Posted by Kevin Baldeosingh for IndieReader
EVOLUTION CONTINUES: A Human-Computer Partnership, provides an excellent overview of the impact of computer technology on virtually every facet of human life.
Written by one of the developers of speech recognition software, William Meisel’s EVOLUTION CONTINUES: A Human-Computer Partnership, provides an excellent overview of the impact of computer technology on virtually every facet of human life. Meisel has something substantive to say on artificial intelligence (AI), robots, digital assistants, and even more esoteric topics like consciousness and free will. His take on computers is almost relentlessly positive, but he makes strong arguments for all his opinions. Take, for example the fear generated in sci-fi movies like Terminator and The Matrix and TV series like Person of Interest: that super-intelligent computers will exterminate or dominate humanity. Meisel makes a good argument that, were such computers ever to be developed (which he thinks unlikely), they would probably see human beings as benefactors and work for our benefit. For More (the full review)…
Evolution Continues: A Human-Computer Partnership
Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite
What role does technology play in human evolution? Will technology replace humans and result in more unemployment and poverty? Will technology make education more accessible to a larger population? If you have similar questions to these, read on. Evolution Continues: A Human-Computer Partnership explores technology and its impact on humans in today's world and the possibilities that a future with more advanced technologies and computers holds. According to William Meisel, robots are not likely to replace humans but will change how we work. However, it doesn't end there as technology's impact on humans extends to healthcare and education. Through an in-depth analysis of past and current events involving humans and technology, the author arrives at logical conclusions about the future of humans with technology and computers.
Using clear language, a plethora of illustrative examples, and a neat arrangement of topics and essays, Evolution Continues helped me to see the advantages of technology today and got me incredibly excited about the future. The book includes examples from different well-known and highly respected companies and people, like the device Elon Musk claims would "allow people with spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders to control external devices." William Meisel does a remarkable job of examining the human-computer relationship; several things about technology are depicted in a new, fascinating light. Evolution Continues will convert technology skeptics to advocates and put most of their fears to rest, with its well-researched information and analysis. Everyone that is interested in learning about humanity's future with technology should read this book!
The increasing impact of computers in our lives may change what it means to be human." That's the streamlined thesis of Evolution Continues, in which author William Meisel posits that the rapid evolution of computer technology is intrinsically linked to a concurrent type of human evolution, albeit not a biological one.
Instead, Meisel's book contends, our ever-growing reliance on computers in everyday life—from digital assistants and artificial intelligence to computing’s impacts on economics and education, and more—is literally changing what it means to be human.
It's a compelling argument, and it's not a pejorative one: The author isn't claiming we're all doomed because computers are now intrinsic to virtually everything we do, or that virtually every person's job will be replaced by a computer or robot worker. (In fact, he notes that the low unemployment rate [as of early 2022] indicated that many good jobs remain available to human beings—at least for now.)
A Ph.D. with decades of experience in computer science and related fields, Meisel is thorough in his exploration of the connection between developing technology and human life. Chapters include, among other topics, analyses of remote work, genetic engineering, social media, and assisting people with disabilities. The author doesn't appear to miss a trick at interrogating all the potential (and proven) ramifications of how computing is altering human life.
And Meisel is careful not to depict these innovations as necessarily dooming us to a Terminator-style dystopian future with sentient robot overlords, he does include a section on potential dangers titled "Things Going Too Far."
Evolution Continues is extremely well researched and thoughtfully composed. It might be challenging for casual readers; while it takes a big-picture view on how innovations and evolutions impact everyday life, Meisel's analysis tends more toward the academic and scientific than to breaking things down in simpler, more accessible terms. That's not necessarily a criticism, just something those interested in the subject should consider before diving in.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.
Evolution Continues: A Human-Computer Partnership
“Computers have increasingly become part of our lives, from the Web to our smartphones. Dr. Meisel talks about how we got here, the role computer intelligence plays today, and how it will evolve. He addresses both the positive potential for this trend and the problems it is bringing.”
“A friend of mine is reading this for his participation in "The Plato Society" in Southern CA. Although I live in Oregon, I thought I would read it, as well. I am primarily an Apple user (since my first Apple IIe) but have always been a big user of computers. I have no technical background but am intrigued by how things "work". I found the book easy to understand and most fascinating leading me to further research on my own. The fact that Alexa can respond to my request for the weather here in Portland by synthesizing my language, to text, sending it to the servers out there in Eastern Oregon (miles away) then get to me with an answer in a split second is nothing short of amazing . It is equal parts Computer technology and Sociology.”
“The researcher-turned-detective is definitely a nerd in need of social graces, but he learns fast when he meets the attractive female detective he is teamed with.”
The Connected Detective
“Imagine Sheldon turned detective! This fast paced mystery is a quick and pleasurable read. Our hero is quirky, fun and his intelligence gives the story an interesting perspective. The romantic character development adds an interesting dimension. I recommend the book. It is a great start for a detective series and am looking forward to the next one.”