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.
A day does not go by without a news article reporting some amazing breakthrough in artificial intelligence (AI). Many philosophers, futurists, and AI researchers have conjectured that human-level AI will be developed in the next 20 to 200 years. If these predictions are correct, it raises new and sinister issues related to our future in the age of intelligent machines. Artificial Superintelligence: A Futuristic Approach directly addresses these issues and consolidates research aimed at making sure that emerging superintelligence is beneficial to humanity. While specific predictions regarding the consequences of superintelligent AI vary from potential economic hardship to the complete extinction of humankind, many researchers agree that the issue is of utmost importance and needs to be seriously addressed. Artificial Superintelligence: A Futuristic Approach discusses key topics such as: AI-Completeness theory and how it can be used to see if an artificial intelligent agent has attained human level intelligence Methods for safeguarding the invention of a superintelligent system that could theoretically be worth trillions of dollars Self-improving AI systems: definition, types, and limits The science of AI safety engineering, including machine ethics and robot rights Solutions for ensuring safe and secure confinement of superintelligent systems The future of superintelligence and why long-term prospects for humanity to remain as the dominant species on Earth are not great Artificial Superintelligence: A Futuristic Approach is designed to become a foundational text for the new science of AI safety engineering. AI researchers and students, computer security researchers, futurists, and philosophers should find this an invaluable resource.
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.
Cognition and Consciousness in the Space of Possible Minds
Author: Murray Shanahan
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
To understand the mind and its place in Nature is one of the great intellectual challenges of our time, a challenge that is both scientific and philosophical. How does cognition influence an animal's behaviour? What are its neural underpinnings? How is the inner life of a human being constituted? What are the neural underpinnings of the conscious condition? Embodiment and the Inner Life approaches each of these questions from a scientific standpoint. But it contends that, before we can make progress on them, we have to give up the habit of thinking metaphysically, a habit that creates a fog of philosophical confusion. From this post-reflective point of view, the book argues for an intimate relationship between cognition, sensorimotor embodiment, and the integrative character of the conscious condition. Drawing on insights from psychology, neuroscience, and dynamical systems, it proposes an empirical theory of this three-way relationship whose principles, not being tied to the contingencies of biology or physics, are applicable to the whole space of possible minds in which humans and other animals are included. Embodiment and the Inner Life is one of very few books that provides a properly joined-up theory of consciousness, and will be essential reading for all psychologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists with an interest in the enduring puzzle of consciousness.