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The Brain Makers

The Brain Makers is the definitive history of artificial intelligence. The book explores the turbulent world of AI and the attempts of governments, corporations, and research labs to create the ultimate thinking machine. Not only does The Brain Makers provide an inside look at the origins, intrigue, and politics of the companies in the industry, but it gives a graphic account of the egos that drove the technology to where it is today.Far from simply telling the story of the people and companies that created artificial intelligence, The Brain Makers also looks at the historical pursuit of AI, starting in ancient times with the creation of mechanical men on to Alan Turing's groundbreaking work after World War II on to the role of AI in popular fiction and film. It gives a behind the scenes look at government programs like Japan's Fifth Generation Project and the formation of the US advanced technology consortium known as the MCC. All along, HP Newquist, the leading writer in the AI industry for more than a decade, gives an insider's perspective to the proceedings, providing detailed accounts of the genius, ego, and greed that have helped to make artificial intelligence one of the most important and most controversial technologies in the history of the world
Published by Macmillan.
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The Brain Makers engagingly tells the story of artificial intelligence's rise and fall and gradual redemption, investing it with all the high drama and unexpected revelations of a celebrity memoir." - Omni Magazine
"Newquist gives the glory days of artificial intelligence an official record." - The Boston Globe
"The Brain Makers is not fiction, but it is an adventure thriller." -
Business Computer Review
"The Brain Makers is a fascinating and engrossing story with lessons for the entire industry."
- The Washington Times
From The Book Jacket . . .
Over the past four decades large corporations, research labs, and The Pentagon have tried to find a way to make computers behave more like humans. In particular, they have wanted to create thinking machines--computers which could learn, reason, and even understand the spoken word. The technology which attempts to do this is known as artificial intelligence.Artificial intelligence is about power: the power of man to recreate human intelligence in machines, and the power of man over those machines. Yet AI is also about the power to use intelligent computers as a weapon--literally--in the wars of corporate competition and personal egos. Because in the story of man and machines, man is the real story. In the rush to create thinking computers, there are plenty of outsized egos to match the relative normalcy of the people that worked tirelessly to make AI a reality. People that had been tossed out of every other respectable job in the computer business oftentimes found a safe haven in AI, where they worked side by side with post-pubescent geniuses who would rather sleep in a room with a computer than in a room with a member of the opposite sex. Still other people, with no pretensions of greatness, made remarkable breakthroughs that pushed the technology further than it was ever expected to go.
This is the story of a technology that is being used by all of the world's major corporations--a technology that passes approval on credit card purchases, schedules the flights of airplanes, helps the IRS catch tax cheats, assists the FBI in tracking down serial killers, and makes life-and-death decisions in emergency rooms. It is a technology that is becoming an integral part of the world around us, even though we may never see it face to face.
More than that, The Brain Makers is the story of the men and women who have sought to give computers a form of humanity that many believe borders on playing God. This book is their chronicle, and it requires nothing more from you other than that you sit back and read.Or wait until a machine can do it for you.
HP Newquist has written hundreds of articles that have appeared in magazines and journals around the world. His expertise in the field of thinking machines has been cited by publications including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek, USA Today, and The New York Times.