Beyond Zero and One: Machines, Psychedelics, and Consciousness [EPUB]
28 November 2016, 20:08
2015 | EPUB | 0.4MB
Can we build a robot that trips on acid? This is not a frivolous question, according to neuroscientist Andrew Smart. If we can’t, he argues, we haven’t really created artificial intelligence. In an exposition reminiscent of crossover works such as Godel, Escher, Bach and Fermat’s Last Theorem, Andrew Smart weaves together Mangarevan binary numbers, the discovery of LSD, Leibniz, computer programming, and much more to connect the vast but largely forgotten world of psychedelic research with the resurgent field of AI and the attempt to build conscious robots.
A book that draws on the history of mathematics, philosophy, and digital technology, Beyond Zero and One challenges fundamental assumptions underlying artificial intelligence. Is the human brain based on computation? Can information alone explain human consciousness and intelligence? Smart convincingly makes the case that true intelligence, and artificial intelligence, requires an appreciation of what is beyond the computational.
The Age of Genomes: Tales from the Front Lines of Genetic Medicine [EPUB]
28 November 2016, 05:19
2016 | EPUB | 0.5MB
A leading geneticist explores what promises to be one of the most transformative advances in health and medicine in history
Almost every week, another exciting headline appears about new advances in the field of genetics. Genetic testing is experiencing the kind of exponential growth once seen with the birth of the Internet, while the plummeting cost of DNA sequencing makes it increasingly accessible for individuals and families.
Steven Lipkin and Jon Luoma posit that today’s genomics is like the last century’s nuclear physics: a powerful tool for good if used correctly, but potentially dangerous nonetheless. DNA testing is likely the most exciting advance in a long time for treating serious disease, but sequencing errors, complex biology, and problems properly interpreting genetic data can also cause life-threatening misdiagnoses of patients with debilitating and fatal genetic diseases. DNA testing can also lead to unnecessary procedures and significantly higher health-care costs. And just around the corner is the ability to cure genetic diseases using powerful gene-editing technologies that are already being used in human embryo research. Welcome to the Age of Genomes!
The Age of Genomes immerses readers in true stories of patients on the frontier of genomic medicine and explores both the transformative potential and risks of genetic technology. It will inform anxious parents increasingly bombarded by offers of costly new prenatal testing products, and demonstrate how genetic technology, when deployed properly, can significantly improve the lives of patients who have devastating neurological diseases, cancer, and other maladies. Dr. Lipkin explains the science in depth, but in terms a layperson can follow.
The Tyrannosaur Chronicles: The Biology of the Tyrant Dinosaurs [EPUB]
28 November 2016, 05:16
2016 | EPUB | 23.24MB
In the mid-nineteenth century, many dinosaur fossils were found in the United States, especially during the 1870s and 1880s "Bone Wars." Paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh discovered dozens of skeletons, but in 1905, fossil hunter Barnum Brown named the first tyrannosaur known to science--Tyrannosaurus rex.
Tyrannosaurus was an impressive beast; it topped five tons, was more than thirty-five feet (twelve meters) long, and had the largest head and most powerful bite of any land animal, ever. Tyrannosaurs started small, just a couple of yards long, and over the course of 100 million years, evolved into giant meat-slicing bone crushers.
As of 2015, there were nearly 30 described species of tyrannosaur, but during the last decade at least one new species has been identified and named every year, greatly improving what we know about how they lived, fed, bred, and died. THE TYRANNOSAUR CHRONICLES tracks the rise of these dinosaurs, and presents the latest research into their biology, showing off more than just their impressive statistics--tyrannosaurs had feathers, and fought and even ate one another. Indeed, David Hone tells the evolutionary story of the group through their anatomy, ecology, and behavior, exploring how they came to be the dominant terrestrial predators of the Mesozoic--and more recently, one of the great icons of biology.