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Rebooting AI

Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust
Narrated by: Kaleo Griffith
Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Two leaders in the field offer a compelling analysis of the current state of the art and reveal the steps we must take to achieve a truly robust artificial intelligence.

Despite the hype surrounding AI, creating an intelligence that rivals or exceeds human levels is far more complicated than we have been led to believe. Professors Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis have spent their careers at the forefront of AI research and have witnessed some of the greatest milestones in the field, but they argue that a computer beating a human in Jeopardy! does not signal that we are on the doorstep of fully autonomous cars or superintelligent machines. The achievements in the field thus far have occurred in closed systems with fixed sets of rules, and these approaches are too narrow to achieve genuine intelligence.

The real world, in contrast, is wildly complex and open-ended. How can we bridge this gap? What will the consequences be when we do? Taking inspiration from the human mind, Marcus and Davis explain what we need to advance AI to the next level, and suggest that if we are wise along the way, we won't need to worry about a future of machine overlords. If we focus on endowing machines with common sense and deep understanding, rather than simply focusing on statistical analysis and gathering ever-larger collections of data, we will be able to create an AI we can trust - in our homes, our cars, and our doctors' offices. Rebooting AI provides a lucid, clear-eyed assessment of the current science and offers an inspiring vision of how a new generation of AI can make our lives better.

©2019 Gary Marcus (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Artificial intelligence is among the most consequential issues facing humanity, yet much of today’s commentary has been less than intelligent: awe-struck, credulous, apocalyptic, uncomprehending. Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis, experts in human and machine intelligence, lucidly explain what today’s AI can and cannot do, and point the way to systems that are less A and more I." (Steven Pinker, Johnstone professor of psychology, Harvard University, and the author of How the Mind Works and The Stuff of Thought)

"Finally, a book that tells us what AI is, what AI is not, and what AI could become if only we are ambitious and creative enough. No matter how smart and useful our intelligent machines are today, they don’t know what really matters. Rebooting AI dares to imagine machine minds that goes far beyond the closed systems of games and movie recommendations to become real partners in every aspect of our lives." (Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion and author of Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins)

"Finally, a book that says aloud what so many AI experts are really thinking. Every CEO should read it, and everyone else at the company, too. Then they’ll be able to separate the AI wheat from the chaff, and know where we are, how far we have to go, and how to get there." (Pedro Domingos, professor of computer science at the University of Washington and author of The Master Algorithm)

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Serious and thoughtful redirect for AI


I have been waiting for the industry to finally get critical with itself. Thanks for this thoughtful treatment of a subject that has had misleading and frothy treatment from the media, unrealistic and misguided expectation-setting from software vendors, and too little serious self examination from practitioners. The authors have set out a pretty good set of “functional requirements” for a generalized AI here. They’ve done a good job of articulating 1. Why the current data-driven deep learning cannot progress beyond simple and very narrow tasks, 2. A common sense understanding of the world is missing from these approaches 3. a conceptual faculty able to learn without 10,000 high quality labeled examples beforehand is needed; and 4. What potential corrective actions might be taken.

Importantly, they have suggested a reunification of the two divergent AI traditions is ultimately what is needed to progress and fix the current course. Additionally they implied (or I read into it) that a more trans-disciplinary approach is needed, given the stated need for understanding the functionality of the brain, not just at a biological/ chemical level, but at a fundamental metaphysical / philosophical level. They paint a but challenging road forward, but “tough love” for AI is the only hope for the field, and so I say, thank you.

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  • Olly Buxton
  • 09-19-19

The singularity is not so near after all.

A refreshing, thoughtful, well-argued plea for everyone to calm down about artificial intelligence. Compulsory reading.

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  • AR in Cambridgeshire
  • 09-17-19

very repetitive

many of the concepts are very interesting and well presented. however, it could have been half as long without imo loosing clarity or impact.