January 2, 2013

Top 10 Non-Fiction Transhuman Books

Being a supporter of Transhumanism myself  I definitely favor the strong AI perspective although I realize a realistic assessment of whats really happening is required.

1)Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind-In this compelling book, Hans Moravec predicts that machines will attain human levels of intelligence by the year 2040, and that by 2050, they will surpass us. But even though Moravec predicts the end of the domination by human beings, his is not a bleak vision. Far from railing against a future in which machines rule the world, Moravec embraces it, taking the startling view that intelligent robots will actually be our evolutionary heirs. "Intelligent machines, which will grow from us, learn our skills, and share our goals and values, can be viewed as children of our minds." And since they are our children, we will want them to outdistance us. In fact, in a bid for immortality, many of our descendants will choose to transform into "ex humans," as they upload themselves into advanced computers. This provocative new book, the highly anticipated follow-up to his bestselling volume Mind Children, charts the trajectory of robotics in breathtaking detail. A must read for artificial intelligence, technology, and computer enthusiasts, Moravec's freewheeling but informed speculations present a future far different than we ever dared imagine.
10 reviews on Amazon gave it a 3.6 of 5 stars
You can get "Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind" at Amazon now

2)The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence
-The first Ray kurzweil book I ever read. Kurzweil refers to a time in the near future when machines intelligence will surpass humans and when humans begin to merge with machines. He calls this event the Singulairty
156 reviews on Amazon gave it  4 of 5 stars
Buy "The Age of Spiritual Machines" at Amazon

3)Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime-By Aubrey De Grey-An inside look from today's leading researchers on anti aging research. He breaks down how our bodies break down by comparing us to vehicles with parts that need to be fixed.Nearly all scientists who study the biology of aging agree that we will someday be able to substantially slow down the aging process, extending our productive, youthful lives. Dr. Aubrey de Grey is perhaps the most bullish of all such researchers. As has been reported in media outlets ranging from 60 Minutes to The New York Times, Dr. de Grey believes that the key biomedical technology required to eliminate aging-derived debilitation and death entirely—technology that would not only slow but periodically reverse age-related physiological decay, leaving us biologically young into an indefinite future—is now within reach.
41 reviews on Amazon gave it a 4.3 of 5 stars
Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime

4)Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence-Another one by Hans Moravec. In this outing Hans Moravec still has many exciting ideas he wants to share which always add excitement. He maintains that robots will eventually surpass us on the evolutionary ladder and most liekly become freinds rather than foes. He talks of mind-uploading into robotic bodies. This is one of the first books I ever read in high school that excietd me abouth the sciences
5 reviews on Amazon gave it a 4.6 of 5 stars
You can get "Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence" at Amazon now

5.The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology-My second favorite Kurzweil book. Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our
future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.
5 reviews on amazon gave it a 4.2 of 5 stars
You can get "The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology" at Amazon now
6)100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and-Humanity is on the cusp of an exciting longevity revolution. The first person to live to 150 years has probably already been born. What will your life look like when you live to be over 100? Will the world become overpopulated? How will living longer affect your finances, your family life, and your views on religion and the afterlife? In 100 Plus, futurist Sonia Arrison brings together over a decade of experience researching and writing about cutting-edge advances in science and technology to paint a vivid picture of a future that only recently seemed like science fiction, but is now very real. The first book to give readers a comprehensive understanding of how life-extending discoveries will change our social and economic worlds, 100 Plus is an illuminating and indispensable text that will help us navigate the thrilling journey oflife beyond 100 years.
2 reviews on Amazon gave it 5 of 5 stars
Buy " 100 Plus" at Amazon now

7)Beyond Human: Living with Robots and Cyborgs- A humour and yet serious look at current trends in AI and cybernetics and where they are going in the near future. This book has a good argument against strong AI which I did not agree with but yet respect since you need a honest look at the way things really are.an up-to-date, comprehensive overview of developments in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, physicist Benford and biologist Malartre also address deeper questions about the relationship between the brain and the mind, as well as humankind's nervous relationship with increasingly sophisticated machines. Looking at robots' use in all areas, such as unskilled labor, precision work (like surgery), the home and the battlefield, Benford and Malartre take into account not just the latest research and developments, but the long popularity of robots and cyborgs in pop culture (citing movies like A.I. and The Day the Earth Stood Still). Their concluding argument, that consciousness and the intellectual power of the human mind emerge from the complexity of the brain, and thus cannot be reduced to the functioning of its individual components, leads them to doubt, convincingly, that robots (machines that mimic humans) and cyborgs (man-machine hybrids) will ever amount to more than sophisticated tools, enhancing human life but never replacing it. Throughout, the authors maintain a playful sense, an optimistic view of the future and a steady grip on this rapidly expanding field.
 Buy "Beyond Human: Living with Robots and Cyborgs" at Amazon now

8)Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies -- and What It Means to Be Human
Bestselling author Joel Garreau, a reporter and editor for the Washington Post, shows us that we are at an inflection point in history. As you read this, we are engineering the next stage of human evolution. Through advances in genetic, robotic, information and nanotechnologies, we are altering our minds, our memories, our metabolisms, our personalities, our progeny–and perhaps our very souls.

Taking us behind the scenes with today's foremost researchers and pioneers, Garreau reveals that the super powers of our comic-book heroes already exist, or are in development in hospitals, labs, and research facilities around the country -- from the revved up reflexes and speed of Spider-Man and Superman, to the enhanced mental acuity and memory capabilities of an advanced species.

Over the next fifteen years, Garreau makes clear, these enhancements will become part of our everyday lives. Where will they lead us? To heaven–where technology’s promise to make us smarter, vanquish illness and extend our lives is the answer to our prayers? Or will they lead us, as some argue, to hell — where unrestrained technology brings about the ultimate destruction of our entire species? With the help and insights of the gifted thinkers and scientists who are making what has previously been thought of as science fiction a reality, Garreau explores how these developments, in our lifetime, will affect everything from the way we date to the way we work, from how we think and act to how we fall in love. It is a book about what our world is becoming today, not fifty years out. As Garreau cautions, it is only by anticipating the future that we can hope to shape it.
Get it at Amazon now Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies -- and What It Means to Be Human

9)How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics
In this age of DNA computers and artificial intelligence, information is becoming disembodied even as the "bodies" that once carried it vanish into virtuality. While some marvel at these changes, envisioning consciousness downloaded into a computer or humans "beamed" Star Trek-style, others view them with horror, seeing monsters brooding in the machines. In How We Became Posthuman, N. Katherine Hayles separates hype from fact, investigating the fate of embodiment in an information age.

Hayles relates three interwoven stories: how information lost its body, that is, how it came to be conceptualized as an entity separate from the material forms that carry it; the cultural and technological construction of the cyborg; and the dismantling of the liberal humanist "subject" in cybernetic discourse, along with the emergence of the "posthuman."

Ranging widely across the history of technology, cultural studies, and literary criticism, Hayles shows what had to be erased, forgotten, and elided to conceive of information as a disembodied entity. Thus she moves from the post-World War II Macy Conferences on cybernetics to the 1952 novel Limbo by cybernetics aficionado Bernard Wolfe; from the concept of self-making to Philip K. Dick's literary explorations of hallucination and reality; and from artificial life to postmodern novels exploring the implications of seeing humans as cybernetic systems.

Although becoming posthuman can be nightmarish, Hayles shows how it can also be liberating. From the birth of cybernetics to artificial life, How We Became Posthuman provides an indispensable account of how we arrived in our virtual age, and of where we might go from here.
Get How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics at Amazon now

10)Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution
A decade after his now-famous pronouncement of “the end of history,” Francis Fukuyama argues that as a result of biomedical advances, we are facing the possibility of a future in which our humanity itself will be altered beyond recognition. Fukuyama sketches a brief history of man’s changing understanding of human nature: from Plato and Aristotle to the modernity’s utopians and dictators who sought to remake mankind for ideological ends. Fukuyama argues that the ability to manipulate the DNA of all of one person’s descendants will have profound, and potentially terrible, consequences for our political order, even if undertaken with the best of intentions. In Our Posthuman Future, one of our greatest social philosophers begins to describe the potential effects of genetic exploration on the foundation of liberal democracy: the belief that human beings are equal by nature.

This post by J5un for Emerging Tech Trends for Transhumanism

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