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Publisher's Summary

After billions of dollars and 50 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-listen for business leaders and policy makers on both sides of the aisle.
©2015 Jerry Kaplan (P)2016 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"This accessible and timely work is suitable for technology enthusiasts and those readers with an interest in the application of robotics and AI to the workforce of the future." ( Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Brad Mills on 06-06-16

A must read to understand the coming AI shift.

An entertaining and thought provoking look into the logical and inevitable future when artificial intelligence is part of our every day lives, making decisions for us. You probably wonder - What will it be like?

If you have a car, you already know.

Your ABS breaks are a form of artificial intelligence algorithm that take your decision making power away from you. You slam on the brake, but the computer only takes that as a suggestion to stop. The computer prioritizes a controlled over stopping time/distance to stop.

The book starts with an eye opening summary of the existing algorithms that already make decisions for us like what to watch or listen to, posts to read online, what route to take driving home, and even what price to pay for products.

We then teleport into the future and learn about the moral and logistical challenges of owning AI autonomous helpers that will be able to act as our agents.

TIP: incorporate your AI servant as it's own entity to be indemnified in case it gets into an accident or commits a crime, the same way taxi companies do today.

How will the legal system in the future cope with AI servants and autonomous driving cars? For that we get a history lesson in slavery, the "corporations are people" lobbyist movement, and some musings on how the legal system might shift to adapt to autonomous AI corporate agents.

There's a very informative and educational history of Amazon and Jeff Bezos, explaining how they are already using artificial intelligence to optimize every aspect of shopping - from robots replacing people, to deep learning algorithms determining how much you will pay for a TV at 5 am vs 10 pm, based on your recent shopping history, your demographics and your search history.

There's a whole section on the economics of how we will be affected by AI depreciating the majority of simple jobs like driving, serving, construction, etc.

The author proposes and interesting shift in the value of jobs vs being productive in society, and explores how our lives might change dramatically if the government takes a proactive approach to compensating for the coming exodus of human jobs with creative financial stimulus programs.

That's just a sample of the artificial intelligence juiciness in this book. A must read for futurists & early technology adopters.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Allan Harris on 06-16-16

Good but a little slanted

The author does a great job of outlining the pros and the cons of the effects of the future of AI. The effects on the economy and job markets will be more than what we think and it doesn't have to be scenes from the terminator. However, there is a substantial section devoted to some disconnected economic theories that don't belong here. Too many assumptions about what people are and are not willing to do if they didn't work and the alleged value of it.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By John Mayhew on 06-30-18

The American dream?

Little encouragement here for mankind. ( an oxymoron?) . Once, some of us thought Artificial Intelligence might provide a tool to help us understand how our brains worked. How to understand how we could pick up our glass of beer or notice the glass was getting empty. But now? its "lets make more money" for the few and bugger the rest. I wish I could live long enough to see Kaplan's predictions.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 11-03-17


Great book and insight into the future world of ai. Worth a listen if you wish to have a view of tomorrow and possible solutions

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