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Build Your Own Robot!

February 7, 2011

buildyourownrobot

Author:
Karl Lunt
Publisher:
A.K. Peters/CRC Press (2000)

Karl Lunt is an avid robot hobbyist who contributed regular articles for robot enthusiasts in Nuts and Volts magazine. The book is a collection of those articles that teach a variety of ideas regarding some machine shop skills but mainly the software and electronics side of robotics. The reader should be comfortable with some basic math such as hexadecimal or Boolean operators and be ready for some… read more

Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind

July 16, 2010

Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind

Author:
Hans Moravec
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2000)

Amazon | Here come the free-roaming robot vacuum cleaners, self-driving cars, robot chess champions, robots that fly and swim. If these machine intelligences already tooling around or on the drawing boards leave you blasé, consider this: Robotics pioneer Moravec predicts that if the present exponential growth rate of computing power continues, super-robots that perceive, intuit, adapt, think and even simulate feelings much like human beings will be buildable before… read more

Affective Computing

August 11, 2011

Affective Computing book cover

Author:
Rosalind W. Picard
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2000)

Amazon | The latest scientific findings indicate that emotions play an essential role in decision making, perception, learning, and more — that is, they influence the very mechanisms of rational thinking. Not only too much, but too little emotion can impair decision making. According to Rosalind Picard, if we want computers to be genuinely intelligent and to interact naturally with us, we must give computers the ability to… read more

Forever For All: Moral Philosophy, Cryonics, and the Scientific Prospects for Immortality

July 16, 2010

Forever For All: Moral Philosophy, Cryonics, and the Scientific Prospects for Immortality

Author:
R. Michael Perry
Publisher:
Universal Publishers (2000)

Amazon | This book considers the problems of death and the hereafter and how these ages-old problems ought to be addressed in light of our continuing progress. A materialistic viewpoint of reality is assumed, denying the likelihood of supernatural or other superhuman assistance. Death, however, is not seen as inevitable or even irreversible; it is maintained that the problem can and should be addressed scientifically in all of its… read more

The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier

April 9, 2009
Author:
Howard Rheingold
Publisher:
MIT Press (2000)

Howard Rheingold has been called the First Citizen of the Internet. In this book he tours the “virtual community” of online networking. He describes a community that is as real and as much a mixed bag as any physical community—one where people talk, argue, seek information, organize politically, fall in love, and dupe others.

At the same time that he tells moving stories about people who have received… read more

The Physics of Consciousness: The Quantum Mind and the Meaning of Life

December 28, 2011

physics_of_consciousness

Author:
Evan Harris Walker
Publisher:
Basic Books (2000)

Amazon | For decades, neuroscientists, psychologists, and an army of brain researchers have been struggling, in vain, to explain the phenomenon of consciousness. Now there is a clear trail to the answer, and it leads through the dense jungle of quantum physics, Zen, and subjective experience, and arrives at an unexpected destination. In this tour-de-force of scientific investigation, Evan Harris Walker shows how the operation of bizarre… read more

Dark Ages II: When the Digital Data Die

June 17, 2011

Dark Ages 2 book cover

Author:
Bryan Bergeron
Publisher:
Pearson Education (2001)

The Book Depository | Today, most of the world’s data is stored in media and formats that are frighteningly ephemeral: Web sites and email stores that are here today and gone tomorrow; magnetic media that isn’t proven to last; document and e-book formats that quickly become obsolete. In Dark Ages II, Bryan Bergeron shows why our data is at far greater risk than we’ve ever imagined — and… read more

Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny

October 26, 2012

nonzero

Author:
Robert Wright
Publisher:
Vintage (2001)

In his bestselling The Moral Animal, Robert Wright applied the principles of evolutionary biology to the study of the human mind. Now Wright attempts something even more ambitious: explaining the direction of evolution and human history–and discerning where history will lead us next.

In Nonzero: The Logic of Human DestinyWright asserts that, ever since the primordial ooze, life has followed a basic pattern. Organisms and human societies alike… read more

The Spike: How Our Lives Are Being Transformed By Rapidly Advancing Technologies

July 16, 2010

The Spike: How Our Lives Are Being Transformed By Rapidly Advancing Technologies

Author:
Damien Broderick
Publisher:
Tor Books (2001)

Amazon | Is technological change advancing so rapidly that we can no longer chart its progress? Are we careening ever closer to the point that scientists have dubbed “the singularity,” the moment when the pace of innovation will lead to changes so profound that attempting to envision the future becomes an impossible dream? According to Broderick (The Last Mortal Generation; Theory and Its Discontents), the answer is a resounding… read more

The Quantum Brain: The Search for Freedom and the Next Generation of Man

September 10, 2010

quantumbrain

Author:
Jeffrey Satinover
Publisher:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (2001)

Amazon | Do we have free will or just imagine that we do? Do we create our own destinies or are we merely machines? Can we create a brain bigger than our own? To answer these and many other provocative questions, psychiatrist, researcher, and critically acclaimed author Jeffrey Satinover turns to the cutting edge of science and sees a future for and truth about ourselves that are… read more

The Private Life of the Brain: Emotions, Consciousness, and the Secret of the Self

May 13, 2011

The Private Life of the Brain book cover

Author:
Susan Greenfield
Publisher:
Wiley (2001)

Publisher’s Weekly | How are you feeling today? Who might you be? And what do those frequently asked, but profound, questions have to do with each other? An Oxford University brain researcher and the director of Britain’s Royal Institution, Greenfield (Journey to the Centers of the Mind) has entered the crowded field of explain-the-brain books with a sophisticated, memorable and accessible set of arguments.

Other popular… read more

Are We Spiritual Machines? Ray Kurzweil vs. the Critics of Strong A.I.

June 8, 2001

Are We Spiritual Machines

Author:
Jay W. Richards, Ray Kurzweil, George Gilder
Publisher:
Discovery Institute (2001)

Computers are becoming more powerful at an ever-increasing rate, but will they ever become conscious? Artificial intelligence guru Ray Kurzweil thinks so and explains how we will “download” our software (our minds) and “upgrade” our hardware (our bodies) to become immortal — before the dawn of the 22nd century.

In this debate with his critics, including several Discovery Institute fellows, Kurzweil defends his views and sets the stage… read more

Operators and Promoters: The Story of Molecular Biology and Its Creators

April 9, 2009
Author:
Harrison G. Echols
Publisher:
University of California Press (2001)

During the past four decades, molecular biology has dominated the life sciences. Curiously, no participant in this scientific revolution has previously attempted a book-length history of the development of this powerful science. Harrison (“Hatch”) Echols provides such an account in Operators and Promoters. A gifted molecular biologist and talented raconteur, Echols relates the intellectual history of the most influential discoveries in molecular biology from his own experiences.… read more

Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

January 18, 2010
Author:
Howard Bloom
Publisher:
Wiley (2001)

Publishers Weekly | Bloom’s debut, The Lucifer Principle (1997), sought the biological basis for human evil. Now Bloom is after even bigger game. While cyber-thinkers claim the Internet is bringing us toward some sort of worldwide mind, Bloom believes we’ve had one all along. Drawing on information theory, debates within evolutionary biology, and research psychology (among other disciplines), Bloom understands the development of life on Earth as a series… read more

Robots, Androids and Animatrons: 12 Incredible Projects You Can Build

February 7, 2011

robotsandroids

Author:
John Iovine
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics (2001)

In Robots, Androids and Animatrons: 12 Incredible Projects You Can Build, electronics expert John Iovine serves up easy-to-follow plans and step-by-step instructions for constructing your very own state-of-the-art working robot that will obey your orders, act as your surrogate and even do scores of tough chores. You’ll find everything you need to harness the latest robotics technologies — locomotion, sensing and control — to develop a high-tech robot,… read more

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