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How to build an android : the true story of Philip K. Dick's robotic resurrection

by Dufty, David F.

Format: Print Book 2012
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 5 copies
Available (5)
Location Collection Call #
C.C. Mellor Memorial Library Non Fiction 629.8 Duf
Location  C.C. Mellor Memorial Library
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  629.8 Duf
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction TJ211.15.D84 2012
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  TJ211.15.D84 2012
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 629.892 DUFTY
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  629.892 DUFTY
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 629.892 D87
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  629.892 D87
Shaler North Hills Library Non-Fiction 629.892 D
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  629.892 D

The stranger-than-fiction story of the ingenious creation and loss of an artificially intelligent android of science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick

In late January 2006, a young robotocist on the way to Google headquarters lost an overnight bag on a flight somewhere between Dallas and Las Vegas. In it was a fully functional head of the android replica of Philip K. Dick, cult science-fiction writer and counterculture guru. It has never been recovered.

In a story that echoes some of the most paranoid fantasies of a Dick novel, readers get a fascinating inside look at the scientists and technology that made this amazing android possible. The author, who was a fellow researcher at the University of Memphis Institute of Intelligent Systems while the android was being built, introduces readers to the cutting-edge technology in robotics, artificial intelligence, and sculpture that came together in this remarkable machine and captured the imagination of scientists, artists, and science-fiction fans alike. And there are great stories about Dick himself--his inspired yet deeply pessimistic worldview, his bizarre lifestyle, and his enduring creative legacy. In the tradition of popular science classics like Packing for Mars and The Disappearing Spoon , How to Build an Android is entertaining and informative--popular science at its best.

A strange machine
A tale of two researchers
A meeting of minds
A visit from Eva
Simple robots
The artist as scientist
How to build a human head
Life inside a laptop
A California bungalow, 1974
An android in Memphis
First, we take Chicago
Talking in Memphis
A carnival of robots
Brain malfunction
Einstein, reincarnated

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "It's good that true story appears in this book's subtitle because it could easily pass, with very minor tweaks, for something produced by the prodigious imagination of late sf writer Philip K. Dick. In 2005, a roboticist forgot a piece of carry-on luggage when he got off a plane. The luggage and its contents, a full-size head of a robotic Philip K. Dick, vanished forever. Dufty, who was involved (in a sort of peripheral way) with the creation of the Dick android, takes the reader through the creation of the mechanical marvel, a process that included several technological breakthroughs, not to mention the delicate matter of obtaining permission from the author's heirs to use his likeness and his writings. It's a fascinating and mind-bending book, written for the general reader, although experts in the field of robotics will find it particularly stimulating, and fans of Dick's oeuvre will be captivated by the whole idea of turning the legendary storyteller into a mechanical man.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Dufty engagingly chronicles the efforts of a team of University of Memphis roboticists to build an android modeled on science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. The book shows how the researchers attempted, partially successfully, to build a machine that not only looked like the Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? author, but also imitated his speech patterns. Dufty, a postdoctoral researcher at the university when the team debuted "Phil," lucidly explains the logistical hurdles facing the robotics team members as well as how they solved some significant problems; "Phil" sometimes babbled incessantly in response to questions when he was unveiled in 2005, spurring the team to build a kill switch. Dufty focuses on two main developers who created Phil-David Hanson, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate and founder of Hanson Robotics, who created Phil's head only to later lose it on an airplane, and Andrew Olney, a computer programmer who was obsessed with science fiction books as a youngster. Dufty examines how their differing outlooks influenced the project: Olney wanted to build an android that could answer questions intelligently, while Hanson wanted to create a machine that would appear human. Dufty's narrative is a fun read that captures the researchers' excitement about creating Phil, but doesn't quite address whether the initiative was worth the effort. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Dick, Philip K.
Robotics -- Popular works.
Androids -- Popular works.
Artificial intelligence -- Popular works.
Publisher New York :Henry Holt,2012
Edition 1st U.S. ed.
Other Titles Lost in transit
Language English
Notes Originally published: Lost in transit. Carlton, Vic. : Melbourne University Pub., 2011.
Description 272 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780805095517 (hbk.)
0805095519 (hbk.)
Other Classic View