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I became operational... in Urbana, Illinois, on January 12,1997.
Inspired by HAL's self-proclaimed birth date,HAL's Legacy reflects upon science fiction's most famous computer and explores the relationship between science fantasy and technological fact. The informative, nontechnical chapters written especially for this book describe many of the areas of computer science critical to the design of intelligent machines,discuss whether scientists in the 1960s were accurate about the prospects for advancement in their fields, and look at how HAL has influenced scientific research.
Contributions by leading scientists look at the technologies that would be critical if we were, as Arthur Clarke and Stanley Kubrick imagined thirty years ago, to try and build HAL in 1997: supercomputers,fault-tolerance and reliability, planning, artificial intelligence, lipreading,speech recognition and synthesis, commonsense reasoning, the ability to recognize and display emotion, and human-machine interaction. A separate chapter by philosopher Daniel Dennett considers the ethical implications of intelligent machines.
All 16 contributions collected by Stork (chief scientist of the Ricoh California Research Center) remark upon the fact that Clarke and Kubrick took extraordinary care to base the predictions embodied in 2001 on the best possible scientific knowledge of 1968. HAL, who was supposedly "born" in 1997 in Urbana, Ill., will not be possible by 2001, if ever, and Kubrick and Clarke were not prescient enough to predict the most significant advance since the film's release: miniaturization. However, they were fanatically concerned with getting small details right, such as the chess game between HAL and Frank; Murray S. Campbell, a chess player himself, entertainingly discusses how HAL's game is a real game, suggesting IBM's challenge to Gary Kasparov in 1995 to play its computer Deep Blue. Marvin Minsky, the "father" of artificial intelligence (AI), discusses HAL's abilities in terms of what might one day be possible, while Daniel Dennett weighs in on the ethics of HAL's murders of the crew and on Frank's decision to disconnect HAL. David Wilkins speaks to the impossibility of trying to program computers to account for every eventuality, and how no plan is ever sufficient. The most fascinating discussions here concern language, however, and the difficulties of designing computers that can both speak and understand speech. Raymond Kurzweil argues that by 2001 we will be able to speak to computers and expect them to do what we say. But both Joseph Olive and Roger Schank point to the almost insurmountable difficulties involved in teaching natural language to computers and ensuring that they understand what they are saying.
The cutting edge of AI, and not bad as film criticism either.
|1||The Best-Informed Dream: HAL and the Vision of 2001||1|
|2||Scientist on the Set: An Interview with Marvin Minsky||15|
|3||Could We Build HAL? Supercomputer Design||33|
|4||"Foolproof and incapable of error?" Reliable Computing and Fault Tolerance||53|
|5||"An Enjoyable Game": How HAL Plays Chess||75|
|6||"The Talking Computer": Text to Speech Synthesis||101|
|7||When Will HAL Understand What We Are Saying? Computer Speech Recognition and Understanding||131|
|8||"I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that": How Could HAL Use Language?||171|
|9||From 2001 to 2001: Common Sense and the Mind of HAL||193|
|10||Eyes for Computers: How HAL Could "See"||211|
|11||"I could see your lips move": HAL and Speechreading||237|
|12||Living in Space: Working with the Machines of the Future||263|
|13||Does HAL Cry Digital Tears? Emotions and Computers||279|
|14||"That's something I could not allow to happen": HAL and Planning||305|
|15||Computers, Science, and Extraterrestrials: An Interview with Stephen Wolfram||333|
|16||When HAL Kills, Who's to Blame? Computer Ethics||351|
Posted July 24, 2003
Prior to attending a lecture by Dr. David Stork at a celebration of HAL 9000's birthday in Urbana, Illinois, I had only a passing interest in the field of Artificial Intelligence. After the lecture, I was motivated to learn more and bought a copy of his book, Hal's Legacy: 2001's Computer As Dream and Reality. It turned out to be one of the most thought-provoking as well as entertaining books I have read. Through a series of expert essays, Stork explores the current state and direction of Artificial Intelligence using HAL as both backdrop and benchmark. Non-technical readers will enjoy the way that the scientists that Stork has chosen present their theories of what it would take for us to realize Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's vision of HAL. HAL's Legacy analyzes the prospects and possibilities of computers being able to converse, understand natural language, visualize, feel emotion, and even make value judgements. It also give the reader a new appreciation of the science that went into the science fiction of the movie 2001.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.