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The Most Human Human
- What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive
- Lu par : Brian Christian
- Durée : 9 h et 37 min
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The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial-intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can "think". Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Turing Test convenes a panel of judges who pose questions - ranging anywhere from celebrity gossip to moral conundrums - to hidden contestants in an attempt to discern which is human and which is a computer. The machine that most often fools the panel wins the Most Human Computer Award. But there is also a prize, bizarre and intriguing, for the Most Human Human.
In 2008, the top AI program came short of passing the Turing Test by just one astonishing vote. In 2009, Brian Christian was chosen to participate, and he set out to make sure Homo sapiens would prevail.
The author’s quest to be deemed more human than a computer opens a window onto our own nature. Interweaving modern phenomena like customer service “chatbots” and men using programmed dialogue to pick up women in bars with insights from fields as diverse as chess, psychiatry, and the law, Brian Christian examines the philosophical, biological, and moral issues raised by the Turing Test.
One central definition of human has been a "being that could reason". If computers can reason, what does that mean for the special place we reserve for humanity?
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A Wedding of Computer Science and Philosophy
Brian Christian has wed computer science and philosophy in “The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us about What it Means to be Alive.” From this book I have received new insights from Artificial Intelligence, interpersonal communication, and simple conversation. This book links computers and computer science to group and individual identity which will shift the reader’s thinking certainly. Parenthetically, if you are planning to read Stephen Baker’s “Final Jeopardy: Man vs Machine and the Quest to Know Everything” you might want to read this book first. If you have completed that book, put Christian’s book on your reading list immediately. Well written, informative, and entertaining. Read expertly by the author.
32 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- Utilisateur anonyme
Fascinating examination of being human
I really liked this book. It was fairly well written and read. There were spots where the author went on and on about some obscure aspect of technology (e.g., lossy vs. lossless data compression) and some stretches where the focus seems to wander, but overall this was a fascinating and comprehensive examination of artificial intelligence and what it means to be human. I though the author could have provided a more consistent thread relating to his participation in the Turing test, but the competition itself was less important than his examination of the various aspects of humanity. I liked this book so much that I assimilated (i.e., read) it in one day, then again on the very next day. There was just that much fascinating detail to hold my attention as much the second time through as the first.
12 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
I have to say that the first half had me wondering why this book was so highly rated. The author's narration, while competent, was not exceptional, and I found the story hard to follow. BUT, beginning with chapter 7 I was enthralled! The ideas and concepts sparked out every minute and I could not stop listening. It's now past midnight and I will be wiped out at work tomorrow but I had to write a review. Brian Christian please write more -- your ideas are amazing!
11 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- Danny Kopping
Brian Christian presents to the listener a wonderfully crafted text filled with linguistics, computer- and cognitive-science, philosophy and... chess! His book presents a fascinating tale of being classified as the "most human human" in a competition dedicated to testing computers' ability to act in a human fashion. As an interested layman in the aforementioned fields, I found this book engaging, simple but not simplistic and great to listen to.
11 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
Some interesting thoughts about 'what a human is', but more intersting philosphical discussion can be found in the short stories of 'The Minds Eye'. I admire Turring a lot (breaking the Nazi war codes was helpful). But its about time that someone said the obvious thing, the Turring Test is a silly and dated test. Its like you have two dogs, one is an excellent hunter, retriever, and search dog and one can bark out a word that sorta sounds like 'Hello' and you claim the second dog is smarter because it can talk. Computer intelligence will only ever really matter to the extent that it capitalizes on the strengths that computers have not on the degree that it mimics human behavior.
6 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- David Everling
Engaging, insightful, and thought-provoking
-Brian Christian really fleshes out the central anecdote, his participation as a convince-you-I'm-human "confederate" vs. AI chat-bots at the Loebner Prize (a Turing Test challenge), framing the contest with asides in psychology, philosophy of mind, physics, logic and computing, games, communication, language and linguistics, and other topics that illustrate the complexity of interaction on display here. Broadly insightful and rarely overwrought.
-Author's background in science writing and philosophy plus his MFA in Poetry correspond well to the fluidity with which he moves between tangential topics while keeping sight of the central theme. The book revolves around communication, in particular the written word since text is the format for the Turing Test undertaken, and Brian Christian's well-written prose shows off the fact that he studied and contemplated the topic well in preparation for his Loebner Prize contest and vie for the Most Human Human.
-Topically related to the also recently published book by
James Gleick, The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood.
5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- C. F. Bell
Sometimes personal experience is not enough.
This book is claimed to be "an examination of the way machines are forcing us to appreciate what it means to be human, and Brian Christian examines the philosophical, biological, and moral issues raised by the Turing Test." Well, in my opinion, not really, on both accounts. Although personal remembrances on having taken the Turing Test and other anecdotes is worth a read, Christian's sophomoric attempt at examining the philosophical and moral issues of AI and on the question of whether AI can ever be sentient, let alone human-like, goes no where intellectually, and one is left with the untenable opinion, by default, that the answer to that question is positive -- just not yet. The main philosophic/cognitive-scientific point on language for humans is that a word represents a concept, not just a way to communicate, whereas to a machine, a word cannot represent a concept -- that a machine can communicate but cannot form a concept, and yet the mythology of the coming of the sentient AI remains solid for the faithful. Brian Christian's book is like a "fair and balanced" story on Roman Catholicism from a priest where the Church is Computer Science and the priest is a computer geek.
4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
Well Written, Well Read
I bought this book on a lark, since I needed something this month and it sounded quirky and interesting. And I was pleasantly surprised by a deeply philosophical inquiry into that space between computer science, philosophy and sociology, Three subjects that I find interesting, but I've never really studied before. It isn't a deep study of any particular subject, but I would highly recommend it, just the same.
Aside from that, the reading seemed to suit the writing perfectly. I think that it was read by the author, in which case he made an excellent choice doing so himself.
4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- Julie W. Capell
How do you know a human wrote this review?
Any additional comments?
This book really knocked my socks off. Under the guise of telling about his experience as a human competitor in an annual contest to see if computers can fool humans in a text-off, the author covers the evolution of chat-bots, but also dozens of other topics. Page after page dealt with concepts I had never given any thought to, but which were fascinating. Such as: did you know that competitive checkers basically died in the late 1800s when the two top players in the world played the exact same “perfect” game dozens of times in a row? And that the same thing is happening to competitive chess right now? How does your smart phone know what you are going to type before you type it? Do you think all those helpful chatters who appear in popup windows to “answer your questions” while you are shopping on the Internet are real human beings? What is the algorithm for knowing when to interrupt someone in a conversation? All this and much, much more awaits you in this outstanding blend of hard science, philosophy, linguistics and the-future-is-now computer facts. The author does a decent job of narrating his own book, but I believe a professional narrator would have given more life to the performance.
3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
Human Psychology 4.0
This is a MUST read for anyone interested in AI or, for that matter, pure human psychology. Christian (who, by the way, does a fine job of narrating!) presents, with StevenPinkeresque style and wit, the reasons why the computer, as it becomes stronger and stronger in the ways of logic and computation, ironically becomes farther removed from us rather than more like us. He helps to shake away the still clinging prejudices left over from the Age Of Reason and makes us aware that being a "creature-computer interface" is not such a bad thing, that the emotional, "irrational" part of us is a good bit of what makes us---well, us! All of this in a rich tapestry of science, case histories and personal anecdotes which makes for a very enlightening and enjoyable read. This is the best writing on the human mind I have read since Pinker's How The Mind Works, which would serve as a great companion to this book.
Sidenote: 10/8/2012 I took on several on of noted on-line bots, like Cleverbot and A.L.I.C.E., and was not at all impressed. They might be able to fake surface small talk or even argue (as long as it is in insult and not in reasonable debate)--but sustaining conversation on a topic, wondering, showing genuine insight or awe--I would never mistake them for a human at the other end.
3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- Tina Radkohl
Great story, about what it means to be human and what machines are capable of.
The reading is excellent too!
Highly recommend it!