Back Cover Blurb
- Professor Kevin Warwick, the world’s leading expert in cybernetics, here reveals robots that can learn, communicate with each other and reprogramme themselves.
- Kevin Warwick refutes the sceptics, not only by questioning their assumptions and prejudices about what should be considered as intelligence1 and consciousness, but also by revealing what he has achieved, building robots that communicate in their own language, share experiences, teach each other lessons and behave as they wish with regard to human beings.
- ‘An entertaining read, covering a complex subject in a detail that should appeal equally to the casual reader and the hardened robophile.’
- ‘A fascinating account of the most recent advances in the field of robotics.’
→ Computer Business Review
- ‘Grippingly horrible … interesting and thoughtful.’
→ Daily Telegraph
- ‘An apocalyptic view of what the future holds for mankind.’
→ Daily Mail
- The one thing which has given humans such a free hand on planet Earth, our intelligence2, is also one of the things about which we still understand little. We are used to dealing with other animals and machines which are less intelligent than ourselves. If, however, we are faced with a being which is more intelligent than ourselves, where does that leave us humans? Will we still have a say in our future or will it be a life of slavery?
- This book looks at the future situation of machines becoming more intelligent than humans. The conclusion that this will happen is made from a very practical standpoint, and machines such as robots and computers are used as a basis for the argument. Robots developed at Reading University have been designed to see what is possible, to see how far things can go in the future. All the Reading robots described in this book actually operate in the ways stated. No wild, unsustainable claims are made and no extra tricks or controls are used on the robots. Chapter 4, in which we look at ‘consciousness’, is perhaps the deepest section in the book. In other chapters some ideas, in particular Turing’s papers, have been simplified in order to make a point. The aim has been to write a book for all to read, so there are no mathematics. It was once said that the more understandable a book is, the more its contents are criticised. I hope, therefore, that this work incites discussion. As Oscar Wilde put it, ‘Ah! Don’t say you agree with me. When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong.’
- After making a mistake, or doing something you enjoy, have you ever said to yourself, ‘I wish I could do that again’, maybe in a different way or maybe in exactly the same way? But humans live only once. We are only born once and experience everything in life afresh. We never know exactly what to expect. When we die our individual memories, many of no consequence whatsoever, die with us. With machines this is not the case. Machines can be born over and over, and retain memories from one life into the next!
- I believe that in the next ten to twenty years3 some machines will become more intelligent than humans. Machines can already learn from other machines. The future points to machines which can evolve into better, even more intelligent machines and which can replace any parts that become faulty. In this way machines could become immortal. The pace of technological change, as we know it today, merely supports these beliefs.
- This book is about you and your future. You will help to make the decisions as to how the story ends, you and everyone else, that is. You may not like how things turn out, but you cannot always get what you want. That is life, or rather it was life. A life which will be very different in the near future in ways we can scarcely begin to think about. The book is not fictional, although it may seem so at times. Rather, it is seriously factual, describing a logical progress.
- Will machines ever take over from us? Will they rule the world? All I ask, as you start to read, is an open, reasonably unbiased mind, which I trust you will keep until the book has ended. In concluding I hope that you will feel ‘maybe’. Maybe machines will be more intelligent than humans. Maybe machines will take over. The object of this book is merely to show that it is not only possible, but could easily be just around the comer.
Acknowledgements – vii
Preface – ix
- A Cosy Relationship – 1
- In the Year 2050 – 21
- What is Life? – 39
- Humanoid Robots – 62
- Artificial Intelligence – 89
- Big Brother – 115
- Human Brains Versus Machine Brains – 137
- Humans Are Best? – 163
- The Reading Robots — An Overture – 186
- Our Robots Today – 209
- What Next With the Robots? – 234
- A Fantastic Future? – 257
- Mankind’s Last Stand? – 280
Bibliography – 303
Further Reading – 307
In-Page Footnotes ("Warwick (Kevin) - In the Mind of the Machine - The Breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence")
- This was written in 1998, so – even allowing for stunning advances by Deep Mind – this seems to have been somewhat optimistic.
- It will be interesting to see what had led him to this estimate. GOFAI had “got stuck” for several decades – what had encouraged this optimism?
- Arrow Books Ltd. 1998
- First published as The March of the Machines by Century Books (both publishers owned by Random House).
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2021
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)