Grand CanyonThis blog is about the possibility that the first machine with human-level cognition may be created within a few decades.  And that before then, intelligent machines may render most humans unemployable.

The consequences of human-level artificial intelligence (AI) would be astonishing: as Andrew Marr said in a recent TV programme, it will be the “the greatest achievement of humanity since the invention of agriculture [and it will] challenge the very idea of what it is to be human.”

The consequences of technological unemployment, if it happens, will also be profound.  Both these developments could have wonderful consequences for us – or terrible ones.  And the outcome is partly up to us.

Until very recently, amazingly few people were thinking about these things.  Fortunately, that changed with the publication of Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence, and comments it prompted by the “three wise men” – Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates.

My name is Calum Chace.  I live in the UK and Spain.  I am an author and speaker about artificial intelligence, and its likely future impact on society.  My work is informed by the experience of a 30-year career in business.  You can see some of my talks here.

If you are new to the idea that machine consciousness and superintelligence may be with us soon (in decades rather than centuries), my novel Pandora’s Brain and my non-fiction books Surviving AI and The Economic Singularity are great places to start.

The Superintelligence page on this site and then the Links page will also give you plenty of food for thought.

Finally, why Pandora’s Brain?  In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman, and Zeus ordered her to be created to punish men for accepting the forbidden gift of fire from Prometheus.  She was given a jar containing all the evils of the world.  She had strict instructions never to open it, but humans are curious, so of course she did, which is exactly what Zeus intended.  That is how the Greeks thought evil came into our world.  But the jar also contained something else – something vital for humans: it contained hope.

“Pandora’s Brain”, “Surviving AI” and “The Economic Singularity” are all available at Amazon in ebook, paperback and audio formats

11 thoughts on “About

  1. Greetings Calum,
    I found your site. It is quite interesting and well thought through.
    Just a consideration for you. I am a SW developer, but my nature is biologist. I have a knack for genes. I am quite familiar with Kurzweil’s ideas and other related topics, but what if I told you that there is a topic as large that no one has even looked at? Obviously, it must be the genes, but you would probably be a bit surprised at what I found. It changes a lot of things, but more importantly it creates a new understanding of what humans are. I just completed a book on it and am working n publishing it, though at this point, the end, I want to redo the introduction first. If you want to see an older version, it is at http://www.diver.net/seahunt/p/p_trans.htm
    I am on your mailing list now, looking forward to your updates.
    Regards, Mike Breeden

  2. Hi Calum,

    I’d like to speak to you about a documentary we are making about the future – please could you send me your email address?

    Thanks, Nick

  3. As a 20 year-old computer science/ business student, what can I do to actively and positively affect the possible nightmare that is the economic singularity? My ambition is to make AI and robotics as commonplace as the computer is today, but I want to do it for the benefit of people – not to the ultimate detriment of first-world society.

    • First of all, Benjamin, don’t try to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Your instincts sound fine, and I’m sure you will contribute greatly. Learn your trade, keep your horizons broad, engage your friends and acquaintances in the conversation. Your path will become clear over time. Best wishes.

  4. Really looking forward to reading your books. Any tips for developing a career in Philosophy or similar area? My particular interest is in the Philosophy of AI.

  5. As far as I know, a career in philosophy means academia. But a training in philosophy can equip you for many other careers. Mine equipped me for all sorts of odd things. 🙂 It can also be a great preparation for life in general.

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