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The Fourth Age

Narrated by: Danny Campbell
Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (203 ratings)

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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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Really loved this book

Now that I'm through Fourth Age, I'm sad it's over. The book is a journey through philosophy of mind and human potential. Really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Positive Futurism

I hope Reese is right. Most looks forward are pretty negative. Reese is net positive.

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Awesome insights and summaries of our potential.

This book is chock-full of food for thought. you almost have to stop the book every 5 minutes to think about what was just said. you could even listen to this book was someone else and getting many topics to discuss in more detail. this book has a high re-listen value. I'm sure there were some topics that I missed while thinking of one's prior to. great stuff

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Great book to start with for A.I. newbies!!

I knew pretty much nothing about A.I. before listening to this audiobook and now feel completely equipped to have an intelligent conversation. Reese breaks everything down into small, logical steps for the reader/listener to understand. He also proposes most (if not all) the varying opinions for the “experts” within the A.I. industry so you can come to form your own opinion on the topic. Overall great listen/read. I’m going to re-listen and take some more notes.

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Great

This book was fascinating. Full of many facts and thought provoking ideas. A great book if you like technology and computers.

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informative <br />

loved it. a great read . Can recommend. many new thoughts on the whole AI concept.

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fantastic

One of the best, most thought provoking books I've ever read - a well structured guide to examining the current state of AI against a historical context along with a framework for considering it's future. A MUST read for just about anyone.

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Interesting Topic

Mostly well done but somewhat lacking in details. Takes some time to adjusted to the narrator, although all told fairly acceptable listening to it.

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Fantastic .... “Don’t Panic”

One of the best books I’ve ever read form one who is surprising well informed. He puts technology in its proper place as opposed to sensationalism of modern media. His view of humanity at its nature is inspiring.

Do yourself a favor and read this...

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  • Alex S.
  • 04-18-19

Interesting

It was interesting and easy to go through, with practical examples and logic ideas. Good read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-24-18

Absolutely brilliant, filled by realistic optimism

A book with real potential of changing mindsets. Easy to understand yet deep and thoughtful.

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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.