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Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (2014)

by Nick Bostrom

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1,4483612,802 (3.61)1
The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
If I wasn't depressed enough after reading James Barrat's "Our Final Invention," this book nailed it. Sooner or later artificial superintelligence -- ie computers that can build and improve their own software faster than you blink an eye -- will reign supreme. They will be able to re-purpose the molecules that make up your body and possibly commandeer the resources of the universe. And this will all happen well before our sun flames out. That they can be built by ordinary human beings seems astonishing. That they can be built before our computer scientists figure out what value systems these machines will embody is deeply worrying. And there will be a race to gain first advantage in this field, a race something like the arms race a few short decades ago. Honestly, I didn't understand a lot of the philosophical discussions about learning systems in this book, and that makes me even more worried because it will take eggheads to sort out this mess before it's too late. You and I use software every day. WE know how dumb it can be doing simple tasks. This book takes the issue of buggy software into a whole different realm. ( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
Longer review coming.

In a nutshell, the first half of this book will make you seriously consider becoming a Luddite. The second half is more optimistic. It is a nice summary of the issues around the various possibilities for super-smart things (be they computers, people, a mix of the two, etc.), but it gets pedantic in places and does not present much of anything new for those who keep more or less current on the topic. ( )
  qaphsiel | Feb 20, 2023 |
não sei qual o problema das pessoas em fazerem listas de recomendações e apresentá-las com pequenos textos introdutórios e indicativos. existem inclusive alternativas, como postagens enredadas em hyperlinks (os tais dos caospatches, remendoscaos). pois livros inteiros que se dispõem a apresentar um cenário panorâmico de algo são em geral enfadonhos, ao mesmo tempo em que indicam uma quantidade desmesurada de leituras possivelmente interessantes (muitas vezes, com títulos do próprio autor). minha questão: dado que a principal tática é mostrar que há muito o que ser explorado, porque não tentar ser maximamente efetivo em relação a isso, montando o livro de modo mais conciso e técnico, ou então, realmente articulando exemplos curiosos e pedagógicos, falando a partir deles. the post-human, de rosi braidotti, e superintelligence: paths, dangers, strategies, de nick bostrom, sofrem por ficarem no meio termo: são panoramas genéricos, ao mesmo tempo que querem ser contribuições para os assuntos. dessa forma, os problemas que aparecem são vagos, esfumaçados – e gerais demais para serem úteis. é isso que é mapear? minha preocupação aqui é que parecem mapear o mapa (e no caso de bostrom, obviamente, nem é possível saber como é a cidade; o exemplo que menos gosto – quando ele fala da dificuldade de programar o que é o conceito de bom para uma inteligência artificial – ou seja, falar da dificuldade de programar algo que nem sabemos como seria possível pensar a programação). ( )
  henrique_iwao | Aug 30, 2022 |
Five stars for the message, but I should have deducted one point for the flabby, often impenetrable academic writing style.

Interesting overview and insightful perspectives of the future of AI. Cover a vast list of possible scenarios of the singularity. I recommend this book for every person that have at least a minimum interest in the field.

I believe your brilliant ideas deserve an even wider audience. So, the next time you put pen to paper, please hire a good editor who can prune your text into lively and easily digestible prose for the general educated reader. The greater the number of regular people who understand what's at stake, the more likely that precautions will be taken. And isn't that what you're really after.
  064 | Jul 5, 2022 |
Full disclosure: the author is a lot smarter than I am. (I appreciated the accessibility of the work.) This was also my first read devoted to AI development and its attendant pitfalls. I happen to agree with the conclusion (the development with AI has the potential to wipe us out). At the same time, I found some of the conclusions (particularly the more hopeful ones, unfortunately) hard to swallow. I don't think any AI once it reaches a human level or better will have any particular motivation to enhance our cosmic endowment (no matter how we approach the control problem); I think it will probably "wake up" insane. That said, the author provides a good overview of the history of AI development and a useful framework for thinking about the threat and how to meet it. (Also, in unrelated news, I would totally read a SF tale centered on an AI devoted to maximizing the number of paperclips in its future light cone.) ( )
  amyotheramy | May 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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Ryan, NapoleonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence.

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Nel gennaio 2015 Nick Bostrom è stato cofirmatario, assieme tra gli altri a Stephen Hawking, di una celebre lettera aperta che metteva in guardia sui potenziali pericoli dell'Intelligenza Artificiale. Non ha firmato quell'appello per passatismo, né tantomeno per luddismo, bensì in virtù di un lineare ragionamento filosofico. L'Intelligenza Artificiale è una delle più grandi promesse dell'umanità; grazie ai suoi sviluppi, attuali e futuri, saremo probabilmente in grado di fare cose che oggi sarebbero impensabili, vivremo meglio, e magari più a lungo e più felici.
E tuttavia c'è una nube minacciosa sopra il cielo dell'Intelligenza Artificiale, e con questo libro Nick Bostrom è stato il primo a vederla e ad analizzarla, lanciando un allarme che ha avuto un'eco vastissima in tutto il mondo. Siamo proprio certi che riusciremo a governare senza problemi una macchina «superintelligente» dopo che l'avremo costruita?
Se lo scopo dell'attuale ricerca sull'Intelligenza Artificiale è quello di costruire delle macchine fornite di un'intelligenza generale paragonabile a quella umana, quanto tempo occorrerà a quelle macchine, una volta costruite, per superare e surclassare le nostre capacità intellettive? Poco, ci informa Bostrom, pochissimo. Una volta raggiunto un livello di intelligenza paragonabile al nostro, alle macchine basterà un piccolo passo per «decollare» esponenzialmente, dando origine a superintelligenze che per noi risulteranno rapidamente inarrivabili. A quel punto le nostre creature potrebbero scapparci di mano, non necessariamente per «malvagità», ma anche solo come effetto collaterale della loro attività. Potrebbero arrivare a distruggerci o addirittura a distruggere il mondo intero.
Per questo – sostiene Bostrom – dobbiamo preoccuparcene ora. Per non rinunciare ai benefici che l'Intelligenza Artificiale potrà apportare, è necessario che la ricerca tecnologica si ponga adesso le domande che questo libro pone con enorme chiarezza e chiaroveggenza.
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