The Lifecycle of Software Objects

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What's the best way to create artificial intelligence? In 1950, Alan Turing wrote, "Many people think that a very abstract activity, like the playing of chess, would be best. It can also be maintained that it is best to provide the machine with the best sense organs that money can buy, and then teach it to understand and speak English. This process could follow the normal teaching of a child. Things would be pointed out and named, etc. Again I do not know what the right answer ...
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2010 ISBN 1596063173. Hardback. Second Printing. Signed by author on title page. Near Fine Condition book in a Near Fine Condition Dustjacket. Tight, bright, attractive copy ... with no markings to the book. As new condition. Read more Show Less

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Pearce, Christian 2010 150 p. 1st Limited Edition hardcover from Subterranean, 2010. SIGNED BY TED CHIANG! 1 of 400 such numbered copies. NEW, UNREAD. NO DJ AS ISSUED. OUT OF ... PRINT. HUGO AWARD WINNER! The regular edition went through 2 printings, again, this is the signed, limited edition! Read more Show Less

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Overview

What's the best way to create artificial intelligence? In 1950, Alan Turing wrote, "Many people think that a very abstract activity, like the playing of chess, would be best. It can also be maintained that it is best to provide the machine with the best sense organs that money can buy, and then teach it to understand and speak English. This process could follow the normal teaching of a child. Things would be pointed out and named, etc. Again I do not know what the right answer is, but I think both approaches should be tried."

The first approach has been tried many times in both science fiction and reality. In this new novella, at over 30,000 words, his longest work to date, Ted Chiang offers a detailed imagining of how the second approach might work within the contemporary landscape of startup companies, massively-multiplayer online gaming, and open-source software. It's a story of two people and the artificial intelligences they helped create, following them for more than a decade as they deal with the upgrades and obsolescence that are inevitable in the world of software. At the same time, it's an examination of the difference between processing power and intelligence, and of what it means to have a real relationship with an artificial entity.

Winner of the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Novella

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596063174
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Edition description: Deluxe
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

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( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Deep and Thoughtful

    Ted Chiangs works are some of the best new science fiction around. He doesn't shy away from the implications of his own ideas and takes you deep down the rabbit hole. In this phenomenal story he introduces bottom up A.I. creatures called digients and follows them through, well, there life cycle, complete with piracy issues, corporate failures and questions about the nature of mind that would make Douglas Hofsteder smile. Yet for all the philosophic and tech coolness the story moves along briskly and smoothly. Chiangs human characters are very real, you can easily imagine chatting with one of them over coffee at IHOP or something. This is real playground of the mind stuff that is vastly beyond the standerdized (and boring) star wars/trek science fiction. If you like sf that makes you go hmmm... You'll love this.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2013

    Great ideas, not so good writing

    The ideas presented in the book are fascinating, but the writing is not so good. It's a very matter of fact, 3rd person narration, the characters are not properly developed, there is little insight to their feelings and motivations.
    Still very solid book though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

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    Posted May 23, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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