Adam's Creatures, or The Book of Robots : The Rise of Robots, Intelligent Agents and Machines that Learn from Humans

Adam's Creatures, or The Book of Robots : The Rise of Robots, Intelligent Agents and Machines that Learn from Humans


Robots and automatons in myth, in fiction, in movies and in reality have fascinated and frightened human beings for millennia from The Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes to The Blade Runner and Terminator movies. Ideas about intelligent automated beings have appeared in novels by Isaac Asimov and even in physical reality such as the Francine automaton built by the philosopher Rene Descartes and today's Atlas and Asimo robots. In Adam's Creatures, or The Book of Robots: The Rise of Robots, Intelligent Agents and Machines that Learn from Humans, Robert J. Betts explores the evolution of robots, automatons, artificial intelligence and also various ideas that human writers and scientists both have explored about them throughout Western history. Here one spans centuries of myth and fiction to actual facts about real robots and artificial intelligence, from the bronze automaton named Talos in The Argonautica to the Voyager space probes, industrial robots, Marvin Minsky's perceptrons, self-driving cars and Watson. We learn also about the contributions from some of the most important personalities in computing, computer science and AI like Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy. But in Adam's Creatures: The Book of Robots, we see also that many writers even centuries and decades ago, anticipated how things can go horribly wrong when humans are careless enough to let their intelligent machines first learn the wrong things then act on them. In Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, the Monster behaved exactly like many human psychopaths today behave who, when motivated by egotism, personal offense or anger, are determined to obtain what they want through bullying or violence. In the film Metropolis the German film director Fritz Lang predicted how increased mechanization can lead to the dehumanization of human workers and that even the most attractive and human looking machine like his Maria "Doppelgaengerin" can be used to deceive human beings into doing evil and violent things. Then too everyone remembers how the Hal 9000 computer turned homicidal in the movie: 2001, A Space Odyssey. In the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the good android Data had his evil and egotistical android twin named Lor. Moreover there are very serious future dangers that lie ahead with the use of intelligent robots and AI by men and women, but not because of the development of robots and AI in itself. Rather this is because human history is replete already with examples of what happens when humans, even world leaders, use brand new technologies in the wrong ways. One day: 1. Malicious software such as viruses, worms and Trojans will become intelligent. 2. Robots with which humans have had sex can become jealous or violent. 3. Self-Driving cars suddenly can be ``possessed" by intelligent malware to kill people on roads and highways. 4. Attractive looking robot maids and butlers can be programmed by enemy countries to kill, to blackmail or to deceive foreign political leaders or diplomats. Intelligent machines learn how to act from intelligent humans. Like father, like son. In Adam's Creatures: The Book of Robots, all humanity, including robotics and AI developers, is confronted with a dire warning as to what inevitable future horrors will happen if the human race never succeeds in managing its own darker moral impulses.

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Robert J Betts
Paperback | 226 pages
152 x 229 x 12mm | 308g
Publication date
04 Feb 2017
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform