Weighing in from the cutting-edge frontiers of science, today’s most forward-thinking minds explore the rise of “machines that think.” Stephen Hawking recently made headlines by noting, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Others, conversely, have trumpeted a new age of “superintelligence” in which smart devices will exponentially extend human capacities. No longer just a matter of science-fiction fantasy (2001, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Her, etc.), it is time to seriously consider the reality of intelligent technology, many forms of which are already being integrated into our daily lives. In that spirit, John Brockman, publisher of Edge. org (“the world’s smartest website” – The Guardian), asked the world’s most influential scientists, philosophers, and artists one of today’s most consequential questions: What do you think about machines that think?
Brain vs. Machine
Author: John Brockman
Publisher: Harper Perennial
As the world becomes ever more dominated by technology, John Brockman’s latest addition to the acclaimed and bestselling “Edge Question Series” asks more than 175 leading scientists, philosophers, and artists: What do you think about machines that think? The development of artificial intelligence has been a source of fascination and anxiety ever since Alan Turing formalized the concept in 1950. Today, Stephen Hawking believes that AI “could spell the end of the human race.” At the very least, its development raises complicated moral issues with powerful real-world implications—for us and for our machines. In this volume, recording artist Brian Eno proposes that we’re already part of an AI: global civilization, or what TED curator Chris Anderson elsewhere calls the hive mind. And author Pamela McCorduck considers what drives us to pursue AI in the first place. On the existential threat posed by superintelligent machines, Steven Pinker questions the likelihood of a robot uprising. Douglas Coupland traces discomfort with human-programmed AI to deeper fears about what constitutes “humanness.” Martin Rees predicts the end of organic thinking, while Daniel C. Dennett explains why he believes the Singularity might be an urban legend. Provocative, enriching, and accessible, Brain vs. Machine may just be a practical guide to the not-so-distant future.
Humans Need Not Apply
Author: Jerry Kaplan
Publisher: Yale University Press
After billions of dollars and fifty years of effort, researchers are finally cracking the code on artificial intelligence. As society stands on the cusp of unprecedented change, Jerry Kaplan unpacks the latest advances in robotics, machine learning, and perception powering systems that rival or exceed human capabilities. Driverless cars, robotic helpers, and intelligent agents that promote our interests have the potential to usher in a new age of affluence and leisure — but as Kaplan warns, the transition may be protracted and brutal unless we address the two great scourges of the modern developed world: volatile labor markets and income inequality. He proposes innovative, free-market adjustments to our economic system and social policies to avoid an extended period of social turmoil. His timely and accessible analysis of the promise and perils of artificial intelligence is a must-read for business leaders and policy makers on both sides of the aisle.
How is the internet changing the way you think? That is one of the dominant questions of our time, one which affects almost every aspect of our life and future. And it's exactly what John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to more than 150 of the world's most influential minds. Brilliant, farsighted, and fascinating, Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? is an essential guide to the Net-based world.
The Emotion Machine
Author: Marvin Minsky
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
In this mind-expanding book, scientific pioneer Marvin Minsky continues his groundbreaking research, offering a fascinating new model for how our minds work. He argues persuasively that emotions, intuitions, and feelings are not distinct things, but different ways of thinking. By examining these different forms of mind activity, Minsky says, we can explain why our thought sometimes takes the form of carefully reasoned analysis and at other times turns to emotion. He shows how our minds progress from simple, instinctive kinds of thought to more complex forms, such as consciousness or self-awareness. And he argues that because we tend to see our thinking as fragmented, we fail to appreciate what powerful thinkers we really are. Indeed, says Minsky, if thinking can be understood as the step-by-step process that it is, then we can build machines -- artificial intelligences -- that not only can assist with our thinking by thinking as we do but have the potential to be as conscious as we are. Eloquently written, The Emotion Machine is an intriguing look into a future where more powerful artificial intelligences await.
Our Final Invention
Author: James Barrat
A documentary filmmaker, bringing together Artificial Intelligence experts from around the world, explores the terrifying possibility of catastrophic outcomes once we share the planet with intelligent machines who are smarter and more powerful than we could ever have imagined. 25,000 first printing.
The Fourth Age
Author: Byron Reese
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
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 lead 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.
"What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?" This was the question posed by John Brockman to a group of leading scientists and thinkers via his Edge.org website. The subsequent answers created a media storm and prompted a fiery debate about all aspects of science, technology and even the nature of "proof". WHAT WE BELIEVE BUT CANNOT PROVE brings together the very best answers from the most eminent contributors. Here is Ian McEwan on the absence of an afterlife; Richard Dawkins on the relationship between design and evolution; and Jared Diamond on when humans first reached the Americas. Other contributions from luminaries like Steven Pinker, John Horgan and Martin Rees span the whole range of scientific endeavour and human experience, from the future of computing to the origins of intelligence; from insights into childhood behaviour to cutting-edge cosmology. Thought-provoking and hugely compelling, this collection is both a fascinating insight into the instinctive beliefs of some of the most brilliant minds alive today -- and an invitation to answer the question yourself . . .
The Forgetting Machine
Author: Rodrigo Quian Quiroga
Publisher: BenBella Books
If we lose our memories, are we still ourselves? Is identity merely a collection of electrical impulses? What separates us from animals, or from computers? From Plato to Westworld, these questions have fascinated and befuddled philosophers, artists, and scientists for centuries. In The Forgetting Machine, neuroscientist Rodrigo Quiroga explains how the mechanics of memory illuminates these discussions, with implications for everything from understanding Alzheimer?s disease to the technology of Artificial Intelligence. You?ll also learn about the research behind what Quiroga coined ?Jennifer Aniston Neurons??cells in the human brain that are responsible for representing specific concepts, such as recognizing a certain celebrity?s face. The discovery of these neurons opens new windows into the workings of human memory. In this accessible, fascinating look at the science of remembering, discover how we turn perceptions into memories, how language shapes our experiences, and the crucial role forgetting plays in human recollection. You?ll see how electricity, chemistry, and abstraction combine to form something more than the human brain?the human mind. And you?ll gain surprising insight into what our brains can tell us about who we are. The Forgetting Machine takes us on a journey through science and science fiction, philosophy and identity, using what we know about how we remember (and forget) to explore the very roots of what makes us human.
The Sentient Machine
Author: Amir Husain
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The future is now. Acclaimed technologist and inventor Amir Husain explains how we can live amidst the coming age of sentient machines and artificial intelligence—and not only survive, but thrive. Artificial “machine” intelligence is playing an ever-greater role in our society. We are already using cruise control in our cars, automatic checkout at the drugstore, and are unable to live without our smartphones. The discussion around AI is polarized; people think either machines will solve all problems for everyone, or they will lead us down a dark, dystopian path into total human irrelevance. Regardless of what you believe, the idea that we might bring forth intelligent creation can be intrinsically frightening. But what if our greatest role as humans so far is that of creators? Amir Husain, a brilliant inventor and computer scientist, argues that we are on the cusp of writing our next, and greatest, creation myth. It is the dawn of a new form of intellectual diversity, one that we need to embrace in order to advance the state of the art in many critical fields, including security, resource management, finance, and energy. “In The Sentient Machine, Husain prepares us for a brighter future; not with hyperbole about right and wrong, but with serious arguments about risk and potential” (Dr. Greg Hyslop, Chief Technology Officer, The Boeing Company). He addresses broad existential questions surrounding the coming of AI: Why are we valuable? What can we create in this world? How are we intelligent? What constitutes progress for us? And how might we fail to progress? Husain boils down complex computer science and AI concepts into clear, plainspoken language and draws from a wide variety of cultural and historical references to illustrate his points. Ultimately, Husain challenges many of our societal norms and upends assumptions we hold about “the good life.”
Comparing the human brain with so-called artificial intelligence, the author probes past, present, and future attempts to create machine intelligence
This Idea Must Die
Author: Mr. John Brockman
Publisher: Harper Collins
The bestselling editor of This Explains Everything brings together 175 of the world’s most brilliant minds to tackle Edge.org’s 2014 question: What scientific idea has become a relic blocking human progress? Each year, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org—”The world’s smartest website” (The Guardian)—challenges some of the world’s greatest scientists, artists, and philosophers to answer a provocative question crucial to our time. In 2014 he asked 175 brilliant minds to ponder: What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance? The answers are as surprising as they are illuminating. In : Steven Pinker dismantles the working theory of human behavior Richard Dawkins renounces essentialism Sherry Turkle reevaluates our expectations of artificial intelligence Geoffrey West challenges the concept of a “Theory of Everything” Andrei Linde suggests that our universe and its laws may not be as unique as we think Martin Rees explains why scientific understanding is a limitless goal Nina Jablonski argues to rid ourselves of the concept of race Alan Guth rethinks the origins of the universe Hans Ulrich Obrist warns against glorifying unlimited economic growth and much more. Profound, engaging, thoughtful, and groundbreaking, This Idea Must Die will change your perceptions and understanding of our world today . . . and tomorrow.
What happens when machines become smarter than us? Forget images of Terminators and Cylons: artificial intelligences (AIs) will achieve power through their intelligence, not brute strength. Just as humans shape the world in ways beyond the understanding of chimpanzees, AIs will shape our world, transforming it--whether slowly or blindingly fast--into whatever they are programmed to prefer. The future could be filled with joy, art, compassion, and beings living worthwhile and wonderful lives--but only if we're able to precisely define what a "good" world is, and skilled enough to describe it perfectly to a computer program. Philosophers have tried for thousands of years to define the ideal world, with little to show for it. The prospect of artificial intelligence gives this project a new urgency. Our values are fragile: miss a single piece of the puzzle, and the whole system collapses into a world empty of worth. And then comes the daunting task of encoding the entire system of human values for an AI: explaining them to a mind that is alien to us, defining every ambiguous term, clarifying every edge case. AIs, like computers, will do what we say--which is not necessarily what we mean. Though an understanding of the problem is only beginning to spread, researchers from fields ranging from philosophy to computer science to economics are working together to conceive and test new approaches. The problem of AI safety isn't easy, but it is solvable. Are we up to the challenge?
Author: Margaret A. Boden
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The applications of Artificial Intelligence lie all around us; in our homes, schools and offices, in our cinemas, in art galleries and - not least - on the Internet. The results of Artificial Intelligence have been invaluable to biologists, psychologists, and linguists in helping to understand the processes of memory, learning, and language from a fresh angle. As a concept, Artificial Intelligence has fuelled and sharpened the philosophical debates concerning the nature of the mind, intelligence, and the uniqueness of human beings. Margaret A. Boden reviews the philosophical and technological challenges raised by Artificial Intelligence, considering whether programs could ever be really intelligent, creative or even conscious, and shows how the pursuit of Artificial Intelligence has helped us to appreciate how human and animal minds are possible.
Humility Is the New Smart
Author: Edward D. Hess, Katherine Ludwig
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Humility Is the New Smart Your job is at risk—if not now, then soon. We are on the leading edge of a Smart Machine Age led by artificial intelligence that will be as transformative for us as the Industrial Revolution was for our ancestors. Smart machines will take over millions of jobs in manufacturing, office work, the service sector, the professions, you name it. Not only can they know more data and analyze it faster than any mere human, say Edward Hess and Katherine Ludwig, but smart machines are free of the emotional, psychological, and cultural baggage that so often mars human thinking. So we can't beat 'em and we can't join 'em. To stay relevant, we have to play a different game. Hess and Ludwig offer us that game plan. We need to excel at critical, creative, and innovative thinking and at genuinely engaging with others—things machines can't do well. The key is to change our definition of what it means to be smart. Hess and Ludwig call it being NewSmart. In this extraordinarily timely book, they offer detailed guidance for developing NewSmart attitudes and four critical behaviors that will help us adapt to the new reality. The crucial mindset underlying NewSmart is humility—not self-effacement but an accurate self-appraisal: acknowledging you can't have all the answers, remaining open to new ideas, and committing yourself to lifelong learning. Drawing on extensive multidisciplinary research, Hess and Ludwig emphasize that the key to success in this new era is not to be more like the machines but to excel at the best of what makes us human.