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'Ray Kurzweil is the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence.' Bill Gates In How to Create a Mind, Ray Kurzweil offers a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilisation: reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines. Kurzweil explores how the brain functions, how the mind emerges from the brain, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence in addressing the world's problems. He thoughtfully examines emotional and moral intelligence and the origins of consciousness and envisions the radical - arguably inevitable - future of our merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.
From the famed Harvard psychologist and an expert on the impact of digital media technologies, a riveting exploration of the power of apps to shape our young people-for better or for worse No one has failed to notice that the current generation of youth is deeply-some would say totally-involved with digital media. Professors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis name today's young people The App Generation, and in this spellbinding book they explore what it means to be "app-dependent" versus "app-enabled" and how life for this generation differs from life before the digital era. Gardner and Davis are concerned with three vital areas of adolescent life: identity, intimacy, and imagination. Through innovative research, including interviews of young people, focus groups of those who work with them, and a unique comparison of youthful artistic productions before and after the digital revolution, the authors uncover the drawbacks of apps: they may foreclose a sense of identity, encourage superficial relations with others, and stunt creative imagination. On the other hand, the benefits of apps are equally striking: they can promote a strong sense of identity, allow deep relationships, and stimulate creativity. The challenge is to venture beyond the ways that apps are designed to be used, Gardner and Davis conclude, and they suggest how the power of apps can be a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspirations.
While Europe is secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, divides opinion around the world. This work attacks God in various forms, from the sex-obsessed, cruel tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign, but still illogical, Celestial Watchmaker.
Every day, new warnings emerge about artificial intelligence rebelling against us. All the while, a more immediate dilemma flies under the radar. Have forces been unleashed that are thrusting humanity down an ill-advised path, one that's increasingly making us behave like simple machines? In this wide-reaching, interdisciplinary book, Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger examine what's happening to our lives as society embraces big data, predictive analytics, and smart environments. They explain how the goal of designing programmable worlds goes hand in hand with engineering predictable and programmable people. Detailing new frameworks, provocative case studies, and mind-blowing thought experiments, Frischmann and Selinger reveal hidden connections between fitness trackers, electronic contracts, social media platforms, robotic companions, fake news, autonomous cars, and more. This powerful analysis should be read by anyone interested in understanding exactly how technology threatens the future of our society, and what we can do now to build something better.
Algorithms are probably the most sophisticated tools that people have had at their disposal since the beginnings of human history. They have transformed science, industry, society. They upset the concepts of work, property, government, private life, even humanity. Going easily from one extreme to the other, we rejoice that they make life easier for us, but fear that they will enslave us. To get beyond this vision of good vs evil, this book takes a new look at our time, the age of algorithms. Creations of the human spirit, algorithms are what we made them. And they will be what we want them to be: it's up to us to choose the world we want to live in.
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to
explain such central mind-related features of our world as
consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to
account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues
philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to
unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to
biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology.
Winner, 2012 Sally Hacker Prize, Society for the History of Technology Hotel Dreams is a deeply researched and entertaining account of how the hotel's material world of machines and marble integrated into and shaped the society it served. Molly W. Berger offers a compelling history of the American hotel and how it captured the public's imagination as it came to represent the complex-and often contentious-relationship among luxury, economic development, and the ideals of a democratic society. Berger profiles the country's most prestigious hotels, including Boston's 1829 Tremont, San Francisco's world-famous Palace, and Chicago's enormous Stevens. The fascinating stories behind their design, construction, and marketing reveal in rich detail how these buildings became cultural symbols that shaped the urban landscape.
This accessible book introduces the story of 'social science', with coverage of history, politics, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and geography. Key questions include: How and why did the social sciences originate and differentiate? How are they related to older traditions that have defined Western civilization? What is the unique perspective or 'way of knowing' of each social science? What are the challenges-and alternatives-to the social sciences as they stand in the twenty-first century? Eller explains the origin, evolution, methods, and the main figures, literature, concepts, and theories in each discipline. The chapters also feature a range of contemporary examples, with consideration given to how the disciplines address present-day issues.
The Metaphysical Society was founded in 1869 at the instigation of James Knowles (editor of the Contemporary Review and then of the Nineteenth Century) with a view to 'collect, arrange, and diffuse Knowledge (whether objective or subjective) of mental and moral phenomena' (first resolution of the society in April 1869). The Society was a private dining and debate club that gathered together a latter-day clerisy. Building on the tradition of the Cambridge Apostles, they elected talented members from across the Victorian intellectual spectrum: Bishops, one Cardinal, philosophers, men of science, literary figures, and politicians. The Society included in its 62 members prominent figures such as T. H. Huxley, William Gladstone, Walter Bagehot, Henry Edward Manning, John Ruskin, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. The Metaphysical Society (1869-1880) moves beyond Alan Willard Brown's 1947 pioneering study of the Metaphysical Society by offering a more detailed analysis of its inner dynamics and its larger impact outside the dining room at the Grosvenor Hotel. The contributors shed light on many of the colourful figures that joined the Society as well as the alliances that they formed with fellow members. The collection also examines the major concepts that informed the papers presented at Society meetings. By discussing groups, important individuals, and underlying concepts, the volume contributes to a rich, new picture of Victorian intellectual life during the 1870's, a period when intellectuals were wondering how, and what, to believe in a time of social change, spiritual crisis, and scientific progress.
We are now acutely aware, as if all of the sudden, that data matters enormously to how we live. How did information come to be so integral to what we can do? How did we become people who effortlessly present our lives in social media profiles and who are meticulously recorded in state surveillance dossiers and online marketing databases? What is the story behind data coming to matter so much to who we are? In How We Became Our Data, Colin Koopman excavates early moments of our rapidly accelerating data-tracking technologies and their consequences for how we think of and express our selfhood today. Koopman explores the emergence of mass-scale record keeping systems like birth certificates and social security numbers, as well as new data techniques for categorizing personality traits, measuring intelligence, and even racializing subjects. This all culminates in what Koopman calls the "informational person" and the "informational power" we are now subject to. The recent explosion of digital technologies that are turning us into a series of algorithmic data points is shown to have a deeper and more turbulent past than we commonly think. Blending philosophy, history, political theory, and media theory in conversation with thinkers like Michel Foucault, J rgen Habermas, and Friedrich Kittler, Koopman presents an illuminating perspective on how we have come to think of our personhood--and how we can resist its erosion.
What is the proper relationship between human beings and the more-than-human world? This philosophical question, which underlies vast environmental crises, forces us to investigate the tension between our extraordinary powers, which seem to set us apart from nature, even above it, and our thoroughgoing ordinariness, as revealed by the evolutionary history we share with all life. The contributors to this volume ask us to consider whether the anxiety of unheimlichkeit, which in one form or another absorbed so much of twentieth-century philosophy, might reveal not our homelessness in the cosmos but a need for a fundamental belongingness and implacement in it.
Just about any social need is now met with an opportunity to "connect" through digital means. But this convenience is not free-it is purchased with vast amounts of personal data transferred through shadowy backchannels to corporations using it to generate profit. The Costs of Connection uncovers this process, this "data colonialism," and its designs for controlling our lives-our ways of knowing; our means of production; our political participation. Colonialism might seem like a thing of the past, but this book shows that the historic appropriation of land, bodies, and natural resources is mirrored today in this new era of pervasive datafication. Apps, platforms, and smart objects capture and translate our lives into data, and then extract information that is fed into capitalist enterprises and sold back to us. The authors argue that this development foreshadows the creation of a new social order emerging globally-and it must be challenged. Confronting the alarming degree of surveillance already tolerated, they offer a stirring call to decolonize the internet and emancipate our desire for connection.
How is society being shaped by the diffusion and increasing centrality of the Internet in everyday life and work? By bringing together leading research that addresses some of the most significant cultural, economic, and political roles of the Internet, this volume introduces students to a core set of readings that address this question in specific social and institutional contexts. Internet Studies is a burgeoning new field, which has been central to the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), an innovative multi-disciplinary department at the University of Oxford. Society and the Internet builds on the OII's evolving series of lectures on society and the Internet. The series has been edited to create a reader to supplement upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses that seek to introduce students to scholarship focused on the implications of the Internet for networked societies around the world. The chapters of the reader are rooted in a variety of disciplines, but all directly tackle the powerful ways in which the Internet is linked to political, social, cultural, and economic transformations in society. This book will be a starting point for anyone with a serious interest in the factors shaping the Internet and its impact on society. The book begins with an introduction by the editors, which provides a brief history of the Internet and Web and its study from multi-disciplinary perspectives. The chapters are grouped into six focused sections: The Internet and Everyday Life; Information and Culture on the Line; Networked Politics and Government; Networked Businesses, Industries, and Economies; and Technological and Regulatory Histories and Futures.
In Science, Patricia Fara rewrites science's past to provide new
ways of understanding and questioning our modern technological
society. Sweeping through the centuries from ancient Babylon right
up to the latest hi-tech experiments in genetics and particle
physics, Fara's book also ranges internationally, challenging
notions of European superiority by emphasizing the importance of
scientific projects based around the world, including revealing
discussions of China and the Islamic Empire alongside the more
familiar stories about Copernicus's sun-centered astronomy,
Newton's gravity, and Darwin's theory of evolution.
New York Times bestselling author of The Everything Store Brad Stone takes us deep inside the new Silicon Valley. Ten years ago, the idea of getting into a stranger's car, or walking into a stranger's home, would have seemed bizarre and dangerous, but today it's as common as ordering a book online. Uber and Airbnb are household names: redefining neighbourhoods, challenging the way governments regulate business and changing the way we travel. In the spirit of iconic Silicon Valley renegades like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, a new generation of entrepreneurs is sparking yet another cultural upheaval through technology. They are among the Upstarts, idiosyncratic founders with limitless drive and an abundance of self-confidence. Young, hungry and brilliant, they are rewriting the traditional rules of business, changing our day-to-day lives and often sidestepping serious ethical and legal obstacles in the process. The Upstarts is the definitive account of a dawning age of tenacity, creativity, conflict and wealth. In Brad Stone's highly anticipated and riveting account of the most radical companies of the new Silicon Valley, we find out how it all started, and how the world is wildly different than it was ten years ago.
"Can you Count the Clouds?" asks the voice of God from the whirlwind in the stunningly beautiful catalogue of nature-questions from the Old Testament Book of Job. Tom McLeish takes a scientist's reading of this ancient text as a centrepiece to make the case for science as a deeply human and ancient activity, embedded in some of the oldest stories told about human desire to understand the natural world. Drawing on stories from the modern science of chaos and uncertainty alongside medieval, patristic, classical and Biblical sources, Faith and Wisdom in Science challenges much of the current 'science and religion' debate as operating with the wrong assumptions and in the wrong space. Its narrative approach develops a natural critique of the cultural separation of sciences and humanities, suggesting an approach to science, or in its more ancient form natural philosophy - the 'love of wisdom of natural things' - that can draw on theological and cultural roots. Following the theme of pain in human confrontation with nature, it develops a 'Theology of Science', recognising that both scientific and theological worldviews must be 'of' each other, not holding separate domains. Science finds its place within an old story of participative reconciliation with a nature, of which we start ignorant and fearful, but learn to perceive and work with in wisdom. Surprisingly, science becomes a deeply religious activity. There are urgent lessons for education, the political process of decision-making on science and technology, our relationship with the global environment, and the way that both religious and secular communities alike celebrate and govern science.
Digital Darwinism takes an exhilarating look at disruptive thinking to inspire those who want to be the best at digital transformation. Change across business is accelerating, but the lifespan of companies is decreasing. Life is more unpredictable than ever and leaders are facing a growing abundance of decisions to make, data to process and technology that threatens to disrupt even the most established business models. These are the forces that could destroy your company but, with the right strategy in place, they could also help you transform it into a market leader. Digital Darwinism is a guiding hand through the turbulence of this moment, offering practical strategies as well as an ambitious call-to-action that lights a fire underneath complacency and inspires creative change.
In this book, Tom Goodwin shines a light into the future by exploring technology, society and the lessons of the past so that you can understand how to adapt, what to embrace and what to ignore. Goodwin proves how every assumption the business world has previously made about "digital" is wrong in order to revolutionize your mindset: incremental change isn't good enough, adding technology at the edges won't work and digital isn't a thing - it's everything. If you want your organization to succeed in the post-digital age, you need to be enlightened by Digital Darwinism.
In 1768, Ahmad al-Damanhuri became the rector (shaykh) of al-Azhar, which was one of the most authoritative and respected positions in the Ottoman Empire. He occupied this position until his death. Despite being a prolific author, whose writings are largely extant, al-Damanhuri remains almost unknown, and much of his work awaits study and analysis. This book aims to shed light on al-Damanhuri's diverse intellectual background, and that of and his contemporaries, building on and continuing the scholarship on the academic thought of the late Ottoman Empire. The book specifically investigates the intersection of medical and religious knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Egypt. It takes as its focus a manuscript on anatomy by al-Damanhuri (d. 1778), entitled "The Clear Statement on the Science of Anatomy (al-qawl al-sarih fi 'ilm al-tashrih),". The book includes an edited translation of The Clear Statement, which is a well-known but unstudied and unpublished manuscript. It also provides a summary translation and analysis of al-Damanhuri's own intellectual autobiography. As such, the book provides an important window into a period that remains deeply understudied and a topic that continues to cause debates and controversies. This study, therefore, will be of keen interest to scholars working on the "post-Classical" Islamic world, as well as historians of religion, science, and medicine looking beyond Europe in the Early Modern period.
Nanotechnology: The Future is Tiny introduces 176 different research projects from around the world that are exploring the different areas of nanotechnologies. Using interviews and descriptions of the projects, the collection of essays provides a unique commentary on the current status of the field. From flexible electronics that you can wear to nanomaterials used for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, the book gives a new perspective on the current work into developing new nanotechnologies. Each chapter delves into a specific area of nanotechnology research including graphene, energy storage, electronics, 3D printing, nanomedicine, nanorobotics as well as environmental implications. Through the scientists' own words, the book gives a personal perspective on how nanotechnologies are created and developed, and an exclusive look at how today's research will create tomorrow's products and applications. This book will appeal to anyone who has an interest in the research and future of nanotechnology.
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