Surviving AI

Now available at Amazon as ebook, paperback, and audio book

SYNOPSIS

Cover with sub-title 2Artificial intelligence is our most powerful technology, and in the coming decades it will change everything in our lives. If we get it right it will make humans almost godlike. If we get it wrong… well, extinction is not the worst possible outcome.

“Surviving AI” is a concise, easy-to-read guide to what’s coming, taking you through technological unemployment (the economic singularity) and the possible creation of a superintelligence (the technological singularity).  See below for endorsements and a reading.

CONTENTS

Introduction

Part One: ANI

1. AI in the past and present

2. Tomorrow’s artificial narrow intelligence (ANI)

3. From digital disruption to economic singularity

Part Two: AGI

4. Can we make an artificial general intelligence (AGI)?

5. When might the first AGI arrive?

Part Three: ASI

6. Will AGI lead to superintelligence (ASI)?

7. Will superintelligence be beneficial?

Part Four: FAI

8. Can we ensure that superintelligence is “friendly” (FAI)?

Conclusion: Surviving AI

9. Summary, conclusions, recommendations

ENDORSEMENTS


IMG_0840Jaan Tallinn
co-founder of Skype; co-founder of CSER and FLI:  “A sober and easy-to-read review of the risks and opportunities that humanity will face from AI.”

David Shukman BBC Science Editor:  “Understanding AI – its promise and its dangers – is emerging as one of the great challenges of coming decades and this is an invaluable guide to anyone who’s interested, confused, excited or scared.”

Aubrey de Grey CSO of SENS Research Foundation; former AI researcher:  “As artificial intelligence drives the pace of automation ever faster, it is timely that we consider in detail how it might eventually make an even more profound change to our lives – how truly general AI might vastly exceed our capabilities in all areas of endeavour. The opportunities and challenges of this scenario are daunting for humanity  to contemplate, let alone to manage in our best interests. We have recently seen a surge in the volume of scholarly analysis of this topic; Chace impressively augments that with this high-quality, more general-audience discussion.”

Ben Goertzel chairman of Novamente LLC:  “Calum Chace provides a clear, simple, stimulating summary of the key positions and ideas regarding the future of Artificial General Intelligence and its potential risks.    For the newcomer who’s after a non-technical, even-handed intro to the various perspectives being bandied about regarding these very controversial issues, Chace’s book provides a great starting-point into the literature.   It’s rare to see a book about the potential End of the World that is fun to read without descending into sensationalism or crass oversimplification.”

Kenneth Cukier co-author of “Big Data”:  “Calum Chace is a prescient messenger of the risks and rewards of artificial intelligence. In “Surviving AI” he has identified the most essential issues and developed them with insight and wit – so that the very framing of the questions aids our search for answers. Chace’s sensible balance between AI’s promise and peril makes “Surviving AI” an excellent primer for anyone interested in what’s happening, how we got here, and where we are headed.”

Chris Meyer – author of “Blur”, “It’s Alive”, and “Standing on the Sun”:  “If you’re not thinking about AI, you’re not thinking.  Every business must evaluate the disruptive potential of today’s AI capabilities; every policy maker should be planning for the combination of high productivity and radical disruption of employment; and every person should be aware that we’re pelting down a foggy road toward powerful and pervasive technologies.  “Surviving AI” combines an essential grounding in the state of the art with a survey of scenarios that will be discussed with equal vigor at cocktail parties and academic colloquia.”

Prof. Dr. Hugo de Garis author of “The Artilect War”, former director of the Artificial Brain Lab, Xiamen University, China  “The appearance of Calum Chace’s book is of some considerable personal satisfaction to me, because it signifies the fact that the level of social awareness of the rise of massively intelligent machines (that I call artilects – artificial intellects) has finally reached the “third phase”, which I call “mainstream”. (Phase zero = no awareness, phase one = intellectuals crying in the wilderness, phase two = action groups, phase three = mainstream, phase four = politics).

As one of the tiny handful of people in the 80s in phase one, it has been a lonely business, so with Chace’s book explaining what I call “the species dominance debate” to a mass audience, it is clear that humanity is now well into phase three. The down-to-earth clarity of Chace’s style will help take humanity into what could be a very violent, “Transcendence” movie-like, real-life, phase four.

If you want to survive this coming fourth phase in the next few decades and prepare for it, you cannot afford NOT to read Chace’s book.”

Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh  executive director of Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk:  “Advances in AI are set to affect progress in all other areas in the coming decades. If this momentum leads to the achievement of strong AI within the century, then in the words of one field leader it would be “the biggest event in human history”. Now is therefore a perfect time for the thoughtful discussion of challenges and opportunities that Chace provides.

Surviving AI” is an exceptionally clear, well-researched and balanced introduction to a complex and controversial topic, and is a compelling read to boot.”

Randal Koene – founder of carboncopies.org:  “Surviving AI” is well written, presenting pretty much all the basic facts and information without excessive speculation.”

David Wood – chair of London Futurists:  “In “Surviving AI”, Calum Chace provides a marvellously accessible guide to the swirls of controversy that surround discussion of what is likely to be the single most important event in human history – the emergence of artificial superintelligence. Throughout, “Surviving AI” remains clear and jargon-free, enabling newcomers to the subject to understand why many of today’s most prominent thinkers have felt compelled to speak out publicly about it.

Brad Feld co-founder of Techstars:  “Artificial intelligence is the most important technology of our era.  Technological unemployment could force us to adopt an entirely new economic structure, and the creation of superintelligence would be the biggest event in human history.  “Surviving AI” is a first-class introduction to all of this.”

John Danaher  Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET):  “The promises and perils of machine superintelligence are much debated nowadays. But between the complex and sometimes esoteric writings of AI theorists and academics like Nick Bostrom, and the popular-press prognostications of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking, there is something of a gap. Calum Chace’s Surviving AI bridges that gap perfectly. It provides a compact yet rigorous guide to all the major arguments and issues in the field. An excellent resource for those who are new to this topic.”

Dan Goodman – lecturer in Intelligent Systems and Networks Group, Imperial College:  “Surviving AI” is an extremely clear, even-handed and up-to-date introduction to the debate on artificial intelligence and what it will mean for the future of humanity.”

Dr Stuart Armstrong Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University:  “A good overview of a lot of the issues surrounding potentially super-powered AI.”

Ben Medlock – co-founder of Swiftkey:  “Calum Chace strikes a note of clarity and balance in the important and often divisive dialogue around the benefits and potential dangers of artificial intelligence. It’s a debate we need to have, and Calum is an accessible and helpful guide.”

READING

Julia’s Day, An extract from chapter 2.