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Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Machines
J.O. Gray
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 1996
The term 'advanced robotics' came in the 1980s to describe the application of advanced sensors and new developments in cognitive science and artificial intelligence to the traditional robot. Today, advanced robots have come far beyond the limitations of the crude 'pick-and-place' machines of the 1980s assembly line, and have a vast range of applications in manufacturing, construction and health care, as well as hostile environments such as space, underwater and nuclear applications.

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Algorithms of Education
How Datafication and Artificial Intelligence Shape Policy
Kalervo N. Gulson
University of Minnesota Press, 2022

A critique of what lies behind the use of data in contemporary education policy 

While the science fiction tales of artificial intelligence eclipsing humanity are still very much fantasies, in Algorithms of Education the authors tell real stories of how algorithms and machines are transforming education governance, providing a fascinating discussion and critique of data and its role in education policy.

Algorithms of Education explores how, for policy makers, today’s ever-growing amount of data creates the illusion of greater control over the educational futures of students and the work of school leaders and teachers. In fact, the increased datafication of education, the authors argue, offers less and less control, as algorithms and artificial intelligence further abstract the educational experience and distance policy makers from teaching and learning. Focusing on the changing conditions for education policy and governance, Algorithms of Education proposes that schools and governments are increasingly turning to “synthetic governance”—a governance where what is human and machine becomes less clear—as a strategy for optimizing education.

Exploring case studies of data infrastructures, facial recognition, and the growing use of data science in education, Algorithms of Education draws on a wide variety of fields—from critical theory and media studies to science and technology studies and education policy studies—mapping the political and methodological directions for engaging with datafication and artificial intelligence in education governance. According to the authors, we must go beyond the debates that separate humans and machines in order to develop new strategies for, and a new politics of, education.


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An Artificial History of Natural Intelligence
Thinking with Machines from Descartes to the Digital Age
David W. Bates
University of Chicago Press, 2024
A new history of human intelligence that argues that humans know themselves by knowing their machines.

We imagine that we are both in control of and controlled by our bodies—autonomous and yet automatic. This entanglement, according to David W. Bates, emerged in the seventeenth century when humans first built and compared themselves with machines. Reading varied thinkers from Descartes to Kant to Turing, Bates reveals how time and time again technological developments offered new ways to imagine how the body’s automaticity worked alongside the mind’s autonomy. Tracing these evolving lines of thought, An Artificial History of Natural Intelligence offers a new theorization of the human as a being that is dependent on technology and produces itself as an artificial automaton without a natural, outside origin.

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Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Power Systems
Kevin Warwick
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 1997
Research in artificial intelligence has developed many techniques and methodologies that can be either adapted or used directly to solve complex power system problems. A variety of such problems are covered in this book including reactive power control, alarm analysis, fault diagnosis, protection systems and load forecasting. Methods such as knowledge-based (expert) systems, fuzzy logic, neural networks and genetic algorithms are all first introduced and then investigated in terms of their applicability in the power systems field. The book, therefore, serves as both an introduction to the use of artificial intelligence techniques for those from a power systems background and as an overview of the power systems implementation area for those from an artificial intelligence computing or control background. It is structured so that it is suitable for various levels of reader, covering basic principles as well as applications and case studies. The most popular methods and the most fruitful application fields are considered in more detail. The book contains contributions from top international authors and will be an extremely useful text for all those with an interest in the field.

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Augmented Exploitation
Artificial Intelligence, Automation and Work
Phoebe Moore
Pluto Press, 2021
Artificial Intelligence is a seemingly neutral technology, but it is increasingly used to manage workforces and make decisions to hire and fire employees. Its proliferation in the workplace gives the impression of a fairer, more efficient system of management. A machine can't discriminate, after all. Augmented Exploitation explores the reality of the impact of AI on workers' lives. While the consensus is that AI is a completely new way of managing a workplace, the authors show that, on the contrary, AI is used as most technologies are used under capitalism: as a smokescreen that hides the deep exploitation of workers. Going beyond platform work and the gig economy, the authors explore emerging forms of algorithmic governance and AI-augmented apps that have been developed to utilise innovative ways to collect data about workers and consumers, as well as to keep wages and worker representation under control. They also show that workers are not taking this lying down, providing case studies of new and exciting form of resistance that are springing up across the globe.

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The Book of Minds
How to Understand Ourselves and Other Beings, from Animals to AI to Aliens
Philip Ball
University of Chicago Press, 2022
Popular science writer Philip Ball explores a range of sciences to map our answers to a huge, philosophically rich question: How do we even begin to think about minds that are not human?
Sciences from zoology to astrobiology, computer science to neuroscience, are seeking to understand minds in their own distinct disciplinary realms. Taking a uniquely broad view of minds and where to find them—including in plants, aliens, and God—Philip Ball pulls the pieces together to explore what sorts of minds we might expect to find in the universe. In so doing, he offers for the first time a unified way of thinking about what minds are and what they can do, by locating them in what he calls the “space of possible minds.” By identifying and mapping out properties of mind without prioritizing the human, Ball sheds new light on a host of fascinating questions: What moral rights should we afford animals, and can we understand their thoughts? Should we worry that AI is going to take over society? If there are intelligent aliens out there, how could we communicate with them? Should we? Understanding the space of possible minds also reveals ways of making advances in understanding some of the most challenging questions in contemporary science: What is thought? What is consciousness? And what (if anything) is free will?

Informed by conversations with leading researchers, Ball’s brilliant survey of current views about the nature and existence of minds is more mind-expanding than we could imagine. In this fascinating panorama of other minds, we come to better know our own.

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Causation in Psychology
John Campbell
Harvard University Press, 2020

A renowned philosopher argues that singular causation in the mind is not grounded in general patterns of causation, a claim on behalf of human distinctiveness, which has implications for the future of social robots.

A blab droid is a robot with a body shaped like a pizza box, a pair of treads, and a smiley face. Guided by an onboard video camera, it roams hotel lobbies and conference centers, asking questions in the voice of a seven-year-old. “Can you help me?” “What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?” “Who in the world do you love most?” People pour their hearts out in response.

This droid prompts the question of what we can hope from social robots. Might they provide humanlike friendship? Philosopher John Campbell doesn’t think so. He argues that, while a social robot can remember the details of a person’s history better than some spouses can, it cannot empathize with the human mind, because it lacks the faculty for thinking in terms of singular causation.

Causation in Psychology makes the case that singular causation is essential and unique to the human species. From the point of view of practical action, knowledge of what generally causes what is often all one needs. But humans are capable of more. We have a capacity to imagine singular causation. Unlike robots and nonhuman animals, we don’t have to rely on axioms about pain to know how ongoing suffering is affecting someone’s ability to make decisions, for example, and this knowledge is not a derivative of general rules. The capacity to imagine singular causation, Campbell contends, is a core element of human freedom and of the ability to empathize with human thoughts and feelings.


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Life and How to Make It
Steve Grand
Harvard University Press, 2001

Working mostly alone, almost single-handedly writing 250,000 lines of computer code, Steve Grand produced Creatures®, a revolutionary computer game that allowed players to create living beings complete with brains, genes, and hormonal systems—creatures that would live and breathe and breed in real time on an ordinary desktop computer. Enormously successful, the game inevitably raises the question: What is artificial life? And in this book—a chance for the devoted fan and the simply curious onlooker to see the world from the perspective of an original philosopher-engineer and intellectual maverick—Steve Grand proposes an answer.

From the composition of the brains and bodies of artificial life forms to the philosophical guidelines and computational frameworks that define them, Creation plumbs the practical, social, and ethical aspects and implications of the state of the art. But more than that, the book gives readers access to the insights Grand acquired in writing Creatures—insights that yield a view of the world that is surprisingly antireductionist, antimaterialist, and (to a degree) antimechanistic, a view that sees matter, life, mind, and society as simply different levels of the same thing. Such a hierarchy, Grand suggests, can be mirrored by an equivalent one that exists inside a parallel universe called cyberspace.


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The Creativity Code
Art and Innovation in the Age of AI
Marcus du Sautoy
Harvard University Press, 2020

“A brilliant travel guide to the coming world of AI.”
—Jeanette Winterson

What does it mean to be creative? Can creativity be trained? Is it uniquely human, or could AI be considered creative?

Mathematical genius and exuberant polymath Marcus du Sautoy plunges us into the world of artificial intelligence and algorithmic learning in this essential guide to the future of creativity. He considers the role of pattern and imitation in the creative process and sets out to investigate the programs and programmers—from Deep Mind and the Flow Machine to Botnik and WHIM—who are seeking to rival or surpass human innovation in gaming, music, art, and language. A thrilling tour of the landscape of invention, The Creativity Code explores the new face of creativity and the mysteries of the human code.

“As machines outsmart us in ever more domains, we can at least comfort ourselves that one area will remain sacrosanct and uncomputable: human creativity. Or can we?…In his fascinating exploration of the nature of creativity, Marcus du Sautoy questions many of those assumptions.”
Financial Times

“Fascinating…If all the experiences, hopes, dreams, visions, lusts, loves, and hatreds that shape the human imagination amount to nothing more than a ‘code,’ then sooner or later a machine will crack it. Indeed, du Sautoy assembles an eclectic array of evidence to show how that’s happening even now.”
The Times


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Defending AI Research
A Collection of Essays and Reviews
Edited by John McCarthy
CSLI, 1996
John McCarthy's influence in computer science ranges from the invention of LISP and time-sharing to the coining of the term AI and the founding of the AI laboratory at Stanford University. One of the foremost figures in computer sciences, McCarthy has written papers which are widely referenced and stand as milestones of development over a wide range of topics. In this collection of reviews, McCarthy staunchly defends the importance of Artificial Intelligence research against its attackers; this book gathers McCarthy's reviews of books which discuss and criticise the future of AI. Here, McCarthy explores the larger questions associated with AI, such as the question of the nature of intelligence, of the acquisition and application of knowledge, and the question of the politics behind this research.

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The Economics of Artificial Intelligence
An Agenda
Edited by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) highlight the potential of this technology to affect productivity, growth, inequality, market power, innovation, and employment. This volume seeks to set the agenda for economic research on the impact of AI. It covers four broad themes: AI as a general purpose technology; the relationships between AI, growth, jobs, and inequality; regulatory responses to changes brought on by AI; and the effects of AI on the way economic research is conducted. It explores the economic influence of machine learning, the branch of computational statistics that has driven much of the recent excitement around AI, as well as the economic impact of robotics and automation and the potential economic consequences of a still-hypothetical artificial general intelligence. The volume provides frameworks for understanding the economic impact of AI and identifies a number of open research questions.

Daron Acemoglu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Philippe Aghion, Collège de France
Ajay Agrawal, University of Toronto
Susan Athey, Stanford University
James Bessen, Boston University School of Law
Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT Sloan School of Management
Colin F. Camerer, California Institute of Technology
Judith Chevalier, Yale School of Management
Iain M. Cockburn, Boston University
Tyler Cowen, George Mason University
Jason Furman, Harvard Kennedy School
Patrick Francois, University of British Columbia 
Alberto Galasso, University of Toronto
Joshua Gans, University of Toronto
Avi Goldfarb, University of Toronto
Austan Goolsbee, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Rebecca Henderson, Harvard Business School
Ginger Zhe Jin, University of Maryland
Benjamin F. Jones, Northwestern University
Charles I. Jones, Stanford University
Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University
Anton Korinek, Johns Hopkins University
Mara Lederman, University of Toronto
Hong Luo, Harvard Business School
John McHale, National University of Ireland
Paul R. Milgrom, Stanford University
Matthew Mitchell, University of Toronto
Alexander Oettl, Georgia Institute of Technology
Andrea Prat, Columbia Business School
Manav Raj, New York University
Pascual Restrepo, Boston University
Daniel Rock, MIT Sloan School of Management
Jeffrey D. Sachs, Columbia University
Robert Seamans, New York University
Scott Stern, MIT Sloan School of Management
Betsey Stevenson, University of Michigan
Joseph E. Stiglitz. Columbia University
Chad Syverson, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Matt Taddy, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Steven Tadelis, University of California, Berkeley
Manuel Trajtenberg, Tel Aviv University
Daniel Trefler, University of Toronto
Catherine Tucker, MIT Sloan School of Management
Hal Varian, University of California, Berkeley

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The Economics of Artificial Intelligence
Health Care Challenges
Edited by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb, and Catherine E. Tucker
University of Chicago Press, 2024

A timely investigation of the potential economic effects, both realized and unrealized, of artificial intelligence within the United States healthcare system.

In sweeping conversations about the impact of artificial intelligence on many sectors of the economy, healthcare has received relatively little attention. Yet it seems unlikely that an industry that represents nearly one-fifth of the economy could escape the efficiency and cost-driven disruptions of AI.

The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: Health Care Challenges brings together contributions from health economists, physicians, philosophers, and scholars in law, public health, and machine learning to identify the primary barriers to entry of AI in the healthcare sector. Across original papers and in wide-ranging responses, the contributors analyze barriers of four types: incentives, management, data availability, and regulation. They also suggest that AI has the potential to improve outcomes and lower costs. Understanding both the benefits of and barriers to AI adoption is essential for designing policies that will affect the evolution of the healthcare system.


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Flame Wars
The Discourse of Cyberculture
Mark Dery
Duke University Press, 1994
"Flame Wars," the verbal firefights that take place between disembodied combatants on electronic bulletin boards, remind us that our interaction with the world is increasingly mediated by computers. Bit by digital bit we are being "Borged," as devotees of Star Trek: The Next Generation would have it—transformed into cyborgian hybrids of technology and biology through our ever more frequent interaction with machines, or with one another through technological interfaces.
The subcultural practices of the "incurably informed," to borrow the cyberpunk novelist Pat Cadigan’s coinage, offer a precognitive glimpse of mainstream culture in the near future, when many of us will be part-time residents in virtual communities. Yet, as the essays in this expanded edition of a special issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly confirm, there is more to fringe computer culture than cyberspace. Within these pages, readers will encounter flame warriors; new age mutant ninja hackers; technopagans for whom the computer is an occult engine; and William Gibson’s "Agrippa," a short story on software that can only be read once because it gobbles itself up as soon as the last page is reached. Here, too, is Lady El, an African American cleaning woman reincarnated as an all-powerful cyborg; devotees of on-line swinging, or "compu-sex"; the teleoperated weaponry and amok robots of the mechanical performance art group, Survival Research Laboratories; an interview with Samuel Delany, and more.
Rallying around Fredric Jameson’s call for a cognitive cartography that "seeks to endow the individual subject with some new heightened sense of place in the global system," the contributors to Flame Wars have sketched a corner of that map, an outline for a wiring diagram of a terminally wired world.

Contributors. Anne Balsamo, Gareth Branwyn, Scott Bukatman, Pat Cadigan, Gary Chapman, Erik Davis, Manuel De Landa, Mark Dery, Julian Dibbell, Marc Laidlaw, Mark Pauline, Peter Schwenger, Vivian Sobchack, Claudia Springer


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Foundations of Real World Intelligence
Edited by Yoshinori Uesaka, Pentti Kanerva, and Hideki Asoh
CSLI, 2001
Real-world intelligence includes the ability to handle complex, uncertain, dynamic, multi-modal information in real time. In order to pursue the artificial realization of such "human" or "intelligent" information processing, a novel system of representing and interpreting knowledge must first be developed. This book collects the results of ten years of research at six laboratories, focusing on the theoretical and algorithmic foundations of the intelligence we find in the real world.

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The Future of Digital Surveillance
Why Digital Monitoring Will Never Lose Its Appeal in a World of Algorithm-Driven AI
Yong Jin Park
University of Michigan Press, 2021

Are humans hard-wired to make good decisions about managing their privacy in an increasingly public world? Or are we helpless victims of surveillance through our use of invasive digital media? Exploring the chasm between the tyranny of surveillance and the ideal of privacy, this book traces the origins of personal data collection in digital technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) embedded in social network sites, search engines, mobile apps, the web, and email. The Future of Digital Surveillance argues against a technologically deterministic view—digital technologies by nature do not cause surveillance. Instead, the shaping of surveillance technologies is embedded in a complex set of individual psychology, institutional behaviors, and policy principles.


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How We Became Posthuman
Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics
N. Katherine Hayles
University of Chicago Press, 1999
In this age of DNA computers and artificial intelligence, information is becoming disembodied even as the "bodies" that once carried it vanish into virtuality. While some marvel at these changes, envisioning consciousness downloaded into a computer or humans "beamed" Star Trek-style, others view them with horror, seeing monsters brooding in the machines. In How We Became Posthuman, N. Katherine Hayles separates hype from fact, investigating the fate of embodiment in an information age.

Hayles relates three interwoven stories: how information lost its body, that is, how it came to be conceptualized as an entity separate from the material forms that carry it; the cultural and technological construction of the cyborg; and the dismantling of the liberal humanist "subject" in cybernetic discourse, along with the emergence of the "posthuman."

Ranging widely across the history of technology, cultural studies, and literary criticism, Hayles shows what had to be erased, forgotten, and elided to conceive of information as a disembodied entity. Thus she moves from the post-World War II Macy Conferences on cybernetics to the 1952 novel Limbo by cybernetics aficionado Bernard Wolfe; from the concept of self-making to Philip K. Dick's literary explorations of hallucination and reality; and from artificial life to postmodern novels exploring the implications of seeing humans as cybernetic systems.

Although becoming posthuman can be nightmarish, Hayles shows how it can also be liberating. From the birth of cybernetics to artificial life, How We Became Posthuman provides an indispensable account of how we arrived in our virtual age, and of where we might go from here.

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Information in War
Military Innovation, Battle Networks, and the Future of Artificial Intelligence
Benjamin M. Jensen, Christopher Whyte, and Scott Cuomo
Georgetown University Press, 2022

An in-depth assessment of innovations in military information technology informs hypothetical outcomes for artificial intelligence adaptations

In the coming decades, artificial intelligence (AI) could revolutionize the way humans wage war. The military organizations that best innovate and adapt to this AI revolution will likely gain significant advantages over their rivals. To this end, great powers such as the United States, China, and Russia are already investing in novel sensing, reasoning, and learning technologies that will alter how militaries plan and fight. The resulting transformation could fundamentally change the character of war.

In Information in War, Benjamin Jensen, Christopher Whyte, and Scott Cuomo provide a deeper understanding of the AI revolution by exploring the relationship between information, organizational dynamics, and military power. The authors analyze how militaries adjust to new information communication technology historically to identify opportunities, risks, and obstacles that will almost certainly confront modern defense organizations as they pursue AI pathways to the future. Information in War builds on these historical cases to frame four alternative future scenarios exploring what the AI revolution could look like in the US military by 2040.


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An Intelligence in Our Image
The Risks of Bias and Errors in Artificial Intelligence
Osonde A. Osoba
RAND Corporation, 2017
Machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence influence many aspects of life today and have gained an aura of objectivity and infallibility. The use of these tools introduces a new level of risk and complexity in policy. This report illustrates some of the shortcomings of algorithmic decisionmaking, identifies key themes around the problem of algorithmic errors and bias, and examines some approaches for combating these problems.

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Killer Apps
War, Media, Machine
Jeremy Packer and Joshua Reeves
Duke University Press, 2020
In Killer Apps Jeremy Packer and Joshua Reeves provide a detailed account of the rise of automation in warfare, showing how media systems are central to building weapons systems with artificial intelligence in order to more efficiently select and eliminate military targets. Drawing on the insights of a wide range of political and media theorists, Packer and Reeves develop a new theory for understanding how the intersection of media and military strategy drives today's AI arms race. They address the use of media to search for enemies in their analyses of the history of automated radar systems, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the development of military climate science, which treats the changing earth as an enemy. As the authors demonstrate, contemporary military strategy demands perfect communication in an evolving battlespace that is increasingly inhospitable to human frailties, necessitating humans' replacement by advanced robotics, machine intelligence, and media systems.

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Law Librarianship in the Age of AI
Ellyssa Kroski
American Library Association, 2019
Winner of the 2020 Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)

Futurists predict that in the next ten years the profession of “lawyer” will splinter into job titles like “legal process analyst” or “legal knowledge engineer.” And some in the field are already taking a proactive approach ⁠— in fact, more than two dozen law schools have developed innovation centers to explore artificial intelligence (AI) and the law. In a competitive marketplace, both firms and individuals need to familiarize themselves with the dazzling array of new products and enhanced features capable of improving efficiency. Written by leading practitioners and visionaries like Robert Ambrogi, this groundbreaking survey of current practices and future trends offers an incisive examination of the evolving roles for law librarians. Readers will learn how AI technology is changing law school curricula, lawyer practice, marketing, and other key aspects of the field through coverage of such topics as

  • the benefits of AI to law librarianship, including areas like legal research, contract review, compliance, and administration, and their associated risks;
  • four professional ethics rules that apply to the use or (non-use) of AI;
  • how lawyers and staff work side by side with AI, utilizing intelligence like RAVN ACE or FastCase to attack the drudgery of due diligence and document review;
  • surprising machine-learning insights from tokenizing, stemming, and lemmatizing the text of Shakespeare’s plays;
  • the potential for chatbots and new natural language processing products to improve access to justice; and
  • ways to develop sought-after skills through new technology departments, practice management groups, and legal innovation labs.

Reading this collection will give you a firm grasp of the innovations, tools, benefits, and risks of AI in law librarianship.


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Life by Algorithms
How Roboprocesses Are Remaking Our World
Edited by Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Computerized processes are everywhere in our society. They are the automated phone messaging systems that businesses use to screen calls; the link between student standardized test scores and public schools’ access to resources; the algorithms that regulate patient diagnoses and reimbursements to doctors. The storage, sorting, and analysis of massive amounts of information have enabled the automation of decision-making at an unprecedented level. Meanwhile, computers have offered a model of cognition that increasingly shapes our approach to the world. The proliferation of “roboprocesses” is the result, as editors Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson observe in this rich and wide-ranging volume, which features contributions from a distinguished cast of scholars in anthropology, communications, international studies, and political science.
Although automatic processes are designed to be engines of rational systems, the stories in Life by Algorithms reveal how they can in fact produce absurd, inflexible, or even dangerous outcomes. Joining the call for “algorithmic transparency,” the contributors bring exceptional sensitivity to everyday sociality into their critique to better understand how the perils of modern technology affect finance, medicine, education, housing, the workplace, food production, public space, and emotions—not as separate problems but as linked manifestations of a deeper defect in the fundamental ordering of our society.

Catherine Besteman, Alex Blanchette, Robert W. Gehl, Hugh Gusterson, Catherine Lutz, Ann Lutz Fernandez, Joseph Masco, Sally Engle Merry, Keesha M. Middlemass, Noelle Stout, Susan J. Terrio

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Living with Robots
Paul Dumouchel and Luisa DamianoTranslated by Malcolm DeBevoise
Harvard University Press, 2017

Living with Robots recounts a foundational shift in the field of robotics, from artificial intelligence to artificial empathy, and foreshadows an inflection point in human evolution. Today’s robots engage with human beings in socially meaningful ways, as therapists, trainers, mediators, caregivers, and companions. Social robotics is grounded in artificial intelligence, but the field’s most probing questions explore the nature of the very real human emotions that social robots are designed to emulate.

Social roboticists conduct their inquiries out of necessity—every robot they design incorporates and tests a number of hypotheses about human relationships. Paul Dumouchel and Luisa Damiano show that as roboticists become adept at programming artificial empathy into their creations, they are abandoning the conventional conception of human emotions as discrete, private, internal experiences. Rather, they are reconceiving emotions as a continuum between two actors who coordinate their affective behavior in real time. Rethinking the role of sociability in emotion has also led the field of social robotics to interrogate a number of human ethical assumptions, and to formulate a crucial political insight: there are simply no universal human characteristics for social robots to emulate. What we have instead is a plurality of actors, human and nonhuman, in noninterchangeable relationships.

As Living with Robots shows, for social robots to be effective, they must be attentive to human uniqueness and exercise a degree of social autonomy. More than mere automatons, they must become social actors, capable of modifying the rules that govern their interplay with humans.


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Mentality and Machines
Keith Gunderson
University of Minnesota Press, 1985

Mentality and Machines was first published in 1985. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Mentality and Machines — with a new preface and an extended postscript—is a general essay on the philosophy of mind, oriented to philosophical and psychological questions about real as well as imagined, robots and machines. The second edition retains all of the essays from the original book, including Gunderson's influential critique ("The Imitation Game") of A.M. Turing's treatment of the question "Can machines think?" and his controversial distinction between program-receptive and program-resistant aspects of the mind. This edition's postscript includes further reflections on these themes and others, and relates them to recent writings of other philosophers and computer scientists.


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Mind Children
The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence
Hans Moravec
Harvard University Press, 1988

Imagine attending a lecture at the turn of the twentieth century in which Orville Wright speculates about the future of transportation, or one in which Alexander Graham Bell envisages satellite communications and global data banks. Mind Children, written by an internationally renowned roboticist, offers a comparable experience—a mind-boggling glimpse of a world we may soon share with our artificial progeny. Filled with fresh ideas and insights, this book is one of the most engaging and controversial visions of the future ever written by a serious scholar.

Hans Moravec convincingly argues that we are approaching a watershed in the history of life—a time when the boundaries between biological and postbiological intelligence will begin to dissolve. Within forty years, Moravec believes, we will achieve human equivalence in our machines, not only in their capacity to reason but also in their ability to perceive, interact with, and change their complex environment. The critical factor is mobility. A computer rooted to one place is doomed to static iterations, whereas a machine on the prowl, like a mobile organism, must evolve a richer fund of knowledge about an ever-changing world upon which to base its actions.

In order to achieve anything near human equivalence, robots will need, at the least, the capacity to perform ten trillion calculations per second. Given the trillion-fold increase in computational power since the end of the nineteenth century, and the promise of exotic technologies far surpassing the now-familiar lasers and even superconductors, Moravec concludes that our hardware will have no trouble meeting this forty-year timetable.

But human equivalence is just the beginning, not an upper bound. Once the tireless thinking capacity of robots is directed to the problem of their own improvement and reproduction, even the sky will not limit their voracious exploration of the universe. In the concluding chapters Moravec challenges us to imagine with him the possibilities and pitfalls of such a scenario. Rather than warning us of takeover by robots, the author invites us, as we approach the end of this millennium, to speculate about a plausible, wonderful postbiological future and the ways in which our minds might participate in its unfolding.


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The Myth of Artificial Intelligence
Why Computers Can’t Think the Way We Do
Erik J. Larson
Harvard University Press, 2021

“Exposes the vast gap between the actual science underlying AI and the dramatic claims being made for it.”
—John Horgan

“If you want to know about AI, read this book…It shows how a supposedly futuristic reverence for Artificial Intelligence retards progress when it denigrates our most irreplaceable resource for any future progress: our own human intelligence.”
—Peter Thiel

Ever since Alan Turing, AI enthusiasts have equated artificial intelligence with human intelligence. A computer scientist working at the forefront of natural language processing, Erik Larson takes us on a tour of the landscape of AI to reveal why this is a profound mistake.

AI works on inductive reasoning, crunching data sets to predict outcomes. But humans don’t correlate data sets. We make conjectures, informed by context and experience. And we haven’t a clue how to program that kind of intuitive reasoning, which lies at the heart of common sense. Futurists insist AI will soon eclipse the capacities of the most gifted mind, but Larson shows how far we are from superintelligence—and what it would take to get there.

“Larson worries that we’re making two mistakes at once, defining human intelligence down while overestimating what AI is likely to achieve…Another concern is learned passivity: our tendency to assume that AI will solve problems and our failure, as a result, to cultivate human ingenuity.”
—David A. Shaywitz, Wall Street Journal

“A convincing case that artificial general intelligence—machine-based intelligence that matches our own—is beyond the capacity of algorithmic machine learning because there is a mismatch between how humans and machines know what they know.”
—Sue Halpern, New York Review of Books


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New Laws of Robotics
Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI
Frank Pasquale
Harvard University Press, 2020

“Essential reading for all who have a vested interest in the rise of AI.” —Daryl Li, AI & Society

“Thought-provoking…Explores how we can best try to ensure that robots work for us, rather than against us, and proposes a new set of laws to provide a conceptual framework for our thinking on the subject.” —Financial Times

“Pasquale calls for a society-wide reengineering of policy, politics, economics, and labor relations to set technology on a more regulated and egalitarian path…Makes a good case for injecting more bureaucracy into our techno-dreams, if we really want to make the world a better place.” —Wired

“Pasquale is one of the leading voices on the uneven and often unfair consequences of AI in our society...Every policymaker should read this book and seek his counsel.” —Safiya Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression

Too many CEOs tell a simple story about the future of work: if a machine can do what you do, your job will be automated, and you will be replaced. They envision everyone from doctors to soldiers rendered superfluous by ever-more-powerful AI.

Another story is possible. In virtually every walk of life, robotic systems can make labor more valuable, not less. Frank Pasquale tells the story of nurses, teachers, designers, and others who partner with technologists, rather than meekly serving as data sources for their computerized replacements. This cooperation reveals the kind of technological advance that could bring us all better health care, education, and more, while maintaining meaningful work. These partnerships also show how law and regulation can promote prosperity for all, rather than a zero-sum race of humans against machines.

Policymakers must not allow corporations or engineers alone to answer questions about how far AI should be entrusted to assume tasks once performed by humans, or about the optimal mix of robotic and human interaction. The kind of automation we get—and who it benefits—will depend on myriad small decisions about how to develop AI. Pasquale proposes ways to democratize that decision-making, rather than centralize it in unaccountable firms. Sober yet optimistic, New Laws of Robotics offers an inspiring vision of technological progress, in which human capacities and expertise are the irreplaceable center of an inclusive economy.


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On Posthuman War
Computation and Military Violence
Mike Hill
University of Minnesota Press, 2022

Tracing war’s expansion beyond the battlefield to the concept of the human being itself

As military and other forms of political violence become the planetary norm, On Posthuman War traces the expansion of war beyond traditional theaters of battle. Drawing on counterinsurgency field manuals, tactical manifestos, data-driven military theory, and asymmetrical-war archives, Mike Hill delineates new “Areas of Operation” within a concept of the human being as not only a social and biological entity but also a technical one.

Delving into three human-focused disciplines newly turned against humanity, OnPosthuman War reveals how demography, anthropology, and neuroscience have intertwined since 9/11 amid the “Revolution in Military Affairs.”  Beginning with the author’s personal experience training with U.S. Marine recruits at Parris Island, Hill gleans insights from realist philosophy, the new materialism, and computational theory to show how the human being, per se, has been reconstituted from neutral citizen to unwitting combatant. As evident in the call for “bullets, beans, and data,” whatever can be parted out, counted, and reassembled can become war materiel. Hill shows how visible and invisible wars within identity, community, and cognition shift public-sphere activities, like racial identification, group organization, and even thought itself, in the direction of war. This shift has weaponized social activities against the very notion of society. 

On Posthuman War delivers insights on the latest war technologies, strategies, and tactics while engaging in questions poised to overturn the foundations of modern political thought.


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The Posthuman Condition
Consciousness Beyond the Brain
Robert Pepperell
Intellect Books, 2009
"Where humanists saw themselves as distinct beings in an antagonistic relationship with their surroundings, posthumans regard their own being as embodied in an extended technological world."

Synthetic creativity, organic computers, genetic modification, intelligent machines--such ideas are deeply challenging to many of our traditional assumptions about human uniqueness and superiority. But, ironically, it is our very capacity for technological invention that has secured us so dominant a position in the world which may lead ultimately to (as some have put it) 'The End of Man'. If we are really capable of creating entities that exceed our own skills and intellect then the consequences for humanity are almost inconceivable. Nevertheless, we must now face up to the possibility that attributes like intelligence and consciousness may be synthesised in non-human entities--perhaps within our lifetime. Would such entities have human-like emotions; would they have a sense of their own being?

The Posthuman Condition
argues that such questions are difficult to tackle given the concepts of human existence that we have inherited from humanism, many of which can no longer be sustained. New theories about nature and the operation of the universe arising from sophisticated computer modelling are starting to demonstrate the profound interconnections between all things in reality where previously we had seen only separations. This has implications for traditional views of the human condition, consciousness, the way we look at art, and for some of the oldest problems in philosophy.

First published in the 1990s, this important text has been completely revised by the author with the addition of new sections and illustrations.

For further information see: www.post-human.net

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Strategy, Evolution, and War
From Apes to Artificial Intelligence
Kenneth Payne
Georgetown University Press, 2018

Decisions about war have always been made by humans, but now intelligent machines are on the cusp of changing things – with dramatic consequences for international affairs. This book explores the evolutionary origins of human strategy, and makes a provocative argument that Artificial Intelligence will radically transform the nature of war by changing the psychological basis of decision-making about violence.

Strategy, Evolution, and War is a cautionary preview of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will revolutionize strategy more than any development in the last three thousand years of military history. Kenneth Payne describes strategy as an evolved package of conscious and unconscious behaviors with roots in our primate ancestry. Our minds were shaped by the need to think about warfare—a constant threat for early humans. As a result, we developed a sophisticated and strategic intelligence.

The implications of AI are profound because they depart radically from the biological basis of human intelligence. Rather than being just another tool of war, AI will dramatically speed up decision making and use very different cognitive processes, including when deciding to launch an attack, or escalate violence. AI will change the essence of strategy, the organization of armed forces, and the international order.

This book is a fascinating examination of the psychology of strategy-making from prehistoric times, through the ancient world, and into the modern age.


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Surrogate Humanity
Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures
Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora
Duke University Press, 2019
In Surrogate Humanity Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora trace the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy. Analyzing myriad technologies, from sex robots and military drones to sharing-economy platforms, Atanasoski and Vora show how liberal structures of antiblackness, settler colonialism, and patriarchy are fundamental to human---machine interactions, as well as the very definition of the human. While these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation. Yet, even as engineers design robots to be more perfect versions of the human—more rational killers, more efficient workers, and tireless companions—the potential exists to develop alternative modes of engineering and technological development in ways that refuse the racial and colonial logics that maintain social hierarchies and inequality.

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Tell Me a Story
Narrative and Intelligence
Roger C. Schank
Northwestern University Press, 1995
How are our memories, our narratives, and our intelligence interrelated? What can artificial intelligence and narratology say to each other? In this pathbreaking study by an expert on learning and computers, Roger C. Schank argues that artificial intelligence must be based on real human intelligence, which consists largely of applying old situations, and our narratives of them, to new situations in less than obvious ways.

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Transparency for Robots and Autonomous Systems
Fundamentals, technologies and applications
Robert H. Wortham
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2020
Based on scientific understanding and empirical evidence of how humans understand and interact with robotic and autonomous systems, the author reviews the concerns that have been raised around the deployment of AI and robots in human society, and the potential for disruption and harm. He explains why transparency ought to be a fundamental design consideration for Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and artificial intelligent systems. Starting with a survey of global research in the field and what transparency means in the wider context of trust, control and ethics, the author then introduces a transparent robot control architecture, and the impact of transparency using real-time displays. He presents a case study of a muttering robot, and covers current and upcoming standards for transparency, as well as future perspectives for the design, manufacture and operation of autonomous robotic systems.

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