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About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9780399171710
  • Imprint: Tarcher
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $29.99

Heartificial Intelligence: Embracing Our Humanity to Maximize Machines


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Funny, poignant, and accessible, this book paints a vivid portrait of how our lives might look in either a dystopia of robotic and corporate dominance, or a utopia where humans use technology to enhance our natural abilities to evolve into a long-lived, super-intelligent, and altruistic species.

Where should machine automation end? Is it acceptable to have a digital assistant arrange your calendar, but not to have a robot spouse? Are companion robots acceptable for seniors in need of comfort, but not okay for toddlers exposed to emotional software that could influence their behavior? Is it desirable to live a life within the virtual reality of Facebook's Oculus Rift, but not if your thoughts are sold to advertisers who manipulate your purchases?

We've entered an era where a myriad of personalization algorithms influence our every decision, and the lines between human assistance, automation, and extinction have blurred.  We need to create ethical standards for the Artificial Intelligence usurping our lives, and allow individuals to control their identity based on their values. Otherwise, we sacrifice our humanity for productivity versus purpose and for profits versus people. 

Featuring pragmatic solutions drawing on economics, emerging technologies, and positive psychology, Heartificial Intelligence provides the first values-driven approach to algorithmic living—a definitive roadmap to help humanity embrace the present and positively define their future.  Each chapter opens with a fictional vignette, helping readers imagine how they would respond to various Artificial Intelligence scenarios while demonstrating the need to codify their values, as the algorithms dominating society today are already doing. 

Funny, poignant, and accessible, this book paints a vivid portrait of how our lives might look in either a dystopia of robotic and corporate dominance, or a utopia where humans use technology to enhance our natural abilities to evolve into a long-lived, super-intelligent, and altruistic species.

Praise for Heartificial Intelligence:

'In this thoughtful addition to the genre . . . Havens warns that we have ignored an essential feature of machine thinking: its ethics . . . An astute philosophical meditation on a major problem facing designers of advanced computers.' Kirkus review

'Coexisting safely and ethically with intelligent machines is the central challenge of the twenty-first century. In the enjoyable Heartificial Intelligence, John Havens calls for resistance to the forces that erode our humanity in the age of the algorithm. Through detailed research, interviews, and engaging futuristic scenarios, Havens shows how establishing ethical standards for artificial intelligence will help us preserve the values we cherish most.' James Barrat, author of Our Final Invention

'Heartificial Intelligence is an excellent read! [Havens] explores a number of societal issues, which AI and robotics are likely to soon bring to prominence. A great guide to issues of identity, meaning, deception, and reality when our technology advances to the next level.' Steve Omohundro, President of Possibility Research, SelfAwareSystems.com
 
'With this exceptionally intelligent, playful, and brave book, John C. Havens shows us that we need to look the robot in the eye if we want to maintain our humanity. The most beautiful and yet most practical outlook on artificial intelligence you've ever read.' Tim Leberecht, author of The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself

'As we come into realizing AI in different products, wearable devices, and self-driving cars, we need to think in a critical way on where this can bring us at an individual and societal level. Will it indeed help us move forward and create more time for ourselves, or will it make our world more complex and less efficient? Heartificial Intelligence provides insights from various perspectives on how this AI world could or will develop. It is a great read to start thinking about the different implications for AI and whether these are positive or negative.' Christel De Maeyer, blogger at SleepingWithTechnology.com and researcher at Artevelde University College, Belgium

  • Pub date: 1 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9780399171710
  • Imprint: Tarcher
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $29.99

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