'The first time I created life, I did it the easy way...this time I'm attempting to make a baby the hard way: one piece at a time.' Artificial intelligence is the Holy Grail for many scientists. But will we ever be able to build machines that can bring together the knowledge, skills and ideas that would be needed to make up a complete human being? This was the question that fascinated Steve Grand when he decided to set about building 'Lucy'. Called an unscientific charlatan by some, a naive fool by others, this 'self-taught tinkerer' deliberately eschewed large public grants and laboratory affiliations to give himself as much freedom as possible to pursue his revolutionary ideas. In this compelling story of perseverance and despair, of frustration and elation, we live through the birth pains as Steve Grand defies the scientific establishment to create one of the most advanced robots in existence.
Steve Grand was cofounder and director of technology at the UK-based CyberLife Technology. He left last year to start up Cyberlife Research, where he is attempting to build the world's first conscious machine. He is the inventor of the groundbreaking computer game 'Creatures'. A former visiting research fellow at the University of Sussex and columnist for a leading journal on artificial intelligence, he has written numerous articles and lectures widely on the topic of artificial life. He was nominated by The Sunday Times as one of 'The Brains Behind the 21st Century', and received a CBE in the millennium honours list for his contribution to the computer games industry.