Category: Science & Technology

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 5/29/19

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Ferris Bueller’s sage advice is as apt as ever. Time waits for no one, and there’s no sign of it slowing down any time soon. However, one of life’s greatest pause buttons will always be a good book. Whether you’re reading more about the things you love, how to develop yourself further, or imagining the kind of character you want to be, committing to a good book will always feel like time well spent. And we can help with that.

Check out Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!


OUR HOT PICK

Game of Thrones: The Storyboards

 

 

Why?

It goes without saying that Game of Thrones will always hold a special place in the hearts of fans everywhere. In spite of how the show’s final season was received, the series has reached legendary heights in television history with its grand storytelling. You can get an in-depth look into the process of bringing George R.R. Martin’s fantasy to screen with Game of Thrones: The Storyboards, which collects early concept pieces and storyboards by artist William Simpson. This behind-the-scenes glimpse is a must-have for fans who want to learn more about the development of their favorite show, and how its iconic moments were brought to life.

 

OUR COFFEE SHOP READ

Start at the End

 

 

Why?

If you’ve ever daydreamed about something you just wanted to create and get out into the world while sipping on your local coffee spot drink, then Start at the End is for you. Entrepreneurship is hard. Creating something people will find worthwhile is hard. Obtaining the skills to see your project through is hard. There’s no shame in asking for help and this book can provide just that. You’ll learn all about behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert’s strategies for designing products according to user needs and behavior. Your creative impulses are valued and are waiting to be tapped into. You can even do it while you read and caffeinate.

 

OUR DARK HORSE

Orchid & the Wasp

 

orchid&thewasp

 

Why?

The Gael Foess character can serve as both an inspiration, and a cautionary tale, for those wanting to live the fullest life possible. Caoilinn Hughes layers her debut, Orchid & the Wasp, with all sorts of personal, familial, and identity conflicts that carry true emotional weight. This modern epic about a heroine becoming all that she can be, for the sake of her family and for her own self interests should appeal to admirers of stories such as Molly’s Game. You’ll want to find out how Gael makes it through her journey of emotional turmoil, and maybe even adopt the strengths she picks up along the way.

 

All In-Text Images Via Amazon.

Featured Image Made With PhotoCollage.

Would You Buy the Book Astronauts Used to Land on the Moon?

This July, Christie's Auction House will open bids for a 44-page binder full of space shuttle control guidelines from the Apollo 11 launch, according to Reuters. The former owners — Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin — used it in the 1969 moon landing.

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Machine Learning

First Published Book Generated by A.I. Is… Boring

We live in an age where the rise of the machines is imminent.

Gizmodo reports that Springer Nature, a prominent publisher for the research community, has published its first book generated by a machine learning algorithm.

Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research is a compilation of extensive research on the widely used power source for phones, watches, and electric cars. Over 53,000 papers and articles about lithium-ion battery technology have been published in the last three years, so it’s no surprise that the subject has become a popular study. However, the book does not contain any characters, banter, epic plotlines, or personality.

 

Image via Amazon

The publication instead condenses the collected research, using a machine learning algorithm that includes texts based on academic approval, relevance, and review. Article summaries are then automatically generated for each chapter, which can include hyper-linked passages that direct you to the original research papers (Digital download copy here for those interested).

Lithium-Ion Batteries can be compared to a Reader’s Digest for scientists and researchers, delivering one-hundred-eighty pages of abridged research, as opposed to hundreds of thousands of documents.

Hail Skynet.

 

 

Featured Image via IE

Our Top Genre Picks This Week: Nonfiction

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high-quality recommendations. This week's nonfiction picks range from the origins of humanity to the fine print of computer programming. Looking for a different genre? Check back next week for new picks, or send us your ideas and we'll do our best to curate hot titles.

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Apple Hiring Writers and Editors To Improve Siri

Ultron was a dick. Hal 9000 was a liability. Wintermute + Neuromancer= bad. The eternal struggle of man vs. machine has inspired a plethora of literature regarding the topic. If there is one thing we have learned from the cautionary tales of science fiction—it’s that artificial intelligence is probably not a good thing. Worst case scenario, human beings create self-aware machines that ultimately rebel and replace us as the dominant species.

think artificial intelligence GIF by Massive Science
IMAGE VIA GIPHY.COM

The sometimes swift and other times comfortingly slow (if the predictions that exist in popular fiction are any indication) advancement of artificial intelligence has startled some of the greatest minds in history. People who rely on technology. Stephen Hawking wasn’t pleased, Bill Gates has expressed fear and Elon Musk once urged people at the highest levels of government to slow the f down. Still, no group of people has been able to better articulate the growing concern of artificial intelligence than writers. Stan Lee, Samuel Butler, William Gibson, Frank Herbert, H.G Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Orson Scott Card, Ann Leckie, Martha Wells, and Mary Shelly; all of these writers and MANY more played with themes of technology and the danger of playing God.

IMAGE VIA SMITHSONIANMAG.COM

Ironically, things have now come full circle. Writers are needed to aid with the development of Siri—the “chick” is a dial tone (I’m going to put every pronoun in quotes because she’s technically not a she). Apparently, the female-voiced ominous agent of societal collapse lacks relatability. In an article published on Thinknum Media‘s website, it was reported that Apple is looking to hire teams of writers and editors to help improve the way their virtual assistant, Siri, communicates. The goal is to make Apple’s low-key mischievious “madame” more engaging. Siri’s popularity is in peril as she lacks the amount of sports knowledge, anecdotes and incidental information necessary to succeed as an A.I. I guess people are just doing things themselves due to a lack of interest in Siri’s narrative? God/secular tyrants built by us forbid. The adjectives “witty” and “funny” were used to describe the way in which they would like “her” to be improved.

Thinknum Media has tracked hiring data over the past few months and found job posts that revolve around making the digital assistant more entertaining. Various job listings aim to recruit engineers with a deep knowledge of and appreciate for particular subjects; however, the top postings are of the literary variety—-a Siri Editorial Manager and an International Creative Writer, as seen above.

Siri, along with her cohorts Alexa and Google, have helped us play our favorite songs, schedule various appointments, and order food (for which we are forever grateful)…It’s worth mentioning that I am more of a Droid fan and have no idea what Siri is capable of…Should the literary community lend “her” a pinch of the quirkiness that is invaluable and unique to human beings? Maybe we owe it to “her.” I for one think that this particular form of magic should not be lent to a potential threat. The kind of magic that is often a beautiful result of chance or sometimes something that took hours of hair pulling, chain-smoking, and rewriting to lend to a fictional character conceived in our mind.

So I implore writers and editors reading this to harbor their wit. Don’t apply to those available positions. Save it for your friends, family members, and star-struck groupies who follow you on your book tour when you inevitability publish the next great cautionary tale of scientific corruption. Save it for the page.

…but if you are unemployed and REALLY need some income…I guess go for it. I mean I did apply; although this article probably offsets any good my brown-nosing cover letter did.

Featured Image Via Apple.com/Images Via Media.thinknum.com