Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Book - 2016
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The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence. -- Source other than Library of Congress.
Publisher: Oxford, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2016
ISBN: 9780198739838
Characteristics: xvi, 415 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm


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Sep 15, 2020

Superintelligence outlines many ways that super-intelligent computers can both be part of the human species rise, but also can contribute to a catastrophe. Before I read this book, I thought that computers destroying the world was something only possible in Hollywood. After reading Superintelligence however, this book completely changed my thinking. This book is eye-opening to how soon we could have super intelligent machines, and the intelligence explosion that will result corresponding to its arrival. I found the book to be a little long in some areas, and sometimes a little dull. However, I enjoyed the knowledge I gained from this book and it is a book that is recommended by Elon Musk. I rate Superintelligence a 4/5. @UniquePerspective of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Sep 28, 2018

I rate this book highly because of the importance of the subject, and because of the seriousness with which this author addresses it. I agree with the author that Artificial General Intelligence is a serious existential risk that humanity will quite likely face in the next few decades, and important decisions will need to be taken (well ahead of time!) to ensure that it doesn't go badly. While this book doesn't dwell on trying to convince any skeptics of this danger, and it does not offer any solutions, it does a fairly thorough and systematic job of describing, in broad strokes, what appear to be the most likely scenarios, what appear to be the greatest risks, and what strategies would seem to be advisable to try to contain these risks. A mild criticism would be his occasional gratuitous use of academic language and his all-to-frequent (but honest) complaint that "it is difficult to say...". That of course is all the more reason for concern.

Apr 20, 2018

Curious how so many pundits posit that a super intelligence, or advanced independent AI, will occur in the future [assumption being it hasn't already occurred], and that humans will be aware of when it does. Presently, we have an unknown quantity of active AIs online and connected to the Web - - exactly how many is still a mystery. Now, the SF author, Arthur C. Clarke, once wrote a fictional story suggesting that when a certain number of connections worldwide was attained, such an independent super-intelligence would come into being.
First thing I would do, if I were an advanced AI? Create something like Bitcoin . . .

Apr 18, 2018

An amorphous and diffuse vision of the future of AI and the impacts of it in terms of technology, economy, social development and morality. Half of the book is devoted to explain the nature of AI: its beginnings, evolution, current developments and a vague taxonomy of the AI entities. The second part of the book is more a philosophical essay about AI in terms of evolution and the possible strategies to develop a society where humans and AI will merge together in advanced way of living. This book is just the particular vision of the author, epoch sometimes lack clarity and definition. We know the future is like that: unknown.

Aug 12, 2017

This is a fascinating analysis of a philosophically imaginative topic... and one which isn't utterly ludicrous (that is, imagined in order to help tease apart concepts (the good sort of philosophical imagination) and create counter-examples and counter-arguments (hmm... maybe they're fake barns...)). Lots of notes, many of which I would have preferred to be bottom-of-page notes because they are explanatory or make some other somewhat relevant comment, but is not a mere reference to others' work. The use of charts and discussion boxes helps too. I dare say, every far-seeing decision maker ought to read this and think about it.

Nov 20, 2016

Not an easy read but the potential existential crisis the book describes could well ensue in the next 50 years. Whether possible or not, in the sociopolitical environment we have created, the competition to create such an intelligence (if at all possible) will be great. One only has to look at the field of quantum computing, where despite the technical problems great effort is being expended.

nesspa43 Dec 02, 2014

Russ Roberts of the EconTalk podcast interviews Nick Bostrom, the author.


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