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   When Things Start to Think, by Neil A. Gershenfeld  
 
  Nonfiction, first publication in February 1999 , latest edition in February 2000
 
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      A computer in your shoe? Maybe so. Neil Gershenfeld, director of MIT's Media Lab, joins the ranks of techno-prognosticators with When Things Start to Think, and his focus is on how the future of computing will fit into our physical realities. This sensorial focus allows Gershenfeld to explore such science fictional ideas as wearable computers, nanotech circuitry implants, as well as such concerns as emotions, money, and civil rights in the new age of artificial intelligence. Gershenfeld provides a historical overview of the development of computers and extrapolates a world in which we will be forced to deal with things that think all the time. This can't help but reshape our society in ways we must try to imagine. You may be surprised at how far along this road we are--Gershenfeld is in exactly the right place to tell this story, and it's a whole lot of fun (and a little scary) to ride this wave with him.

    Source: Adam Fisher, Amazon.com.

    This is a book for people who want to know what the future is going to look like and for people who want to know how to create the future. Gershenfeld offers a glimpse at the brave new post-computerized world, where microchips work for us instead of against us. He argues that we waste the potential of the microchip when we confine it to a box on our desk: the real electronic revolution will come when computers have all but disappeared into the walls around us. Imagine a digital book that looks like a traditional book printed on paper and is pleasant to read in bed but has all the mutability of a screen display. How about a personal fabricator that can organize digitized atoms into anything you want, or a musical keyboard that can be woven into a denim jacket? Gershenfeld tells the story of his Things that Think group at MIT's Media Lab, the group of innovative scientists and researchers dedicated to integrating digital technology into the fabric of our lives.

     
     
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  • Robots - Androids - Cyborgs

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