Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2017
Difficult choice based on an unidimensional 5 stars rating system. The author has deep understanding and long experience in the field. No doubts. That makes the book worth reading 100%

However from an outsider to the Silicon Valley and US tribe his conclusions and recommendations are hard to swallow. Example : it is an ethical and moral duty of any cancer patient to share its data... to companies that will create a model to cure cancer. Good in principle, so this company will make millions to sell a magic cancer cure that only the reaches could afford, and even the poorest person in the poorest corner of the world has the moral duty to share its data and not benefit from it?

More like this in a larger review, but the optimism that the author shows only can rise an eyebrow, after the recent news on the failure of the top machine learners companies (Facebook, Google and Twitter), with their algorithms used to swing electoral decisions, spread fake news (the real fake ones, not the other type) and do not stop, some argue encourage, harassment and hate speech... the jury hasn't decide yet, but a lot is amiss for sure.

However read it: the description of the different algorithms is great for a newbie and layman, good historical context and well explained. First and last chapters is where I strongly disagree with the author: and the reason is because he made political statements, so of course you will have different ones. The impact on technology, why citizens of the world should share its data, have a strong Silicon Valley US perspective. He is open about that: this is open for discussion and better to talk about it rather than hide our heads in a hole. Sure! The author has good intentions and some of his far fetched recommendations are off, again my humble opinion. Particularly you can see that when after mentioning the good impact of AI technology in the labor markets and elaborating on a future utopia (a nation will be more advanced the highest the unemployment ratio is - year, interesting) and next section is about the benefits of intelligent (AI) robot full driven wars: yes, two robots armies fighting to the end in an orgy of mindless destruction like WW1, is more human... but he imagines that everybody will have robot armies, and that they will train the ethics model (when to shoot or not) based on the same rules! Extreme: imagine the ISIS trainer teaching ethics (when shoot/not shoot); and if you think they will not get the tech, imagine Assad getting a grip on the tech... and Putin, anyone really: the logic of battle is that you will use your resources to the maximum benefit for you, meaning killing your opponent with less casualties. Do you want to control that? Do not start a war.

The author is convince that humans will keep to do humans things, and he cannot see the contradiction of one faction or economy of the planet having access to a literally overwhelming technology: asymmetry will be impossible to contain.

The biggest mistake is to put to much faith (literally) in that technology will help create a nice utopia (just after describing the benefits of AI apply to war).

As a final is good reading, the author acknowledges that he has not all the answers, that it is open to discussion and that the ostrich tactic does not work: agree, it does not make sense to stop research, and put fictitious barriers to technological advancement.
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