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Machine Theory

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  1. 1 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5 (1)
    13.8 hrs • 3/15/2016 • Unabridged

    A timely and important book that explores the societal and ethical implications of artificial intelligence as we approach the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution George Zarkadakis explores one of humankind’s oldest love-hate relationships: our ties with artificial intelligence, or AI. He traces AI’s origins in ancient myth, through literary classics like Frankenstein to today’s science fiction blockbusters, arguing that a fascination with AI is hardwired into the human psyche. He explains AI’s history, technology, and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as—perhaps most tellingly—what AI reveals about us as human beings. In Our Own Image argues that we are on the brink of a fourth industrial revolution—poised to enter the age of artificial intelligence as science fiction becomes science fact. Ultimately, Zarkadakis observes, the fate of AI has profound implications for the future of science and humanity itself.

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    In Our Own Image by George Zarkadakis

    In Our Own Image

    13.8 hrs • 3/15/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5 (1)
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  2. 6.2 hrs • 9/1/2015 • Unabridged

    The idea that human history is approaching a “singularity”—that ordinary humans will someday be overtaken by artificially intelligent machines, cognitively enhanced biological intelligence, or both—has moved from the realm of science fiction to serious debate. Some singularity theorists predict that if the field of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop at its current dizzying rate, the singularity could come about in the middle of the present century. Murray Shanahan offers an introduction to the idea of the singularity and considers the ramifications of such a potentially seismic event. Shanahan’s aim is not to make predictions but rather to investigate a range of scenarios. Whether we believe that singularity is near or far, likely or impossible, an apocalypse or utopia, the very idea raises crucial philosophical and pragmatic questions, forcing us to think seriously about what we want as a species. Shanahan describes technological advances in AI, both biologically inspired and engineered from scratch. Once human-level AI—theoretically possible but difficult to accomplish—has been achieved, he explains, the transition to superintelligent AI could be very rapid. Shanahan considers what the existence of superintelligent machines could mean for such matters as personhood, responsibility, rights, and identity. Some superhuman AI agents might be created to benefit humankind; some might go rogue. Is Siri the template, or HAL? The singularity presents both an existential threat to humanity and an existential opportunity for humanity to transcend its limitations. Shanahan makes it clear that we need to imagine both possibilities if we want to bring about the better outcome.

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    The Technological Singularity by Murray Shanahan
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