Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology

Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology

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Author: Mayor, Adrienne

Brand: Princeton University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Number Of Pages: 304

Release Date: 27-11-2018

Details: Product Description The fascinating untold story of how the ancients imagined robots and other forms of artificial life―and even invented real automated machines The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, long before medieval automata, and centuries before technology made self-moving devices possible, Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life―and grappling with still-unresolved ethical concerns about biotechne, “life through craft.” In this compelling, richly illustrated book, Adrienne Mayor tells the fascinating story of how ancient Greek, Roman, Indian, and Chinese myths envisioned artificial life, automata, self-moving devices, and human enhancements―and how these visions relate to and reflect the ancient invention of real animated machines.As early as Homer, Greeks were imagining robotic servants, animated statues, and even ancient versions of Artificial Intelligence, while in Indian legend, Buddha’s precious relics were defended by robot warriors copied from Greco-Roman designs for real automata. Mythic automata appear in tales about Jason and the Argonauts, Medea, Daedalus, Prometheus, and Pandora, and many of these machines are described as being built with the same materials and methods that human artisans used to make tools and statues. And, indeed, many sophisticated animated devices were actually built in antiquity, reaching a climax with the creation of a host of automata in the ancient city of learning, Alexandria, the original Silicon Valley.A groundbreaking account of the earliest expressions of the timeless impulse to create artificial life, Gods and Robots reveals how some of today’s most advanced innovations in robotics and AI were foreshadowed in ancient myth―and how science has always been driven by imagination. This is mythology for the age of AI. Review "Beautifully written." ---Candida Moss, Daily Beast "Adrienne Mayor entertainingly re-examines the various versions of these myths that survive in written and visual form and speculates about their origins." ― The Economist "One of BookAuthority’s Three Best New Robotics Audiobooks To Read in 2019" "[An] astonishing chronicle." ---Barbara Kiser, Nature "There is much to intrigue the general reader, with enough to challenge the more academic reader." ---Cath Milnes, Classics for All Reviews " Gods and Robots turned out to be a fascinating book on an unusual subject." ― The Inquisitive Biologist "In her remarkable book Gods and Robots: Machines, Myths, and Ancient Dreams of Technology, Stanford Professor Adrienne Mayor gives a literate and creative history of the notion of delegating power and giving orders to man-made entities." ---Michael Munger, American Institute of Economic Research "[A] masterful retelling of ancient tales." ---Clara Bosak-Schroeder, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "This is a wonderful ‘eureka’ book for anyone in search of the deep origin story of robotics and AI . . . and a possible epiphany for Marvel fans and science-fiction and fantasy readers looking for more back story on their favorite superheroes." ---Emily E. Auger, Mythlore Journal "Adrienne Mayor writes jargon-free prose laced with wit." ---Barry Baldwin, Fortean Times Review “If you think robot ethics is only a modern problem, think again. As this fascinating book explains, robots have been envisioned―and feared―for thousands of years. Adrienne Mayor teleports us back to the ancient world, connecting the dots between mythology, ancient machines, and today’s robots and other emerging technologies―and helping us understand our visions and anxieties about automation and what it means to be human.” ―Patrick Lin, coeditor of Robot Ethics 2.0: From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence “Vivid and exhilarating, Gods and Robots shows that humanity has been grappling with the idea of

Package Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.7 x 1.1 inches

Languages: English