Synopses & Reviews
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 AIs 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, James Barrat's 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?
Artificial Intelligence is coming sooner than you think and its arrival may mean the end of us
The promises Artificial Intelligence holds for our future are often described in utopian terms—intelligent, helpful robots, enhanced brain function, even the development of life-extending technologies. But theres another, rarely discussed and far darker possibility. Our Final Invention argues that we may be racing towards our own extinction, as military, academic, and corporate advances in artificial intelligence lead to an uncontrollable new life form, one thats smarter and more powerful than we can imagine.
This isnt science fiction, but it is actually far closer than most of us realize. Bringing AI experts together in a thoroughly accessible way to reveal the dark side of the optimistic vision presented in The Singularity is Near, Our Final Invention explores the frightening likelihood of catastrophic outcomes once we share the planet with intelligent machines.
About the Author
James Barrat is a documentary filmmaker whos written and produced films for National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, and many other broadcasters in the United States and Europe. He lives near Washington, D.C., with his wife and two children.