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Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

James Barrat
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2013.
First Edition
9780312622374, 0312622376, 9781250032263 (e-book)
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"Artificial Intelligence helps choose what books you buy, what movies you see, and even who you date. It puts the "smart" in your smart phone, it has the run of your house, and soon it will drive your car. It makes most of the trades on Wall Street, and controls vital energy, water, and transportation infrastructure. But Artificial Intelligence can also threaten our existence. Though primitive today, 'intelligent' computer systems double in speed and power each year. In as little as a decade, AI could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies are pouring billions into achieving AI's Holy Grail -- human-level intelligence. Once AI has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine. Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, James Barrat's Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with computers whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And more to the point: will they allow us to?"--
"The Internet is usually considered a breakthrough in technological--and even social--progress. The promises that it holds for our future are discussed in terms of an utopian vision--intelligent, helpful robots; enhanced brain function; disease-and-famine ridding nanotechnology, and other positive benefits. But there's another, rarely discussed and far darker possibility. As Our Final Invention argues, we may be racing towards our own annihilation, as the military, academia, and corporate advances in artificial intelligence may lead to an uncontrollable new lifeform far smarter and more powerful than we can imagine. Advanced artificial intelligence might seem like a far-out science fiction story, but it is actually far closer than most of us realize. Bringing together the ideas of experts in a thoroughly accessible way and exposing the dark side to the vision presented in The Singularity is Near, Our Final Invention explores how the convergence of current developments in technology may lead to a catastrophic outcome within the next few years"--
322 pages ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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