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Publisher's Summary

As we approach a great turning point in history when technology is poised to redefine what it means to be human, The Fourth Age offers fascinating insight into AI, robotics, and their extraordinary implications for our species.

In The Fourth Age, Byron Reese makes the case that technology has reshaped humanity just three times in history:

100,000 years ago we harnessed fire, which led to language.

10,000 years ago we developed agriculture, which led to cities and warfare.

5,000 years ago we invented the wheel and writing, which led to the nation state.

We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. The Fourth Age provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point and how - rather than what - we should think about the topics we’ll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, superintelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity.

By asking questions like “are you a machine?” and “could a computer feel anything?”, Reese leads you through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI and provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age and how they’ll transform humanity.

©2018 Byron Reese. All rights reserved. (P)2018 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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A Big History Story of AI

What did you love best about The Fourth Age?

I am about a 3rd of the way through the book. I really like how the book gives a perspective of big history and tells a 100,000 year history of AI. I have read a number of AI books and this book complements those books very well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Murphy
  • 05-09-18

One of the best books I've come across.

A real gem. A book not withstanding its subtitle, a book uncovering what it means to be human.Not an easy task to undertake. But a task I would say achieved with conspicuous talent.