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Faking It

Artificial Intelligence in a Human World

Toby Walsh



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10 October 2023
A prescient analysis of what makes artificial intelligence so ... artificial

The brave new world of faking it ...

Artificial intelligence is, as the name suggests, artificial and fundamentally different to human intelligence. Yet often the goal of AI is to fake human intelligence. This deceit has been there from the very beginning. We've been trying to fake it since Alan Turing answered the question 'Can machines think?' by proposing that machines pretend to be humans.

Now we are starting to build AI that truly deceives us. Powerful AIs such as ChatGPT can convince us they are intelligent and blur the distinction between what is real and what is simulated. In reality, they lack true understanding, sentience and common sense. But this doesn't mean they can't change the world.

Can AI systems ever be creative? Can they be moral? What can we do to ensure they are not harmful? In this fun and fascinating book, Professor Toby Walsh explores all the ways AI fakes it, and what this means for humanity - now and in the future.

'AI will be as big a game-changer as the smart phone and the personal computer - or bigger! This book will help you navigate the revolution.'

-Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

'Refreshingly clear-eyed ... Faking It is an insightful and intelligent book that's a must for those looking for facts about AI hype.' -Books+Publishing

'With a breezy style that confidently demystifies much about AI, Faking It equips readers to better discern and critique this disruptive technology that is likely to take over much of our lives.' -Nathan Smith, The Saturday Paper

'Faking It includes a whistlestop tour of AI history, providing a long list of grifts and false dawns, from the 1770 marvel, the Mechanical Turk, a chess-playing automaton secretly linked to a human player, to ELIZA, the 1967 natural language model that could hold a conversation to the level of tuned-out coworker.' -Kurt Johnson, The Age
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 21mm
Weight:   360g
ISBN:   9781760644826
ISBN 10:   176064482X
Pages:   256
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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