Almost Human: Making Robots Think

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W. W. Norton & Company, Aug 24, 2009 - Computers - 304 pages
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“A crazy suspense story about these kids at Carnegie Mellon and their leader making robots . . . fascinating stuff.” —Jon Stewart

In the High Bay at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, Segways scoot across the floor chasing soccer balls while other robots hunt for treasure. Nursebots, developed to care for hospital patients, mingle with a robotic Lara Croft lookalike. Lee Gutkind immersed himself in this frenzied subculture and, in Almost Human, introduces us to ZoŽ, Groundhog, Grace, and Sandstorm—robots designed to help, or in some cases replace, humans—as well as to the colorful cast of researchers attempting to create language to talk not only to machines but also to one another across their disciplines.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - homeofharris - LibraryThing

I liked the book in general, and the stories within, however the author skips form story to story then revisits some of them later. Personally I find that method of writing annoying as I like to get ... Read full review

Almost human: making robots think

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Godfather of creative nonfiction, Gutkind (English, Univ. of Pittsburgh;In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction ) narrates a tour deep underground into the creative subculture of robotics research ... Read full review

Contents

Wild Ride to Base Camp
3
Big Red
7
Groundhog
24
Bummed and Elated
35
A Lack of Vision
48
autonomy
59
RoboCup
61
The Color of Thinking
78
Fallback Positions 145
162
The Desert Makes Us Wacky
176
Peeing on a Rock
193
Downtime
206
Two Versions of Reality
219
making history
225
Nathalie
227
Pirates Cove
237

Asimo and Friends
95
Frustration
100
The Challenge
120
Fresh Blood
131
the
143
The Grasshopper and the
145
Hardware vs Software
255
In the Field
265
The Barest Beginning
270
Acknowledgments Notes 281
281
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction and a pioneer in the field of narrative nonfiction. Gutkind is also the editor of In Fact and Becoming a Doctor, the author of Almost Human, and has written books about baseball, health care, travel, and technology. A Distinguished Writer in Residence at Arizona State University, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Tempe, Arizona.

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