Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgement to Calculation
First edition, first printing of Weizenbaum's influential first book. The creator of the first chatbot, Eliza, and considered one of the fathers of artificial intelligence, Weizenbaum demonstrates his conflicting sentiments towards computer technology and presents his argument: whether or not it is possible to program computers to perform tasks that humans also perform (i.e., whether Artificial Intelligence is attainable or not) is unimportant in determining if computers can be employed for a given task. Instead, Weizenbaum contends that defining tasks and selecting criteria for their completion is a creative process that depends on human values, which computers cannot provide. Weizenbaum establishes a crucial distinction between deciding and choosing. Deciding is a computational process that can ultimately be programmed, whereas choice is a result of judgment, not calculation. By implementing computers to make decisions that humans once made, the agent doing so has made a choice based on their values, which will have specific, non-neutral consequences for the subjects who will encounter the outcomes of the computerized decisions that the agent has instituted.
San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1976. Publisher original dark grey cloth, titled in silver; pp. xii, , 300. A near fine copy in a near fine, unclipped dust jacket. Binding is sturdy, minor wear to board edges, internally clean with no markings. Jacket shows a touch of shelfwear and rubbing, protected in archival mylar. A nice copy of this important book in the field of artificial intelligence.