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Publisher's Summary

Penguin Audio presents Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark, read by Rob Shapiro. 

We stand at the beginning of a new era. What was once science fiction is fast becoming reality, as AI transforms war, crime, justice, jobs and society - and even our very sense of what it means to be human. More than any other technology, AI has the potential to revolutionise our collective future - and there's nobody better situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor and cofounder of the Future of Life Institute, whose work has helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial. 

In this deeply researched and vitally important new book, Tegmark takes us to the heart of thinking about AI and the human condition, bringing us face to face with the essential questions of our time. What sort of future do we want? Life 3.0 gives us the tools to join what may be the most important conversation of our time.

©2018 Rob Shapiro (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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Consciousness is physics!

I loved it. I am going to read it twice and more. It made me think of start reading physics for fun. It left me wondering maybe there could be law of physics that could illustrate witchcraft or Black Magic!! Max Tegemark what do you think? Come to Tanzania there are people seen instructing the sky to rain or a light to strike! Imagine transforming that lighting energy to electricity, we could bury the thought of Africa is a land of darkness!🤔

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  • Heisenberg
  • 04-09-18

Entertaining and thought provoking.

I have been waiting for this to come to audible, as Tegmark's mathematical universe is one of my favourite popular physics book. It does not disappoint. The subject matter is such an important one, that this book, as well as Nick Bostrom's superintelligence, should be mandatory reading for all politicians. Life 3.0 examines the great benefits and immense dangers, that artificial intelligence will offer in the decades to come, and does so in a superbly entertaining way. A word too for Rob Shapiro, who narrated Tegmark's previous book, as he does a faultless job here also. Highly recommended.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-07-18

Inspirational but frightening

An important summary of where we are headed as a species and as the guardians of the future of A.I.

The book goes through several science fiction and science fact(ion) scenarios, from utopian to dystopian. These help to illustrate, in vivid colours, the ethically challenging pathways that a superintelligent A.I. could take in the near future, and their potential impact on human society.

Tegmark writes passionately without succumbing to the naive enthusiasm of the most lurid techno-optimists. In fact, since I am (perhaps) one of those sorry people, he appears to me excessively conservative when he cautions the reader against the risks associated with unregulated and undirected A.I. But he simultaneously waxes lyrical about the positive powers of enhancement that A.I. could bring.
(The reader is thus served hot and cold dishes in schizophrenic rotation. Which I don't mind.)

One thing that Tegmark has special expertise in is space (he is a physicist), so the chapters on space exploration and colonisation are the most solidly grounded and, for that reason, inspiring of awe. But even outside his purported main area of expertise, he pulls no punches: the chapters on ethics and consciousness, for example, are eminently thoughtful and illuminating. The importance he readily gives to philosophy as the arbiter of the big questions of the future warms this philosopher's heart.

Overall, the book sheds light on the current state of knowledge around A.I. research in a fruitful and exciting way. I wish there had been more discussion on the possibility of the transhumanistic fusion between man and machine via biotechnological engineering. It seems unlikely that, barring catastrophe, we will be left behind as a biological relic stuck at a permanently low stage of development. While I agree with Tegmark that we need ethical guidelines, I am not so convinced that consensus building leads to an optimal outcome. The (reasonable) ethical and political concerns around A.I., as well as around transhumanistic self-modification and -enhancement, might do more harm than good, unless the liberty of experimentation is safeguarded (of course within the cautionary bounds of internalized externalities).

Dreamy stuff. Nightmarish, too. Frightful hope is knocking robotically at the door, so you better take it like a (hu)man. Or a man machine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • M O.
  • 06-05-18

fascinating, opinion altering, insightful

I absolutely love this book. subject matter and presentation is second to none.

the ideas presented challenged my previous opinions and altered them. the potential swift rise of AI was something I had not considered before. I loved the ant hill analogy and have already used it in discussion.

AI will change the world, will change what it means to be human and will usher in an era the likes of which is ours to shape. we don't have much time to shape it, but with consensus coming around the themes in this book, I am hopeful and positive for its arrival.

I for one welcome our new machine overlords :@)

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  • Ollie
  • 05-15-18

Must Read! This will only become more relevant!

Well written, easy to follow with a lot of fascinating insights. Although it's a book on AI it's not just about AI but explores what it means to be human as well as what the latest theoretical understanding of consciousness is. It leaves the reader with a positive sense of optimism and excitement for the future.

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  • Jaan
  • 07-10-18

One of the best books I've read

There are so many grand ideas that I feel like I need to listen to it again.

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  • bluelight123
  • 07-01-18

An essential book on the future of AI

Interesting and exciting all the way through. Rob Shapiro narrates so well and in the style of Max Tegmark himself. This beautifully written book is the essential and most accessible for anyone interested in the future of Artificial Intelligence, as seen by one of the greatest minds of our times.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-02-18

Loved it!

Gives me goosebumps thinking about these questions, Max really delves right in. The opening short story was fantastic!

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  • Luisa
  • 07-20-18

Insightful exploration of our potential AI future

Life 3.0 is a insightful exploration of the potential direction of AI. It begins with a story of a potential near future of the stealth development of a superintelligence which is provocative and sets the scene to explore in depth a comprehensive set of different perspectives and possibilities of how this exciting field will develop.
Max is pragmatic, realistic, scientific, and thorough in explaining his thoughts on an unknown future that could be wondrous or disastrous. He not only delivers a message of hope but is actively engaged in moving this field in a positive direction for the benefit of all.

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  • Grizzimo
  • 07-11-18

The clearest breakdown of present and future A.I.

I've read a dozen books in the genre - mainly from Kurzweil and Bostrom - and Max Tegmark's is right now the clearest, most reasonable, and most relevant I know. Highly recommend.

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  • Solomon
  • 07-09-18

Very speculative, but interesting

A book about AI safety research with a hefty dose of speculation about the future of intelligence from a physicist's perspective.

Its main purpose seems to be to provoke thought and explore possible questions about super intelligent AI and it acknowledges the enormous uncertainty in this area.

It's a bit repetitive as an audio book as it was intended as a text reference where readers could jump to sections of interest.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-14-18

A+

Loved it. One of the best books i've heard. Thanks to that author for writing this book.

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  • Cambell
  • 05-06-18

Thought provoking material. A lot to digest.

I really loved the broad range of ideas and possibilities outlined in this book and the encouragement from the author to think about the future of life and consciousness in the universe, not just AI for the world we live in now and over the next century.

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  • Timothy Lehmann
  • 06-21-18

A great discussion on a major topic.

I found this book fascinating and accessible. It did justice to this enormously important subject.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful