bookshelf by year

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today’s Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence

October 9, 2015

006242565X.01.S001.LXXXXXXX

author |
John Brockman
year published |
2015

As the world becomes ever more dominated by technology, John Brockman’s latest addition to the acclaimed and bestselling “Edge Question Series” asks more than 175 leading scientists, philosophers, and artists: What do you think about machines that think?

The development of artificial intelligence has been a source of fascination and anxiety ever since Alan Turing formalized the concept in 1950. Today, Stephen Hawking believes that AI “could spell… read more

Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are

December 5, 2011

Connectome-Seung-Sebastian-9780547508184

author |
Sebastian Seung
year published |
2012

Amazon | The bold and thrilling quest to finally understand the brain — and along with it our mental afflictions, from depression to autism — by a rising star in neuroscience.

Sebastian Seung, a dynamic young professor at MIT, is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience. He believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells… read more

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World

July 9, 2012

automate_this

author |
Christopher Steiner
year published |
2012

The routing story of the last gasp of human agency and how today’s best and brightest minds are endeavoring to put an end to it.

It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills — and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are… read more

Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death

June 14, 2013

Erasing death

author |
Sam Parnia, Josh Young
year published |
2013

Harper Collins | Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death reveals that death is not a moment in time. Death, rather, is a process that can be interrupted well after it has begun. Innovative techniques have proven to be effective in revitalizing both the body and mind, but they are only employed in approximately half of the hospitals throughout the United States and Europe.… read more

Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel

April 18, 2014

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author |
Jason Padgett, Maureen Ann Seaberg
year published |
2014

The remarkable story of an ordinary man who was transformed when a traumatic injury left him with an extraordinary gift

No one sees the world as Jason Padgett does. Water pours from the faucet in crystalline patterns, numbers call to mind distinct geometric shapes, and intricate fractal patterns emerge from the movement of tree branches, revealing the intrinsic mathematical designs hidden in the objects around us.

Yet… read more

The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God

July 20, 2011

Accidental Mind book cover

author |
David J. Linden
year published |
2008

Amazon | You’ve probably seen it before: a human brain dramatically lit from the side, the camera circling it like a helicopter shot of Stonehenge, and a modulated baritone voice exalting the brain’s elegant design in reverent tones.

To which this book says: Pure nonsense. In a work at once deeply learned and wonderfully accessible, the neuroscientist David Linden counters the widespread assumption that the brain is… read more

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

January 3, 2012

abundance

author |
Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
year published |
2012

Amazon | Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge — this is a book about how we rise to meet it. We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces… read more

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think

March 25, 2013

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author |
Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier
year published |
2013

A revelatory exploration of the hottest trend in technology and the dramatic impact it will have on the economy, science, and society at large.

Which paint color is most likely to tell you that a used car is in good shape? How can officials identify the most dangerous New York City manholes before they explode? And how did Google searches predict the spread of the H1N1 flu outbreak?… read more

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

September 10, 2010

morallandscape

author |
Sam Harris
year published |
2010

Amazon | Sam Harris’s first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people—from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists—agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values.

Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious… read more

I Am a Strange Loop

May 4, 2011

I am a Strange Loop book cover

author |
Douglas R. Hofstadter
year published |
2008

Amazon | Can thought arise out of matter? Can self, soul, consciousness, “I” arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here?

I Am a Strange Loop argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is the “strange loop” — a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. The most central and complex symbol in your brain is… read more

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

June 22, 2011
Incognito book cover
author |
David Eagleman
year published |
2011

Amazon | If the conscious mind — the part you consider to be you — is just the tip of the iceberg, what is the rest doing?

In this sparkling and provocative new book, the renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising mysteries: Why can your foot move halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead?… read more

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room

February 13, 2012

toobigtoknow

author |
David Weinberger
year published |
2012

Amazon | We used to know how to know. We got our answers from books or experts. We’d nail down the facts and move on. But in the Internet age, knowledge has moved onto networks. There’s more knowledge than ever, of course, but it’s different. Topics have no boundaries, and nobody agrees on anything.

Yet this is the greatest time in history to be a knowledge seeker…… read more

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth

November 6, 2012

As the Future Catches You

author |
Juan Enriquez
year published |
2005

If you think the world has changed dramatically in the last five years, you haven’t seen anything yet.

You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on all our lives.

Genetics… read more

Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment (The Frontiers Collection)

May 30, 2013

Singularity Hypotheses

author |
Amnon H. Eden, James H Moor, Johnny H Soraker
year published |
2013

Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment offers authoritative, jargon-free essays and critical commentaries on accelerating technological progress and the notion of technological singularity. It focuses on conjectures about the intelligence explosion, transhumanism, and whole brain emulation.

Recent years have seen a plethora of forecasts about the profound, disruptive impact that is likely to result from further progress in these areas. Many commentators however doubt the scientific rigor of… read more

A Very Short Tour of the Mind: 21 Short Walks Around the Human Brain

August 14, 2013

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author |
Michael C. Corballis
year published |
2013

Why do we remember faces but not names? If your brain were cut in half would you suffer more than a splitting headache? How does your dog remember where it buried its bone but you can’t find your keys? And do we really only use ten percent of our brains? In A Very Short Tour of the Mind, Michael C. Corballis answers these questions and more.… read more

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