By David F. Dufty
The stranger-than-fiction tale of the inventive construction and lack of an artificially clever android of science-fiction author Philip okay. Dick
In overdue January 2006, a tender robotocist for you to Google headquarters misplaced an in a single day bag on a flight someplace among Dallas and Las Vegas. In it was once an absolutely useful head of the android copy of Philip okay. Dick, cult science-fiction author and counterculture guru. It hasn't ever been recovered.
In a narrative that echoes one of the most paranoid fantasies of a Dick novel, readers get a desirable inside of examine the scientists and know-how that made this remarkable android attainable. the writer, who used to be a fellow researcher on the college of Memphis Institute of clever platforms whereas the android was once being equipped, introduces readers to the state of the art know-how in robotics, man made intelligence, and sculpture that got here jointly during this outstanding computing device and captured the mind's eye of scientists, artists, and science-fiction enthusiasts alike. And there are nice tales approximately Dick himself―his encouraged but deeply pessimistic worldview, his weird and wonderful way of life, and his enduring artistic legacy. within the culture of well known technological know-how classics like Packing for Mars and The Disappearing Spoon, How to construct an Android is interesting and informative―popular technology at its best.
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Extra info for How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection
In 4 days the room and the android will be wear a truck and depart for Chicago. In these 4 days Olney needed to try out the entire software program and locate and connect any insects. He additionally needed to get the complete hardware-software method of cameras, audio system, microphones, pcs, vehicles, wires, and a number of the purposes controlling all of them operating jointly. Hanson was once additionally nonetheless making last-minute ameliorations. placing at the beard was once an incredibly finicky and painstaking activity, and he had no longer even began to hide the again of the pinnacle. aware of the time crunch and figuring out that it might be greatly labor-intensive to put in the hairpiece, Olney instructed that Hanson depart the rear of the cranium uncovered. “It’s fantastic with no the hairpiece,” he advised Hanson. Hanson stopped, sat again, and checked out the android. Olney used to be correct. In a fashion, it was once an announcement in regards to the entire undertaking, the twin human-machine nature of the android, and the blurred barriers among human and desktop. It was once a surprising visible influence. Phil gave the impression of a head-injury sufferer from a highway coincidence. It was once nearly as though anyone had suspected that the robotic was once pretending to be a human and had ripped away the outside to reveal its mystery. Graduate scholars Will Lancaster and Jonathan Nelson consult the android on the FedEx Institute of expertise * * * The time got here to change on Phil’s strength, all his modules and auxiliary units, and notice if he labored. They began the discussion supervisor and waited. “Hi there,” stated Olney. “Hello,” acknowledged Phil. They ran a few checks at the facial expressions; Phil played completely. They attempted a quick dialog. Olney spoke into the microphone. “What is your identify? ” he requested, then waited for a reaction. After a number of seconds, Phil spoke back, “My identify is Phil. What’s yours? ” Olney used to be no longer shocked on the reaction. He had written “My identify is Phil. What’s yours? ” into the code. The process was once operating. Olney requested, “Where have been you born? ” Phil acknowledged, “Phil used to be born in Chicago. ” It used to be one other programmed reaction. the true attempt would include extra spontaneous questions. Olney began making dialog, asking questions for which he knew there have been no prewritten codes. Phil replied, and the 2 of them, Olney and the android, had their first, short back-and-forth. * * * this is often how the android labored: while anyone sat at the sofa subsequent to Phil and acknowledged, “Hi, Phil,” these phrases have been detected through a microphone and transmitted down a twine to a working laptop or computer, the place they have been despatched to a speech acceptance process. That approach switched over the phrases “Hi, Phil” from sound into textual content. That textual content string of letters and areas, “Hi, Phil,” might then commute alongside a cable to a moment machine, the place the discussion supervisor operated. The discussion supervisor had inherited from AutoTutor a processing constitution known as “hub-and-spoke” structure. Like a bicycle wheel, there has been a command center—the hub—that farmed out paintings to numerous submodules, which have been the spokes. The hub of the discussion supervisor first despatched the textual content “Hi, Phil” to a module that switched over it into an LSA illustration, then directly to the heritage module, which hooked up these phrases to every little thing that had already been stated within the dialog.