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Artificial Unintelligence

How Computers Misunderstand the World
Narrated by: Andrea Emmes
Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Artificial Unintelligence, Meredith Broussard argues that our collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a tremendous amount of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally - hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners - that we have stopped demanding that our technology actually work. Broussard, a software developer and journalist, reminds us that there are fundamental limits to what we can (and should) do with technology. 

Making a case against technochauvinism - the belief that technology is always the solution - Broussard argues that it's just not true that social problems would inevitably retreat before a digitally enabled Utopia. To prove her point, she undertakes a series of adventures in computer programming. She goes for an alarming ride in a driverless car; uses artificial intelligence to investigate why students can't pass standardized tests; deploys machine learning to predict which passengers survived the Titanic disaster; and attempts to repair the US campaign finance system by building AI software. If we understand the limits of what we can do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we should do with it to make the world better for everyone. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Meredith Broussard (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific book to understand the realities of AI

great narrative on our perceptions of and realities of Artificial Intelligence. True understanding of what these tools are, there shortcomings and pitfalls are is where real wisdom of this book is. Should be required reading for anyone living in the 21st century!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating, great real world examples

Amazingly even the code examples without the benefit of the PDF were fine. This title is really accessible and requires no real technical details understanding. To me it was quite basic and few surprises on the high level, but the detailed discussions on standardised testing and self driving cars were quite interesting, and surprising (less for the successes but more for the failed approaches).

Some excellent points on IT and innovation generally and overall a great listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • CB
  • 12-08-19

... liked the narration

Interesting, insider's, personal p.o.v. .. outside of the 'boys club.' Very enjoyable and informative. Just the right combo of technical detail and overview/perspective.
Normally I don't rate the audio reading, but since others have downgraded the narrator I feel I should mention that I actually liked this person's voice. Very unique and a good choice to represent the material.

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An important book reminding us the true age of technology and people

Meredith Broussard’s book, Artificial Intelligence, served best as a reminder of the true age of technology, how it has a long history that doesn’t begin only in the last decade, and how, like any other history, it is important for us to understand in order to grow from it. This book challenges the idea of innovation and technology in the 21st century and I finish this book feeling challenged to explore technology not as a sexy, new-age tool for innovation, but as an unsexy, practical resource that is rooted in helping people.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but not the best

I'm very grateful for book like Brousard's that is helping to bring sanity to the industry and the limits of current AI and Machine Learning technologies. However, sometimes it was difficult to know whether Brousard was writing everything about the tech industry/culture she did not like or book the limits of the technology. Being in the industry and despite agreeing with some of her opinions, it really took away from the book. A lot more thorough book (not without it's own shortcomings) is Gary Smith's 'AI Delusion'.

Strengths
-Shows computers aren't magic boxes
-Common pitfalls of computers (i.e. the limits of plain math and statistica)
-Potential biases from the developers

Weaknesses
-Heavy cultural grievances
-Almost exclusively focused on current technology (i.e. not exploring the frontiers like current AGI research which is distinctly different than current tech and how non-deterministic Turing Machine like Quantum Computing may change things) She only covers humans in the loop computing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful