Machines of Loving Grace PDF ☆ Machines of PDF or

  • Hardcover
  • 400 pages
  • Machines of Loving Grace
  • John Markoff
  • English
  • 10 March 2015
  • 9780062266682

10 thoughts on “Machines of Loving Grace

  1. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    Open the pod bay doors HAL I’m sorry Dave I’m afraid I can’t do that What’s the problem? I think you know what the problem is just as well as I doWhat are you talking about HAL?This machine is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it from 2001 A Space OdysseySmile for the camera HAL This is probably the #1 image most of us of a certain age have concerning the dangers of AI Whether it is a HAL 9000 or a T 70 T 800 T 888 or T 900 Terminator a Cylon a science officer on the Nostromo a dark version Lore of a benign android like STNG’s Commander Data killer robots on the contemporary TV series Extant or another of only a gazillion other examples in written word TV and cinema there has for some time now been a concern expressed through our entertainment media that in seeking to rely and on computers for everything we do we are making a Mephistophelian deal and our machines might become our masters It is as if we a world of Geppettos have decided to make our Pinocchios into real boys without knowing if they will be content to help out in the shop or turn out like some other artificial being Maybe we should find a way to include in all AI software some version of the Blue Fairy to keep the souls of the machines on a righteous path CylonsJohn Markoff an Oakland CA native has been covering the digital revolution for his entire career He began writing for InfoWorld in 1981 was later an editor at Byte magazine for about eight bits then wrote about Silicon Valley for the San Francisco Examiner In 1988 he began writing for the Business Section of the New York Times where he remains to this day He has been covering most of the folks mentioned in this book for a long time and has knowledge and insight into how they tick For the past half century an underlying tension between artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation—AI vs IA—has been at the heart of progress in computing science as the field has produced a series of ever powerful technologies that are transforming the world It is easy to argue that AI and IA are simply two sides of the same coin There is a fundamental distinction however between approaches to designing technology to benefit humans and designing technology as an end in itself Today that distinction is expressed in whether increasingly capable computers software and robots are designed to assist human users or to replace them Markoff follows the parallel tracks of AI vs IA from their beginnings to their latest implementation in the 21st century noting the steps along the way and pointing out some of the tropes and debates that have tagged along For example in 1993 Vernor Vinge San Diego State University professor of Mathematics and Hugo award winning sci fi author argued in The Coming Technological Singularity that by no later than 2030 computer scientists would have the ability to create a superhuman artificial intelligence and “the human era would be ended” VI Lenin once said “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them” I suppose the AI euivalent would be that “In pursuit of the almighty dollar capitalists will give artificial intelligence the abilities it will use to make itself our almighty ruler” And just in case you thought the chains on these things were firmly in place I regret to inform you that the great state of North Dakota now allows drones to fire tasers and tear gas The drones are still controlled by cops from a remote location but there is plenty to be concerned about from military killer drones that may have the capacity to make kill no kill decisions within the next few years without the benefit of human input Enough concern that Autonomous Weapons an Open Letter from AI Robotics Researchers signed by luminaries like Stephen Hawking Elon Musk and tens of thousands of others raises an alarm and demands that limits be taken so that human decision making will remain in the loop on issues of mortalityThe other Mister “T”Being “in the loop” is one of the major elements in looking at AI vs IA Are people part of the process or what computerization seeks to replace? The notion of the driverless car comes in for a considerable look This would probably not be a great time to begin a career as truck driver cab driver or delivery person On the other hand much design is intended to help folks without taking over A classic example of this is Siri the voice interface available in Apple products AI in tech interfaces particularly voice intelligent tech speaks to a bright futureB9 from Lost in Space and Robby the Robot from Forbidden PlanetMarkoff looks at the history of funding research and rationales The Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA which has funded so much AI research began in the 1950s in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik Drones is an obvious use for military AI tech but on a lower level there are robot mules designed to tote gear alongside grunts with enough native smarts to follow their assigned GI without having to be constantly told what to do I am including links in the EXTRA STUFF section below for some of these They are both fascinating and creepy to behold The developers at Boston Dynamics seem to take inordinate glee in trying and failing to knock these critters over with a well placed foot to the midsection It does not take a lot of imagination to envision these metal pooches hounding escaped prisoners or detainees across any kind of terrainDarryl Hannah as the replicant Pris in Blade Runner would prefer not to be “retired”As with most things tech designed with AI capacity can be used for diverse applications Search and Rescue can easily become Search and Destroy Driverless cars that allow folks to relax while on the road can just as easily be driverless tanks Universities have been prime in putting the intel into AI Private companies have also been heavily involved Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center PARC did probably than any other organization to define the look and feel of computer interfaces since PCs and Apples first appeared Much of the tech in the world and working its way there originates with researchers taking university research work into the proprietary marketJohn Markoff from TechfestNWIf you are not already a tech nerd You with the Spock ears down I said tech nerd not Trek nerd Sheesh and you try to keep up with all the names and acronyms that spin past like a stock market ticker on meth it might be just a teensy bit overwhelming I suggest not worrying about those and take in instead the general stream of the divergence between computerization that helps augment human capabilities and computerization that replaces people There is also a wealth of acronyms in the book The copy I read was an ARE so I was on my own to keep track You will be reading copies that have an actual index which should help That said I am including a list of acronyms and their close relations in the EXTRA STUFF section belowWhile there are too many names to comfortably keep track of in Machines of Loving Grace unless of course you were made operational at that special plant in Urbana Illinois it is a very informative and interesting book It never hurts when trying to understand where we are and struggling to foresee where we might be going to have a better grasp on where we began and what the forces and decisions have been that led us from then to now Markoff has offered a fascinating history of the augment vs replace struggle and you need only an actual biological un augmented intelligence to get the full benefit My instructor was Mister Langley and he taught me to sing a song If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you Review Posted – 82815Publication date 8252015EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s Twitter and FB pagesInterviews with the author Geekwire EdgeA link to his overall index of NY Times work Articles by Markoff 92115 Software Is Smart Enough for SAT but Still Far From Intelligent 12415 As Aging Population Grows So Do Robotic Health Aides 121115 on the establishment of a billion dollar AI think tank by Elon Musk among other large players Artificial Intelligence Research Center Is Founded by Silicon Valley Investors 32516 Markoff and Steve Lohr look at corporate competition to lead a burgeoning industry segment The Race Is On to Control Artificial Intelligence and Tech’s Future 41116 Folks are saying Uh oh to AI on a move to rein in killer robots Arms Control Groups Urge Human Control of Robot Weaponry 102316 As Artificial Intelligence Evolves So Does Its Criminal Potential cybercrime is becoming automated and it is scaling exponentially 102516 – with Matthew Rosenberg The Pentagon’s ‘Terminator Conundrum’ Robots That Could Kill on Their Own 52120 A Case for Cooperation Between Machines and Humans on AI vs IASee Comment 2 for EXTRA STUFF

  2. HBalikov HBalikov says:

    Machines of Loving Grace straddles the realms of a history of robotics and a klaxon warning about where we might be heading Markoff starts off when all the computing power contained in a 40x40 foot room wasn’t sufficient to help a machine roll from one wall to the door on the opposite side We learn that early on there was a dichotomy in how our deepcreative thinkers were considering the role of machines in humankind’s future According to Markoff one group IA was interested in augmenting our abilities by the use of electronic and mechanical euipment such as the personal computer and now the smart phone The other group AI was interested in how machines robots etc can replace humans in the various tasks and activities that make up our lives The latter has garnered the bulk of interest from those who created our movies and speculative fiction Concepts such as “SkyNet” from the Terminator series and HAL from 2001 A Space Odyssey have achieved iconic status in the chronicle of the unintended conseuences of scientific investigation This was a slow read because there was so much going on and Markoff spares few details He is strongest when he has personal contact with various innovators and can share with us their failures and triumphs and how they got from Point A to Point Z You may be prepared to delve into this material than I was Each section of each chapter challenged me with conflicting ideas strategies and tactics I am not criticizing Markoff for his failure to simplify because simplification would have rendered this read much less valuable I am only cautioning that you should be prepared to take some time getting from page 1 to page 300An early disappointment is Markoff's generalizations He conflates the middle class economic with the middle of the job structure organizational His points apply much better to the latter rather than the former Further Markoff isn’t completely successful in knitting together the facts and anecdotes about a wide variety of researchers and milestones over the past eighty years Yet if the reader perseveres there is a lot to be gleaned from what the author has gathered together And the list of source materials included is a rich trove for those interested in arriving at their own conclusions

  3. Miles Miles says:

    John Markoff’s Machines of Loving Grace The uest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots is another addition to the growing stack of books designed to help us think about the relationship between humanity and emerging technologies Markoff offers a detailed history of artificial intelligence and robotics and attempts to show how past trends are relevant or not to the modern moment Although the book touches on some important themes it’s significantly inferior to other texts I’ve read in this field eg recent works by Martin Ford Nick Bostrom James Barrat and Ted ChuThe focal point of Markoff’s project is the paradox of automation “The same technologies that extend the intellectual power of humans can displace them as well” xii He draws a sharp distinction between artificial intelligence AI and intelligence augmentation IA claiming that advances in AI tend to replace human labor whereas IA usually amplifies the abilities of human workers The usefulness of this dichotomy is dubious because there’s no reason why AI must necessarily displace human labor while IA doesn’t eg a breakthrough in AI could create an entirely new job market for humans and a breakthrough in IA could make it possible for one human to do the work of ten Markoff comes down firmly on the side of IA and he’s not alone many top minds in AI research have forsaken it for the IA camp in recent yearsComplementing Markoff’s thesis are a host of worthy topics including the backgrounds and values of technology designers growing worries about technological unemployment the financial relationship between technology companies and the US military and reformulations of human identity that will take place in an age of increasingly autonomous machines In general Markoff looks back than he looks ahead; Machines of Loving Grace is heavy on facts and proper nouns but light on ideas and insights that might prove useful moving forwardThe strongest and freshest argument here is that building a human element into new technologies is primarily a design choice and not just a matter of efficiency or convenience The views of designers then matter a great dealDespite the growing debate over the conseuences of the next generation of automation there has been very little discussion about the designers and their values When pressed the computer scientists roboticists and technologists offer conflicting views Some want to replace humans with machines; some are resigned to the inevitabilityand some of them just as passionately want to build machines to extend the reach of humans 26 Since discussions of technological “progress” have a tendency to reach absurd levels of abstraction Markoff’s determination to put a human face on our technological vanguard is welcome He outlines the early influences and careers of a long list of technologists demonstrating an impressive breadth of research The reader gains a concrete sense of the human stories and motivations behind some of our most ubiuitous toolsThis approach however has some significant downsides Markoff seems to have fallen down the Silicon Valley rabbit hole at least partially buying into the cults of personality for which it has become so notorious In addition to highlighting the values and formative experiences of technologists Markoff also wastes many pages describing obscure projects that went nowhere and inane details about who worked for what company or knew the right people in the right moment Here’s a typical exampleIn 1999 Andy Rubin started Palo Alto based Danger Inc a smartphone handset maker with two close friends who had also been Apple engineers The company name reflected Rubin’s early obsession with robots In the 1960s science fiction television series Lost in Space a robot guardian for a young boy would say “Danger Will Robinson” whenever trouble loomed Danger created an early smartphone called the Sidekick which was released in 2002 It attracted a diverse cult following with its switchblade style slide out keyboard downloadable software email and backups of personal information in “the cloud” While most businesspeople were still chained to their BlackBerrys the Sidekick found popularity among young people and hipsters many of whom switched from PalmPilots 240 1Ugh Who gives a shit? There’s a reason the Sidekick isn’t a household name This “inside” information is irrelevant for anyone who is not a technology entrepreneur or historian and contributes nothing to Markoff’s ostensible goals This summary of Rubin’s career could easily have been condensed down to a sentence or two or excised entirely The odd paragraph like this wouldn’t be so bad but the majority of the book is padded with details that trump perspective Markoff’s “one damn thing after another” style is stifling––even the sections on topics that interested me were boring to readIf surfeits of superfluous detail and lifeless prose were my biggest gripes I’d give this book a higher rating But there are much troubling issues the first of which goes back to Markoff’s fuzzy distinction between AI and IA These labels are useful to an extent and there are definitely important differences between the goals and practices of AI and IA researchers Markoff points out that the two fields don’t overlap as much as one might expect 282 Even so I’m not convinced the dichotomy cashes out the way Markoff wants it to His final characterization of the situation is tellingWhether computing technologies are deployed to extend human capabilities or to replace them is a conseuence of the particular economic system in which they are created and used than anything inherent in the technologies themselves In a capitalist economy if artificial intelligence technologies improve to the point that they can replace new kinds of white collar and professional workers they will inevitably be used in that way That lesson carries forward in the differing approaches of the software engineers AI researchers roboticists and hackers who are the designers of these future systems It should be obvious that Bill Joy’s warning that ‘the future doesn’t need us’ is just one possible outcome It is eually apparent that the world transformed by these technologies doesn’t have to play out catastrophically 342 3This is an adeuate summary of the current technological moment and I appreciate Markoff’s attempt to point out the possible ways the AIIA revolution might pan out But this perspective also contradicts the dichotomy put forth in the rest of the text Markoff consistently draws a bright line between a future where machines replace human labor entirely and one where they make us better at our jobs But it should be clear to anyone paying attention that both of these scenarios are inevitable AI and IA will both have critical roles in the economies of the future Further a future that “doesn’t need us” isn’t necessarily a catastrophe Humanity might give up its status as Earth’s apex intelligence but that doesn’t mean doom in all cases Beyond many possible positive outcomes for humans this might also mean a reprieve for our long abused natural environments A future that runs like a self driving car than a human operated one could be better in countless waysBy far the weakest aspect of Machines of Loving Grace is its sanguine attitude about technological unemployment Markoff seems content to think that the IA camp will save us by extending the capabilities of human workers but fails to realize that that process is a hallmark of the “do with less” outsourcing culture non elite workers have been battling for decades The prevailing order demonstrates that when one human can do fewer humans are necessary CEOs and shareholders cheer jobs evaporate and remaining workers have to work harder which they do without complaint for fear that they too will become dispensable So regardless of whether we decide to favor AI or IA technological unemployment will still be a major problem For an up to date look at wages and employment statistics I recommend this recent podcast And here’s an interview with someone who takes technological unemployment seriously and wants to find workable solutionsI suspect Markoff’s blind spot has to do with his reluctance to address the modern concept of “work” He brushes off the arguments of Martin Ford and Jeremy Rifkin who warn that we need to shake up our ideas about labor and what it means to “make a living” if we want a future that’s better for everyone not just for the elites with whom Markoff is so smitten It doesn’t help that almost all his interview subjects are wealthy workaholics who have nothing in common with people who have to work menial mindless jobs just to get byMarkoff is so caught up in the history of technology that he doesn’t seem to realize that it’s not very useful for forecasting the future––especially not in a time when technological progress is advancing at an unprecedented pace Think of it this way how useful would a book about the history of computers that was published before the advent of the Internet be for people in the post Internet world? It probably wouldn’t amount to than a historical curiosity and its predictive power would be extremely limited if not entirely worthless We don’t know exactly where the next automation breakthroughs will come from but it’s a good bet that the world will look very different shortly thereafter If the perspectives put forth in Machines of Loving Grace are already uestionable how useful will they be then?The sad irony is that we should be excited about technological unemployment Why not focus on how AI and IA can positively affect human experience and communities rather than obsess about how they can supercharge our overly consumptive capitalist economies? We should welcome these developments as a chance to allow people to work less have time for their families and hobbies and use technology to discover new realms of entertainment and pleasure But to do this we’ll have to decouple healthcare from employment and also find ways to subsidize the living costs of people who can only find part time work or whose jobs are gone for good Markoff has nothing to say about these pressing matters nor does he mention the role of government in this process positive or otherwiseAll this indicates that Machines of Loving Grace doesn’t offer any practical answers to the problems it purports to address It’s of a historical overview peppered with Silicon Valley puff pieces “This is about us” Markoff concludes “about humans and the kind of world we will create It’s not about the machines” 344 Another trite dichotomy The truth is that the future will be a joint product of the commerce and competition between humanity and our machines It’s not only about us nor is it only about the machines The reality is far complexThis review was originally published on my blog wordsdirt

  4. Ross Ross says:

    This book was not a fit for me at all It is a big stretch to give it 2 stars Although I did finish it I skimmed virtually the whole bookThis is one of a number of books published recently about artificial intelligence and robots a subject I am extremely interested inHowever I am purely interested in the technology and although the title of the book says it about the machines 90% was about the people working on the technology and 10% on the technology The author is a journalist and his obvious interest is in the people whom he interviewed He clearly had little or no interest in the actual technology For the little he did talk about the technology he included no detail about how the technology workedI really cannot recommend this book for anyone

  5. Lauren Lauren says:

    An exhaustive history of robotics and AI from the 1960s to development of Siri in the 2000s The author is a journalist and digs deep into personal stories of everyone in early Silicon Valley and not enough into the technology itselfI started this one last year took a very long break and pushed myself to finishIt could have been so much better The title made me think it would be

  6. Rod Van Meter Rod Van Meter says:

    This book is ambitious it covers much of AI and robotics history despite the fact that those are two different if related fields going back to the work of Feigenbaum Winograd even Weiner No I take that back it's not strictly a history and that dichotomy isn't the way Markoff describes it He sets up Engelbart and McCarthy both at Stanford for much of their careers as mortal enemies the former wants to make tools that extend human capabilities Intelligence Augmentation or IA in Markoff's vernacular while the latter wants to make a true artificial intelligence made out of bits instead of blood algorithms rather than acids neural networks rather than neurons Okay that's maybe a bit over the top So Markoff tells the story of these two camps starting primarily in the 1960s and working forward to very much the present day the book was published in August 25 and I began reading it the day it came out He even covers the early rounds of the DARPA Grand Challenge for humanoid robots though not the finals by which time the book was in press It is up to date enough to cover Google's recent spending spree as well as its work on self driving vehicles Europe and Japan make only cameo appearances; all of the action is in the US and Canada it seemsThe book's breadth apparent completeness up to date ness and the direct access to key players that Markoff's calling card gained him are the book's strengths Despite the IA AI rivalry used as a theme throughout the book there is actually little philosophizing about whether or not robots or AIs will actually replace us edit I originally wrote whether or not humans will replace us blowing my own cover Please ignore that and rest assured that I meant whether or not robots or AIs will replace us and what the moral and even religious implications of the creation of a true thinking machine Oxford's Nick Bostrom author of Superintelligence Paths Dangers Strategies and head of Oxford's Institute for the Future of Humanity doesn't appear at all and Kurzweil makes only cameos as he is rightfully in my opinion dismissed as a nut This book then makes a good companion to Bostrom's For something in between the two Rise of the Robots Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future has a little of the paranoia and analysis of the social and economic impact of automation so the three books all of which I've read this year actually provide a reasonably complementary set If I could have a fourth book I'd ask for a semi technical one giving the general idea of how the technologies work without bothering with pseudocode and deep technical details and analysis but not totally dumbed down Finding one that's up to date as deep learning has revolutionized the field in the last three years is the hard partMarkoff writes well as befits someone of his stature and experience but the book needed an editor The first several chapters feel redundant; we're often reminded who someone is when they were introduced not so many pages ago There are also times when it's hard to match the timeline as Markoff follows people or themes rather than a strictly chronology The book feels like it parts of it at least were either written with large time gaps in between or that it was bolted together from prior works An editing pass by someone who sat down and read the whole thing end to end would have caught many of these This impression fades later in the bookIf you're interested in AI or robotics I would say this is a good place to start However I have never heard about the Engelbart McCarthy feud so I can't vouch for it independently

  7. Frank Frank says:

    Markoff's history of Artificial Intelligence AI research presents detailed and intersecting stories of the field's influential people and their projects Most of these people worked at or between the twin poles of Stanford and MIT As this reader spent many years involved in an IT career lots of the names and places in this book were familiar to me Albeit not personallyBesides the east and west cultural differences alluded to above Markoff presents a philosophical dichotomy which he terms AI vs IA Artificial Intelligence designed as a replacement for human intelligence vs Intelligence Augmentation designed to augment and assist human intelligence In other words AI tech would replace humans with autonomous machines whereas IA keeps humans in the loopThe cons are there's a lot of repetition in this book and the author is using the hook of fears of a robot takeover to hawk what is at base a history tome about AI researchers Be that as it may I did end up finishing this book I wasn't sure that was going to happen

  8. Fred P Fred P says:

    Author John Markoff has done his research He covers the history of robotics with a thorough approach focusing on the people who pushed the science forward as well as looking at the corporations who buy and promote robotics and their corporate culture Sadly he doesn't bring excitement to the project We are left with a lot of names and a general feeling of being disconnected The pace only gets exciting when he talks about the philosophical issues brought out by robotics You get the idea that the author wanted that to be the central theme but lost the dynamics along the way What you do get out of the book is that robotics were consistently funded by the military and proposed for military applications Companies like Google and Tesla may have invested in robotics as a way to manage the production to put controls on military applications but that's not proven by any interviews Really this book could have benifited a lot from some meaningful interviews

  9. Sakthi Sakthi says:

    A good book with lot of information dump I had given it a 4 instead of 5 because somewhere in the middle john had succumbed to a conflict on what he was writing about If it's going to be a treatise about AI vs IA or any the history of robotics or about the philosophical uestion on finding a balance between men and machines

  10. Gagan Garg Gagan Garg says:

    this is a best book of AI

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Machines of Loving Grace[EPUB] ✺ Machines of Loving Grace By John Markoff – Robots are poised to transform today's society as completely as the Internet did twenty years ago Pulitzer prize winning New York Times science writer John Markoff argues that we must decide to design Robots are poised to transform today's society as completely as the Internet Machines of PDF or did twenty years ago Pulitzer prize winning New York Times science writer John Markoff argues that we must decide to design ourselves into our future or risk being excluded from it altogetherIn the past decade Google introduced us to driverless cars; Apple debuted Siri a personal assistant that we keep in our pockets; and an Internet of Things connected the smaller tasks of everyday life to the farthest reaches of the Web Robots have become an integral part of society on the battlefield and the road; in business education and health care Cheap sensors and powerful computers will ensure that in the coming years these robots will act on their own This new era offers the promise of immensely powerful machines but it also reframes a uestion first raised than half a century ago when the intelligent machine was born Will we control these systems or will they control usIn Machines of Loving Grace John Markoff offers a sweeping history of the complicated and evolving relationship between humans and computers In recent years the pace of technological change has accelerated dramatically posing an ethical uandary If humans delegate decisions to machines who will be responsible for the conseuences As Markoff chronicles the history of automation from the birth of the artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation communities in the s and s to the modern day brain trusts at Google and Apple in Silicon Valley and on to the expanding robotics economy around Boston he traces the different ways developers have addressed this fundamental problem and urges them to carefully consider the conseuences of their work We are on the brink of the next stage of the computer revolution Markoff argues and robots will profoundly transform modern life Yet it remains for us to determine whether this new world will be a utopia Moreover it is now incumbent upon the designers of these robots to draw a bright line between what is human and what is machineAfter nearly forty years covering the tech industry Markoff offers an unmatched perspective on the most drastic technology driven societal shifts since the introduction of the Internet Machines of Loving Grace draws on an extensive array of research and interviews to present an eye opening history of one of the most pressing uestions of our time and urges us to remember that we still have the opportunity to design ourselves into the future—before it's too late.