Darwin Among The Machines: The Evolution Of Global Intelligence by George Dyson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
OMG, I never imagined that non-fiction could be this FUN. Not only fun but sometimes mind-blowing.
In a nutshell, we're taking a history of science course that leads with Evolutionary science in the nitty-gritty and leads us through the history of math and computer science evolution, leading us through Turing, missile defense analytics, Game Theory, and above all... Artificial Intelligence.
Let me clear on this, however. I've read a lot of these kinds of things before, so I really enjoyed all the new details that I may have missed or had now come to light in the full scope of what George Dyson has accomplished, but more than that, I REALLY loved the big picture that he painted.
This is history and science, yes, of course, but it's also philosophy. He made a very readable and rich book that pays huge homage to von Neumann. Emergence is the keyword... but don't take my word for it. This is one of the very best and most informative non-fiction books on Artificial Intelligence I've ever read, and it barely scratches the surface of actual Artifical Intelligence.
What it does do in spades is give us the foundation for all the directions it can take. And it also gives us fantastic insight into what we ARE.
Oh, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the passages about Olaf Stapleton. There's another visionary. :)
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