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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

The Robot Overlords Aren't Quite Ready

In which we learn we should be maybe just a little nervous about what is coming

The Heart and the Chip by Daniela Rus

Stars: 4.5

So much of the news right now is about AI: its rise, how companies are employing it, where the information for it is coming from, how lawyers are using ChatGBT to find briefs. I don't tend to be an alarmist myself (I feel like history buffs generally aren’t?)  but I was feeling like I needed to learn a bit more, so when I saw the ARC for this book by roboticist Daniela Rus, I thought this would be a great place to start - and it was.

Rus’ book is aimed at the general reader, someone with little knowledge of robotics outside of Star Trek but it never condescends to the reader. She does an excellent job of explaining where AI is at the moment and where it is heading. Does she worry that robots are going to take over the world? She does not, but she does carefully and methodically lay out where issues with robotics are currently at and where they might arise as the field grows. She is the director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, so she is obviously an advocate for AI and it is important to understand that while reading the book - but I don’t think Rus pretends she is not enamored of her subject, one she has loved since she was a child.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with little background in robotics who is looking for some insight. I listened to the audiobook and I was able to follow along without any issues.

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