Our Robots Ourselves

Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698157664
Size: 28.76 MB
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“[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.

Digital Apollo

Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262266680
Size: 29.71 MB
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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.

Between Human And Machine

Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801880575
Size: 14.94 MB
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"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 Robot

Author: Lisa Nocks
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313331688
Size: 38.19 MB
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Discusses the history of robotic technology, from mechanical toys, to factory machinery, to recent advancements in artificial intelligence.

Robot Futures

Author: Illah Reza Nourbakhsh
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262018624
Size: 45.29 MB
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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.

Machine Ethics

Author: Michael Anderson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 113949774X
Size: 57.11 MB
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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.

Buying Military Transformation

Author: Peter J. Dombrowski
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023113570X
Size: 74.37 MB
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In Buying Military Transformation, Peter Dombrowski and Eugene Gholz analyze the United States military's ongoing effort to capitalize on information technology. New ideas about military doctrine derived from comparisons to Internet Age business practices can be implemented only if the military buys technologically innovative weapons systems. Buying Military Transformation examines how political and military leaders work with the defense industry to develop the small ships, unmanned aerial vehicles, advanced communications equipment, and systems-of-systems integration that will enable the new military format. Dombrowski and Gholz's analysis integrates the political relationship between the defense industry and Congress, the bureaucratic relationship between the firms and the military services, and the technical capabilities of different types of businesses. Many government officials and analysts believe that only entrepreneurial start-up firms or leaders in commercial information technology markets can produce the new, network-oriented military equipment. But Dombrowski and Gholz find that the existing defense industry will be best able to lead military-technology development, even for equipment modeled on the civilian Internet. The U.S. government is already spending billions of dollars each year on its "military transformation" program-money that could be easily misdirected and wasted if policymakers spend it on the wrong projects or work with the wrong firms. In addition to this practical implication, Buying Military Transformation offers key lessons for the theory of "Revolutions in Military Affairs." A series of military analysts have argued that major social and economic changes, like the shift from the Agricultural Age to the Industrial Age, inherently force related changes in the military. Buying Military Transformation undermines this technologically determinist claim: commercial innovation does not directly determine military innovation; instead, political leadership and military organizations choose the trajectory of defense investment. Militaries should invest in new technology in response to strategic threats and military leaders' professional judgments about the equipment needed to improve military effectiveness. Commercial technological progress by itself does not generate an imperative for military transformation. Clear, cogent, and engaging, Buying Military Transformation is essential reading for journalists, legislators, policymakers, and scholars.

Machines Of Loving Grace

Author: John Markoff
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062266705
Size: 58.24 MB
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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.

A Dangerous Master

Author: Wendell Wallach
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465040535
Size: 50.30 MB
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We live in an age of awesome technological potential. From nanotechnology to synthetic organisms, new technologies stand to revolutionize whole domains of human experience. But with awesome potential comes awesome risk: drones can deliver a bomb as readily as they can a new smartphone; makers and hackers can 3D-print guns as well as tools; and supercomputers can short-circuit Wall Street just as easily as they can manage your portfolio. One thing these technologies can’t do is answer the profound moral issues they raise. Who should be held accountable when they go wrong? What responsibility do we, as creators and users, have for the technologies we build? In A Dangerous Master, ethicist Wendell Wallach tackles such difficult questions with hard-earned authority, imploring both producers and consumers to face the moral ambiguities arising from our rapid technological growth. There is no doubt that scientific research and innovation are a source of promise and productivity, but, as Wallach, argues, technological development is at risk of becoming a juggernaut beyond human control. Examining the players, institutions, and values lobbying against meaningful regulation of everything from autonomous robots to designer drugs, A Dangerous Master proposes solutions for regaining control of our technological destiny. Wallach’s nuanced study offers both stark warnings and hope, navigating both the fears and hype surrounding technological innovations. An engaging, masterful analysis of the elements we must manage in our quest to survive as a species, A Dangerous Master forces us to confront the practical—and moral—purposes of our creations.

The Cambridge Handbook Of Artificial Intelligence

Author: Keith Frankish
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521871425
Size: 76.15 MB
Format: PDF
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An authoritative, up-to-date survey of the state of the art in artificial intelligence, written for non-specialists.