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Summary

Imagine a robotic stuffed animal that can read and respond to a child's emotional state or a commercial that can change based on a customer's facial expression. Heart of the Machine explores the next giant step in the relationship between humans and technology: the ability of computers to recognize, respond to, and even replicate emotions.

Computers have long been integral to our lives, and their advances continue at an exponential rate. Many believe that artificial intelligence equal or superior to human intelligence will happen in the not-too-distance future. Futurist Richard Yonck argues that emotion, the first, most basic, and most natural form of communication, is at the heart of how we will soon work with and use computers.

Instilling emotions into computers is the next leap in our centuries-old obsession with creating machines that replicate humans. But for every benefit this progress may bring to our lives, there is a possible pitfall. Emotion recognition could lead to advanced surveillance, and the same technology that can manipulate our feelings could become a method of mass control. Heart of the Machine is an exploration of the new and inevitable ways in which mankind and technology will interact.

©2017 Richard Yonck (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"A fascinating, and sometimes disturbing, look at a rapidly approaching future where smart machines understand and manipulate our emotions - and ultimately bond with us in ways that blur the line between ourselves and our technology." (Martin Ford, New York Times best-selling author of Rise of the Robots)

What members say

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Thought provoking intellectual accessible

I looked forward to listening to this book. And I was not disappointed. the choice of narrator was inspired. He added an air of authenticity to the subject. Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. A brilliant primer to the subject for the uninitiated. Sufficiently academic to ensure rigour in thought.

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  • Rodolfo
  • 09-05-18

Excellent storytelling about machine intelligence

The book try to Focus on Emotion Artificial Intelligence and the way we Will Interact with It.
There's good information about the field... in general a good book to read and an introduction to the theme.
Don't forget to read Picard book's which open the field.

Good read...

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  • Brian Tarbox
  • 27-02-18

A book on machine emotion read with zero emotion

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend a friend get the kindle version of this book. The topics are interesting but the performance was completely flat.

Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

They were at a fine level but the performance got in the way

How could the performance have been better?

Give a little emotion. The reader sounded like a late night FM radio host on Nyquil.

Was Heart of the Machine worth the listening time?

Not really

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  • Gary
  • 20-05-17

Trivial, trite, superficial and why bother

This book was a dud for me. One would think any book on machines becoming more human like would be a winner. One would be wrong. I found his mostly current musings on the topic trite and superficial (maybe I'm being redundant, but when a book is as superfluous as this book I don't mind being redundant with my insults). Even his tying autism into his story seemed to lack depth of any kind. I have no idea why this author wrote the book, but the first rule of book writing should be along the lines of assuming that the reader is interested in the topic and wants to learn something new. The book fails that first rule.

One other thing: Shame on the New York Times and their book review section. They had Ray Kurzweil write the review for this book and "Thinking Machine" within a double review, and he wrote a really, really favorable review for both books. Nothing wrong with that since that's a matter of opinion, but they really, really should have warned the reader that both books sung the praises of Kuzrweill within their texts and that the reviewer might not have been able to separate that from an honest review (I'm not saying that Kurzweil didn't like the books, but I wish I had been warned of the potential conflict that the reviewer would have in giving an honest review). For me, both books were duds, insignificant, lacked depth, and I would have been better off re-reading a Kurzweil book.

5 of 11 people found this review helpful