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Melanie Mitchell with Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans
November 18, 2019
Melanie Mitchell has a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the cognitive scientist and writer Douglas Hofstadter; together, they created the Copycat program, which makes creative analogies in an idealized world. The author or editor of five books and numerous scholarly papers, she is currently professor of computer science at Portland State University and external professor at the Santa Fe Institute.
About Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans
No recent scientific enterprise has proved as alluring, terrifying, and filled with extravagant promise and frustrating setbacks as artificial intelligence. The award-winning author Melanie Mitchell, a leading computer scientist, now reveals its turbulent history and the recent surge of apparent successes, grand hopes, and emerging fears that surround AI.
In Artificial Intelligence, Mitchell turns to the most urgent questions concerning AI today: How intelligent―really―are the best AI programs? How do they work? What can they actually do, and when do they fail? How humanlike do we expect them to become, and how soon do we need to worry about them surpassing us? Along the way, she introduces the dominant methods of modern AI and machine learning, describing cutting-edge AI programs, their human inventors, and the historical lines of thought that led to recent achievements. She meets with fellow experts like Douglas Hofstadter, the cognitive scientist and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the modern classic Gödel, Escher, Bach, who explains why he is “terrified” about the future of AI. She explores the profound disconnect between the hype and the actual achievements in AI, providing a clear sense of what the field has accomplished and how much farther it has to go.
Interweaving stories about the science and the people behind it, Artificial Intelligence brims with clear-sighted, captivating, and approachable accounts of the most interesting and provocative modern work in AI, flavored with Mitchell’s humor and personal observations. This frank, lively book will prove an indispensable guide to understanding today’s AI, its quest for “human-level” intelligence, and its impacts on all of our futures.