Archives de catégorie : Computers


An exploration of cutting-edge physics and the implications that the scientific theory has for who we are and how our society should be structured.

by Jeremie Harris
Penguin Canada, May 2022
(via Levine Greenberg Rostan)

The discovery of quantum mechanics has paved the way to just about every important innovation in the last half century. It has led us to the technology that powers microwaves, iPhones, and self-driving cars and is about to trigger a computing revolution that will either spell the end of the human species or propel us to heights we’ve never imagined.
Without question, quantum mechanics is the single most successful scientific theory in human history. And, contrary to popular belief, it is also one of the simplest — y
ou don’t need to know math, have fancy degrees or be buried in a mountain of student loans to understand it.
But there’s another reason that quantum mechanics is so important: it is really the only way we can understand ourselves and each other. For the last hundred years or so, physicists have been feverishly debating what quantum theory has to say about you: what you’re made of, whether you have free will, what will happen to you when you die, and much more. Are human beings immortal? Are apples conscious? Do our legal systems make assumptions about free will that are just plain wrong?
is an amusing, irreverent exploration of our most successful scientific theory and the implications it has for who we are and how our society should be structured. In a disarming and amusing tone, it presents the reader with intuitive, battle-tested and high-school friendly explanations of these otherwise intimidating topics. It illustrates these concepts with “kets” – the glorified doodles used by physicists themselves as explanatory tools – to painlessly break down deep questions that are hotly debated to this day within the quantum physics community, and which have implications for human self-perception, law, and social structure.

Jeremie Harris has the uncanny ability to make the most esoteric, theoretical science not just understandable — but incredibly engaging. I am fairly certain that nobody else could have explained quantum physics to me in a way that gave me a solid and deep understanding of the processes at work — enough that I could turn around and teach them to someone else. And like the best professors, Harris is compulsively captivating, funny, and engrossing. This isn’t a lecture; it’s entertainment that feeds the brain.” Jodi Picoult, #1 NYT bestselling author of The Book Of Two Ways

Jeremie Harris received a Master’s in Physics from the University of Toronto in 2013. His academic research in quantum mechanics has been featured in many of the top peer-reviewed journals in physics including Nature Physics, Physical Review Letters and Optica. For his research, he was awarded the Vanier Scholarship, Canada’s most prestigious graduate research award, equivalent to the Rhodes or Fulbright scholarships in the UK and US. In 2016, after completing most of a PhD studying the foundations of quantum mechanics, Jeremie founded an artificial intelligence startup which eventually became SharpestMinds, a mentorship program for aspiring machine learning and AI specialists. With over 500 alumni and $15 million in new salaries created, it’s the world’s first profitable income share program, and they’ve gone on to raise funds from top Silicon Valley investors. Jeremie hosts the official podcast of Towards Data Science, a Medium publication with over 20 million monthly views, focused on AI, machine learning and the future of humanity. He is 30 years old.

VIRTUAL SOCIETY de Herman Narula

An eye-opening, myth-busting exploration of the metaverse, its ancient origins, and how the exchange of value and ideas within virtual words will expand the possibilities of human life—from the visionary co-founder of one of today’s most innovative technology companies

The Metaverse and the New Frontiers of Human Experience
by Herman Narula
‎ Currency/Crown, October 2022

The concept of “the metaverse” has recently exploded in the public consciousness. But its contours remain elusive. Is it merely an immersive virtual reality playground, one which Facebook and other platforms will angle to control? Is it simply the next generation of massive multiplayer online games? Or is it something more revolutionary?
As Herman Narula shows, the metaverse is actually the latest manifestation of an ancient human tendency: the act of world building. From the Egyptians, whose conception of death inspired them to build the pyramids, to modern-day sports fans, whose passion for a game inspires extreme behavior, humans have long sought to supplement their day-to-day lives with a rich diversity of alternative experiences.
Rooting his vision in history and psychology, Narula argues that humans’ intrinsic need for autonomy, accomplishment, and connection can now best be met in virtual “worlds of ideas,” in which users will have the chance to create and exchange meaning and value. The metaverse is both the growing set of fulfilling digital experiences—ranging from advanced gaming, to entertainment experiences like concerts, and even virtual employment—as well as the empowering framework that allows these spaces to become “networks of useful meaning.”
Bloomberg Intelligence recently predicted the metaverse will become an $800 billon industry by 2024. But its potential, argues Narula, is far more awe-inspiring than as a spigot of cash. The arrival of the metaverse marks the beginning of a new age of exploration—not outward, but inward—with the potential to reshape society and open the door to a new understanding of the human species and its capabilities.
Rigorously researched and passionately argued, VIRTUAL SOCIETY will be a provocative and essential guide for anyone who wants to go beyond superficial headlines to understand the true shape and potential of our virtual future.

Herman Narula is the co-founder and CEO of Improbable, a London-based technology company. He holds a computer science degree from Cambridge. He’s interested in the unprecedented impact that powerful, virtual worlds have on how we think, play, and make decisions.

THE BLACK BOX de Paul Scharre

An award-winning defense expert tells the story of the new great power rivalry to control artificial intelligence—and how this powerful technology is shaping national power relationships and geopolitics in the 21st century.

by Paul Scharre
W.W. Norton, January 2023
(via Kaplan/Defiore Rights)

Artificial intelligence is bringing a new digital order—it is changing war, surveillance, and disinformation, with profound effects on human freedom, global security, and power dynamics. THE BLACK BOX takes us inside the immensely competitive global struggle to lead in the four key elements of AI advantage: data, computing power, talent, and institutions. A world expert in AI-enabled weapons, Paul Scharre examines the strengths and weaknesses of today’s major superpowers, including China, the United States, Europe, and the Big Tech corporations that control the global supply of data and compute.
With unique access to the world of automated warfare and surveillance—including on-site visits with major Chinese players and Pentagon startups—national security expert Paul Scharre guides readers through the alarming ways the AI revolution is reshaping the world, and the challenges democracies must overcome if they hope to maintain their global edge.

Paul Scharre is is the author of Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War, which won the 2019 Colby Award and was named one of Bill Gates’ top five books of 2018. A former Army Ranger, he is a senior fellow and director of the 20YY Future of Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), based in Washington, DC. From 2008 to 2013, he worked in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense on policies for robotics, autonomy, and other emerging weapons technologies. He led the drafting of the official U.S. Department of Defense policy on autonomous weapons.

BITWISE de David Auerbach

An exhilarating, elegant memoir and a significant polemic on how computers and algorithms shape our understanding of the world and of who we are

A Life In Code
by David Auerbach
Pantheon, August 2018

Bitwise is a wondrous ode to the computer lan­guages and codes that captured technologist David Auerbach’s imagination. With a philoso­pher’s sense of inquiry, Auerbach recounts his childhood spent drawing ferns with the pro­gramming language Logo on the Apple IIe, his adventures in early text-based video games, his education as an engineer, and his contribu­tions to instant messaging technology devel­oped for Microsoft and the servers powering Google’s data stores. A lifelong student of the systems that shape our lives—from the psy­chiatric taxonomy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to how Facebook tracks and profiles its users—Auerbach reflects on how he has experienced the algorithms that taxonomize human speech, knowledge, and behavior and that compel us to do the same.
Into this exquisitely crafted, wide-ranging memoir of a life spent with code, Auerbach has woven an eye-opening and searing examina­tion of the inescapable ways in which algo­rithms have both standardized and coarsened our lives. As we engineer ever more intricate technology to translate our experiences and narrow the gap that divides us from the ma­chine, Auerbach argues, we willingly erase our nuances and our idiosyncrasies—precisely the things that make us human.

David Auerbach is a writer and software engineer who has worked for Google and Microsoft. His writing has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, MIT Technology Review, The Nation, The Daily Beast, n+1, and Bookforum.

DATACLYSM de Christian Rudder

An irreverent, provocative, and visually fascinating look at what our on-line lives reveal about who we really are – and how this deluge of data will transform the science of human behavior

Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking)
by Christian Rudder
Crown, September 2014

 7-figure deal with Crown for North American Rights following an 11-party auction. Sold in seven foreign territories including at auction in the UK. Announced 1st printing 125,000

DataclysmBig Data is used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us things we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder puts this flood of information to an entirely different use: understanding human nature. Drawing on terabytes of data from Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, OkCupid, and many other sites, Rudder examines the terrain of human experience to answer a range of questions: Does it matter where you went to university? How racist are we? How do political views alter relationships?
Rudder shows that in today’s era of social media, a powerful new approach is possible, one that reveals how we actually behave when we think no one is looking. Outrageous and illuminating, filled with engaging charts, graphs and photos, Dataclysm is a portrait of our essential selves and a first look at a revolution in the making.

Christian Rudder is co-founder of OkCupid and now serves as chief data analyst and author of the popular blog OkTrends. He graduated from Harvard in 1998 with degrees in English and Math.

Rights sold in: English UK (Fourth Estate), German (Carl Hanser), Dutch (Atlas-Contact), Portuguese – Brazil (Editora), Japanese (Diamond), Spanish (Santillana Ediciones), Chinese (China CITIC)