Heart of the Machine

  • by Richard Yonck
  • Narrated by Robertson Dean
  • 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Imagine a robotic stuffed animal that can read and respond to a child's emotional state or a commercial that can change based on a customer's facial expression. Heart of the Machine explores the next giant step in the relationship between humans and technology: the ability of computers to recognize, respond to, and even replicate emotions.
Computers have long been integral to our lives, and their advances continue at an exponential rate. Many believe that artificial intelligence equal or superior to human intelligence will happen in the not-too-distance future. Futurist Richard Yonck argues that emotion, the first, most basic, and most natural form of communication, is at the heart of how we will soon work with and use computers.
Instilling emotions into computers is the next leap in our centuries-old obsession with creating machines that replicate humans. But for every benefit this progress may bring to our lives, there is a possible pitfall. Emotion recognition could lead to advanced surveillance, and the same technology that can manipulate our feelings could become a method of mass control. Heart of the Machine is an exploration of the new and inevitable ways in which mankind and technology will interact.

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What the Critics Say

"A fascinating, and sometimes disturbing, look at a rapidly approaching future where smart machines understand and manipulate our emotions - and ultimately bond with us in ways that blur the line between ourselves and our technology." (Martin Ford, New York Times best-selling author of Rise of the Robots)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Trivial, trite, superficial and why bother

This book was a dud for me. One would think any book on machines becoming more human like would be a winner. One would be wrong. I found his mostly current musings on the topic trite and superficial (maybe I'm being redundant, but when a book is as superfluous as this book I don't mind being redundant with my insults). Even his tying autism into his story seemed to lack depth of any kind. I have no idea why this author wrote the book, but the first rule of book writing should be along the lines of assuming that the reader is interested in the topic and wants to learn something new. The book fails that first rule.

One other thing: Shame on the New York Times and their book review section. They had Ray Kurzweil write the review for this book and "Thinking Machine" within a double review, and he wrote a really, really favorable review for both books. Nothing wrong with that since that's a matter of opinion, but they really, really should have warned the reader that both books sung the praises of Kuzrweill within their texts and that the reviewer might not have been able to separate that from an honest review (I'm not saying that Kurzweil didn't like the books, but I wish I had been warned of the potential conflict that the reviewer would have in giving an honest review). For me, both books were duds, insignificant, lacked depth, and I would have been better off re-reading a Kurzweil book.
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- Gary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-14-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio