotics.

Sex Robots

The Future of Desire

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Author: Jason Lee

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319493221

Category: Social Science

Page: 65

View: 327

This book reveals that the way we perceive sex robots is how we perceive ourselves, overcoming the false human/non-human binary. From Greek myths, to the film Ex Machina, to Japanese technology, non-human sexuality has been at the heart of culture. In Sex Robots, the history of this culture is explored. This text sheds new light on what the sex robot represents and signifies, examining its philosophical implications within the context of today's society. This volume will be of interest to scholars of technology, cultural studies, the social sciences and philosophy.

Robots

The 500-Year Quest to Make Machines Human

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Author: Ben Russell

Publisher: Scala Arts Publishers Incorporated

ISBN: 9781785510687

Category:

Page: 176

View: 8188

* Published to accompany a major exhibition at The Science Museum, London, running from 8 February 2017 to 3 September 2017 and featuring over 100 robots, dating from the 16th century to the present day* Features essays from expert contributors, covering every aspect of our relationship with robots from the ancient world and into the future Humanoid robots are some of the most wondrous machines ever built. By imagining and reconstructing ourselves in artificial bodies, we are able to discover what amazing machines we are. But while mirroring our humanity, robots also offer insights into how we have rationalized our technological ambitions, our sense of wonder at ourselves, and our position in a rapidly changing world.Robots: the 500-Year Quest to Make Machines Human explores the surprisingly long history of our obsession with creating machines in human form, from 16th-century mechanized monks to the 'tin man' robots of the 1950s and cutting-edge robots from today's research labs. This ground-breaking book features an astonishing array of robotic artifacts from around the world, including expertly crafted clockwork automata, uncanny robot actors, trumpet-playing humanoids and even a talking 'receptionist' head. Focusing on why robots exist rather than on how they work, the book avoids clich�s about machines taking over the world and destroying humankind, and instead aims to reassure us that in future robots will continue to complement and enhance our human capabilities.

Anatomy of a Robot

Literature, Cinema, and the Cultural Work of Artificial People

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Author: Despina Kakoudaki

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813572762

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 272

View: 3984

Why do we find artificial people fascinating? Drawing from a rich fictional and cinematic tradition, Anatomy of a Robot explores the political and textual implications of our perennial projections of humanity onto figures such as robots, androids, cyborgs, and automata. In an engaging, sophisticated, and accessible presentation, Despina Kakoudaki argues that, in their narrative and cultural deployment, artificial people demarcate what it means to be human. They perform this function by offering us a non-human version of ourselves as a site of investigation. Artificial people teach us that being human, being a person or a self, is a constant process and often a matter of legal, philosophical, and political struggle. By analyzing a wide range of literary texts and films (including episodes from Twilight Zone, the fiction of Philip K. Dick, Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go, Metropolis, The Golem, Frankenstein, The Terminator, Iron Man, Blade Runner, and I, Robot), and going back to alchemy and to Aristotle’s Physics and De Anima, she tracks four foundational narrative elements in this centuries-old discourse— the fantasy of the artificial birth, the fantasy of the mechanical body, the tendency to represent artificial people as slaves, and the interpretation of artificiality as an existential trope. What unifies these investigations is the return of all four elements to the question of what constitutes the human. This focused approach to the topic of the artificial, constructed, or mechanical person allows us to reconsider the creation of artificial life. By focusing on their historical provenance and textual versatility, Kakoudaki elucidates artificial people’s main cultural function, which is the political and existential negotiation of what it means to be a person.