The stranger-than-fiction story of the ingenious creation and loss of an artificially intelligent android of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick.
In December 2005, a young robotocist on his way to Google headquarters lost an overnight bag on a flight somewhere between Dallas and Las Vegas. In it was the fully functional head of an android replica of Philip K. Dick, cult science fiction writer and counterculture guru. It has never been recovered.
In a story that echoes some of the most paranoid fantasies of a Dick novel, listeners will get a fascinating inside look at the scientists and technology that made this amazing android possible. The author, who was a fellow researcher at the University of Memphis Institute for Intelligent Systems while the android was being built, introduces listeners to the cutting-edge technology in robotics, artificial intelligence, and sculpture that came together in this remarkable machine and captured the imagination of scientists, artists, and science fiction fans alike.
There are also great stories about Dick himself - his inspired yet deeply pessimistic worldview, his bizarre lifestyle, and his enduring creative legacy. In the tradition of popular science classics such as Packing for Mars and The Disappearing Spoon, How to Build an Android is entertaining and informative - popular science at its best.
David F. Dufty is a senior research officer at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Memphis at the time the android was being developed and worked closely with the team of scientists who created it. He completed a psychology degree with honors at the University of Newcastle and has a PhD in psychology from Macquarie University.
Any additional comments?
Wonderful book with a fascinating theme, bring me the head of Philip K. Dick! Yes, it is still out there, somewhere, dreaming of electric Pinchots. The star of the tale, of course, is the android, but the thought of what PKD would think of the android is just as mesmerizing a concept, and much PKD history (as well as android history) is introduced herein, as well. Dufty produced a great book that succeeds in many, many ways, telling the story of the android's creation, talented performance, and mysterious escape. But not to be neglected is the amazingly smoothed reading of Bronson Pinchot, whose wonderful inflection, musical meter, and rich tones should be the target for all android voices (and that achievement is probably more impossible than true AI itself); Pinchot is one of the best voice talents around. "How to Build an Android" is a credit-worthy Audible choice. Art et Amour Toujours
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Am interesting story with a great narrator. I'd like to have seen a deeper dive into the technologies employed in building the android, but it was overall a decent balance.