Machines That Think: The Future of Artificial Intelligence (Paperback)

Machines That Think: The Future of Artificial Intelligence By Toby Walsh Cover Image

Machines That Think: The Future of Artificial Intelligence (Paperback)


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A scientist who has spent a career developing Artificial Intelligence takes a realistic look at the technological challenges and assesses the likely effect of AI on the future.
How will Artificial Intelligence (AI) impact our lives? Toby Walsh, one of the leading AI researchers in the world, takes a critical look at the many ways in which "thinking machines" will change our world.

Based on a deep understanding of the technology, Walsh describes where Artificial Intelligence is today, and where it will take us.

   • Will automation take away most of our jobs?
   • Is a "technological singularity" near?
   • What is the chance that robots will take over?
   • How do we best prepare for this future?

The author concludes that, if we plan well, AI could be our greatest legacy, the last invention human beings will ever need to make.
Toby Walsh is one of the world's leading experts in artificial intelligence (AI). Professor Walsh's research focuses on how computers can interact with humans to optimize decision-making for the common good. He is also a passionate advocate for limits to ensure AI is used to improve, not take, lives. In 2015, Professor Walsh was one of the people behind an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous weapons or "killer robots" that was signed by more than 3000 AI researchers and high-profile scientists, entrepreneurs, and intellectuals. He was subsequently invited by Human Rights Watch to talk at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva. Professor Walsh is a Fellow of the Australia Academy of Science and of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and was recently awarded the 2016 NSW Premier's Prize for Excellence in Engineering and Information and Communications Technologies.

Walsh has been interviewed several hundred times, appearing on NPR (US), BBC (UK), CCTV (China), CNN (US), RT (Russia), and in publications including the Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, and New Scientist. He also regularly writes for outlets like American Scientist, New Scientist, and Conversation.

Product Details ISBN: 9781633883758
ISBN-10: 1633883752
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication Date: February 20th, 2018
Pages: 335
Language: English
“You’ve heard the hype; now read about the reality from one of the leading researchers in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). In his elegant prose,Toby Walsh describes the past, present, and future of AI—culminating in ten tantalizing predictions for the impact of AI on medicine, transportation, entertainment, and more by 2050.” 

—Oren Etzioni, CEO, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

“A whirlwind tour through the history and the future of AI—and why it matters to all of us. A must-read.”

—Sebastian Thrun, founder of Google X, cofounder of Udacity, former professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford University, and Google Fellow

“A comprehensive overview that avoids the hype and explains what AI can actually do, written by an expert practitioner of the field.”

—Peter Norvig, director of research at Google, and coauthor of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

“Toby Walsh is one of those rare individuals who combine a deep knowledge of AI technology, a serious interest in its economic and social implications, and a verve for lively and engaging writing. If you want real insights about the coming future of machines that think better and faster than humans in more and more domains, then you need to read this book.”

—Erik Brynjolfsson, professor at MIT and coauthor of The Second Machine Age and Machine, Platform, Crowd

“The enormous public interest in AI has ironically given rise to the ‘everybody is an AI expert’ phenomenon, with the consequence that many of the books written for the public about AI are authored by people with little technical background in AI. This book is very different. Toby Walsh is a first-rate researcher in AI who transmits both an understanding of the history and current state of the field, and an educated speculation on its future trajectory and impacts.”

Subbarao Kambhampati, professor, Arizona State University, and president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence

“Walsh’s story of how artificial intelligence evolved from the dreams of Alan Turing to a powerful technological force today is exciting, insightful, and incisive. Will his predictions about how AI will change life as we know it in the coming decades prove equally dead-on? I, for one, would not bet against him!”

—Henry Kautz, past president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and founding director of the Institute for Data Science, and professor at the University of Rochester

“This concise but clear and readable overview of the history, current status, and probable near future of AI is a welcome relief from a great deal of breathless hype we have been hearing recently. Toby Walsh’s expertise is welcome, but his levelheaded treatment is even more so.”

—J. Storrs Hall, PhD, AI researcher and author of Beyond AI