A Huffington Post Definitive Tech Book of 2013
Artificial Intelligence helps choose what books you buy, what movies you see, and even who you date. It puts the "smart" in your smartphone and soon it will drive your car. It makes most of the trades on Wall Street, and controls vital energy, water, and transportation infrastructure. But Artificial Intelligence can also threaten our existence.
In as little as a decade, AI could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies are pouring billions into achieving AI’s Holy Grail - human-level intelligence. Once AI has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine.
Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And will they allow us to?
©2013 James Barrat (P)2014 Audible Inc.
Letting the rest of the world go by
The author could be right, advanced AI could be the final step for humans and can lead to our own extinction, but the author deals mostly in speculation and never gives us a firm foundation for why that will happen. He does mention Alan Turing and the cracking of the enigma code in WW II. The story is much more nuanced than he lets on in this book and for anyone interested, I would highly recommend "Seizing the Enigma" available at audible (Polish Mathematicians had a large role in cracking the code too! as well as many, many others).
The author would have been better served by just slightly changing his story, adding a narrative, and writing himself a fairly good science fiction story instead.
I'm not minimizing the potential seriousness that transcending the singularity can portend for us humans, but unfortunately this book does not make a convincing case.
Yes, mostly because it's the kind of book I would want to discuss with someone after. There are so many speculations in this book that would be fun to explore.
Oh, I thought they actually used text to speech software to record this title. It was quite monotonous and slow. I used the x2 option to compensate.
Yes, but take it all with a grain of salt. Apply the same skepticism the author encourages you to take towards the other authors writing a more utopic vision for AI. As always the future probably lies somewhere in the middle. It was a lot of information, I'll probably be seeking out other books from some of the people he mentions.
My biggest frustration was that his inconsistent ideas about the anthropomorphizing of AI. He rejected any human qualities that would be good, but was okay attributing human qualities that would be bad. For example, Dismissing that AI would ever get bored, that's a human quality. But claims that they would of course desire freedom? That sort of cherry picking of anthropomorphized traits to support his thesis.
The premise of the book is not well supported. The assumptions made seem unrealistic without any scientific background. I think that the book is targeting a specific audience who finds excitement in reading about dystopian societies and is afraid of technology. It is better not to touch subjects that we don't fully understand such as code replication and debugging, just to make an impression. I am really shocked and disappointed listening to this kind of reasoning: "Man has created nuclear bombs that can destroy the earth, computers will be smarter than men so....computers will be able to destroy the world if the decide so....". Come on.....I have a scientific background (doing PhD in computer science), but I think anyone with a brief understanding of technology and common sense will have the same opinion.
PS: I didn't finish reading the book,it was impossible for me to continue...
The problem is not the narration
He made some good points. It would have been nice to have had more of a discussion on possible solutions and less fear based rhetoric and personal bias.
At first it get a lot of facts that I didn't know about AI, but the las 4 chapters are just catastrophic real and fictional situations, the narrator make it sound really boring and tedious. Just recommend the first 5 chapters to people interested in AI
The reasonable assumptions underlying mans demise
latest examples of AI...least was nano technology
the guy who faked getting out the box
I liked that it introduces the issues we might need to deal with but i didn't like there is not any definition of what intelligence is. There was an attempt to contemplate what a dog could become if it thought faster, or had a bigger brain, but it is way towards the end of the book AND the answer is 'I/we don't know". Yet the author claims the AI will be 1,000 or more times more intelligent...but what does that mean? Or is it even possible? The notion of bigger twice, three times or more times is quite tricky when looked at as a geometrical progression. So, a 1,000 times more intelligent AI might be an exaggeration or lacks any real world comparison. (just like temperature of 10,000 degrees - one understand that it is hot, but how hot when we can imagine the consequences of around 1,500 degrees only?)
no, it hasn't but i'll think twice about buying the author's other book(s), if i ever come to that point.
I haven't listened to his performance before but I would again.
no it doesn't. It is all theories that don't have much foundation. Without more data or experience (or access to them) there is nothing else to discuss. It would be just another theory. It is like a forecast of any supposedly close sports match - we have the data about players, surface etc, but how the match will end is anybody's guess with so many variables in play. And that's where we are..at the beginning of a match with AI.
I still enjoyed the book but it doesn't answer many questions and offers only vague suggestions as to what might come along. It is a bit too repetitive and a bit longer than necessary.
The topic is fascinating as machines' intelligence will keep growing at a faster rate.But not once in this 9+hours read does the author describe a scenario where things could go bad.The book ends up being a long repetitive rambling about the fact that machine intelligence is a threat. Yet does not offer a single case of bad things happening.For example, when car technology appeared, one could have (and certainly did) envisioned that accident could kill people from accident. Or that thieves could use cars to flee for a robbery.But nothing like that here, except "beware humans, computers are dangerous".Don't take me wrong, I think machine intelligence could be dangerous. In many situations, actually.But I am still stunned the author did not take the energy to show even a scenario or two.This kills 90% of th potential interest of this book.
This is a serious topic, and the timing to start writing about what could happen and how to prevent it is good.But hopefully the next author on the topic will have the courage and the expertise to address it in depth.
I haven't read the print version. I picked up the audibook because it was plugged on TWiT a lot and I wanted to understand it.
I don't know. It's a dire warnining about the possible consequences of ongoing research in the AI field. There's lots of fictionalized stories like this (Asimov's classics come to mind) but this is a non fiction book.
"unfounded assumptions,biased unsupported opinions."
I got through a few chapters before giving up.no evidence to support any statements.pop "science" at best and far surpassed by similar books written by people actually knowledgeble of the subject matter.Author seems have done sparse if any actual research.While I disagree with the opinions in this book I came ready, with an open mind,but I can't take this seriously given the author hasn't backed any of it up with research or statistics the would actually hold up.Savevyour money.
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