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Computers

10 ARGUMENTS FOR DELETING YOUR

10 ARGUMENTS FOR DELETING YOUR

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A timely call-to-arms from a Silicon Valley pioneer.

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we're better off without them. In Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms.

Lanier's reasons for freeing ourselves from social media's poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more "connected" than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads. How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history that have no way of making money other than being paid to manipulate our behavior? How could the benefits of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom? Lanier remains a tech optimist, so while demonstrating the evil that rules social media business models today, he also envisions a humanistic setting for social networking that can direct us toward a richer and fuller way of living and connecting with our world.

Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism

Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism

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Former insider turned critic Wendy Liu busts the myths of the tech industry, and offers a galvanising argument for why and how we must reclaim technology's potential for the public good.

Former insider turned critic Wendy Liu busts the myths of the tech industry, and offers a galvanising argument for why and how we must reclaim technology's potential for the public good.

"Lucid, probing and urgent. Wendy Liu manages to be both optimistic about the emancipatory potential of tech and scathing about the industry that has harnessed it for bleak and self-serving ends." -- Naomi Klein, author of On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal

"An inspiring memoir manifesto...Technologists all over the world are realizing that no amount of code can substitute for political engagement. Liu's memoir is a road map for that journey of realization." -- Cory Doctorow, author of Radicalized and Little Brother

Innovation. Meritocracy. The possibility of overnight success. What's not to love about Silicon Valley?
These days, it's hard to be unambiguously optimistic about the growth-at-all-costs ethos of the tech industry. Public opinion is souring in the wake of revelations about Cambridge Analytica, Theranos, and the workplace conditions of Amazon workers or Uber drivers. It's becoming clear that the tech industry's promised "innovation" is neither sustainable nor always desirable.

Abolish Silicon Valley is both a heartfelt personal story about the wasteful inequality of Silicon Valley, and a rallying call to engage in the radical politics needed to upend the status quo. Going beyond the idiosyncrasies of the individual founders and companies that characterise the industry today, Wendy Liu delves into the structural factors of the economy that gave rise to Silicon Valley as we know it. Ultimately, she proposes a more radical way of developing technology, where innovation is conducted for the benefit of society at large, and not just to enrich a select few.

ART OF INVISIBILITY

ART OF INVISIBILITY

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Be online without leaving a trace. Your every step online is being tracked and stored, and your identity literally stolen. Big companies and big governments want to know and exploit what you do, and privacy is a luxury few can afford or understand.

In this explosive yet practical book, Kevin Mitnick uses true-life stories to show exactly what is happening without your knowledge, teaching you "the art of invisibility" -- online and real-world tactics to protect you and your family, using easy step-by-step instructions.

Reading this book, you will learn everything from password protection and smart Wi-Fi usage to advanced techniques designed to maximize your anonymity. Kevin Mitnick knows exactly how vulnerabilities can be exploited and just what to do to prevent that from happening.

The world's most famous -- and formerly the US government's most wanted -- computer hacker, he has hacked into some of the country's most powerful and seemingly impenetrable agencies and companies, and at one point was on a three-year run from the FBI. Now Mitnick is reformed and widely regarded as the expert on the subject of computer security. Invisibility isn't just for superheroes; privacy is a power you deserve and need in the age of Big Brother and Big Data.

ARTIFICIAL UNINTELLIGENCE

ARTIFICIAL UNINTELLIGENCE

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A guide to understanding the inner workings and outer limits of technology and why we should never assume that computers always get it right.

In Artificial Unintelligence, Meredith Broussard argues that our collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a tremendous amount of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally--hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners--that we have stopped demanding that our technology actually work. Broussard, a software developer and journalist, reminds us that there are fundamental limits to what we can (and should) do with technology. With this book, she offers a guide to understanding the inner workings and outer limits of technology--and issues a warning that we should never assume that computers always get things right.

Making a case against technochauvinism--the belief that technology is always the solution--Broussard argues that it's just not true that social problems would inevitably retreat before a digitally enabled Utopia. To prove her point, she undertakes a series of adventures in computer programming. She goes for an alarming ride in a driverless car, concluding "the cyborg future is not coming any time soon"; uses artificial intelligence to investigate why students can't pass standardized tests; deploys machine learning to predict which passengers survived the Titanic disaster; and attempts to repair the U.S. campaign finance system by building AI software. If we understand the limits of what we can do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we should do with it to make the world better for everyone.

CODERS

CODERS

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Hello, world.

Facebook's algorithms shaping the news. Self-driving cars roaming the streets. Revolution on Twitter and romance on Tinder. We live in a world constructed of code--and coders are the ones who built it for us. From acclaimed tech writer Clive Thompson comes a brilliant anthropological reckoning with the most powerful tribe in the world today, computer programmers, in a book that interrogates who they are, how they think, what qualifies as greatness in their world, and what should give us pause. They are the most quietly influential people on the planet, and Coders shines a light on their culture.

In pop culture and media, the people who create the code that rules our world are regularly portrayed in hackneyed, simplified terms, as ciphers in hoodies. Thompson goes far deeper, dramatizing the psychology of the invisible architects of the culture, exploring their passions and their values, as well as their messy history. In nuanced portraits, Coders takes us close to some of the great programmers of our time, including the creators of Facebook's News Feed, Instagram, Google's cutting-edge AI, and more. Speaking to everyone from revered 10X elites to neophytes, back-end engineers and front-end designers, Thompson explores the distinctive psychology of this vocation--which combines a love of logic, an obsession with efficiency, the joy of puzzle-solving, and a superhuman tolerance for mind-bending frustration.

Along the way, Coders thoughtfully ponders the morality and politics of code, including its implications for civic life and the economy. Programmers shape our everyday behavior: When they make something easy to do, we do more of it. When they make it hard or impossible, we do less of it. Thompson wrestles with the major controversies of our era, from the disruption fetish of Silicon Valley to the struggle for inclusion by marginalized groups.

In his accessible, erudite style, Thompson unpacks the surprising history of the field, beginning with the first coders -- brilliant and pioneering women, who, despite crafting some of the earliest personal computers and programming languages, were later written out of history. Coders introduces modern crypto-hackers fighting for your privacy, AI engineers building eerie new forms of machine cognition, teenage girls losing sleep at 24/7 hackathons, and unemployed Kentucky coal-miners learning a new career.

At the same time, the book deftly illustrates how programming has become a marvelous new art form--a source of delight and creativity, not merely danger. To get as close to his subject as possible, Thompson picks up the thread of his own long-abandoned coding skills as he reckons, in his signature, highly personal style, with what superb programming looks like.

To understand the world today, we need to understand code and its consequences. With Coders, Thompson gives a definitive look into the heart of the machine.

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING

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An introduction to computational thinking that traces a genealogy beginning centuries before the digital computer.

A few decades into the digital era, scientists discovered that thinking in terms of computation made possible an entirely new way of organizing scientific investigation; eventually, every field had a computational branch: computational physics, computational biology, computational sociology. More recently, "computational thinking" has become part of the K-12 curriculum. But what is computational thinking? This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series offers an accessible overview, tracing a genealogy that begins centuries before digital computers and portraying computational thinking as pioneers of computing have described it.

The authors explain that computational thinking (CT) is not a set of concepts for programming; it is a way of thinking that is honed through practice: the mental skills for designing computations to do jobs for us, and for explaining and interpreting the world as a complex of information processes. Mathematically trained experts (known as "computers") who performed complex calculations as teams engaged in CT long before electronic computers. The authors identify six dimensions of today's highly developed CT--methods, machines, computing education, software engineering, computational science, and design--and cover each in a chapter. Along the way, they debunk inflated claims for CT and computation while making clear the power of CT in all its complexity and multiplicity.

CULT OF THE DEAD COW: HOW THE

CULT OF THE DEAD COW: HOW THE

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The shocking untold story of the elite secret society of hackers fighting to protect our privacy, our freedom, and even democracy itself.
Cult of the Dead Cow is the tale of the oldest, most respected, and most famous American hacking group of all time. Though until now it has remained mostly anonymous, its members invented the concept of hacktivism, released the top tool for testing password security, and created what was for years the best technique for controlling computers from afar, forcing giant companies to work harder to protect customers. They contributed to the development of Tor, the most important privacy tool on the net, and helped build cyberweapons that advanced US security without injuring anyone.
With its origins in the earliest days of the Internet, the cDc is full of oddball characters -- activists, artists, even future politicians. Many of these hackers have become top executives and advisors walking the corridors of power in Washington and Silicon Valley. The most famous is former Texas Congressman and current presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, whose time in the cDc set him up to found a tech business, launch an alternative publication in El Paso, and make long-shot bets on unconventional campaigns.
Today, the group and its followers are battling electoral misinformation, making personal data safer, and battling to keep technology a force for good instead of for surveillance and oppression. Cult of the Dead Cow shows how governments, corporations, and criminals came to hold immense power over individuals and how we can fight back against them.
DATA SCIENCE

DATA SCIENCE

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A concise introduction to the emerging field of data science, explaining its evolution, relation to machine learning, current uses, data infrastructure issues, and ethical challenges.

The goal of data science is to improve decision making through the analysis of data. Today data science determines the ads we see online, the books and movies that are recommended to us online, which emails are filtered into our spam folders, and even how much we pay for health insurance. This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series offers a concise introduction to the emerging field of data science, explaining its evolution, current uses, data infrastructure issues, and ethical challenges.

It has never been easier for organizations to gather, store, and process data. Use of data science is driven by the rise of big data and social media, the development of high-performance computing, and the emergence of such powerful methods for data analysis and modeling as deep learning. Data science encompasses a set of principles, problem definitions, algorithms, and processes for extracting non-obvious and useful patterns from large datasets. It is closely related to the fields of data mining and machine learning, but broader in scope. This book offers a brief history of the field, introduces fundamental data concepts, and describes the stages in a data science project. It considers data infrastructure and the challenges posed by integrating data from multiple sources, introduces the basics of machine learning, and discusses how to link machine learning expertise with real-world problems. The book also reviews ethical and legal issues, developments in data regulation, and computational approaches to preserving privacy. Finally, it considers the future impact of data science and offers principles for success in data science projects.

DEEP LEARNING

DEEP LEARNING

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An accessible introduction to the artificial intelligence technology that enables computer vision, speech recognition, machine translation, and driverless cars.

Deep learning is an artificial intelligence technology that enables computer vision, speech recognition in mobile phones, machine translation, AI games, driverless cars, and other applications. When we use consumer products from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, or Baidu, we are often interacting with a deep learning system. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, computer scientist John Kelleher offers an accessible and concise but comprehensive introduction to the fundamental technology at the heart of the artificial intelligence revolution.

Kelleher explains that deep learning enables data-driven decisions by identifying and extracting patterns from large datasets; its ability to learn from complex data makes deep learning ideally suited to take advantage of the rapid growth in big data and computational power. Kelleher also explains some of the basic concepts in deep learning, presents a history of advances in the field, and discusses the current state of the art. He describes the most important deep learning architectures, including autoencoders, recurrent neural networks, and long short-term networks, as well as such recent developments as Generative Adversarial Networks and capsule networks. He also provides a comprehensive (and comprehensible) introduction to the two fundamental algorithms in deep learning: gradient descent and backpropagation. Finally, Kelleher considers the future of deep learning--major trends, possible developments, and significant challenges.

DONT MAKE ME THINK REVISITED

DONT MAKE ME THINK REVISITED

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Since Don't Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug's guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it's one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.

Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don't Make Me Think a classic-with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it's still short, profusely illustrated...and best of all-fun to read.

If you've read it before, you'll rediscover what made Don't Make Me Think so essential to Web designers and developers around the world. If you've never read it, you'll see why so many people have said it should be required reading for anyone working on Web sites.


"After reading it over a couple of hours and putting its ideas to work for the past five years, I can say it has done more to improve my abilities as a Web designer than any other book."
-Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards

GOOGLE ARCHIPELAGO

GOOGLE ARCHIPELAGO

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Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom begins with familiar cultural politics as points of entry to the book's theme regarding the reach, penetration, and soon the ubiquity of the digital world. In a book about enormous sea changes brought about by digital technology, Google Archipelago begins and ends with the political, in particular with the objectives of the Big Digi­tal conglomerates as global corporate monopoly capitalists or would-be-monopolies.

Google Archipelago argues that Big Digital technologies and their principals represent not only economic powerhouses but also new forms of governmental power. The technologies of Big Digital not only amplify, extend, and lend precision to the powers of the state, they may represent elements of a new corporate state power.

In contrast to academics who study digital media and bemoan such supposed horrors as digital exploitation, in Google Archipelago, Michael Rectenwald argues that the real danger posed by Big Digital is not digital capitalism as such, but leftist authoritarianism, a political outlook shared by academic leftists, who thus cannot recognize it in their object of study. Thus, while imagining that they are radical critics of Big Digital, academic digital media scholars (whom Rectenwald terms the digitalistas) actually serve as ideological smokescreens that obscure its real character.

Two chapters interrupt the book's genre as non-fiction prose. Part historical science fiction and part memoir, these chapters render the story of a Soviet Gu­lag survivor and defector, and the author's earlier digital self. Google Archipelago intentionally blurs the lines between argument and story, fact and artifact, the real and the imaginary. This is necessary, Rectenwald argues, because one cannot pretend to describe the Google Archipelago as if from without, as something apart from experience. In any case, soon one will no longer go on the Internet. The Internet and cyberspace will be everywhere, while humans and other agents will be digital artifacts within it.

The Google Archipelago represents the coextension of digitization and physical social space, the conversion of social space and its inhabitants into digital artifacts, and the potential to control populations to degrees unimagined by the likes of Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.

HUMAN COMPATIBLE: ARTIFICIAL I

HUMAN COMPATIBLE: ARTIFICIAL I

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"The most important book on AI this year." --The Guardian

"Mr. Russell's exciting book goes deep, while sparkling with dry witticisms." --The Wall Street Journal

"The most important book I have read in quite some time" (Daniel Kahneman); "A must-read" (Max Tegmark); "The book we've all been waiting for" (Sam Harris)

A leading artificial intelligence researcher lays out a new approach to AI that will enable us to coexist successfully with increasingly intelligent machines

In the popular imagination, superhuman artificial intelligence is an approaching tidal wave that threatens not just jobs and human relationships, but civilization itself. Conflict between humans and machines is seen as inevitable and its outcome all too predictable.

In this groundbreaking book, distinguished AI researcher Stuart Russell argues that this scenario can be avoided, but only if we rethink AI from the ground up. Russell begins by exploring the idea of intelligence in humans and in machines. He describes the near-term benefits we can expect, from intelligent personal assistants to vastly accelerated scientific research, and outlines the AI breakthroughs that still have to happen before we reach superhuman AI. He also spells out the ways humans are already finding to misuse AI, from lethal autonomous weapons to viral sabotage.

If the predicted breakthroughs occur and superhuman AI emerges, we will have created entities far more powerful than ourselves. How can we ensure they never, ever, have power over us? Russell suggests that we can rebuild AI on a new foundation, according to which machines are designed to be inherently uncertain about the human preferences they are required to satisfy. Such machines would be humble, altruistic, and committed to pursue our objectives, not theirs. This new foundation would allow us to create machines that are provably deferential and provably beneficial.

IDEA FACTORY

IDEA FACTORY

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The definitive history of America's greatest incubator of innovation and the birthplace of some of the 20th century's most influential technologies

From its beginnings in the 1920s until its demise in the 1980s, Bell Labs-officially, the research and development wing of AT&T-was the biggest, and arguably the best, laboratory for new ideas in the world. From the transistor to the laser, from digital communications to cellular telephony, it's hard to find an aspect of modern life that hasn't been touched by Bell Labs. In The Idea Factory, Jon Gertner traces the origins of some of the twentieth century's most important inventions and delivers a riveting and heretofore untold chapter of American history. At its heart this is a story about the life and work of a small group of brilliant and eccentric men-Mervin Kelly, Bill Shockley, Claude Shannon, John Pierce, and Bill Baker-who spent their careers at Bell Labs. Today, when the drive to invent has become a mantra, Bell Labs offers us a way to enrich our understanding of the challenges and solutions to technological innovation. Here, after all, was where the foundational ideas on the management of innovation were born.

INNOVATORS

INNOVATORS

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Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson's New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed The Innovators is a "riveting, propulsive, and at times deeply moving" (The Atlantic) story of the people who created the computer and the Internet.

What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

The Innovators is a masterly saga of collaborative genius destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution--and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. Isaacson begins the adventure with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page.

This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It's also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators is "a sweeping and surprisingly tenderhearted history of the digital age" (The New York Times).

LIFE IN CODE

LIFE IN CODE

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The never-more-necessary return of one of our most vital and eloquent voices on technology and culture, the author of the seminal Close to the Machine

The last twenty years have brought us the rise of the internet, the development of artificial intelligence, the ubiquity of once unimaginably powerful computers, and the thorough transformation of our economy and society. Through it all, Ellen Ullman lived and worked inside that rising culture of technology, and in Life in Code she tells the continuing story of the changes it wrought with a unique, expert perspective.

When Ellen Ullman moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s and went on to become a computer programmer, she was joining a small, idealistic, and almost exclusively male cadre that aspired to genuinely change the world. In 1997 Ullman wrote Close to the Machine, the now classic and still definitive account of life as a coder at the birth of what would be a sweeping technological, cultural, and financial revolution.

Twenty years later, the story Ullman recounts is neither one of unbridled triumph nor a nostalgic denial of progress. It is necessarily the story of digital technology's loss of innocence as it entered the cultural mainstream, and it is a personal reckoning with all that has changed, and so much that hasn't. Life in Code is an essential text toward our understanding of the last twenty years--and the next twenty.

MACHINE LEARNING

MACHINE LEARNING

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A concise overview of machine learning--computer programs that learn from data--which underlies applications that include recommendation systems, face recognition, and driverless cars.

Today, machine learning underlies a range of applications we use every day, from product recommendations to voice recognition--as well as some we don't yet use everyday, including driverless cars. It is the basis of the new approach in computing where we do not write programs but collect data; the idea is to learn the algorithms for the tasks automatically from data. As computing devices grow more ubiquitous, a larger part of our lives and work is recorded digitally, and as "Big Data" has gotten bigger, the theory of machine learning--the foundation of efforts to process that data into knowledge--has also advanced. In this book, machine learning expert Ethem Alpaydin offers a concise overview of the subject for the general reader, describing its evolution, explaining important learning algorithms, and presenting example applications.

Alpaydin offers an account of how digital technology advanced from number-crunching mainframes to mobile devices, putting today's machine learning boom in context. He describes the basics of machine learning and some applications; the use of machine learning algorithms for pattern recognition; artificial neural networks inspired by the human brain; algorithms that learn associations between instances, with such applications as customer segmentation and learning recommendations; and reinforcement learning, when an autonomous agent learns act so as to maximize reward and minimize penalty. Alpaydin then considers some future directions for machine learning and the new field of "data science," and discusses the ethical and legal implications for data privacy and security.

PRAC STATISTICS FOR DATA SCIEN

PRAC STATISTICS FOR DATA SCIEN

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Statistical methods are a key part of data science, yet very few data scientists have any formal statistics training. Courses and books on basic statistics rarely cover the topic from a data science perspective. This practical guide explains how to apply various statistical methods to data science, tells you how to avoid their misuse, and gives you advice on what's important and what's not.

Many data science resources incorporate statistical methods but lack a deeper statistical perspective. If you're familiar with the R programming language, and have some exposure to statistics, this quick reference bridges the gap in an accessible, readable format.

With this book, you'll learn:

  • Why exploratory data analysis is a key preliminary step in data science
  • How random sampling can reduce bias and yield a higher quality dataset, even with big data
  • How the principles of experimental design yield definitive answers to questions
  • How to use regression to estimate outcomes and detect anomalies
  • Key classification techniques for predicting which categories a record belongs to
  • Statistical machine learning methods that "learn" from data
  • Unsupervised learning methods for extracting meaning from unlabeled data
  • SANDWORM: A NEW ERA OF CYBERWA

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    SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE

    SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE

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    Tracy Kidder's "riveting" (Washington Post) story of one company's efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and has become essential reading for understanding the history of the American tech industry.
    Computers have changed since 1981, when The Soul of a New Machine first examined the culture of the computer revolution. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations.
    The Soul of a New Machine is an essential chapter in the history of the machine that revolutionized the world in the twentieth century.
    "Fascinating...A surprisingly gripping account of people at work." --Wall Street Journal
    SUPERINTELLIGENCE: PATHS, DANG

    SUPERINTELLIGENCE: PATHS, DANG

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    A New York Times bestseller

    Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.

    The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.

    But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?

    This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.

    TECHNICALLY WRONG: SEXIST APPS

    TECHNICALLY WRONG: SEXIST APPS

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    Buying groceries, tracking our health, finding a date: whatever we want to do, odds are that we can now do it online. But few of us realize just how many oversights, biases, and downright ethical nightmares are baked inside the tech products we use every day. It's time we change that.

    In Technically Wrong, Sara Wachter-Boettcher demystifies the tech industry, leaving those of us on the other side of the screen better prepared to make informed choices about the services we use--and to demand more from the companies behind them.

    A Wired Top Tech Book of the Year
    A Fast Company Best Business and Leadership Book of the Year

    USER FRIENDLY

    USER FRIENDLY

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    AMAZON BEST BOOKS OF 2019 PICK

    FORTUNE WRITERS AND EDITORS' RECOMMENDED BOOKS OF 2019 PICK

    User Friendly is a tour de force, an engrossing fusion of scholarly research, professional experience and revelations from intrepid firsthand reporting.
    --EDWARD TENNER, The New York Times Book Review

    In User Friendly, Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant reveal the untold story of a paradigm that quietly rules our modern lives: the assumption that machines should anticipate what we need. Spanning over a century of sweeping changes, from women's rights to the Great Depression to World War II to the rise of the digital era, this book unpacks the ways in which the world has been--and continues to be--remade according to the principles of the once-obscure discipline of user-experience design.

    In this essential text, Kuang and Fabricant map the hidden rules of the designed world and shed light on how those rules have caused our world to change--an underappreciated but essential history that's pieced together for the first time. Combining the expertise and insight of a leading journalist and a pioneering designer, User Friendly provides a definitive, thoughtful, and practical perspective on a topic that has rapidly gone from arcane to urgent to inescapable. In User Friendly, Kuang and Fabricant tell the whole story for the first time--and you'll never interact with technology the same way again.

    YOU LOOK LIKE A THING & I LOVE

    YOU LOOK LIKE A THING & I LOVE

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    AS HEARD ON NPR'S "SCIENCE FRIDAY"
    Discover the book that Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant want you to read this year, an "accessible, informative, and hilarious" introduction to the weird and wonderful world of artificial intelligence (Ryan North).
    "You look like a thing and I love you" is one of the best pickup lines ever... according to an artificial intelligence trained by scientist Janelle Shane, creator of the popular blog AI Weirdness. She creates silly AIs that learn how to name paint colors, create the best recipes, and even flirt (badly) with humans--all to understand the technology that governs so much of our daily lives.
    We rely on AI every day for recommendations, for translations, and to put cat ears on our selfie videos. We also trust AI with matters of life and death, on the road and in our hospitals. But how smart is AI really... and how does it solve problems, understand humans, and even drive self-driving cars?
    Shane delivers the answers to every AI question you've ever asked, and some you definitely haven't. Like, how can a computer design the perfect sandwich? What does robot-generated Harry Potter fan-fiction look like? And is the world's best Halloween costume really "Vampire Hog Bride"?
    In this smart, often hilarious introduction to the most interesting science of our time, Shane shows how these programs learn, fail, and adapt--and how they reflect the best and worst of humanity.
    You Look Like a Thing and I Love You is the perfect book for anyone curious about what the robots in our lives are thinking.
    "I can't think of a better way to learn about artificial intelligence, and I've never had so much fun along the way." - Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals