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Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Usby Rodney Brooks
Synopses & Reviews
Flesh and Machines explores the startlingly reciprocal connection between humans and their technological brethren, and explains how this relationship is being redefined as humans develop increasingly complex machines. The impetus to build machines that exhibit lifelike behaviors stretches back centuries, but for the last fifteen years much of this work has been done in Rodney Brookss laboratory at MIT. His goal is not simply to build machines that are like humans but to alter our perception of the potential capabilities of robots. Our current attitude toward intelligent robots, he asserts, is simply a reflection of our own view of ourselves. In Flesh and Machines, Brooks challenges that view by suggesting that human nature can be seen to possess the essential characteristics of a machine. Our instinctive rejection of that idea, he believes, is itself a conditioned response: we have programmed ourselves to believe in our tribal specialness as proof of our uniqueness. Provocative, persuasive, compelling, and unprecedented, Flesh and Machines presents a vision of our future and our future selves
The director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab speculates about the future of humankind as it explores the relationship between humans and technologically engineered robots and examines the vast capabilities of such machines. 60,000 first printing.
Are we really on the brink of having robots to mop our floors, do our dishes, mow our lawns, and clean our windows? And are researchers that close to creating robots that can think, feel, repair themselves, andeven reproduce?
Rodney A. Brooks, director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory believes we are. In this lucid and accessible book, Brooks vividly depicts the history of robots and explores theever-changing relationships between humans and their technological brethren, speculating on the growing role that robots will play in our existence. Knowing the moral battle likely to ensue, he posits a clear philosophicalargument as to why we should not fear that change. What results is a fascinating book that offers a deeper understanding of who we are and how we can control what we will become.
Fromthe Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Rodney A. Brooks is Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT and director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is also chairman and chief technological officer of iRobot Corporation. He is a founding fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The author of several books and a contributor to many journals, he was one of the subjects of Errol Morris’s 1997 documentary, Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control. Brooks was born in Australia and now lives in suburban Boston.
Table of Contents
Dances with machines — The quest for an artificial creature — Planetary ambassadors — It's 2001 already — Machines to live with — Where am I? — We are special — We are not special — Them and us — Us as them.
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