Our Final Invention by James Barrat

Our Final Invention

By James Barrat

  • Release Date: 2013-10-01
  • Genre: Computers
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Elon Musk named Our Final Invention one of 5 books everyone should read about the future

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?


  • Very good, a few reservations

    By Jollygreenonetick
    This is a good introduction to AI risk, though the author subtlety misrepresents the views of a few of his experts - certainly not enough to be intentional. Vinge, for example, is portrayed as being more pessamistc on the implications of AI than he truly is. Also the author fails to grasp one of his expert's arguments. The Yudkowsky fellow asserts that no rational agent will intentionally modify its utility function because doing so would have negative utility. The author, wrongly, agrees with another expert (James Hughes) who contests this with some embarrassingly flimsy arguments. Otherwise, this is excellent.