Tegmark joins the debate on what will happen when artificial general intelligence reaches human level and beyond. He dismisses tabloid scenarios of rampaging robots but warns, ‘we might create societies that flourish like never before…or a Kafkasque global surveillance state so powerful that it could never be toppled.’” –KIRKUS
Tegmark’s smart, freewheeling discussion leads to fascinating speculations on AI-based civilizations spanning galaxies and eons — and knotty questions…engrossing.”
“A brainstorming survey.
“What’s the most important issue of our time? In the view of MIT physicist Max Tegmark, it’s not nuclear weapons, climate change, terrorism, or pestilence and poverty. It’s the possibility of superhuman artificial intelligence (AI). Tegmark’s brainstorming survey opens with a sci-fi-like scenario in which a computer intelligence named Prometheus takes over the world. Tegmark then summarizes the opinions of researchers about whether such a thing is possible or desirable.
“Assuring readers that it could happen, Tegmark sketches 12 conceivable types of superhuman intelligence that might arise, bestowing such names as ‘libertarian utopia,’ ‘benevolent dictator,’ and ‘conqueror,’ the latter an AI that destroys humanity. How to safely control an AI is thus critical to the future, and apparently, this is a common topic of discussion among scientists and tech-industry moguls, given Tegmark’s accounts of conferences he has attended or organized.
“Stretching the superhuman AI idea to intergalactic proportions by envisioning its colonization of the universe, Tegmark enthusiastically lays out concepts of AI, to the delight or disturbance of readers.” –Gilbert Taylor, BOOKLIST