February 6, 2002 | Source: Slashdot
Are intelligent machines transforming life as we know it? Or is A.I. yet another overhyped, self-serving fantasy by deluded scientists and technocrats talking mostly to one another, foisting their ill-conceived, poorly-engineered creations on an unsuspecting public?
Arguing A.I.: The Battle for Twenty-first Century Science by Sam Williams (published by atRandom.com) traces the history of A.I. and talks to several of the principals guiding the A.I. debate today, like Ray Kurzweil, Jaron Lanier and Bill Joy.
The book is less about A.I. itself than about the increasingly ferocious debates raging through the scientific community about it. The conflicts surrounding A.I., Williams suggests, may be the most significant since the titanic battles over evolution a century ago.