The Most Human Human

The Most Human Human

What Talking With Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive

Book - 2011
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The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can "think."

Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Tur­ing Test convenes a panel of judges who pose questions--ranging anywhere from celebrity gossip to moral conundrums--to hidden contestants in an attempt to discern which is human and which is a computer. The machine that most often fools the panel wins the Most Human Computer Award. But there is also a prize, bizarre and intriguing, for the Most Human Human.

In 2008, the top AI program came short of passing the Turing Test by just one astonishing vote. In 2009, Brian Christian was chosen to participate, and he set out to make sure Homo sapiens would prevail.

The author's quest to be deemed more human than a com­puter opens a window onto our own nature. Interweaving modern phenomena like customer service "chatbots" and men using programmed dialogue to pick up women in bars with insights from fields as diverse as chess, psychiatry, and the law, Brian Christian examines the philosophical, bio­logical, and moral issues raised by the Turing Test.

One central definition of human has been "a being that could reason." If computers can reason, what does that mean for the special place we reserve for humanity?
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385533065
Branch Call Number: ANF 128 CHR
Characteristics: ix, 303 p. ; 25 cm

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debwalker Jun 07, 2011

"Meticulously researched and accessibly written, The Most Human Human postulates that it isn't what separates us from animals that makes us human -- it's what connects us to them. "If you look at Descartes and Plato, they spend pages and pages and pages trying to conclusively prove that humans have souls and animals have nada," Christian said. "With the hindsight of what we know about technology, we can look at that and say that was a mistake. As we learn more about animals we are starting to learn that even though they don't have language and don't think logically, they have pretty accomplished cognitive skills."

m
mikeroyal
Mar 17, 2011

Am i human, or a computer?You've never met, heard or seen me.How do you know.? In the Turing test,judges communicating via computer must decide which one they are talking to.The computer that is the most convincingly human will be crowned the most human computer. the person who seems most human will be declared the most human human.The question,what makes us human, has been asked throughout history, but the answer keeps changing . from Socrates to Descartes, Ramachandran to Kasparov,author Brian Christian recounts the answers to this age old question, and why we need to ask. Are computers like Deep blue and Watson technological oddities or are they changing the answer yet again? Philosophy, language, history, technology, what more could you want in one book.An early contender for top read 2011.

hal oops I mean mike

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