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Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine Hardcover – May 1, 2007
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RAY KURZWEIL, AI scientist, inventor
Author of The Singularity Is Near
"An entertaining and very thought-provoking ramble through the wilds of AI."
ERIC S. RAYMOND
"Hall argues that our future superintelligent friends in the mechanical kingdom may develop superior moral instincts. I'm almost convinced. I learned a lot from reading this book. You will too."
ROBERT A. FREITAS JR.
Author of "The Legal Rights of Robots"
and Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The last five chapters that are surprisingly good, and should shame most professional philosophers whose writings by comparison are a waste of time.
His chapter on consciousness, qualia, and related issues is more concise and persuasive than anything else I've read on these subjects. It's unlikely to change the opinions of people who have already thought about these subjects, but it's an excellent place for people who are unfamiliar with them to start.
His discussions of ethics using game theory and evolutionary pressures is an excellent way to frame ethical discussions.
My biggest disappointment was that he starts to recognize a possibly important risk of AI when he says "disparities among the abilities of AIs ... could negate the evolutionary pressure to reciprocal altruism", but then seems to dismiss that thoughtlessly ("The notion of one single AI taking off and obtaining hegemony over the whole world by its own efforts is ludicrous").
He probably has semi-plausible grounds for dismissing some of the scenarios of this nature that have been proposed (e.g. the speed at which some people imagine an AI would take off is improbable). But if AIs with sufficiently general purpose intelligence enhance their intelligence at disparate rates for long enough, the results would render most of the book's discussion of ethics irrelevant.Read more ›
This book gives a realistic appraisal of progress in artificial intelligence and sheds considerable light on these questions. It is careful to distinguish between fact and fiction, between what has been accomplished and what has not, and it does so without falling into the trap of extreme skepticism, the latter of which seems to happen to so many who are deeply involved in AI research. Indeed, after an initial period of extreme confidence in research results, and a designation as "intelligent", the confidence wanes until it is eventually viewed as a "trivial" discovery or merely a "program.Read more ›
I don't know the author personally, but I can tell you this about him: he is truly educated. In the classical tradition. By that I mean he has not only been a student of things technical, he has been a student of great writing, poetry, social science, economics, politics and more. It's not that he attempts to parade his knowledge in these areas; rather, it's that his strong liberal arts education, very naturally, simply permeates his expository style. More than that, he has the rare ability to present complex topics in a way that any curious reader can comprehend. Isaac Asimov, R. Buckmister Fuller, Richard Feynman, Freeman Dyson and Carl Sagan are the writers of which the author reminds me. And, like the erudite writers in that list, it is quite obvious that the author is truly interested (dare I say fascinated?) in the subject about which he is writing. His enthusiasm is contagious. Above all, he wants you to "get it."
I don't think I've read a book that was written this well and inspired me intellectually this much since I read R. Buckmister Fuller's "Utopia or Oblivion" back in 1968. That book changed my life. Now, forty years later, I find another book that is so well written and intellectually provocative that it may just change my life again. This is a fascinating book. You must read it. Seriously. J.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written by someone who has an instinct about how the future will turn out to be. I used this book to write my own futurist novel. Read morePublished on March 16, 2014 by Kieran
This reviewer's first contact with robotic A.I. was Hans Moravec's "Mind Children" which I read in the late 1980's and which persuaded me that real A.I. was possible. Read morePublished on August 31, 2013 by Baraniecki Mark Stuart
J. Storrs Hall wrote a very insightful summary and popularization of the AI endeavor in his book, which might as well have been titled 'Before AI' because of its concise but... Read morePublished on March 27, 2013 by haig shahinian
To start, i believe this is a fantastic book for at least two types of people:
-the casual reader or scifi type who'd love a high-level, and well written overview of... Read more
Maybe it's because I read it not long after reading Hofstadster's masterpiece "Godel, Escher, Bach", but I was slightly disappointed in Beyond AI. Read morePublished on September 16, 2008 by M. Richard
Before attempting to build the consciousness machine author must provide a proof that such phenomena is existing. Read morePublished on December 24, 2007 by Michael Zeldich
BEYOND AI: CREATING THE CONSCIENCE OF THE MACHINE discusses both the scientific and the ethical challenges of artificial intelligence, which is advancing so quickly that it holds... Read morePublished on October 6, 2007 by Midwest Book Review