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Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2019 год
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      Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better
Clive Thompson

A brilliant examination into how the internet is profoundly changing the way we think.In this groundbreaking book, Wired writer Clive Thompson argues that the internet is boosting our brainpower, encouraging new ways of thinking, and making us more not less intelligent as is so often claimed.Our lives have been changed utterly and irrevocably by the rise of the internet and it is only now that we can begin to analyse this extraordinary phenomenon. The author argues that as we rely more and more for machines to help us think, our thinking itself is becoming richer and more complex. We’re able to learn more, retain it longer, to write in curious new forms, and even to think entirely new types of thoughts.Outsmart is filled with stories of people who are living through these profound technological changes. In a series of postcards from the near future, we meet characters such as Gordon Bell, an ageing millionaire who is saving a digital copy of everything that happens to him, and Eric Hovitz, one of the world’s leading artificial-intelligence researchers, who is creating software that is designed to let your computer sense your mood and then predict when you’re going to be most productive at work.Lucidly written and argued, Outsmart is a breathtaking original look at our Brave New World.

Copyright (#u2a0e1562-0a93-585a-a88a-4db1da34a929)

William Collins

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd

77–85 Fulham Palace Road,

Hammersmith, London W6 8JB

WilliamCollinsBooks.com (http://WilliamCollinsBooks.com)

First published in Great Britain by William Collins in 2013

Copyright © Clive Thompson 2013

Clive Thompson asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Source ISBN: 9780007427796

Ebook Edition © September 2013 ISBN: 9780007427789

Version: 2014-09-06

From the reviews of Smarter Than You Think: (#u2a0e1562-0a93-585a-a88a-4db1da34a929)

‘We should be grateful to have such a clear-eyed and lucid interpreter of our changing technological culture as Clive Thompson. Smarter Than You Think is an important, insightful book about who we are, and who we are becoming’

Joshua Foer, New York Times bestselling author of Moonwalking with Einstein

‘Almost without noticing it, the internet has become our intellectual exoskeleton. Rather than just observing this evolution, Clive Thompson takes us to the people, places and technologies driving it, bringing deep reporting, storytelling and analysis to one of the most profound shifts in human history’

Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail

‘There’s good news in this dazzling book: technology is not the enemy. Smarter Than You Think reports on how the digital world has helped individuals harness a powerful, collaborative intelligence – becoming better problem-solvers and more creative human beings’

Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken

‘Thompson has started an important debate in this lively and accessible book’

Scotsman

Dedication (#u2a0e1562-0a93-585a-a88a-4db1da34a929)

To Emily, Gabriel, and Zev

Contents

Cover (#u601e71b8-e4d4-53b2-a78e-db0622d8478b)

Title Page (#u8d38d68d-565b-50b2-bd5c-976a8bab0e3f)

Copyright

Praise

Dedication

The Rise of the Centaurs

We, the Memorious

Public Thinking

The New Literacies

The Art of Finding

The Puzzle-Hungry World

Digital School

Ambient Awareness

The Connected Society

Epilogue

Notes

Index

Acknowledgments

About the Author

About the Publisher

The Rise of the Centaurs_ (#u2a0e1562-0a93-585a-a88a-4db1da34a929)

Who’s better at chess—computers or humans?

The question has long fascinated observers, perhaps because chess seems like the ultimate display of human thought: the players sit like Rodin’s Thinker, silent, brows furrowed, making lightning-fast calculations. It’s the quintessential cognitive activity, logic as an extreme sport.

So the idea of a machine outplaying a human has always provoked both excitement and dread. In the eighteenth century, Wolfgang von Kempelen caused a stir

with his clockwork Mechanical Turk—an automaton that played an eerily good game of chess, even beating Napoleon Bonaparte. The spectacle was so unsettling that onlookers cried out in astonishment when the Turk’s gears first clicked into motion. But the gears, and the machine, were fake; in reality, the automaton was controlled by a chess savant cunningly tucked inside the wooden cabinet. In 1915, a Spanish inventor unveiled a genuine, honest-to-goodness robot

that could actually play chess—a simple endgame involving only three pieces, anyway. A writer for Scientific American fretted that the inventor “Would Substitute Machinery for the Human Mind.”

Eighty years later, in 1997, this intellectual standoff clanked to a dismal conclusion when world champion Garry Kasparov was defeated by IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer in a tournament of six games. Faced with a machine that could calculate two hundred million positions a second

, even Kasparov’s notoriously aggressive and nimble style broke down. In its final game, Deep Blue used such a clever ploy—tricking Kasparov into letting the computer sacrifice a knight—that it trounced him in nineteen moves. “I lost my fighting spirit,”

Kasparov said afterward, pronouncing himself “emptied completely.”

Riveted, the journalists announced a winner. The cover of Newsweek proclaimed the event “The Brain’s Last Stand.”

Doomsayers predicted that chess itself was over

. If machines could outthink even Kasparov, why would the game remain interesting? Why would anyone bother playing? What’s the challenge?
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