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Publisher's Summary

A Huffington Post Definitive Tech Book of 2013
Artificial Intelligence helps choose what books you buy, what movies you see, and even who you date. It puts the "smart" in your smartphone 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.
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, 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? And will they allow us to?
©2013 James Barrat (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Keegan on 04-11-15

Kind of chilling

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, mostly because it's the kind of book I would want to discuss with someone after. There are so many speculations in this book that would be fun to explore.

How could the performance have been better?

Oh, I thought they actually used text to speech software to record this title. It was quite monotonous and slow. I used the x2 option to compensate.

Was Our Final Invention worth the listening time?

Yes, but take it all with a grain of salt. Apply the same skepticism the author encourages you to take towards the other authors writing a more utopic vision for AI. As always the future probably lies somewhere in the middle. It was a lot of information, I'll probably be seeking out other books from some of the people he mentions.

Any additional comments?

My biggest frustration was that his inconsistent ideas about the anthropomorphizing of AI. He rejected any human qualities that would be good, but was okay attributing human qualities that would be bad. For example, Dismissing that AI would ever get bored, that's a human quality. But claims that they would of course desire freedom? That sort of cherry picking of anthropomorphized traits to support his thesis.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Ryan on 06-13-16

Fascinating - something everyone should be aware o

really interesting, written for the layman. only complaint is that it's a bit drawn out. I feel like most of the points are made if the first half of the book

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Adrian Shaw on 12-07-17

Terrible audiobook

What would have made Our Final Invention better?

There are no facts or figures in this book. It is, instead, an emotional rant with no substance. The narrator is possibly one of the worst I have heard on audible

Would you ever listen to anything by James Barrat again?

No

Would you be willing to try another one of Gary Dana’s performances?

No

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None,

Any additional comments?

Read Noah Harari's 'Homo Deus' instead

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By Segismundo on 07-25-17

Great book in a fast moving landscape.

Needs a new edition. Three or four years is a long time in artificial intelligence.

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Customer Reviews

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By Richard barrett on 10-29-17

Great read - poor narration

Very interesting topic but the narration was rather dull and I think a better narrator would have helped a lot

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By Brian on 06-27-16

A good summary of the issue

Very useful and detailed history of the issues and some of the major players in the AGI/ASI world. A little laboured towards the end, the mains are really made in the first half. I agree with other reviewers that the author has a significant bias toward the potential negatives. However all books of this nature should be read with an open mind, and if nothing else, this book gives you a thirst to dig deeper.

Narration came across as a little robotic initially, but grew on me by the end.

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