Starred Review. In a fast-paced, witty, and thoroughly winning style, Christian investigates the nature of human interactions, the meaning of language, and the essence of what sets us apart from machines that can process information far faster than we can. Ranging from philosophy through the construction of pickup lines to poetry, Christian examines what it means to be human and how we interact with one another, and with computers as equals—via automated telephone menus and within the medical establishment, for example. This fabulous book demonstrates that we are capable of experiencing and sharing far deeper thoughts than even the best computers—and that too often we fail to achieve the highest level of humanness. (Mar.)
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Easily one of the most inspiring books I’ve read this year. Brian Christian brings us into his journey of conquering the Turing Test which is an annual competition between humans and chatbots. Basically, human judges chat with either a chatbot or a human confederate. After five minutes of chatting, they decide if the other party is human. There are two winners, the Most Human Computer and The Most Human Human, The book follows his theories on how to prove his “humanity” along with plethora of intriguing anecdotes and raising an abundance of compelling points regarding the battles between AI and human intelligence. It took me more than a month to finish (because I was bombarded with other things), but the pace is well structured into bite-sized pieces. Christian explores the distillation of language in computers, the shortcuts, and the flaws. Perhaps the largest difference is that language is ephemeral, as soon you think you got it all straight, it starts to evolve and contort itself. Old Meanings fade away while new meanings arise.
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