The Technological Singularity (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)


The Technological Singularity (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series) Author Murray Shanahan
ISBN-10 0262527804
ISBN-13 9780262527804
Year 2015-08-07
Pages 272
Language English
Publisher The MIT Press
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The idea that human history is approaching a singularity that ordinary humans will someday be overtaken by artificially intelligent machines or cognitively enhanced biological intelligence or both has moved from the realm of science fiction to serious debate Some singularity theorists predict that if the field of artificial intelligence AI continues to develop at its current dizzying rate the singularity could come about in the middle of the present century Murray Shanahan offers an introduction to the idea of the singularity and considers the ramifications of such a potentially seismic event Shanahan s aim is not to make predictions but rather to investigate a range of scenarios Whether we believe that singularity is near or far likely or impossible apocalypse or utopia the very idea raises crucial philosophical and pragmatic questions forcing us to think seriously about what we want as a species Shanahan describes technological advances in AI both biologically inspired and engineered from scratch Once human level AI theoretically possible but difficult to accomplish has been achieved he explains the transition to superintelligent AI could be very rapid Shanahan considers what the existence of superintelligent machines could mean for such matters as personhood responsibility rights and identity Some superhuman AI agents might be created to benefit humankind some might go rogue Is Siri the template or HAL The singularity presents both an existential threat to humanity and an existential opportunity for humanity to transcend its limitations Shanahan makes it clear that we need to imagine both possibilities if we want to bring about the better outcome

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