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The Age of Intelligent Machines Paperback – January 30, 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a work the Association of American Publishers named the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990, Kurzweil and 23 other contributors explore the history and potential of artificial intelligence. Illustrated.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Raymond Kurzweil is the principal developer of the world's first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind; the first electronic keyboard that accurately recreates the sounds of the grand piano and other orchestral instruments; and the first large-vocabulary voice-activated word processor. His latest book is The Age of Spiritual Machines (Viking/Penguin).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 579 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (January 30, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262610795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262610797
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,186,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If this book doesn't have you sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation of the next paragraph, then you probably have no interest whatsoever in logic, mathematics, physics, computer technology, and artificial intelligence.

For me, it was breathtaking. There were times when I had to take a rest after each paragraph just to fully assimilate the ramifications of what Kurzweil was describing.

Higher intellects may be able to absorb this subject matter with less amazement. However, I enjoyed the ride.

Ray Kurzweil takes the time to explain in explicit detail where we have been and where we might be going in the area of artificial intelligence.

He is not only an inventor and a researcher, but he is also a teacher. A teacher is not satisfied until the student understands the material.

Some may say that this book is dated, but any introductory college AI course will cover the topics described in this book from the 1940's, 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's.

This book changed my life. I have continued my personal study of artificial intelligence after being inspired by this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book only recently, having read the author's two most recent books "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and his book "Kurzweil vs The Critics of Strong AI". Both are excellent books, and reflect the author's extreme optimism about the future of artificial intelligence. He is definitely one of the best apologists for AI, and documents well its living history. Reading this book after the recent ones gives an interesting comparison between what was real in AI then and what is real now. Indeed, the AI landscape has changed dramatically, and there were a few companies specializing in AI in business at the time of publication of this book, that are not around any longer. But for every company that has failed, there have been many more to take their place. Their character as companies has changed, due in part to the rise of the Internet. In fact, it is network engineering that has resulted in many of the applications of AI in the last 5 years, and those applications of course are not mentioned in this book, due to its date of publication.
The author begins the book with a discussion of what he calls "The Second Industrial Revolution", which, he claims, is now in progress, and is based on the rise of thinking machines. These machines will extend and leverage human mental abilities, he says, challenging the human uniqueness in this regard. He expresses caution over the idea of making our military defenses controlled by intelligent machines, at the same time expressing his confidence that machine intelligence will indeed be sophisticated enough for this to happen. This revolution is here he says, will be more radical than the first one, but cannot be stopped, and he encourages therefore the constructive use of its technology.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an awesome book. This was required reading for a Business Class reflecting a future perspective. It can be a little scary as machines become sentient and must take care of mankind as we become their pets. It uses facts from the past to project this potential future state for mankind.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even though it was written at the end of the eighties, it still has a lot of great info about artificial intelligence. An awesome introduction to the subject for someone who REALLY wants to get into the subject. I think it is great place to start if you are thinking of getting into AI development yourself. A nice overview of methodology and current limitations, while inspiring enough to get you started developing your own ideas.
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Format: Paperback
I have used this book for a course in Artificial Intelligence at the college level many times. The book was published in 1992, which is outdated in many areas. However, the historical development in AI is highly readable. Many predictions in the book turn out to be true. The new book by the same author is not good at all.
Ray has developed many applications in AI with his own company and enjoyed much success. He is a great role model for young entrepreneurs.
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