The Next Fifty Years

Author: John Brockman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307429075
Size: 17.23 MB
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A brilliant ensemble of the world’s most visionary scientists provides twenty-five original never-before-published essays about the advances in science and technology that we may see within our lifetimes. Theoretical physicist and bestselling author Paul Davies examines the likelihood that by the year 2050 we will be able to establish a continuing human presence on Mars. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi investigates the ramifications of engineering high-IQ, geneticially happy babies. Psychiatrist Nancy Etcoff explains current research into the creation of emotion-sensing jewelry that could gauge our moods and tell us when to take an anti-depressant pill. And evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins explores the probability that we will soon be able to obtain a genome printout that predicts our natural end for the same cost as a chest x-ray. (Will we want to read it? And will insurance companies and governments have access to it?) This fascinating and unprecedented book explores not only the practical possibilities of the near future, but also the social and political ramifications of the developments of the strange new world to come. Also includes original essays by: Lee Smolin Martin Rees Ian Stewart Brian Goodwin Marc D. Hauser Alison Gopnik Paul Bloom Geoffrey Miller Robert M. Sapolsky Steven Strogatz Stuart Kauffman John H. Holland Rodney Brooks Peter Atkins Roger C. Schank Jaron Lanier David Gelernter Joseph LeDoux Judith Rich Harris Samuel Barondes Paul W. Ewald From the Trade Paperback edition.

Science In The Contemporary World

Author: Eric Gottfrid Swedin
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1851095241
Size: 57.72 MB
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This work is a unique introductory A–Z resource detailing the scientific achievements of the contemporary world and analyzing the key scientific trends, discoveries, and personalities of the modern age. * Over 200 A–Z entries covering topics ranging from plate tectonics to the first Moon landings * More than 40 stunning photographs providing a unique pictorial chronicle of the achievements of modern science

Arguing A I

Author: Sam Williams
Publisher: AtRandom
ISBN: 0679647201
Size: 27.17 MB
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Few scientific topics since the theory of biological evolution have inspired as much controversy as artificial intelligence has. Even now, fifty years after the term first made its appearance in academic journals, many philosophers and more than a few prominent scientists and software programmers dismiss the pursuit of thinking machines as the modern-day equivalent of medieval alchemists’ hunt for the philosopher’s stone-a pursuit based more on faith than on skeptical inquiry. In Arguing A.I., journalist Sam Williams charts both the history of artificial intelligence from its scientific and philosophical roots and the history of the A.I. debate. He examines how and why the tenor of the debate has changed over the last half-decade in particular, as scientists are struggling to take into account the latest breakthroughs in computer science, information technology, and human biology. For every voice predicting machines like 2001’s HAL within the next twenty to thirty years, others have emerged with more pessimistic forecasts. From artificial intelligence’s pioneers John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky, to futurist authors Ray Kurzweil and Hans Moravec, to software architects Bill Joy and Jaron Lanier, Arguing A.I. introduces readers to the people participating in the current debate, both proponents and critics of A.I. who are changing the way computers “think” and the way we think about computers. Ultimately, Arguing A.I. is as much a history of thought as it is a history of science. Williams notes that many of the questions plaguing modern scientists and software programmers are the same questions that have concerned scientists and philosophers since time immemorial: What are the fundamental limitations of science and scientific inquiry? What is the nature of intelligence? And, most important, what does it really mean to be human?

Tomorrow Now

Author: Bruce Sterling
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0307491994
Size: 21.37 MB
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“Nobody knows better than Bruce Sterling how thin the membrane between science fiction and real life has become, a state he correctly depicts as both thrilling and terrifying in this frisky, literate, clear-eyed sketch of the next half-century. Like all of the most interesting futurists, Sterling isn’t just talking about machines and biochemistry: what he really cares about are the interstices of technology with culture and human history.” -Kurt Andersen, author of Turn of the Century Visionary author Bruce Sterling views the future like no other writer. In his first nonfiction book since his classic The Hacker Crackdown, Sterling describes the world our children might be living in over the next fifty years and what to expect next in culture, geopolitics, and business. Time calls Bruce Sterling “one of America’s best-known science fiction writers and perhaps the sharpest observer of our media-choked culture working today in any genre.” Tomorrow Now is, as Sterling wryly describes it, “an ambitious, sprawling effort in thundering futurist punditry, in the pulsing vein of the futurists I’ve read and admired over the years: H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, and Alvin Toffler; Lewis Mumford, Reyner Banham, Peter Drucker, and Michael Dertouzos. This book asks the future two questions: What does it mean? and How does it feel? ” Taking a cue from one of William Shakespeare’s greatest soliloquies, Sterling devotes one chapter to each of the seven stages of humanity: birth, school, love, war, politics, business, and old age. As our children progress through Sterling’s Shakespearean life cycle, they will encounter new products; new weapons; new crimes; new moral conundrums, such as cloning and genetic alteration; and new political movements, which will augur the way wars of the future will be fought. Here are some of the author’s predictions: • Human clone babies will grow into the bitterest and surliest adolescents ever. • Microbes will be more important than the family farm. • Consumer items will look more and more like cuddly, squeezable pets. • Tomorrow’s kids will learn more from randomly clicking the Internet than they ever will from their textbooks. • Enemy governments will be nice to you and will badly want your tourist money, but global outlaws will scheme to kill you, loudly and publicly, on their Jihad TVs. • The future of politics is blandness punctuated with insanity. The future of activism belongs to a sophisticated, urbane global network that can make money—the Disney World version of Al Qaeda. Tomorrow Now will change the way you think about the future and our place in it. From the Hardcover edition.

Beyond Sputnik

Author: Homer A. Neal
Publisher: Kris Nia
ISBN:
Size: 80.31 MB
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2052

Author: Jorgen Randers
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 1603584226
Size: 76.14 MB
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Forty years ago, The Limits to Growth study addressed the grand question of how humans would adapt to the physical limitations of planet Earth. It predicted that during the first half of the 21st century the ongoing growth in the human ecological footprint would stop-either through catastrophic "overshoot and collapse"-or through well-managed "peak and decline." So, where are we now? And what does our future look like? In the book 2052, Jorgen Randers, one of the coauthors of Limits to Growth, issues a progress report and makes a forecast for the next forty years. To do this, he asked dozens of experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, energy supplies, natural resources, climate, food, fisheries, militaries, political divisions, cities, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades. He then synthesized those scenarios into a global forecast of life as we will most likely know it in the years ahead. The good news: we will see impressive advances in resource efficiency, and an increasing focus on human well-being rather than on per capita income growth. But this change might not come as we expect. Future growth in population and GDP, for instance, will be constrained in surprising ways-by rapid fertility decline as result of increased urbanization, productivity decline as a result of social unrest, and continuing poverty among the poorest 2 billion world citizens. Runaway global warming, too, is likely. So, how do we prepare for the years ahead? With heart, fact, and wisdom, Randers guides us along a realistic path into the future and discusses what readers can do to ensure a better life for themselves and their children during the increasing turmoil of the next forty years.

Science Fiction And Philosophy

Author: Susan Schneider
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444327909
Size: 24.19 MB
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A timely volume that uses science fiction as a springboard to meaningful philosophical discussions, especially at points of contact between science fiction and new scientific developments. Raises questions and examines timely themes concerning the nature of the mind, time travel, artificial intelligence, neural enhancement, free will, the nature of persons, transhumanism, virtual reality, and neuroethics Draws on a broad range of books, films and television series, including The Matrix, Star Trek, Blade Runner, Frankenstein, Brave New World, The Time Machine, and Back to the Future Considers the classic philosophical puzzles that appeal to the general reader, while also exploring new topics of interest to the more seasoned academic

The Meaning Of The 21st Century

Author: James Martin
Publisher: Eden Project
ISBN: 9781903919859
Size: 18.35 MB
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Martin identifies and explains the 10 key challenges for humanity in the 21st Century: * Heal the planet * Eliminate war between high-tech nations * End terrorism * Detect and prevent the spread of infectious deseases * End extreme poverty * Realise the learning potential in all * Manage computer intelligence * Refine our use of increased leisure time * Control the long-term impacts of all innovation * Enhance the human body through technology If the 20th Century was all about 'progress', the 21st Century must be about transition, about reconsidering whether all progress, at the same rate, and in the same direction, isn't in fact to charge towards our own extinction. Informed by interviews with experts worldwide, this book is set to have as great an impact on society as Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING, 40 years ago.