Book picks similar to
A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence Is Redefining Who We Are by Flynn Coleman
World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech
Franklin Foer - 2017
Over the past few decades there has been a revolution in terms of who controls knowledge and information. This rapid change has imperiled the way we think. Without pausing to consider the cost, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four titanic corporations. We shop with Amazon; socialize on Facebook; turn to Apple for entertainment; and rely on Google for information. These firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, but what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation, and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation, autonomous thought, or solitary introspection--a world without mind. In order to restore our inner lives, we must avoid being coopted by these gigantic companies, and understand the ideas that underpin their success.Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science--from Descartes and the enlightenment to Alan Turing to Stuart Brand and the hippie origins of today's Silicon Valley--Foer exposes the dark underpinnings of our most idealistic dreams for technology. The corporate ambitions of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially intellectual property and privacy. This is a nascent stage in the total automation and homogenization of social, political, and intellectual life. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide.At stake is nothing less than who we are, and what we will become. There have been monopolists in the past but today's corporate giants have far more nefarious aims. They're monopolists who want access to every facet of our identities and influence over every corner of our decision-making. Until now few have grasped the sheer scale of the threat. Foer explains not just the looming existential crisis but the imperative of resistance.
AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order
Kai-Fu Lee - 2018
Kai-Fu Lee—one of the world’s most respected experts on AI and China—reveals that China has suddenly caught up to the US at an astonishingly rapid and unexpected pace.In AI Superpowers, Kai-Fu Lee argues powerfully that because of these unprecedented developments in AI, dramatic changes will be happening much sooner than many of us expected. Indeed, as the US-Sino AI competition begins to heat up, Lee urges the US and China to both accept and to embrace the great responsibilities that come with significant technological power.Most experts already say that AI will have a devastating impact on blue-collar jobs. But Lee predicts that Chinese and American AI will have a strong impact on white-collar jobs as well. Is universal basic income the solution? In Lee’s opinion, probably not. But he provides a clear description of which jobs will be affected and how soon, which jobs can be enhanced with AI, and most importantly, how we can provide solutions to some of the most profound changes in human history that are coming soon.
The Age of AI and Our Human Future
Henry Kissinger - 2021
Another AI discovered a new antibiotic by analyzing molecular properties human scientists did not understand. Now, AI-powered jets are defeating experienced human pilots in simulated dogfights. AI is coming online in searching, streaming, medicine, education, and many other fields and, in so doing, transforming how humans are experiencing reality.In The Age of AI, three leading thinkers have come together to consider how AI will change our relationships with knowledge, politics, and the societies in which we live. The Age of AI is an essential roadmap to our present and our future, an era unlike any that has come before.
The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
Pedro Domingos - 2015
In The Master Algorithm, Pedro Domingos lifts the veil to give us a peek inside the learning machines that power Google, Amazon, and your smartphone. He assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner--the Master Algorithm--and discusses what it will mean for business, science, and society. If data-ism is today's philosophy, this book is its bible.
The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity
Byron Reese - 2018
will mean for us, it also forces readers to challenge their preconceptions. And it manages to do all this in a way that is both entertaining and engaging.” —The New York Times 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.
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
Peter H. Diamandis - 2012
We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions. An antidote to pessimism by tech entrepreneur turned philanthropist, Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler. Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing—fast. The authors document how four forces—exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion—are conspiring to solve our biggest problems. Abundance establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic roadmap for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.Examining human need by category—water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom—Diamandis and Kotler introduce dozens of innovators making great strides in each area: Larry Page, Steven Hawking, Dean Kamen, Daniel Kahneman, Elon Musk, Bill Joy, Stewart Brand, Jeff Skoll, Ray Kurzweil, Ratan Tata, Craig Venter, among many, many others.
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Max Tegmark - 2017
It doesn't shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues--from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Nick Bostrom - 2014
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. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful--possibly beyond our control. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind 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 Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?
The Spatial Web: How Web 3.0 Will Connect Humans, Machines, and AI to Transform the World
Gabriel Rene - 2019
Blade Runner, The Matrix, Star Wars, Avatar, Star Trek, Ready Player One and Avengers show us futuristic worlds where holograms, intelligent robots, smart devices, virtual avatars, digital transactions, and universe-scale teleportation work together perfectly, somehow seamlessly combining the virtual and the physical with the mechanical and the biological. Science fiction has done an excellent job describing a vision of the future where the digital and physical merge naturally into one — in a way that just works everywhere, for everyone. However, none of these visionary fictional works go so far as to describe exactly how this would actually be accomplished. While it has inspired many of us to ask the question—How do we enable science fantasy to become....science fact? The Spatial Web achieves this by first describing how exponentially powerful computing technologies are creating a great “Convergence.” How Augmented and Virtual Reality will enable us to overlay our information and imaginations onto the world. How Artificial Intelligence will infuse the environments and objects around us with adaptive intelligence. How the Internet of Things and Robotics will enable our vehicles, appliances, clothing, furniture, and homes to become connected and embodied with the power to see, feel, hear, smell, touch and move things in the world, and how Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies will secure our data and enable real-time transactions between the human, machine and virtual economies of the future. The book then dives deeply into the challenges and shortcomings of the World Wide Web, the rise of fake news and surveillance capitalism in Web 2.0 and the risk of algorithmic terrorism and biological hacking and “fake-reality” in Web 3.0. It raises concerns about the threat that emerging technologies pose in the hands of rogue actors whether human, algorithmic, corporate or state-sponsored and calls for common sense governance and global cooperation. It calls for business leaders, organizations and governments to not only support interoperable standards for software code, but critically, for ethical, and social codes as well. Authors Gabriel René and Dan Mapes describe in vivid detail how a new “spatial” protocol is required in order to connect the various exponential technologies of the 21st century into an integrated network capable of tracking and managing the real-time activities of our cities, monitoring and adjusting the supply chains that feed them, optimizing our farms and natural resources, automating our manufacturing and distribution, transforming marketing and commerce, accelerating our global economies, running advanced planet-scale simulations and predictions, and even bridging the gap between our interior individual reality and our exterior collective one. Enabling the ability for humans, machines and AI to communicate, collaborate and coordinate activities in the world at a global scale and how the thoughtful application of these technologies could lead to an unprecedented opportunity to create a truly global “networked” civilization or "Smart World.” The book artfully shifts between cyberpunk futurism, cautionary tale-telling, and life-affirming call-to-arms. It challenges us to consider the importance of today’s technological choices as individuals, organizations, and as a species, as we face the historic opportunity we have to transform the web, the world, and our very definition of reality.
This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race
Nicole Perlroth - 2021
One of the most coveted tools in a spy's arsenal, a zero day has the power to silently spy on your iPhone, dismantle the safety controls at a chemical plant, alter an election, and shut down the electric grid (just ask Ukraine).For decades, under cover of classification levels and non-disclosure agreements, the United States government became the world's dominant hoarder of zero days. U.S. government agents paid top dollar-first thousands, and later millions of dollars- to hackers willing to sell their lock-picking code and their silence. Then the United States lost control of its hoard and the market. Now those zero days are in the hands of hostile nations and mercenaries who do not care if your vote goes missing, your clean water is contaminated, or our nuclear plants melt down.Filled with spies, hackers, arms dealers, and a few unsung heroes, written like a thriller and a reference, This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends is an astonishing feat of journalism. Based on years of reporting and hundreds of interviews, The New York Times reporter Nicole Perlroth lifts the curtain on a market in shadow, revealing the urgent threat faced by us all if we cannot bring the global cyber arms race to heel.
Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age
Steven Johnson - 2012
Steven Johnson proposes that a new model of political change is on the rise, transforming everything from local government to classrooms to health care. It’s a compelling new political worldview that breaks with traditional categories of liberal or conservative thinking. Johnson explores this innovative vision through a series of fascinating narratives: from the “Miracle on the Hudson” to the planning of the French railway system; from the battle against malnutrition in Vietnam to a mysterious outbreak of strange smells in downtown Manhattan; from underground music video artists to the invention of the Internet itself. At a time when the conventional wisdom holds that the political system is hopelessly gridlocked with old ideas, Future Perfect makes the timely and uplifting case that progress is still possible.
Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age
Brad Smith - 2019
This might seem uncontroversial, but it flies in the face of a tech sector long obsessed with rapid growth and sometimes on disruption as an end in itself. Now, though, we have reached an inflection point: Silicon Valley has moved fast and it has broken things. A new understanding has emerged that companies that create technology must accept greater responsibility for the future. And governments will need to regulate technology by moving faster and catching up with the pace of innovation that is impacting our communities and changing the world.In Tools and Weapons, Brad Smith takes us into the cockpit of one of the world's largest and most powerful tech companies as it finds itself in the middle of some of the thorniest emerging issues of our time. These are challenges that come with no preexisting playbook, including privacy, cybercrime and cyberwar, social media, the moral conundrums of AI, big tech's relationship to inequality and the challenges for democracy, far and near. While in no way a self-glorifying "Microsoft memoir," the book opens up the curtain remarkably wide onto some of the company's most crucial recent decision points, as it strives to protect the hopes technology offers against the very real threats it also presents. Every tool can be a weapon in the wrong person's hands, and companies are being challenged in entirely new ways to embrace the totality of their responsibilities. We have moved from a world in which Silicon Valley could take no prisoners to one in which tech companies and governments must work together to address the challenges and adapt to the changes technology has unleashed. There are huge ramifications to be thought through, and Brad Smith provides a marvelous and urgently necessary contribution to that effort.
The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection
Michael Harris - 2014
What does this unavoidable fact mean?For future generations, it won't mean anything very obvious. They will be so immersed in online life that questions about the Internet's basic purpose or meaning will vanish.But those of us who have lived both with and without the crowded connectivity of online life have a rare opportunity. We can still recognize the difference between Before and After. We catch ourselves idly reaching for our phones at the bus stop. Or we notice how, mid-conversation, a fumbling friend dives into the perfect recall of Google.In this eloquent and thought-provoking book, Michael Harris argues that amid all the changes we're experiencing, the most interesting is the one that future generations will find hardest to grasp. That is the end of absence-the loss of lack. The daydreaming silences in our lives are filled; the burning solitudes are extinguished. There's no true "free time" when you carry a smartphone. Today's rarest commodity is the chance to be alone with your own thoughts.
The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us
Nicholas Carr - 2014
Even as they bring ease to our lives, these programs are stealing something essential from us.Drawing on psychological and neurological studies that underscore how tightly people’s happiness and satisfaction are tied to performing hard work in the real world, Carr reveals something we already suspect: shifting our attention to computer screens can leave us disengaged and discontented.From nineteenth-century textile mills to the cockpits of modern jets, from the frozen hunting grounds of Inuit tribes to the sterile landscapes of GPS maps, The Glass Cage explores the impact of automation from a deeply human perspective, examining the personal as well as the economic consequences of our growing dependence on computers.With a characteristic blend of history and philosophy, poetry and science, Carr takes us on a journey from the work and early theory of Adam Smith and Alfred North Whitehead to the latest research into human attention, memory, and happiness, culminating in a moving meditation on how we can use technology to expand the human experience.
Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era
James Barrat - 2013
Corporations & government agencies around the world 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 & more alien than we can imagine. Thru profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs & 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 beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? Will they allow us to?