Science world luminary John Brockman assembles twenty-five of the most important scientific minds, people who have been thinking about the field of artificial intelligence for most of their careers, for an unparalleled round-table examination about mind, thinking, intelligence and what it means to be human.
"The nightmarish possibility of artificially intelligent (AI) machines usurping their creators has been a familiar theme in sf books and Hollywood movies since the inception of the genre. In his latest science anthology, Brockman (This Idea is Brilliant, 2018), publisher-editor of Edge.org, offers 25 diverse and provocative viewpoints on the still-evolving concern over AI's dark side from a cross-section of leading scientists, philosophers, and artists. Using Norbert Wiener's classic cautionary study on unfettered technology, The Human Use of Human Beings (1950), as a springboard, Brockman asked contributors to air their opinions about the good-AI-versus-evil-AI debate. Physicists Seth Lloyd and Judea Pearl believe AI programs have so many built-in limitations that worries about robotic domination are mostly unfounded, whereas others, such as Skype developer Jaan Tallinn, are more pessimistic, pointing out that silicon-based machines could simply destroy our environment because they don't need air to thrive. Readers interested in advanced technologies, AI, cyber security and cyber ethics, and neuroscience will find many rich ideas here to savor and contemplate.--Carl Hays Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Brockman (This Idea Is Brilliant, editor), founder of the literary agency Brockman Inc., devotes this entry into his series of science-oriented essay anthologies to exploring the frontiers of artificial intelligence. The 25 contributors come from a wide range of disciplines and include philosopher Daniel Dennett, psychology professor Alison Gopnik, and Skype cofounder Jaan Tallinn. While the authors disagree on the answers, they agree on the major question: what dangers might AI present to humankind? Within that framework, the essays offer a host of novel ideas. Several argue that AI has already become a hallmark of human culture, with genetics researcher George M. Church provocatively suggesting that modern, technology-using humans, when compared with Stone Age cultures, are already "transhumans." Other essays underscore the necessity for ensuring that advanced AI acts in alignment with human values, while science historian George Dyson explores the difficulties inherent in controlling the technology, ending with the unsettling observation that "provably 'good' AI is a myth." Readers will appreciate that the discussion is accompanied by intriguing explanations of AI development strategies, among them "deep learning," generative adversarial networks, and inverse-reinforcement learning. The combination of theory and practice makes for enlightening, entertaining, and exciting reading. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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