This isn't anything that a million sci-fi paperbacks haven't already envisioned. The difference lies in Moravec's practical-minded mapping of the technological, economic, and social steps that could lead to that vision. Starting with the modest accomplishments of contemporary robotics research, he projects a likely course for the next 40 years of robot development, predicting the rise of superintelligent, creative, emotionally complex cyberbeings and the end of human labor by the middle of the next century.
After Moravec makes this point, his projections start to get really wild: robot corporations will take up residence in outer space with rogue cyborgs; planet-size robots will cruise the solar system looking for smaller bots to assimilate; and eventually every atom in the entire galaxy will be transformed into data-storage space, with a full-scale simulation of human civilization running as a subroutine somewhere.
His last chapter, which mingles the latest in avant-garde physics with hints of Borges's most intoxicating metaphysical conceits, is a breathtaking piece of hallucinatory eschatology. Moravec concludes by reminding us that even the wildest long-range predictions about the technological future never turn out to be as unhinged as they should have been. --Julian Dibbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“… change sculpted our universe and our society …” And by almost any measure society is changing faster than ever “a statement true for at... Read more
The book was full of boring historical details about past robots and far out predictions about the future of robots.
I stopped reading it and I donated it. Read more
Actually, I skimmed it and will re-read it someday when have time. Not a primary interest of mine, but I think it has some good information.Published 17 months ago by Jane Piazza
Fantastic and imaginary!
This has a stodgy slow start covering the early years of robotics. But after this the book goes off with a bang. Read more
From his credentials I am quite sure that Moravec is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to robotics. Read morePublished on April 5, 2010 by David Simpson
With high praise from such giants as Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Doctor David Brin on the dust jacket, I asked myself where I, unlettered and relative to them barely conscious, think... Read morePublished on September 4, 2006 by Arthur Tirrell
We all wish to know what will ultimately become of us, of that which we care about, the people we love. Read morePublished on June 21, 2005 by Shalom Freedman
I'll readily and happily admit that I'm no expert in robotics or the theory of Artificial Intelligence; I've had exactly one course in the subject, and know most of what I know... Read morePublished on April 3, 2005 by B. Turner
The best book on the future of robotics and automation! However, Hans believes robots are our wonderful mind children and should grow into powerful machines that evolve quickly... Read morePublished on September 11, 2004 by Jarek