The main idea here is to present the wide range of issues related to Artificial Intelligence in the very clear and digestible form and prompt everybody in the world to understand that humanity is on the brink of huge change when human monopoly on intelligence and probably consciousness is coming to the end. It also kind of invitation to get involved in discussions of these issues and link with the new organization that author and his cooperators created to handle these issues.
Prelude: The Tale of the Omega Team
The book starts with author’s fantasy about team of super intelligent and super benevolent group of geeks that take over the world using Artificial Intelligence and its ability to outperform humans in all intellectual and artistic areas. In process author provides 7 slogans that he believes could make the world wonderful:
1 Welcome to the Most Important Conversation of Our Time
This is a sample of philosophizing about conscious as a necessary condition of the beauty of universe and approaching of new era of AI when the consciousness will move into overdrive.
A Brief History of Complexity
Here author discusses evolution of consciousness that is, meaning the biological human consciousness and where it came from.
The Three Stages of life
Here author provides a nice picture of what he means by this:
- Aftermath: The Next 10000 Years
This continuation of future scenarios review, this time with long-term perspective:
Epilogue: The Tale of the FLI Team
The epilogue is about organization that author and his friends created: Future of Live Institute (FLI), its goals and activities.
MY TAKE ON IT:
I think that this book wonderfully overstates both dangers and importance of Artificial Intelligence. The reason for this is misunderstanding of intelligence as something standing alone outside of human beings who possess it. In reality intelligence is unalienable part of human being and is painstakingly developed by this human being over dozens of years with the use of highly flexible and adjustable biological hardware, provided at birth, for processing and interacting with multitude of external entities. The ability to solve problems, to prove theorems, and build one’s own hardware is not really that important as long as the entity in question is directed from outside to do this activity. So, AI engine is not really intelligent, it is just a piece of software designed to use pattern recognition in order to develop data processing and problem resolution skills required to achieve whatever objectives humans assign to this piece of software. Correspondingly self-driving car is not intelligent because it does not decide where to drive and does not possess any internal motivation to drive anywhere. Correspondingly it is as unlikely that humans would decide to enhance their intellectual ability by modifying their biological brains as it is for human to underwent genetic reengineering of their DNA to have wings to fly even if technologically it is becoming quite possible. I think it is possible to create artificial human, let’s say on the material base of silicon chips by providing sufficient data processing power and raising this thing as human. However, it would be just another human, albeit with more computing and physical power, different material design, but still human. In short, I think AI would be just another tool added to human abilities, but not much more than that.