Kurzweil reviews Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us by Rodney Brooks

From: John Thomas (jwthomas@sonic.net)
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 14:39:48 MST

>Ray Kurzweil reviews Rodney Brooks' latest book on robotics for
>Wired Magazine. See how the leading AI thinker and the foremost
>roboticist agree and disagree on reverse engineering the human
>brain, the Singularity, and the uniqueness of humankind.
>>As one of the world's leading roboticists, Rodney Brooks (Director
>>of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Chairman of the
>>successful iRobot Corporation) is also the consummate teacher. He
>>has a penchant for clear explanation and in his latest book, Brooks
>>lucidly explores a wide range of themes related to his life with
>>robots. These range from personal anecdotes (e.g., his first
>>encounter with another legendary robot builder, Hans Moravec, who
>>was then living in his Stanford laboratory and musing about exotic
>>topics ranging from sky hooks to tree-like robots), historical
>>vignettes (e.g., Marvin Minsky's unsuccessful attempt to solve the
>>computer "vision" problem in a single Summer in 1966), algorithmic
>>insights (e.g., how his Genghis robot achieved "animal-like
>>behavior" from a few dozen simple programs operating in parallel),
>>philosophical musings (e.g., what is the true nature of
>>consciousness, "apart from our own personal experience of what it
>>is like to be us?"), and ethical dilemmas (e.g., when will we need
>>to stop treating robots like slaves). The book ranges far and wide,
>>but maintains a unity around the author's passion for creating what
>>he calls "situated creatures," which we can eventually regard as
>>our teachers and companions.


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