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New from Ian McEwan, Booker Prize winner and international bestselling author of Atonement and The Children Act Machines Like Me takes place in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first synthetic humans and—with Miranda's help—he designs Adam's personality. The near-perfect human that emerges is beautiful, strong, and clever. It isn't long before a love triangle soon forms, and these three beings confront a profound moral dilemma. In his subversive new novel, Ian McEwan asks whether a machine can understand the human heart—or whether we are the ones who lack understanding.
‘This is a history of intellectual courage, hard work, occasional inspiration and every conceivable form of human failing. It is also an extended invitation to wonder, to pleasure’ How far have we come in our understanding of the world around us? In this eye-opening collection, Ian McEwan looks back at the history of scientific discovery from Darwin to Dawkins as well as exploring, with brilliant originality, what a future with AI and climate change could hold for us. Selected from Solar, Enduring Love, Machines Like Me VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS. A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human Also in the Vintage Minis 'Great Ideas' series: Religion by Karen Armstrong Art by Simon Schama
Kafka meets The Thick Of It in a bitingly funny new political satire from Ian McEwan That morning, Jim Sams, clever but by no means profound, woke from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a gigantic creature. Jim Sams has undergone a metamorphosis. In his previous life he was ignored or loathed, but in his new incarnation he is the most powerful man in Britain – and it is his mission to carry out the will of the people. Nothing must get in his way: not the opposition, nor the dissenters within his own party. Not even the rules of parliamentary democracy. With trademark intelligence, insight and scabrous humour, Ian McEwan pays tribute to Franz Kafka’s most famous work to engage with a world turned on its head.
What would happen if a private company developed a computer faster and more powerful than any computer that ever existed; one that could think orders of magnitude better and faster than all the humans whod ever lived? Would the government, DARPA and NSA be interested and concerned? Would they see it as a threat? Would its emergence foreshadow great opportunity, great peril or both? Who would stand to gain? Who would stand to lose? What would its existence mean for humanity? Would we come to depend on this computer for dealing with problems that, without it, could not be solved? Would it be safe to trust the information it gave us? Once we became dependent on the availability of so much computer power, would it be possible to even consider turning it off? Read SYSTER Is Ready and find out.
Ray Kurzweil is the inventor of the most innovative and compelling technology of our era, an international authority on artificial intelligence, and one of our greatest living visionaries. Now he offers a framework for envisioning the twenty-first century--an age in which the marriage of human sensitivity and artificial intelligence fundamentally alters and improves the way we live. Kurzweil's prophetic blueprint for the future takes us through the advances that inexorably result in computers exceeding the memory capacity and computational ability of the human brain by the year 2020 (with human-level capabilities not far behind); in relationships with automated personalities who will be our teachers, companions, and lovers; and in information fed straight into our brains along direct neural pathways. Optimistic and challenging, thought-provoking and engaging, The Age of Spiritual Machines is the ultimate guide on our road into the next century. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Céline’s masterpiece—colloquial, polemic, hyper-realistic, boiling over with black humor Céline’s masterpiece—colloquial, polemic, hyper realistic—boils over with bitter humor and revulsion at society’s idiocy and hypocrisy: Journey to the End of the Night is a literary symphony of cruelty and violence that hurtles through the improbable travels of the petit bourgeois (and largely autobiographical) antihero, Bardamu: from the trenches of WWI, to the African jungle, to New York, to the Ford Factory in Detroit, and finally to life in Paris as a failed doctor. Ralph Manheim’s pitch-perfect translation captures Céline’s savage energy, and a dynamic afterword by William T. Vollmann presents a fresh, furiously alive take on this astonishing novel.
Reconstructing Clothes for Dummies offers inspiring projects and savvy tips on how to salvage those tired old clothes in your closet and turn them into a one-of-a-kind wardrobe. It shows craftsters, DIY enthusiasts, budget-conscious fashionistas and people from all walks of life how to unleash their inner fashion designer and transform outdated duds into hip new clothes. Featured projects include making good use of old scraps; reviving shrunken sweaters; finding redemption in that bridesmaid dress; decorative repair and embellishment of existing pieces; and creating unexpected home décor with what’s hiding in your drawers.
Artificial intelligence threatens to disrupt the professions as it has manufacturing. Frank Pasquale argues that law and policy can avert this outcome and promote better ones: instead of replacing humans, technology can make our labor more valuable. Through regulation, we can ensure that AI promotes inclusive prosperity.
INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER *Indigo Top 10 of the Year* Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley McLachlin offers an intimate and revealing look at her life, from her childhood in the Alberta foothills to her career on the Supreme Court, where she helped to shape the social and moral fabric of the country—for readers of Educated and Becoming. From a very early age, all I knew was that I wanted to do something that was not ordinary. Because, for a girl growing up in a remote prairie town in the 1940s, the ordinary was very ordinary indeed. Beverley McLachlin has led an extraordinary life. One of the few women studying law in the 1960s, she graduated at the top of her class and began her long career—first as a dedicated lawyer and professor, later as a judge serving on the highest court in the country, and finally as the first woman to be named Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. The journey wasn’t easy. The options for women growing up in rural Pincher Creek, Alberta, were limited. But McLachlin was willful and spirited, and she wanted an education. She also had an innate sense of justice, which was reinforced by the lessons her parents taught her about equality and the value of hard work. It was this faith in justice that pulled her through dark times, especially when faced with sexism and exclusion at work and personal tragedy at home. Over time, McLachlin became a champion for Canadians from all walks of life. As a judge on the Supreme Court, she presided over charged debates on topics such as same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. With each judgment, she laid down a legal legacy proving that fairness and justice are not luxuries of the powerful but rather rights owed to each and every one of us. With warmth, honesty, and deep wisdom, McLachlin recounts her remarkable life on and off the bench. Truth Be Told is an inspiring reminder that integrity and the rule of law are our best hopes for a progressive and bright future.
Artificial intelligence is creating huge opportunities for workplace learning and employee development. However, it can be difficult for L&D professionals to assess what difference AI can make in their organization and where it is best implemented. Artificial Intelligence for Learning is the practical guide L&D practitioners need to understand what AI is and how to use it to improve all aspects of learning in the workplace. It includes specific guidance on how AI can provide content curation and personalization to improve learner engagement, how it can be implemented to improve the efficiency of evaluation, assessment and reporting and how chatbots can provide learner support to a global workforce. Artificial Intelligence for Learning debunks the myths and cuts through the hype around AI allowing L&D practitioners to feel confident in their ability to critically assess where artificial intelligence can make a measurable difference and where it is worth investing in. There is also critical discussion of how AI is an aid to learning and development, not a replacement as well as how it can be used to boost the effectiveness of workplace learning, reduce drop off rates in online learning and improve ROI. With real-world examples from companies who have effectively implemented AI and seen the benefits as well as case studies from organizations including Netflix, British Airways and the NHS, this book is essential reading for all L&D practitioners needing to understand AI and what it means in practice.