As timely now as it was when it was first published in 1997, Darwin Among the Machines tells the story of humankind’s long journey into the digital age. Historian of technology George Dyson traces the course of the information revolution, illuminating the lives and work of visionaries—from Thomas Hobbes to John von Neumann—who foresaw the development of artificial intelligence, artificial life, and artificial mind. Weaving a convincing, occasionally frightening narrative of the evolution of the global network, Dyson explores the limits of Darwinian evolution to suggest what lies ahead. Computer programs and worldwide networks are combining to produce an evolutionary theater in which the distinctions between nature and technology are increasingly obscured, he argues. We are living in the midst of an experiment—one that echoes the prehistory of human intelligence and the origins of life. Now in a new paperback edition, this classic work on the emergence of collective mechanical intelligence will resonate for generations to come.
|Edition description:||Second Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.66(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
George Dyson is a historian of technology and the author of Turing’s Cathedral, Baidarka, and Project Orion. He lives in Washington State.
Table of Contents
2. Darwin Among the Machines
3. The General Wind
4. On Computable Numbers
5. The Proving Ground
6. Rats in a Cathedral
8. On Distributed Communications
9. Theory of Games and Economic Behavior
10. There’s Plenty of Room at the Top
11. Last and First Men
12. Fiddling While Rome Burns
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a great book -- i know of no other book that makes this particular argument as elegantly and thoroughly. this book will give you a historical background, and a different way of seeing history.
What do Thomas Hobbes, Erasmus Darwin, Samuel Butler, Alan Turing, Olaf Stapledon, and the RAND Corporation have in common? George B. Dyson explains what they have in common and more in his sometimes uneven but always fascinating book about "evolution of global intelligence" Darwin among the Machines. Dyson relates the story behind the growth of our global digital world through the individual stories of the above thinkers and more. They were all visionaries who saw beyond the everyday into the future and whose ideas led to the development of artificial intelligence and related fields that continue to undergo development in our new century. Dyson is good at relating these stories while weaving them into an evolutionary web that captures the changes that have occurred in the areas of digital computing and telecommunications, and the mechanics of the mind and artificial intelligence over the past century. The story that evolves from all his telling is both exciting and filled with possibilities for the future that border on science fiction. But in retrospect we see that science fiction has a way of becoming science fact. Readers who appreciate and want to learn more about the relationship of technology, humanity and nature will enjoy this book.