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Publisher's Summary

How will artificial intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society, and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology - and there's nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who's helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.
How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today's kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning, or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle?
What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. 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.
©2017 Max Tegmark (P)2017 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"This is a compelling guide to the challenges and choices in our quest for a great future of life, intelligence and consciousness - on Earth and beyond." (Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX and cofounder and CEO of Tesla Motors)
"All of us - not only scientists, industrialists and generals - should ask ourselves what can we do now to improve the chances of reaping the benefits of future AI and avoiding the risks. This is the most important conversation of our time, and Tegmark's thought-provoking book will help you join it." (Professor Stephen Hawking, director of research, Cambridge Centre for Theoretical Cosmology)
"Tegmark's new book is a deeply thoughtful guide to the most important conversation of our time, about how to create a benevolent future civilization as we merge our biological thinking with an even greater intelligence of our own creation." (Ray Kurzweil, inventor, author, and futurist, author of The Singularity Is Near and How to Create a Mind)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By catherine on 09-16-17

An accessible book on AI that left me optimistic

I loved the weaving of the realistic fictional story into the beginning of book, and i also appreciate that Tegmark is actively working on these issues of ai safety which made me optimistic by the end of the book (which is not usually the feeling I have at the end of a book like this).

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 12-02-17

Odd book with some good info

This is a odd book that seems to be lobbying the reader to accept, and get involved in, the AI Safety movement. There are lots of interesting ideas, many make sense, some are kind of odd. Others have pointed out Tegmark seems to believe it is both likely (and preferable) that we are the lone civilization in all the universe. It seems this is because if this distance between civilizations was small we certainly would have noticed other civilizations. I am not convinced.

As others have noted there is a lot of name dropping and self-congratulation in this book.

The author admits he is an unapologetic optimist which influences his writing in quite a few places. I prefer realists to optimists or pessimists.

Nevertheless this is a worth the time and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in AI and the potential dangers involved. One of the key issues is that many AI researchers ignore the safety issues as AI is currently so weak safety does not seem to be a realistic concern. Tegmark (and others) point out that AI could transition from weak-AI to super-intelligent AI in just a few hours or days. Thus thinking about AI Safety now is a good idea.

The narration is quite good with somewhat tricky material.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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