William A. Taylor

William A. Taylor is an international consultant on the practical applications of artificial intelligence and has spent several years giving seminars on AI to senior engineers and engineering management.

  • What Every Engineer Should Know About Artificial Intelligence

    What Every Engineer Should Know About Artificial Intelligence

    William A. Taylor

    Engineers can profit from the revolution in AI research that is changing the ground rules of the profession. AI expert and consultant William Taylor provides a practical explanation of the parts of AI research that are ready for use by anyone with an engineering degree and that can help engineers do their jobs better.Taylor tours the field of artificial intelligence in a highly readable and engaging manner, outlining in detail how engineers can work with AI. In separate chapters he discusses the three basic programming styles - function-based programming, object-oriented programming, and rulebased programming - as well as the use of Lisp and Prolog. He concludes by offering several suggestions for getting started in the field. As Taylor defines it, AI is a programming style that has much in common with engineering practice: programs operate on data according to rules in order to accomplish goals. While the term "artificial intelligence" is generally defined as meaning the design of computers to think the way people do, Taylor points out that for engineering purposes it is more accurately defined as a few software ideas that work well enough to be used. And as AI technology matures, computers will be able to provide actual design help. They will, in effect, serve as design apprentices, offering suggestions and handling actual parts of the design.

    • Hardcover $10.75
    • Paperback $14.95

Contributor

  • Laboratory Lifestyles

    Laboratory Lifestyles

    The Construction of Scientific Fictions

    Sandra Kaji-O'Grady, Chris L. Smith, and Russell Hughes

    A generously illustrated examination of the boom in luxurious, resort-style scientific laboratories and how this affects scientists' work.

    The past decade has seen an extraordinary laboratory-building boom. This new crop of laboratories features spectacular architecture and resort-like amenities. The buildings sprawl luxuriously on verdant campuses or sit sleekly in expensive urban neighborhoods. Designed to attract venture capital, generous philanthropy, and star scientists, these laboratories are meant to create the ideal conditions for scientific discovery. Yet there is little empirical evidence that shows if they do. Laboratory Lifestyles examines this new species of scientific laboratory from architectural, economic, social, and scientific perspectives. Generously illustrated with photographs of laboratories and scientists at work in them, the book investigates how “lifestyle science” affects actual science. Are scientists working when they stretch in a yoga class, play volleyball in the company tournament, chat in an on-site café, or show off their facilities to visiting pharmaceutical executives?

    The book describes, among other things, the role of beanbag chairs in the construction of science at Xerox PARC; the Southern California vibe of the RAND Corporation (Malibu), General Atomic (La Jolla), and Hughes Research Laboratories (Malibu); and Biosphere 2's “bionauts” as both scientists and scientific subjects; and interstellar laboratories. Laboratory Lifestyles (the title is an allusion to Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar's influential Laboratory Life) documents a shift in what constitutes scientific practice; these laboratories and their lifestyles are as experimental as the science they cultivate.

    ContributorsKathleen Brandt, Russell Hughes, Tim Ivison, Sandra Kaji-O'Grady, Stuart W. Leslie, Brian Lonsway, Sean O'Halloran, Simon Sadler, Chris L. Smith, Nicole Sully, Ksenia Tatarchenko, William Taylor, Julia Tcharfas, Albena Yaneva, Stelios Zavos

    • Hardcover $29.95