Science world luminary John Brockman assembles twenty-five of the most important scientific minds, people who have been thinking about the field artificial intelligence for most of their careers, for an unparalleled round-table examination about mind, thinking, intelligence and what it means to be human. "Artificial intelligence is today's story--the story behind all other stories. It is the Second Coming and the Apocalypse at the same time: Good AI versus evil AI." --John Brockman More than sixty years ago, mathematician-philosopher Norbert Wiener published a book on the place of machines in society that ended with a warning: "we shall never receive the right answers to our questions unless we ask the right questions.... The hour is very late, and the choice of good and evil knocks at our door." In the wake of advances in unsupervised, self-improving machine learning, a small but influential community of thinkers is considering Wiener's words again. In Possible Minds, John Brockman gathers their disparate visions of where AI might be taking us. The fruit of the long history of Brockman's profound engagement with the most important scientific minds who have been thinking about AI--from Alison Gopnik and David Deutsch to Frank Wilczek and Stephen Wolfram--Possible Minds is an ideal introduction to the landscape of crucial issues AI presents. The collision between opposing perspectives is salutary and exhilarating; some of these figures, such as computer scientist Stuart Russell, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and physicist Max Tegmark, are deeply concerned with the threat of AI, including the existential one, while others, notably robotics entrepreneur Rodney Brooks, philosopher Daniel Dennett, and bestselling author Steven Pinker, have a very different view. Serious, searching and authoritative, Possible Minds lays out the intellectual landscape of one of the most important topics of our time.
How Language Uncovers the Cognitive Landscape of Nature
Author: Prakash Mondal
Natural Language and Possible Minds: How Language Uncovers the Cognitive Landscape of Nature examines the intrinsic connection between natural language and the nature of mentality, offering to show how language can shed light on the forms of other types of mentality in non-humans.
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Leibniz's metaphysics of monads, tiny minds that are supposed to be the ultimate constituents of the world is very puzzling. In this book, Garber tries to bring Leibniz down to earth by focusing on his conception of body. Beginning with his earliest thought, Garber shows how dealing with problems about the physical world led him step by step to a world of animate creatures, and finally to a world of monads.
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. This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
With an easy rewrite of physics there is a profound philosophy. Clear analogies and simple diagrams make the science understandable and enthralling. A theory for everything emerges which is simple and brilliant! Supernova explosions in distant galaxies provide proof for the theory.
The tales collected here are complete miniature narratives. None longer than three pages, they rove, with hurtling changes of perspective, over myth, sex, science fiction, the Middle East, boredom, beauty, grossness, global history, childhood, music and death; yet a strange unity of purpose binds them into a coherent universe where lives are brief but great mysteries are glimpsed.