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The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us about What It Means to Be Alive

The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive - Brian Christian The AI community meets together to assess the "human-ness" of the latest and greatest in computer technology. The best computer is awarded "the Most Human Computer" award. And, in addition, there is a small additional contest for "the Most Human Human." Brian Christian decides to compete for "the Most Human Human." He is an intriguing person who has degrees in computer technology, philosophy, and poetry. (That is such an odd combination of degrees that I feel led to repeat it again: He is an intriguing person who has degrees in computer technology, philosophy, and poetry.) Christian thinks about what it means to be humaan in the world in which we live, the world that was, and the world that is to come. I had many ah-ha moments while reading this book: Christian relates a story about an author who attempts to outsource his customer service department only to be besieged by new reps calling to ask how to solve problems. In desperation, the author finally sends the reps an e-mail that says, "Don't ask me for permission. Do what you think is right." Suddenly, the calls to the author cease and customer service ratings rapidly improve. "Micromanagement; the kaizen-less assembly line; the overstandardization of brittle procedures and protocols...these problems are precisely the same problem, and pose precisely the same danger, as does AI. In all four cases, a robot will be doing your job. The only difference is that in the first three, the robot will be you." "...kids are much quicker studies at learning to ski because they are not afraid to fall. Fail and recover."