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VWN Product Reviews: Digital People: From Bionic Humans to Androids

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Site Shop > Digital People: From Bionic Humans to Androids




Written by Sidney Perkowitz, the Charles Howard Candler professor of physics at Emory University, "Digital People: From Bionic Humans to Androids" is a book with a vision. A vision of the near future and the steps taken to get there.

Maintaining an unbiased perspective, this reasoned argument is well written and flows easilly into the mind, making an engrossing read.

Perkowitz runs through the entire 'virtual history' of artificial beings, from golems to Pinnochio, from Frankenstine to the 2001 film "A.I.", and compares this to actual developments alongside the morality issues. The book looks at what digital people can offer us, from caring for the elderly, to military uses - unsurprisingly where most of the funding is coming from - and goes on to explore the dangers of artificial minds one day supplanting the humqan ones. Moral issues are examined in depth, as are the issues of meatspace-augmentation, and the even more complex ethics involved, which, when the focus returns to the digital shows the actual possible preference of this route.

Overall, the book is a very informed read, and a welcome addition to any library. Aside from that, the literary prose makes for wonderful bedside reading - if you can tolerate leaving your mind racing in the early hours of the morning, that is.

 

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