Computers

Almost Human: Making Robots Think | ,

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A remarkable, intense portrait of the robotic subculture and the challenging quest for robot autonomy. The high bay at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University is alive and hyper night and day with the likes of Hyperion, which traversed the Antarctic, and Zoe, the world’s first robot scientist, now back home. Robot Segways learn to play soccer, while other robots go on treasure hunts or are destined for hospitals and museums. Dozens of cavorting mechanical creatures, along with tangles of wire, tools, and computer innards are scattered haphazardly. All of these zipping and zooming gizmos are controlled by disheveled young men sitting on the floor, folding chairs, or tool cases, or huddled over laptops squinting into displays with manic intensity. Award-winning author Lee Gutkind immersed himself in this frenzied subculture, following these young roboticists and their bold conceptual machines from Pittsburgh to NASA and to the most barren and arid desert on earth. He makes intelligible their discoveries and stumbling points in this lively behind-the-scenes work..

Fiction

Almost Human | HC Denham

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In the hothouse environment of a desert camp in Kenya, where biologists are using robots to 'green the desert,' the Universal Robotics Corporation is conducting a corporate experiment to introduce its newest product, humanoid empathetic robots, into domestic situations. But do they know what they have unleashed?.

Nature

Almost Human | Alfred Fidjestøl

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"Alternately joyous and heartbreaking..." —Jane Goodall A moving and revealing biography of Norway’s most famous chimpanzee. Julius is a national celebrity, the inspiration behind pop hits and bestselling books. He’s also a chimpanzee, born in captivity but raised in a zookeeper’s home after his own mother rejects him. Julius’s new parents change his diapers and comfort him when he has nightmares, and their daughters play with him. But soon they must reintroduce Julius to the zoo, a challenging task that brings new learnings on primate behavior and the dangers of animal celebrity. Alternately humorous and heartbreaking, Almost Human shows that primates are more like us than we once thought possible. It also charts the transformation of one zoo over time: from a small operation of animals behind bars to a fast-growing attraction coming to terms with twenty-first-century views on animal rights and welfare..

Nature

Almost Human | Alfred Fidjestøl

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"Alternately joyous and heartbreaking..." —Jane Goodall A moving and revealing biography of Norway’s most famous chimpanzee. Julius is a national celebrity, the inspiration behind pop hits and bestselling books. He’s also a chimpanzee, born in captivity but raised in a zookeeper’s home after his own mother rejects him. Julius’s new parents change his diapers and comfort him when he has nightmares, and their daughters play with him. But soon they must reintroduce Julius to the zoo, a challenging task that brings new learnings on primate behavior and the dangers of animal celebrity. Alternately humorous and heartbreaking, Almost Human shows that primates are more like us than we once thought possible. It also charts the transformation of one zoo over time: from a small operation of animals behind bars to a fast-growing attraction coming to terms with twenty-first-century views on animal rights and welfare..

Computers

Almost Human: Making Robots Think | Lee Gutkind

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A remarkable, intense portrait of the robotic subculture and the challenging quest for robot autonomy. The high bay at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University is alive and hyper night and day with the likes of Hyperion, which traversed the Antarctic, and Zoe, the world’s first robot scientist, now back home. Robot Segways learn to play soccer, while other robots go on treasure hunts or are destined for hospitals and museums. Dozens of cavorting mechanical creatures, along with tangles of wire, tools, and computer innards are scattered haphazardly. All of these zipping and zooming gizmos are controlled by disheveled young men sitting on the floor, folding chairs, or tool cases, or huddled over laptops squinting into displays with manic intensity. Award-winning author Lee Gutkind immersed himself in this frenzied subculture, following these young roboticists and their bold conceptual machines from Pittsburgh to NASA and to the most barren and arid desert on earth. He makes intelligible their discoveries and stumbling points in this lively behind-the-scenes work..

Political Science

Surviving Capitalism | Erik Ringmar

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This book investigates the question of economic globalization - whether it is likely to lead to full convergence between political models and ways of life, or whether, even in a completely globalized world economy, there is likely to be scope for alternative solutions. In a fully globalized world, how will we survive capitalism?.

Biography & Autobiography

Fully Functioning Human (Almost) | Melanie Murphy

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'I'm just a nitwit girl who's sort-of stumbling through life learning that we all have our own roads to walk - but that it's still valuable, and rather lovely, to hear about other people's journeys . . . ' Growing up in an online age, becoming an internet sensation with half a million followers on her YouTube Channel, Irish girl Melanie Murphy's journey has been far from ordinary. Here, in her first book, she shares the ups and downs of her life. From dealing with online bullying, to living with anxiety and eating disorders to coping with acne and coming to terms with her sexuality, Melanie shows us how through difficult times we can learn the most about ourselves. And that, by learning to value and love ourselves, we can overcome whatever life throws at us..

Business & Economics

On the Nature of Human Resource Development | Monica Lee

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The nature of human resource development (HRD) has been, and remains, a contested topic – the debate was sparked in part by Monica Lee’s seminal 2001 paper which refused to define the discipline of HRD, but has been accentuated by increasing globalization, political unrest, inequality and the erosion of boundaries. Should HRD now be seen as more than ‘training,’ or a sub-function of large western bureaucracy? This book represents a very wide view of HRD: that it is at the core of our ‘selves’ and our relationships, and that we continually co-create ourselves, our organisations and societies. These ideas are hung upon a model of Holistic Agency, and supported from sources as diverse as evolutionary psychology, science fiction, the challenges of transitional economies, and the structural uncertainties of contemporary society. Examining the tensions between self and other, agency and structure, the book draws inspiration from an almost-autoethnographic approach. This yields a text that is personal, entertaining, and easier to read than many academic tomes – yet considers the depth and development of the human condition, and locates HRD within that..

Social Science

The Singularity Is Near | Ray Kurzweil

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“Startling in scope and bravado.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times “Artfully envisions a breathtakingly better world.” —Los Angeles Times “Elaborate, smart and persuasive.” —The Boston Globe “A pleasure to read.” —The Wall Street Journal One of CBS News’s Best Fall Books of 2005 • Among St Louis Post-Dispatch’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2005 • One of Amazon.com’s Best Science Books of 2005 A radical and optimistic view of the future course of human development from the bestselling author of How to Create a Mind and The Singularity is Nearer who Bill Gates calls “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence” For over three decades, Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations..

Fiction

Klara and the Sun | Kazuo Ishiguro

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The magnificent new novel from Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro--author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day. “The Sun always has ways to reach us.” From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. In Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?.

Juvenile Nonfiction

Hubots | Helaine Becker

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The future is now. Here come the hubots! Using increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and embodied intelligence (EI), a new generation of robots is being designed to look, act and even think just like humans! Hubots, or human-inspired robots, are expanding the boundaries of what robots can do. For example, they can fight fires on the high seas, set up colonies on other planets and provide humans with companionship. This book introduces readers to ten different robots, the challenges they were each designed to meet and the superpowers that enable them to take on tasks humans can’t. Human-like robots live among us!.

Fiction

The Art of Racing in the Rain | Garth Stein

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NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM FOX 2000 STARRING MILO VENTIMIGLIA, AMANDA SEYFRIED, AND KEVIN COSTNER MEET THE DOG WHO WILL SHOW THE WORLD HOW TO BE HUMAN The New York Times bestselling novel from Garth Stein—a heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope—a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it. “Splendid.” —People “The perfect book for anyone who knows that compassion isn’t only for humans, and that the relationship between two souls who are meant for each other never really comes to an end. Every now and then I’m lucky enough to read a novel I can’t stop thinking about: this is one of them.” —Jodi Picoult “It’s impossible not to love Enzo.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune “This old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human. I loved this book.” —Sara Gruen.

Fiction

Only Human | Sylvain Neuvel

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Pacific Rim meets The Martian in the explosive follow-up to Sleeping Giants (“One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory.”—NPR) and Waking Gods (“Pure, unadulterated literary escapism.”—Kirkus Reviews). Brilliant scientist Rose Franklin has devoted her adult life to solving the mystery she accidentally stumbled upon as a child: a huge metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. The discovery set in motion a cataclysmic chain of events with geopolitical ramifications. Rose and the Earth Defense Corps raced to master the enigmatic technology, as giant robots suddenly descended on Earth’s most populous cities, killing one hundred million people in the process. Though Rose and her team were able to fend off the attack, their victory was short-lived. The mysterious invaders retreated, disappearing from the shattered planet . . . but they took the scientist and her crew with them. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find a devastating new war—this time between humans. America and Russia are locked in combat, fighting to fill the power vacuum left behind after the invasion. Families are torn apart, friends become bitter enemies, and countries collapse in the wake of the battling superpowers. It appears the aliens left behind their titanic death machines so humankind will obliterate itself. Rose is determined to find a solution, whatever it takes. But will she become a pawn in a doomsday game no one can win? Praise for Only Human “Packing a surprisingly powerful thematic punch, this novel is an addictive blend of science fiction, apocalyptic thriller, and chillingly timely cautionary tale. Two (giant, robotic) thumbs up!”—Kirkus Reviews “Boasting a winning combination of briskly paced action and futuristic dystopia tempered by cautious optimism, Only Human brings a fitting, satisfying end to the Themis Files series.”—RT Book Reviews “This action-packed tale with apocalyptic stakes is a fitting finale to this wonderfully cinematic series.”—Publishers Weekly “Series fans will be eager for Neuvel’s ever-so-satisfying conclusion to his rip-roaring science-fiction adventure tale.”—Booklist Don’t miss any of The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel: SLEEPING GIANTS | WAKING GODS | ONLY HUMAN.

Science

CRISPR People | Henry T. Greely

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What does the birth of babies whose embryos had gone through genome editing mean--for science and for all of us? In November 2018, the world was shocked to learn that two babies had been born in China with DNA edited while they were embryos--as dramatic a development in genetics as the cloning of Dolly the sheep was in 1996. In this book, Hank Greely, a leading authority on law and genetics, tells the fascinating story of this human experiment and its consequences. Greely explains what Chinese scientist He Jiankui did, how he did it, and how the public and other scientists learned about and reacted to this unprecedented genetic intervention..

Business & Economics

A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence | Kartik Hosanagar

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A Wharton professor and tech entrepreneur examines how algorithms and artificial intelligence are starting to run every aspect of our lives, and how we can shape the way they impact us Through the technology embedded in almost every major tech platform and every web-enabled device, algorithms and the artificial intelligence that underlies them make a staggering number of everyday decisions for us, from what products we buy, to where we decide to eat, to how we consume our news, to whom we date, and how we find a job. We've even delegated life-and-death decisions to algorithms--decisions once made by doctors, pilots, and judges. In his new book, Kartik Hosanagar surveys the brave new world of algorithmic decision-making and reveals the potentially dangerous biases they can give rise to as they increasingly run our lives. He makes the compelling case that we need to arm ourselves with a better, deeper, more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon of algorithmic thinking. And he gives us a route in, pointing out that algorithms often think a lot like their creators--that is, like you and me. Hosanagar draws on his experiences designing algorithms professionally--as well as on history, computer science, and psychology--to explore how algorithms work and why they occasionally go rogue, what drives our trust in them, and the many ramifications of algorithmic decision-making. He examines episodes like Microsoft's chatbot Tay, which was designed to converse on social media like a teenage girl, but instead turned sexist and racist; the fatal accidents of self-driving cars; and even our own common, and often frustrating, experiences on services like Netflix and Amazon. A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence is an entertaining and provocative look at one of the most important developments of our time and a practical user's guide to this first wave of practical artificial intelligence..

Literary Criticism

Ghost, Android, Animal | Tony M. Vinci

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Ghost, Android, Animal challenges the notion that trauma literature functions as a healing agent for victims of severe pain and loss by bringing trauma studies into the orbit of posthumanist thought. Investigating how literary representations of ghosts, androids, and animals engage traumatic experience, this book revisits canonical texts by William Faulkner and Toni Morrison and aligns them with experimental and popular texts by Shirley Jackson, Philip K. Dick, and Clive Barker. In establishing this textual field, the book reveals how depictions of non-human agents invite readers to cross subjective and cultural thresholds and interact with the "impossible" pain of others. Ultimately, this study asks us to consider new practices for reading trauma literature that enlarges our conceptions of the human and the real..

History

A Short History of the World | H. G. Wells

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"A Short History of the World" by H. G. Wells. Published by Good Press. Good Press publishes a wide range of titles that encompasses every genre. From well-known classics & literary fiction and non-fiction to forgotten−or yet undiscovered gems−of world literature, we issue the books that need to be read. Each Good Press edition has been meticulously edited and formatted to boost readability for all e-readers and devices. Our goal is to produce eBooks that are user-friendly and accessible to everyone in a high-quality digital format..

Fiction

Baron Trump's Marvellous Underground Journey (Illustrated Edition) | Ingersoll Lockwood

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"Baron Trump's Marvellous Underground Journey" is a novel from a Baron Trump series written by Ingersoll Lockwood. In this book, Baron sets on an adventure in the land of Transparent Folk, the land of ant people, and the Happy Forgetters land. All these lands are placed deep below the dirt in Russia. They dread remembering anything and will, like history, forget Baron Trump soon after he goes above ground..

Philosophy

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding | John Locke

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In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, first published in 1690, John Locke (1632-1704) provides a complete account of how we acquire everyday, mathematical, natural scientific, religious and ethical knowledge. Rejecting the theory that some knowledge is innate in us, Locke argues that it derives from sense perceptions and experience, as analysed and developed by reason. While defending these central claims with vigorous common sense, Locke offers many incidental - and highly influential - reflections on space and time, meaning, free will and personal identity. The result is a powerful, pioneering work, which, together with Descartes's works, largely set the agenda for modern philosophy..