Most Human Human
|Narrated By:||Brian Christian|
|Date:||28 February 2011|
The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can think. Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Turing Test convenes a panel of judges who pose questions ranging anywhere from celebrity gossip to moral conundrums to hidden contestants in an attempt to discern which is human and which is a computer. The machine that most often fools the panel wins the Most Human Computer Award. But there is also a prize, bizarre and intriguing, for the Most Human Human. In 2008, the top AI program came short of passing the Turing Test by just one astonishing vote. In 2009, Brian Christian was chosen to participate, and he set out to make sure Homo sapiens would prevail. The author's quest to be deemed more human than a computer opens a window onto our own nature. Interweaving modern phenomena like customer service chatbots and men using programmed dialogue to pick up women in bars with insights from fields as diverse as chess, psychiatry, and the law, Brian Christian examines the philosophical, biological, and moral issues raised by the Turing Test. One central definition of human has been a being that could reason. If computers can reason, what does that mean for the special place we reserve for humanity?From the Hardcover edition.
Christian competed as a "confederate" in the 2009 Loebner Prize competition, attempting to seem "more human" than the humans taking the test, and succeeded. He was interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on March 8, 2011.
In 2010, Christian collaborated with film director Michael Langan on a short film adaptation of Christian's poem "Heliotropes," which was published in the final issue of Wholphin magazine.
Christian attended high school at the prestigious High Technology High School in Lincroft, NJ.
Christian holds a degree from Brown University in computer science and philosophy, and an MFA in poetry from the University of Washington. He is also an alumnus of High Technology High School class of 2002. He is a native of Little Silver, New Jersey. Beginning in 2012, Christian has been a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.
His awards and honors include publication in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and fellowships at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. In 2016 Christian was named a Laureate of the San Francisco Public Library.