Evolution Continues: A Human-Computer Partnership by William Meisel has been published worldwide. This exploratory nonfiction work challenges the idea that ever-increasing computing power poses a threat to the workforce—and humanity at large—by considering the role technology plays in social development and human evolution. Meisel argues that computers are increasingly becoming partners, even as the human condition changes.
Exploring the growing connection between humans and computers through human speech, including digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, the book notes that conversation is one of the most direct ways to interact with technology, and that there is a way the devices to “humanize”. Whole generations are now growing up with smartphones in their hands, and this constant connectivity serves to increase their intelligence and even become an extension of the brain – “Augmented Intelligence”.
Meisel looks at the fundamental role technology has played in human evolution and also in the development of society, noting that computers are not only the most powerful tool we use today, but that overall computing power is growing at a much faster rate than the earlier society – changing technologies like cars and electricity. Meisel claims that the effects of artificial intelligence and deep neural networks are due to computing power exceeding a threshold that has made AI commercially feasible, and we can expect more to come.
By carefully examining current and emerging innovations, as well as some predictions about the future of the role computers will play in everyday life, from proximity to digital assistants to skepticism about the Metaverse, Meisel shows that computing power is not a threat. If we see computers as partners, they can make humanity better and potentially change the nature of our species.Evolution continues: A human-computer partnership (ISBN: 9798985794212 / 9798985794229) is available from retailers worldwide including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The paperback is $14.95 and the hardback is $21.95. Wholesale orders are available through Ingram.
From the back:
Human evolution has always been about our tools, and computer technology is the most powerful tool humans have ever invented. Today, digital technology powers everything from personal computers to cell phones, from thermostats to cars. We search the web for a variety of information, entertainment and services. Rapidly increasing computing power is driving breakthrough technologies like artificial intelligence, and more are to come. This increasing power has created a consequent trend to connect to computers via human speech – “talking to computers” – with smartphone personal digital assistants leading this trend. This conversational connection with growing computing power will accelerate a human-computer partnership that will impact what it means to be human. This book examines the full impact of these trends, including computers essentially becoming workers supporting a growing population beyond retirement age.
About the author:
William Meisel, PhD, is the author of several books, including a technical book on machine learning and computer intelligence for a general audience. He began his career as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at USC. His business experience includes director of the information technology department of a defense company and president of a speech recognition company, both for a decade.
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