Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Category: Computer Science
Author: Nick Bostrom
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About This Book

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains.

 
If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. 


But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? 


To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence. 


This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.

Comments

by freehunter   2018-11-10
>general intelligence "smarter" than humans

I read a book recently called "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?"[1] Very fascinating thought that, in my mind, redefines what I think of as "intelligence". The book Superintelligence[2] gets a little bit into this as well.

Basically, if we define "smarter than humans" as "able to do everything humans do, in the manner humans do them, but faster", then we have no idea what intelligence actually means. AI will be another species (not just a better human) and its intelligence would have to be judged based on its own merits.

Perfectly modeling the human brain in computer form is one avenue that computer science is working on. Artificial intelligence is a completely different path, and does not have to model human intelligence in any way.

[1] https://smile.amazon.com/Are-Smart-Enough-Know-Animals/dp/03...

[2] https://smile.amazon.com/Superintelligence-Dangers-Strategie...