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The 273rd episode of the Reading & Writing podcast features an interview with Pamela McCorduck, author of the new non-fiction book This Could Be Important: My Life and Times with the Artificial Intelligentsia.
In the autumn of 1960, twenty-year-old humanities student Pamela McCorduck encountered both the fringe science of early artificial intelligence, and C. P. Snow’s Two Cultures lecture on the chasm between the sciences and the humanities. Each encounter shaped her life. Decades later her lifelong intuition was realized: AI and the humanities are profoundly connected. During that time, she wrote the first modern history of artificial intelligence, Machines Who Think, and spent much time pulling on the sleeves of public intellectuals, trying in futility to suggest that artificial intelligence could be important. Memoir, social history, group biography of the founding fathers of AI, This Could Be Important follows the personal story of one AI spectator, from her early enthusiasms to her mature, more nuanced observations of the field.
Expanding Your Reading
As mentioned in this episode, I’m starting a new segment in the podcast to spotlight an author of color. In the U.S., we’re currently having a long-needed national conversation on systemic racism that still exists for people of color. Consider expanding your reading this year and beyond to include more authors of color.
Walter Ellis Mosley (born January 12, 1952) is an American novelist, most widely recognized for his crime fiction. He has written a series of best-selling historical mysteries featuring the hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator and living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
This episode of the Reading & Writing podcast is sponsored by Libro.fm. Libro.fm is the first and only company which lets you purchase audiobooks directly from your favorite local bookstore. You can pick from more than 125,000 audiobooks, including New York Times best sellers and recommendations from booksellers. You’ll get the same audiobooks at the same price as the largest audiobook company out there (you know the name). But you’ll be part of a different story — one that supports community. Use the code RWPODCAST today to get 3 audiobooks for the price of one.
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