Dreaming with Machines: A New Everett Cafe Book Display
Perhaps the dream started with Leonardo, the greatest artist whose telling notebooks include fantastic drawings of “smart” machines — a parachute, helicopter, tank, mechanical knight, and many other curious mechanical devices. Leonardo certainly amused the Italian royalty, but his dreams came to fruition — enabling the creative and logical connection between humans and technology. We remember that he was not only gifted in art, science, and invention, but also in music, for he sang and played the lira da braccia, as well as the lyre, and he once designed the latter with silver in the unique shape of a horse’s head. Along with other Renaissance men, like the architect, painter, poet, scientist Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo epitomizes the Renaissance humanist ideal: man, full of immense capacity for development and knowledge, is at the center of the universe.
So, with artificial intelligence becoming more ubiquitous every year, how will humans adapt to a new era of “smart machines” — intelligent devices that use machine-to-machine technology? Robots, self-driven cars, and other cognitive computers can make more and more decisions, and solve our problems without human intervention – leading us to ponder, more than ever, our place in a rapidly developing tech world — and especially our role as parents, teachers, and citizens. What would Leonardo say today, or even 100 years from now?
On display through the end of September, Dreaming with Smart Machines calls us to examine the nature of machines, technological innovation, and life itself. Select writers include Allison Druin and James Hendler, Angelo Cangelosi and Matthew Schlesinger, Sara Varon, Alan Winfield, Joshua Davis, Neal Bascomb, Robin Hanson, Daniel H. Wilson, Murray Shanahan, Ray Kurzweil, John Markoff, and Matthew Weinstein, who open our eyes and help us imagine the possibilities.
Here’s a preview:
Bascomb, Neil. The New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts. New York: Crown, 2011.
Cafe TJ211.26 .B37 2011
Cangelosi, Angelo and Matthew Schlesinger. Developmental Robotics: From Babies to Robots. Boston: MIT, 2015.
Cafe TJ211.495 .C36 2015
Davis, Joshua. Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Originals, 2014.
Cafe TJ211.26 .D38 2014
Hanson, Robin. The Age of Em: Work, Love, and Life When Robots Rule the Earth. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Cafe HM846 .H368 2016
Druin, Allison and James Hendler, eds. Robots for Kids: Exploring New Technologies for Learning. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann, 2000.
Cafe TJ211 .R5749 2000
Kurzweil, Ray. The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. New York, Penguin, 2000.
Cafe Q335 .K88 2000
Markoff, John. Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots. New York: ECCO, 2015.
Cafe TJ211.49 .M37 2015
Shanahan, Murray. The Technological Singularity. Boston, MIT, 2015.
Cafe Q335 .S4626 2015
Varon, Sara. Robot Dreams. New York: First Second, c2007.
Cafe PZ7.V4453 Ro 2007
Weinstein, Matthew. Robot World: Education, Popular Culture, and Science. New York: Peter Lang, 1998.
Cafe Q105.A1 W45 1998
Wilson, Daniel H. Robopocalyspe: A Novel. New York: Vintage, 2012.
Cafe PS3623.I57796 R63 2012
Winfield, Alan. Robotics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Cafe TJ211 .W56 2012
At the Everett News Cafe, you’ll find a new book collection every few weeks that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments.