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How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection

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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, cu 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.


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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, cu 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.

30 review for How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Don't fall asleep when you have a million dollar head in the overhead compartment!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ramie

    So I'll be honest when I saw this in Vine I debated about it for awhile because hey even when getting free stuff I want stuff I'd like. At first I thought I must read this. Why? Because it's about people not only building an android but losing its head. C'mon what's not to love? Even more awesome when you know this is true. I LOVE robots/androids. The trip to Disneyland when I finally saw ASIMO? That was the highlight of that trip. Then came the second thought -- while I do love robots, I'm oddl So I'll be honest when I saw this in Vine I debated about it for awhile because hey even when getting free stuff I want stuff I'd like. At first I thought I must read this. Why? Because it's about people not only building an android but losing its head. C'mon what's not to love? Even more awesome when you know this is true. I LOVE robots/androids. The trip to Disneyland when I finally saw ASIMO? That was the highlight of that trip. Then came the second thought -- while I do love robots, I'm oddly not that into sci-fi. There are only a handful of books, movies, tv shows, etc in that genre that interest me. So little that I did not know the name Philip K. Dick. Turns out I did know of some the movies that were made based off of his books, vaguely. So, could this possibly be a book for me just because I geek out over robots? In the end I am glad I picked this one. Really the only thing keeping me from giving this 5 stars is that the first half kind of drags. While it is nice to know who the people are that put their hearts and souls into make Phil the Robot, some of the details of their projects, jobs -- well that got to be a little boring. I put this book down for a little longer than I should have because of that. When it comes to Philip K. Dick there are just enough details for people like me, who don't really know of him, to catch us up on who this man was, but not so much that people who do know of him would be bored. Once I reached the middle part of the book, where they really got into the bot building and the touring, well then I couldn't put the book down (except for a few minutes when I ran to the interest to search for videos of the very events I was reading about - I found them and it just added to the experience). If you like robotics or Philip K. Dick or maybe you've been ditzy enough to leave a valuable on a plane and want to feel better about it by knowing someone goofed even worse than you did, well you'll probably like this book. If you find the first chapter boring stick with it! I doesn't really pick up until about 100 pages in.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Phillip K. Dick, androids, artificial intelligence what's not to like? Reading this book's discussion on artificial intelligence reminded me a bit of the drsbaitso game that came with the soundblaster hardware long ago. It seems that the android created in Philip K. Dick's likeness also talked in circles sometimes. What struck me the most after reading this book is how much mechanical labor was put into making a robot appear human. Special silicone skin, motors with wires hidden under the skin t Phillip K. Dick, androids, artificial intelligence what's not to like? Reading this book's discussion on artificial intelligence reminded me a bit of the drsbaitso game that came with the soundblaster hardware long ago. It seems that the android created in Philip K. Dick's likeness also talked in circles sometimes. What struck me the most after reading this book is how much mechanical labor was put into making a robot appear human. Special silicone skin, motors with wires hidden under the skin to pull the face into smiles and frowns had to be designed to create the illusion. Reading the process involved in making an android took a bit of the magic away for me. I still enjoyed the book though.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alicea

    How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection by David F. Dufty covers the creation of a robotic incarnation of the famous sci-fi author which (according to its creators) has the ability to learn as it communicates with humans i.e. it is self-aware. The novelty of this machine was that it was created in the image of a man who was known for his paranoia about 'thinking' machines and that it was an artistic as much as technological acheivement. This book chronicl How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection by David F. Dufty covers the creation of a robotic incarnation of the famous sci-fi author which (according to its creators) has the ability to learn as it communicates with humans i.e. it is self-aware. The novelty of this machine was that it was created in the image of a man who was known for his paranoia about 'thinking' machines and that it was an artistic as much as technological acheivement. This book chronicled the creation of the android from its inception including the sculpting of the head and body by Dr. David Hanson through to its programming by Andrew Olney. (Not to mention the many volunteers from the FedEx Institute of Technology in Memphis who logged many hours helping to make this dream a reality without any compensation.) The PKD android was a sensation among scientific circles as well as among laypeople because of his realistic facial features, expressions, and his seemingly intelligent responses to questions. However, I am not convinced that he would have passed the Turing Test which proves that he was a self-aware artificially intelligent machine. Moreover, I found this book was lacking in many areas. Each of the chapters seemed to end without any real resolution and the ending fell flat. Also, one of my pet peeves is a nonfiction book without any endnotes or at the very least a bibliography and this one committed that sin. Overall, I'd say that this book would appeal to someone who hasn't done any significant research into this field and wants to dip their toe into that world but for me it didn't make the grade. 5/10 If you want to see the PKD android in action then you can check out the Hanson Robotics website. Be forewarned, if the idea of a seemingly artificially intelligent machine with human-like characteristics freaks you out then you shouldn't go to that website. To see what I mean, take a look at the pictures below. *shudder*

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dwight Walker

    This was a very futuristic AI project using past words of Philip K Dick's sci-fi novels and interviews to recreate an android of him who could interact and answer questions. Unfortunately the head was lost on a plane due to being left in overhead luggage. How the team built it at University of Memphis was fascinating. Things were done too fast so eventually the wheels fell off. It was a good read. I learned about AI and robotics from it. Unfortunately there is no index. I had to flick between pa This was a very futuristic AI project using past words of Philip K Dick's sci-fi novels and interviews to recreate an android of him who could interact and answer questions. Unfortunately the head was lost on a plane due to being left in overhead luggage. How the team built it at University of Memphis was fascinating. Things were done too fast so eventually the wheels fell off. It was a good read. I learned about AI and robotics from it. Unfortunately there is no index. I had to flick between pages to find VALIS for example.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bill Glover

    Not all that dated to a layman, even after ten years. It's all about chapter six's discussion of the struggle to progress. The software engineer champions the methodical, incremental process the hard sciences usually favor, but the android sculptor goes for intuitive leaps in progress. Seems like the indicated best practice is to pair both methods, and hope you don't leave the android's head on a plane.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Yvette

    DNF It plods on and doesn't feel like it really has a central thread it's actually following which was a disappointment as the premise is cool. Also for anyone else who might make the mistake: it's not the android in your phone.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    First off, let me say the idea of creating an android in the image of Philip K. Dick, with independently functioning AI software, no less, and with the blessing of his family, is so beyond cool it almost defies understanding. Second, the fact that this miracle of concept and technology went missing in late 2005 and has never been found is tragic beyond words, and is exactly the sort of ironic scenario that PKD would have written into one of his books and incorporated into an elaborate conspiracy First off, let me say the idea of creating an android in the image of Philip K. Dick, with independently functioning AI software, no less, and with the blessing of his family, is so beyond cool it almost defies understanding. Second, the fact that this miracle of concept and technology went missing in late 2005 and has never been found is tragic beyond words, and is exactly the sort of ironic scenario that PKD would have written into one of his books and incorporated into an elaborate conspiracy theory. Quick summary: In 2004, a consortium of scientists affiliated with the University of Memphis (Tennessee) collaborated on the creation of a lifelike replica of a human head using some advanced artificial intelligence software. In a fit of ironic whimsy, they decided to model the head of their creation after renowned writer and noted paranoiac Philip K. Dick, author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and other science fiction classics. Author David Duffy, a minor player in this drama, steers us through the scientific and creative journey from technical drawings to working model with a minimum of technobabble and treats the reader to a quasi-biography of PKD himself: his work, his private life, his probable psychosis, and his acute paranoid-cum-religious fantasies. The sheer hubris involved in this entire project is stunning in its scope, and it all makes for fascinating reading. Whether you're a science fiction fan or a technology geek, interested in voice recognition or robotics, or just a plain all around nerd, you're sure to find several hours of entertainment contained within the pages of Duffy's treatise. Many thanks to LibraryThing's Early Reviewers Program for the opportunity to read this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joe Kendall

    Very interesting book. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. Coming into this book I had relatively little knowledge of the advances in robotics and the programming for these robots. I had missed all the hype on this particular robot back in '05. I had seen and heard of some of the robots mentioned towards the end of the story that come from Korea, but I had no idea that the US had anything of this caliber. I do have to agree with the author that Dick would find that one of the first and Very interesting book. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. Coming into this book I had relatively little knowledge of the advances in robotics and the programming for these robots. I had missed all the hype on this particular robot back in '05. I had seen and heard of some of the robots mentioned towards the end of the story that come from Korea, but I had no idea that the US had anything of this caliber. I do have to agree with the author that Dick would find that one of the first androids ever created would look like him, then losing the head on top of that, amusing. This book has peaked my interest even more in modern technology and robotics, making me want to keep a closer eye on it. There were many points in which I agreed with the different people in the story especially Hanson and his belief in making robots more visually human. While there will always be people that do not trust androids and robots, society is drawing ever closer to the day where machines will become aware. I would recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in science fiction. Especially a younger audience, to show that science fiction is quickly becoming reality. The book was well written and even someone that has little knowledge of the subject is able to follow what is happening and kind of how things are working. I look forward to hearing the next huge breakthrough in robotics and technology.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    Really interesting and worthwhile book ... still feels relevant even if the main events of the book mostly took place a little over a decade ago. I.E. issues like starting to blur the line between artificial and regular intelligence, and whether to 'immortalise' people like Phillip K Dick in android form. (A central theme of the book was that the android Phillip K Dick was able to be quite nuanced in its conversation responses because of the vast archive of published interviews with Dick through Really interesting and worthwhile book ... still feels relevant even if the main events of the book mostly took place a little over a decade ago. I.E. issues like starting to blur the line between artificial and regular intelligence, and whether to 'immortalise' people like Phillip K Dick in android form. (A central theme of the book was that the android Phillip K Dick was able to be quite nuanced in its conversation responses because of the vast archive of published interviews with Dick throughout his life). Another reviewer here says the first half of the book 'drags' ... this maybe depends if you've ever worked in academia/research and tried to get big complex projects done there. I.E. for me I quite enjoyed the window into the strange world of US high-end research Dufty provided, as I worked there myself in a different area. In fact that's my main criticism of the book, given Dick's concern with corporatisation and the military-industrial complex, and the sometimes challenging trade-off scientists interested in pure research have to deal with in relation to these areas. But maybe that just struck me after having re-watched 'Short Circuit' the night before finishing this book ;)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tamar

    After finishing How to Build an Android, I wondered why anyone would bother writing a book about the Philip K. Dick Android. Sure, it was interesting, but the topic seemed more suitable for publication in the form of a series of magazine articles. There just didn't seem to be enough relevant information/scientific and cultural relevance to justify a full length book. This book would have been much more interesting had it tried to intertwine the story of the android either with the biography of D After finishing How to Build an Android, I wondered why anyone would bother writing a book about the Philip K. Dick Android. Sure, it was interesting, but the topic seemed more suitable for publication in the form of a series of magazine articles. There just didn't seem to be enough relevant information/scientific and cultural relevance to justify a full length book. This book would have been much more interesting had it tried to intertwine the story of the android either with the biography of Dick or a wider exploration of robotics in general. Don't get me wrong though - I did enjoy the book; it's an easy and pleasant read. I didn't even realize how much I learned from How to Build an Android until I unexpectedly came into contact with Octavia and Lucas, two robots that were being used to research human-robot interaction and person recognition skills, a few weeks later and started a conversation about the Uncanny Valley with one of the researchers. Apparently I learned more than I realized from this book. Note: I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers Program.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    I don't really read non-fiction much, but it's pretty easy to forget this is non-fiction. The plot sounds like it should have come out of a sci-fi novel (probably one by PKD), the technology involved is amazingly futuristic, and it's written in an easy to follow narrative style. All the tech is decently explained; simple enough to understand without long-winded technobabble explanations. And for those not familiar with PKD or sci-fi in general, several summaries of his works and his life are spr I don't really read non-fiction much, but it's pretty easy to forget this is non-fiction. The plot sounds like it should have come out of a sci-fi novel (probably one by PKD), the technology involved is amazingly futuristic, and it's written in an easy to follow narrative style. All the tech is decently explained; simple enough to understand without long-winded technobabble explanations. And for those not familiar with PKD or sci-fi in general, several summaries of his works and his life are sprinkled throughout the story to help put things in context. I was really interested in the snippets of conversation between the android and people that were included in the book. Having heard of the vanishing android head of PKD before, I always assumed that the AI was a bit more... coherent, I guess. It's often touted as having been eerily lifelike, but lots of the conversation quoted here make it clear that it had plenty of issues. Despite it's issues though, I'm still pretty amazed at how well it worked.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    What starts of as the story of a PKD android ends up a rumination on Dick's work and what it means to be human. Some of it is quite good. On the other hand, the author seems confused at times as to what, exactly, the PKD android is. He refers, at times, to the Android's lifelike head as its "brain", when in fact it's nothing more than the output device for a series of programs working on multiple computers in the background. It is essentially an articulated doll's head. The actual "intelligence" What starts of as the story of a PKD android ends up a rumination on Dick's work and what it means to be human. Some of it is quite good. On the other hand, the author seems confused at times as to what, exactly, the PKD android is. He refers, at times, to the Android's lifelike head as its "brain", when in fact it's nothing more than the output device for a series of programs working on multiple computers in the background. It is essentially an articulated doll's head. The actual "intelligence" that drives the head is hardly what I would consider AI: the scanned and digitized works of Dick, along with many interviews, converted to text files from which the AI program can select "answers" based on key words in questions. This is nothing more than an enhanced version of some entertaining automated chat programs you can still probably find online. Still, it's a fast and entertaining read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    The story of the making of the android head is interesting and inspiring. The effort and ideas of the team are well-displayed and capture a snapshot of a momentous time in AI development (and a few people's lives). I find the telling of the story rather bland and to include far too many unnecessary, elementary and bland explanations (like how computer programming works) while completely missing other obvious coincidences that could be pointed out like so many others. Powering through the downfal The story of the making of the android head is interesting and inspiring. The effort and ideas of the team are well-displayed and capture a snapshot of a momentous time in AI development (and a few people's lives). I find the telling of the story rather bland and to include far too many unnecessary, elementary and bland explanations (like how computer programming works) while completely missing other obvious coincidences that could be pointed out like so many others. Powering through the downfalls of a book written by someone who is not a storyteller the story itself is engaging enough and seems to have been well-researched.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    I was very excited to read the true story of the creation of one of the first functional androids. The fact that it was modeled after Philip K. Dick, one of my favorite authors, is a definite plus. This book was very well written, and also quite enlightening. I learned about some of the more recent developments in programming and robotics, and also the difficulties and required synergy to bring the two together. One does not consider all the difficulties that would be encountered in creating an I was very excited to read the true story of the creation of one of the first functional androids. The fact that it was modeled after Philip K. Dick, one of my favorite authors, is a definite plus. This book was very well written, and also quite enlightening. I learned about some of the more recent developments in programming and robotics, and also the difficulties and required synergy to bring the two together. One does not consider all the difficulties that would be encountered in creating an android to do simple human tasks. I found this read both enjoyable and educational, I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in science fiction or modern science and robotics.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tym Godek

    My wife picked this up for me because she knows I like Dick. :) It's a decent read. Pretty breezy, but engaging enough. I liked how the author kind of peppered and braided seemingly incidental details throughout that had a bigger (though ancillary) impact by the end (I'm thinking of David Byrne's multiple appearances/mentions). Or maybe that's a cheesey kind of gimmick. I dunno, I kinda liked it. Undoubtedly there are more thorough books on robotics, and there are certainly better books on PKD, b My wife picked this up for me because she knows I like Dick. :) It's a decent read. Pretty breezy, but engaging enough. I liked how the author kind of peppered and braided seemingly incidental details throughout that had a bigger (though ancillary) impact by the end (I'm thinking of David Byrne's multiple appearances/mentions). Or maybe that's a cheesey kind of gimmick. I dunno, I kinda liked it. Undoubtedly there are more thorough books on robotics, and there are certainly better books on PKD, but this one fits a nice little niche where the two subjects intersected, off the page, for a brief moment in history.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Devin

    David F. Dufty has struck just the right mix of humor, biography and academic rigor to tell the strange, tragic tale of how an android replica of Philip K. Dick came to be and later lost its head. The ultimate villain in this story is the airline that lost the head. The layers of activity behind the realization of this idea are fascinating, bringing together an odd mix of AI, art and chasing down funding sources into an admirably linear tale. It is the lore of Philip K. Dick himself that gives t David F. Dufty has struck just the right mix of humor, biography and academic rigor to tell the strange, tragic tale of how an android replica of Philip K. Dick came to be and later lost its head. The ultimate villain in this story is the airline that lost the head. The layers of activity behind the realization of this idea are fascinating, bringing together an odd mix of AI, art and chasing down funding sources into an admirably linear tale. It is the lore of Philip K. Dick himself that gives this whole thing a compelling resonance.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rob Cavenagh

    I have a tendency to alternate non/fiction but this followed two novels in a series. As a fan of PKD and modern sci-fi, I was drawn to the premise of this book. What I found not only made me want to read more of his work, but also that of Clarke and Asimov. Dufty takes a relatively ordinary project and makes it dramatic at every turn with his writing style and no nonsense manner of reporting. This book will make you wonder which is more enticing - the level of PKD's insanity or the project to re I have a tendency to alternate non/fiction but this followed two novels in a series. As a fan of PKD and modern sci-fi, I was drawn to the premise of this book. What I found not only made me want to read more of his work, but also that of Clarke and Asimov. Dufty takes a relatively ordinary project and makes it dramatic at every turn with his writing style and no nonsense manner of reporting. This book will make you wonder which is more enticing - the level of PKD's insanity or the project to recreate him as an android.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Birks

    The story about developing a lifelike android that so closely resembles science fiction writer Philip K. Dick that it's difficult to tell the difference between man and machine almost sounds like a story PKD himself would write. A slide show in book form, Dufty sheds light on how collaborations occur between the worlds of science and academia. He also explores the philosophical question of what makes us human and the possibility of building an android who could truly hide among us, a paranoia th The story about developing a lifelike android that so closely resembles science fiction writer Philip K. Dick that it's difficult to tell the difference between man and machine almost sounds like a story PKD himself would write. A slide show in book form, Dufty sheds light on how collaborations occur between the worlds of science and academia. He also explores the philosophical question of what makes us human and the possibility of building an android who could truly hide among us, a paranoia that is rampant in Dick's novels.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Woods

    I picked this up on Overdrive because it was in the SciFi section and I thought it was a SciFi novel. It is not a SciFi novel, it was totally misshelved. It is definitely non-fiction. That said, it was a very interesting read. The people chronicled in this book sought to build a robot replica of SciFi author Philip K. Dick. The stories of their struggles from losing the android's head on an airplane, to having him monologue into oblivion during Comic Con kept me entertained. This book is perfect I picked this up on Overdrive because it was in the SciFi section and I thought it was a SciFi novel. It is not a SciFi novel, it was totally misshelved. It is definitely non-fiction. That said, it was a very interesting read. The people chronicled in this book sought to build a robot replica of SciFi author Philip K. Dick. The stories of their struggles from losing the android's head on an airplane, to having him monologue into oblivion during Comic Con kept me entertained. This book is perfect for futurists or people intrigued by the future of robotics.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Gutterman

    I love that these events occurred and that once upon a time there was a talking PKD android in the world. The book, however, is not terribly well-written and there is just not enough drama to the story to make a compelling read. When I found myself reading about the team building the Dick living room and their efforts to comply with Chicago fire safety code I started skimming. Still, I'm glad the history is recorded and again, glad it happened in the first place.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Gault

    Someone built a robotic head of Philip K. Dick, I kid you not. They hooked it up to a computer with all his writings, interviews, etc. digitized and you could ask it questions! Now, if that's not weird enough, the head was lost by the airlines in shipment and is still out there somewhere. Add to that the fact that the Japanese grafted a similar head of Albert Einstein onto one of its walking robots and one can see immediately the importance of reading this bizarre true story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    I found this book interesting enough when I was thinking it was Science Fiction. When I realized that this really happened, I was amazed. I mean, I get the irony of turning into an androad a man who wrote about not being able to tell if you are a human or a robot, but factor in the issues the fellow had and the idea is mind boggling. Anyway, a very enjoyable listen, and Bronson Pinchot did a great job with it - I really love his reading work!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This was a neat story, it just ended up being 3 stars because I wanted it to be shorter than it was. Sometimes you read a book and you think, "This could've been an article and I would've been okay with that." This was one of those stories. It was interesting to hear about the creation of the robot and the technology and AI that went into all of it. Crazy to think about how the head went missing--though I kept hoping at some point in the narrative it would be found.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    Extremely interesting look at the limitations and capabilities of current(ish) robotics. Also discusses the burgeoning field of the emotional interaction between humans and machines. Does it increase the functionality of a machine if it is made to resemble humans or are barely indistinguishable androids merely works of art? Before this book, I had neither a background nor great interest in robotics or Philip K. Dick. Now my to-read list has expanded.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cory Brandley

    Anyone who has read Philip K Dick will appreciate the irony of this true story about a team that creates a android based on him. Interesting read, I just wish that it was more a biography on the life of Philip K Dick, with the tale of the android weaved into it. Still, it was enjoyable, made even more so because they end up losing the head on a plane.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Love Philip K Dick's work, so had to read this book. Took me a long time to get through it; it was a little more technical than I needed and I was a little disappointed in the ending, and the way that everyone just seemed to give up: we built this great thing, and now it's gone missing... well, by the time we find it, it will probably be obsolete, let's go build something else.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    Fascinating non-fiction book about the creation and loss of Philip K Dick's (Bladerunner) android head. Made me feel woefully inadequate as I have neither sculpting skills nor the ability to invent fake skin nor talent at writing AI learning algorithms necessary to create my own android. If you want to know about some of the real mad scientists hiding in the USA, read this.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sabine

    As much as I would have liked to say that I really enjoyed this book, it fell short for me. Too much about the history, technology, and programming involved in building an Android, not enough about the mystery of the missing head. I'm a geek, but apparently not enough of a geek....

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