This book presents six classic science fiction stories and commentary that illustrate and explain key algorithms or principles of artificial intelligence. Even though all the stories were originally published before 1973, they help readers grapple with two questions that stir debate even today: how are intelligent robots programmed? and what are the limits of autonomous robots? The stories—by Isaac Asimov, Vernor Vinge, Brian Aldiss, and Philip K. Dick—cover telepresence, behavior-based robotics, deliberation, testing, human-robot interaction, the “uncanny valley,” natural language understanding, machine learning, and ethics. Each story is preceded by an introductory note, “As You Read the Story,” and followed by a discussion of its implications, “After You Have Read the Story.” Together with the commentary, the stories offer a nontechnical introduction to robotics. The stories can also be considered as a set of—admittedly fanciful—case studies to be read in conjunction with more serious study.
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