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Values at Play in Digital Games (MIT Press)

Values at Play in Digital Games (MIT Press)

https://www.amazon.com/Values-Play-Digital-Games-Press-ebook...
All games express and embody human values, providing a compelling arena in which we play out beliefs and ideas. "Big ideas" such as justice, equity, honesty, and cooperation -- as well as other kinds of ideas, including violence, exploitation, and greed -- may emerge in games whether designers intend them or not. In this book, Mary Flanagan and Helen Nissenbaum present Values at Play, a theoretical and practical framework for identifying socially recognized moral and political values in digital games. Values at Play can also serve as a guide to designers who seek to implement values in the conception and design of their games. After developing a theoretical foundation for their proposal, Flanagan and Nissenbaum provide detailed examinations of selected games, demonstrating the many ways in which values are embedded in them. They introduce the Values at Play heuristic, a systematic approach for incorporating values into the game design process. Interspersed among the book's chapters are texts by designers who have put Values at Play into practice by accepting values as a design constraint like any other, offering a real-world perspective on the design challenges involved.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 07/25/2014
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Neuroplasticity (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

Neuroplasticity (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

https://www.amazon.com/Neuroplasticity-MIT-Press-Essential-K...
Fifty years ago, neuroscientists thought that a mature brain was fixed like a fly in amber, unable to change. Today, we know that our brains and nervous systems change throughout our lifetimes. This concept of neuroplasticity has captured the imagination of a public eager for self-improvement -- and has inspired countless Internet entrepreneurs who peddle dubious "brain training" games and apps. In this book, Moheb Costandi offers a concise and engaging overview of neuroplasticity for the general reader, describing how our brains change continuously in response to our actions and experiences. Costandi discusses key experimental findings, and describes how our thinking about the brain has evolved over time. He explains how the brain changes during development, and the "synaptic pruning" that takes place before brain maturity. He shows that adult brains can grow new cells (citing, among many other studies, research showing that sexually mature male canaries learn a new song every year). He describes the kind of brain training that can bring about improvement in brain function. It's not gadgets and games that promise to "rewire your brain" but such sustained cognitive tasks as learning a musical instrument or a new language. (Costandi also notes that London cabbies increase their gray matter after rigorous training in their city's complicated streets.) He tells how brains compensate after stroke or injury; describes addiction and pain as maladaptive forms of neuroplasticity; and considers brain changes that accompany childhood, adolescence, parenthood, and aging. Each of our brains is custom-built. Neuroplasticity is at the heart of what makes us human.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 08/16/2016
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 193 pages
Cloud Computing (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

Cloud Computing (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

https://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Computing-Press-Essential-Knowl...
Most of the information available on cloud computing is either highly technical, with details that are irrelevant to non-technologists, or pure marketing hype, in which the cloud is simply a selling point. This book, however, explains the cloud from the user's viewpoint -- the business user's in particular. Nayan Ruparelia explains what the cloud is, when to use it (and when not to), how to select a cloud service, how to integrate it with other technologies, and what the best practices are for using cloud computing. Cutting through the hype, Ruparelia cites the simple and basic definition of cloud computing from the National Institute of Science and Technology: a model enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. Thus with cloud computing, businesses can harness information technology resources usually available only to large enterprises. And this, Ruparelia demonstrates, represents a paradigm shift for business. It will ease funding for startups, alter business plans, and allow big businesses greater agility. Ruparelia discusses the key issues for any organization considering cloud computing: service level agreements, business service delivery and consumption, finance, legal jurisdiction, security, and social responsibility. He introduces novel concepts made possible by cloud computing: cloud cells, or specialist clouds for specific uses; the personal cloud; the cloud of things; and cloud service exchanges. He examines use case patterns in terms of infrastructure and platform, software information, and business process; and he explains how to transition to a cloud service. Current and future users will find this book an indispensable guide to the cloud.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 05/06/2016
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Computing: A Concise History (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

Computing: A Concise History (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

https://www.amazon.com/Computing-Concise-History-Essential-K...
The history of computing could be told as the story of hardware and software, or the story of the Internet, or the story of "smart" hand-held devices, with subplots involving IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. In this concise and accessible account of the invention and development of digital technology, computer historian Paul Ceruzzi offers a broader and more useful perspective. He identifies four major threads that run throughout all of computing's technological development: digitization--the coding of information, computation, and control in binary form, ones and zeros; the convergence of multiple streams of techniques, devices, and machines, yielding more than the sum of their parts; the steady advance of electronic technology, as characterized famously by "Moore's Law"; and the human-machine interface. Ceruzzi guides us through computing history, telling how a Bell Labs mathematician coined the word "digital" in 1942 (to describe a high-speed method of calculating used in anti-aircraft devices), and recounting the development of the punch card (for use in the 1890 U.S. Census). He describes the ENIAC, built for scientific and military applications; the UNIVAC, the first general purpose computer; and ARPANET, the Internet's precursor. Ceruzzi's account traces the world-changing evolution of the computer from a room-size ensemble of machinery to a "minicomputer" to a desktop computer to a pocket-sized smart phone. He describes the development of the silicon chip, which could store ever-increasing amounts of data and enabled ever-decreasing device size. He visits that hotbed of innovation, Silicon Valley, and brings the story up to the present with the Internet, the World Wide Web, and social networking.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 06/15/2012
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 199 pages
Machine Learning: The New AI (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

Machine Learning: The New AI (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

https://www.amazon.com/Machine-Learning-Press-Essential-Know...
Today, machine learning underlies a range of applications we use every day, from product recommendations to voice recognition -- as well as some we don't yet use everyday, including driverless cars. It is the basis of the new approach in computing where we do not write programs but collect data; the idea is to learn the algorithms for the tasks automatically from data. As computing devices grow more ubiquitous, a larger part of our lives and work is recorded digitally, and as "Big Data" has gotten bigger, the theory of machine learning -- the foundation of efforts to process that data into knowledge -- has also advanced. In this book, machine learning expert Ethem Alpaydin offers a concise overview of the subject for the general reader, describing its evolution, explaining important learning algorithms, and presenting example applications.Alpaydin offers an account of how digital technology advanced from number-crunching mainframes to mobile devices, putting today's machine learning boom in context. He describes the basics of machine learning and some applications; the use of machine learning algorithms for pattern recognition; artificial neural networks inspired by the human brain; algorithms that learn associations between instances, with such applications as customer segmentation and learning recommendations; and reinforcement learning, when an autonomous agent learns act so as to maximize reward and minimize penalty. Alpaydin then considers some future directions for machine learning and the new field of "data science," and discusses the ethical and legal implications for data privacy and security.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 09/30/2016
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 224 pages
The Technological Singularity (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

The Technological Singularity (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

https://www.amazon.com/Technological-Singularity-Press-Essen...
The idea that human history is approaching a "singularity" -- that ordinary humans will someday be overtaken by artificially intelligent machines or cognitively enhanced biological intelligence, or both -- has moved from the realm of science fiction to serious debate. Some singularity theorists predict that if the field of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop at its current dizzying rate, the singularity could come about in the middle of the present century. Murray Shanahan offers an introduction to the idea of the singularity and considers the ramifications of such a potentially seismic event.Shanahan's aim is not to make predictions but rather to investigate a range of scenarios. Whether we believe that singularity is near or far, likely or impossible, apocalypse or utopia, the very idea raises crucial philosophical and pragmatic questions, forcing us to think seriously about what we want as a species. Shanahan describes technological advances in AI, both biologically inspired and engineered from scratch. Once human-level AI -- theoretically possible, but difficult to accomplish -- has been achieved, he explains, the transition to superintelligent AI could be very rapid. Shanahan considers what the existence of superintelligent machines could mean for such matters as personhood, responsibility, rights, and identity. Some superhuman AI agents might be created to benefit humankind; some might go rogue. (Is Siri the template, or HAL?) The singularity presents both an existential threat to humanity and an existential opportunity for humanity to transcend its limitations. Shanahan makes it clear that we need to imagine both possibilities if we want to bring about the better outcome.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 08/07/2015
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python: With Application to Understanding Data (MIT Press)

Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python: With Application to Understanding Data (MIT Press)

https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Computation-Programming-...
This book introduces students with little or no prior programming experience to the art of computational problem solving using Python and various Python libraries, including PyLab. It provides students with skills that will enable them to make productive use of computational techniques, including some of the tools and techniques of data science for using computation to model and interpret data. The book is based on an MIT course (which became the most popular course offered through MIT's OpenCourseWare) and was developed for use not only in a conventional classroom but in in a massive open online course (MOOC). This new edition has been updated for Python 3, reorganized to make it easier to use for courses that cover only a subset of the material, and offers additional material including five new chapters.Students are introduced to Python and the basics of programming in the context of such computational concepts and techniques as exhaustive enumeration, bisection search, and efficient approximation algorithms. Although it covers such traditional topics as computational complexity and simple algorithms, the book focuses on a wide range of topics not found in most introductory texts, including information visualization, simulations to model randomness, computational techniques to understand data, and statistical techniques that inform (and misinform) as well as two related but relatively advanced topics: optimization problems and dynamic programming. This edition offers expanded material on statistics and machine learning and new chapters on Frequentist and Bayesian statistics.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 08/08/2016
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 472 pages
Memes in Digital Culture (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

Memes in Digital Culture (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

https://www.amazon.com/Memes-Digital-Culture-Essential-Knowl...
In December 2012, the exuberant video "Gangnam Style" became the first YouTube clip to be viewed more than one billion times. Thousands of its viewers responded by creating and posting their own variations of the video--"Mitt Romney Style," "NASA Johnson Style," "Egyptian Style," and many others. "Gangnam Style" (and its attendant parodies, imitations, and derivations) is one of the most famous examples of an Internet meme: a piece of digital content that spreads quickly around the web in various iterations and becomes a shared cultural experience. In this book, Limor Shifman investigates Internet memes and what they tell us about digital culture. Shifman discusses a series of well-known Internet memes -- including "Leave Britney Alone," the pepper-spraying cop, LOLCats, Scumbag Steve, and Occupy Wall Street's "We Are the 99 Percent." She offers a novel definition of Internet memes: digital content units with common characteristics, created with awareness of each other, and circulated, imitated, and transformed via the Internet by many users. She differentiates memes from virals; analyzes what makes memes and virals successful; describes popular meme genres; discusses memes as new modes of political participation in democratic and nondemocratic regimes; and examines memes as agents of globalization. Memes, Shifman argues, encapsulate some of the most fundamental aspects of the Internet in general and of the participatory Web 2.0 culture in particular. Internet memes may be entertaining, but in this book Limor Shifman makes a compelling argument for taking them seriously.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 10/04/2013
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 216 pages
Robots (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

Robots (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

https://www.amazon.com/Robots-MIT-Press-Essential-Knowledge-...
Robots are entering the mainstream. Technologies have advanced to the point of mass commercialization -- Roomba, for example -- and adoption by governments -- most notably, their use of drones. Meanwhile, these devices are being received by a public whose main sources of information about robots are the fantasies of popular culture. We know a lot about C-3PO and Robocop but not much about Atlas, Motoman, Kiva, or Beam -- real-life robots that are reinventing warfare, the industrial workplace, and collaboration. In this book, technology analyst John Jordan offers an accessible and engaging introduction to robots and robotics, covering state-of-the-art applications, economic implications, and cultural context.Jordan chronicles the prehistory of robots and the treatment of robots in science fiction, movies, and television -- from the outsized influence of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Isaac Asimov's I, Robot (in which Asimov coined the term "robotics"). He offers a guided tour of robotics today, describing the components of robots, the complicating factors that make robotics so challenging, and such applications as driverless cars, unmanned warfare, and robots on the assembly line. Roboticists draw on such technical fields as power management, materials science, and artificial intelligence. Jordan points out, however, that robotics design decisions also embody such nontechnical elements as value judgments, professional aspirations, and ethical assumptions, and raise questions that involve law, belief, economics, education, public safety, and human identity. Robots will be neither our slaves nor our overlords; instead, they are rapidly becoming our close companions, working in partnership with us -- whether in a factory, on a highway, or as a prosthetic device. Given these profound changes to human work and life, Jordan argues that robotics is too important to be left solely to roboticists.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 10/07/2016
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Moral Psychology: Virtue and Character (MIT Press)

Moral Psychology: Virtue and Character (MIT Press)

https://www.amazon.com/Moral-Psychology-Virtue-Character-Pre...
Philosophers have discussed virtue and character since Socrates, but many traditional views have been challenged by recent findings in psychology and neuroscience. This fifth volume of Moral Psychology grows out of this new wave of interdisciplinary work on virtue, vice, and character. It offers essays, commentaries, and replies by leading philosophers and scientists who explain and use empirical findings from psychology and neuroscience to illuminate virtue and character and related issues in moral philosophy. The contributors discuss such topics as eliminativist and situationist challenges to character; investigate the conceptual and empirical foundations of self-control, honesty, humility, and compassion; and consider whether the virtues contribute to well-being.ContributorsKarl Aquino, Jason Baehr, C. Daniel Batson, Lorraine L. Besser, C. Daryl Cameron, Tanya L. Chartrand, M. J. Crockett, Bella DePaulo, Korrina A. Duffy, William Fleeson, Andrea L. Glenn, Charles Goodman, Geoffrey P. Goodwin, George Graham, June Gruber, Thomas Hurka, Eranda Jayawickreme, Andreas Kappes, Kristján Kristjánsson, Daniel Lapsley, Neil Levy, E.J. Masicampo, Joshua May, Christian B. Miller, M. A. Montgomery, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Eddy Nahmias, Hanna Pickard, Katie Rapier, Raul Saucedo, Shannon W. Schrader, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Nancy E. Snow, Gopal Sreenivasan, Chandra Sripada, June P. Tangney, Valerie Tiberius, Simine Vazire, Jennifer Cole Wright
Published by: A Bradford Book | Publication date: 03/24/2017
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 632 pages
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