Heart of the Machine
Heart of the Machine
Heart of the Machine explores the next giant step in the relationship between humans and technology: the ability of computers to recognise, respond to, and even replicate emotions.
Imagine a robotic stuffed animal that can read and respond to a child's emotional state, a commercial that can recognise and change based on a customer's facial expression, or a company that can actually create feelings as though a person were experiencing them naturally. Heart of the Machine explores the next giant step in the relationship between humans and technology: the ability of computers to recognise, respond to, and even replicate emotions. Computers have long been integral to our lives, and their advances continue at an exponential rate. Many believe that artificial intelligence equal or superior to human intelligence will happen in the not-too-distance future; some even think machine consciousness will follow. Futurist Richard Yonck argues that emotion, the first, most basic, and most natural form of communication, is at the heart of how we will soon work with and use computers. Instilling emotions into computers is the next leap in our centuries-old obsession with creating machines that replicate humans. But for every benefit this progress may bring to our lives, there is a possible pitfall. Emotion recognition could lead to advanced surveillance, and the same technology that can manipulate our feelings could become a method of mass control. And, as shown in movies like Her and Ex Machina, our society already holds a deep-seated anxiety about what might happen if machines could actually feel and break free from our control. Heart of the Machine is an exploration of the new and inevitable ways in which mankind and technology will interact. 'Yonck is a sure-footed guide and is not without a sense of humor...[He] provides a compelling and thorough history of the interaction between our emotional lives and our technology.' — Ray Kurzweil, The New York Times Book Review 'A fascinating, and sometimes disturbing, look at a rapidly approaching future where smart machines understand and manipulate our emotions—and ultimately bond with us in ways that blur the line between ourselves and our technology.' — Martin Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future 'Richard Yonck's Heart of the Machine is a fascinating speculation on the near- and far-term significance of emotions for user interfaces, machine-mediated communication between humans, and what technology and humans may become.' —V ernor Vinge, computer scientist and Hugo Award–winning author of Rainbows End '[Yonck] makes a compelling argument for why affective computing (technology that can read, interpret, replicate, and experience emotions and use those abilities to influence us) is the key to AI and the heart of how we will work with computers...an engaging read.' —Library Journal 'Very important for any decision-maker and a must-read for corporations for planning their road map. It is also recommended to everyone who is curious enough to understand the future. Even the very near future.' — Yoram Levanon, chief science officer at Beyond Verbal Communication, Ltd.