How to Build an Android by David F. Dufty
The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection

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He ably describes the fertile, feverish atmosphere of intellectual endeavor, the kind of place where a crazy idea — like building a Philip K. Dick android — could take hold.
-LA Times

Synopsis

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.

 

About David F. Dufty

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David F. Dufty is a senior research officer at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Memphis at the time the android was being developed and worked closely with the team of scientists who created it. He completed a psychology degree with honors at the University of Newcastle and has a PhD in psychology from Macquarie University.
 
Published June 5, 2012 by Henry Holt and Co.. 286 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical, Computers & Technology. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for How to Build an Android
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Lawrence Downes on Jun 22 2012

He has a lot of technical ground to cover, but his narrative tends to unfold with the dread linearity of PowerPoint slides. This technical-manual approach sometimes slows the drama...

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Greg Barbrick on Jun 28 2013

If you are a fellow fan of PKD, How To Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick’s Robotic Resurrection is an excellent addition to the bookshelf.

Read Full Review of How to Build an Android: The ... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Carolyn Kellogg on Jun 10 2012

He ably describes the fertile, feverish atmosphere of intellectual endeavor, the kind of place where a crazy idea — like building a Philip K. Dick android — could take hold.

Read Full Review of How to Build an Android: The ... | See more reviews from LA Times

Reader Rating for How to Build an Android
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 31 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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