Ray Kurzweil is the inventor of the most innovative and compelling technology of our era, an international authority on artificial intelligence, and one of our greatest living visionaries. Now he offers a framework for envisioning the twenty-first century--an age in which the marriage of human sensitivity and artificial intelligence fundamentally alters and improves the way we live. Kurzweil's prophetic blueprint for the future takes us through the advances that inexorably result in computers exceeding the memory capacity and computational ability of the human brain by the year 2020 (with human-level capabilities not far behind); in relationships with automated personalities who will be our teachers, companions, and lovers; and in information fed straight into our brains along direct neural pathways. Optimistic and challenging, thought-provoking and engaging, The Age of Spiritual Machines is the ultimate guide on our road into the next century. From the Trade Paperback edition.
By 2020 computers will equal the capacity of the human brain; people will have relationships with virtual personalities. 10 years later machines will have the computing capacity of 1,000 brains; they will learn on their own, create their own literature and claim to be conscious. By the end of the century there will no longer be any clear distinction between humans and computers. Most conscious entities will not have a permanent physical presence and life expectancy will no longer be a viable term in relation to intelligent beings. Ray Kurzweil is a leading technologist and author of the prize-winning The Age of Intelligent Machines. He is also one of the world's leading inventors and entrepreneurs in the field of artificial intelligence.
Building on the work of Jacques Ellul, Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman, as well as a wide range of Reformed thinkers, Derek Schuurman provides a brief theology of technology—rooted in the Reformed tradition and oriented around the grand themes of creation, fall, redemption and new creation.
"From Once Upon a Time in the West to Moulin Rouge, fromGhanaian video-movies to Japanese Manga, from Christian symbolismin advertising to the mythic significance of female messiahfigures, from the relationship of the arts and theology to the role of theaudience in the meaningmaking process, the book provides a feast foranyone wanting to explore the interconnectivity of religion, mediaand society" -Robert Johnston, Fuller Theological Seminary
The prevalence of science fiction readership among those who create and program computers is so well-known that it has become a cliché, but the phenomenon has remained largely unexplored by scholars. What role has science fiction played in the actual development of computers and computing? And likewise, how has computing (including the related fields of robotics and artificial intelligence) affected the course of science fiction? The 18 essays in this critical work explore the interrelationship of these domains over the span of more than half a century.
In this eloquent and impassioned book, defense expert Fred Iklé predicts a revolution in national security that few strategists have grasped; fewer still are mindful of its historic roots. We are preoccupied with suicide bombers, jihadist terrorists, and rogue nations producing nuclear weapons, but these menaces are merely distant thunder that foretells the gathering storm. It is the dark side of technological progress that explains this emerging crisis. Globalization guarantees the spread of new technologies, whether beneficial or destructive, and this proliferation reaches beyond North Korea, Iran, and other rogue states. Our greatest threat is a cunning tyrant gaining possession of a few weapons of mass destruction. His purpose would not be to destroy landmarks, highjack airplanes, or attack railroad stations. He would annihilate a nation's government from within and assume dictatorial power. The twentieth century offers vivid examples of tyrants who have exploited major national disasters by rallying violent followers and intimidating an entire nation. To explain how we have become so vulnerable, Iklé turns to history. Some 250 years ago, science was freed from political and religious constraints, causing a cultural split in which one part of our culture remained animated by religion and politics while the other became guided by science. Since then, technological progress and the evolving political order march to different drummers. Science advances at an accelerating pace while religion and politics move along a zigzag course. This divergence will widen and endanger the survival of all nations. Drawing on his experience as a Washington insider, Iklé outlines practical measures that could readily be implemented to help us avert the worst disaster.
User Error explodes the myth of computer technology as juggernaut. Multimedia educator Ellen Rose shows that there is no bandwagon, no out-of-control dynamo, no titanic conspiracy to overwhelm us. Instead, there is our own desire to join the fraternity of users, a fraternity that confers legitimacy and power on those who enter the brave new world. Rose exposes how we surrender decision-making power in personal and workplace computing situations. As users we willingly grant authority to the creators of software, support materials, and the seductive infrastructure of technocracy. “Smart” users are rewarded; reluctant users are pathologized. User identity is deliberately constructed at the crossroads of industry, consumer demand, and complicity. User Error sounds a timely alarm, calling on all of us who use the new technologies to recognize how we are being co-opted. With awareness we can reassert our own responsibility and power in this increasingly important interaction. Savvy, accessible, and up-to-date, User Error offers insight, inspiration, and strategies of resistance to general readers, technology professionals, students, and scholars alike.
A New York Times Bestseller. A “fascinating” (Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times) look at how digital technology is transforming our work and our lives. In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies—with hardware, software, and networks at their core—will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human. In The Second Machine Age MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee—two thinkers at the forefront of their field—reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives. Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds—from lawyers to truck drivers—will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar. Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape. A fundamentally optimistic book, The Second Machine Age alters how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.