The Universal Machine: From the Dawn of Computing to Digital Consciousness

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Springer Science & Business Media, May 17, 2012 - Computers - 353 pages
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The computer unlike other inventions is universal; you can use a computer for many tasks: writing, composing music, designing buildings, creating movies, inhabiting virtual worlds, communicating...
This popular science history isn't just about technology but introduces the pioneers: Babbage, Turing, Apple's Wozniak and Jobs, Bill Gates, Tim Berners-Lee, Mark Zuckerberg. This story is about people and the changes computers have caused. In the future ubiquitous computing, AI, quantum and molecular computing could even make us immortal. The computer has been a radical invention. In less than a single human life computers are transforming economies and societies like no human invention before.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Dawn of Computing
9
Marvelous Machines
41
Computers Go to War
51
Computers and Big Business
89
Deadheads and Propeller Heads
105
The Computer Gets Personal
125
Weaving the Web
161
The Second Coming
201
Web 20
235
Digital Underworld
259
Machines of Loving Grace
285
Digital Consciousness
307
Appendix I
331
Appendix II
334
Further Reading
343

Dotcom
183

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About the author (2012)

Ian Watson is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has published two textbooks and over one hundred scientific papers, on various aspects of artificial intelligence and is a regular speaker at computer science conferences worldwide. He also makes regular contributions to the popular NZ computer magazine NetGuide.

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