How could the body influence our thinking when it seems obvious that the brain controls the body? In How the Body Shapes the Way We Think, Rolf Pfeifer and Josh Bongard demonstrate that thought is not independent of the body but is tightly constrained, and at the same time enabled, by it. They argue that the kinds of thoughts we are capable of have their foundation in our embodiment—in our morphology and the material properties of our bodies.
This crucial notion of embodiment underlies fundamental changes in the field of artificial intelligence over the past two decades, and Pfeifer and Bongard use the basic methodology of artificial intelligence—"understanding by building"—to describe their insights. If we understand how to design and build intelligent systems, they reason, we will better understand intelligence in general. In accessible, nontechnical language, and using many examples, they introduce the basic concepts by building on recent developments in robotics, biology, neuroscience, and psychology to outline a possible theory of intelligence. They illustrate applications of such a theory in ubiquitous computing, business and management, and the psychology of human memory. Embodied intelligence, as described by Pfeifer and Bongard, has important implications for our understanding of both natural and artificial intelligence.
In 2062, world-leading researcher Toby Walsh considers the impact AI will have on work, war, economics, politics, everyday life and even death. Will automation take away most jobs? Will robots become conscious and take over? Will we become immortal machines ourselves, uploading our brains to the cloud? How will politics adjust to the post-truth, post-privacy digitised world? When we have succeeded in building intelligent machines, how will life on this planet unfold?
Based on a deep understanding of technology, 2062 describes the choices we need to make today to ensure that the future remains bright.
‘As Toby Walsh convincingly puts it, “the golden age of philosophy is just about to begin”– a testament to both the richness and the urgency of the questions that confront us between now and 2062. This is a compelling invitation to imagine the future we want, and a lively provocation to make it happen.’ —Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human and co-author of Algorithms to Live By
‘If you want to explore what the disruptive future shaped by AI could be, read this book’ –James Canton, CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, and author of Future Smart: Managing the Game Changing Trends that will Transform Your World
‘One day, machines will surpass humans in all forms of general intelligence. When will that happen? The answer, according to a survey of experts, is the year 2062. If you want to read a lively and well-informed speculation about what could happen next, you can't do better than Toby Walsh's amazing new book.’ –Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and co-author of the New York Times best-seller The Second Machine Age
‘Clarity and sanity in a world full of fog and uncertainty – a timely book about the race to remain human.’ –Richard Watson, author of Digital Vs. Humanand futurist-in-residence at Imperial College, London
‘“What happens next?” is the question that drives human curiosity and innovation. In 2062, Toby Walsh asks that question of one of the most critical junctures on our horizon – the point at which machines become as intelligent as humans. If you’re looking for a roadmap to help navigate that future, look no further.’ —Joel Werner, broadcaster and science journalist
'One of the deepest questions facing humanity, pondered by a mind well and truly up to the task. Rip in!' –Adam Spencer, broadcaster
By the mid-1980s researchers from artificial intelligence, computer science, brain and cognitive science, and psychology realized that the idea of computers as intelligent machines was inappropriate. The brain does not run "programs"; it does something entirely different. But what? Evolutionary theory says that the brain has evolved not to do mathematical proofs but to control our behavior, to ensure our survival. Researchers now agree that intelligence always manifests itself in behavior—thus it is behavior that we must understand. An exciting new field has grown around the study of behavior-based intelligence, also known as embodied cognitive science, "new AI," and "behavior-based AI."
This book provides a systematic introduction to this new way of thinking. After discussing concepts and approaches such as subsumption architecture, Braitenberg vehicles, evolutionary robotics, artificial life, self-organization, and learning, the authors derive a set of principles and a coherent framework for the study of naturally and artificially intelligent systems, or autonomous agents. This framework is based on a synthetic methodology whose goal is understanding by designing and building.
The book includes all the background material required to understand the principles underlying intelligence, as well as enough detailed information on intelligent robotics and simulated agents so readers can begin experiments and projects on their own. The reader is guided through a series of case studies that illustrate the design principles of embodied cognitive science.
There are the philosophical thought experiments and paradoxes: the Doomsday Argument; Sleeping Beauty; the Presumptuous Philosopher; Adam & Eve; the Absent-Minded Driver; the Shooting Room.
And there are the applications in contemporary science: cosmology ("How many universes are there?", "Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life?"); evolutionary theory ("How improbable was the evolution of intelligent life on our planet?"); the problem of time's arrow ("Can it be given a thermodynamic explanation?"); quantum physics ("How can the many-worlds theory be tested?"); game-theory problems with imperfect recall ("How to model them?"); even traffic analysis ("Why is the 'next lane' faster?").
Anthropic Bias argues that the same principles are at work across all these domains. And it offers a synthesis: a mathematically explicit theory of observation selection effects that attempts to meet scientific needs while steering clear of philosophical paradox.