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Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies Hardcover – Jun 4 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 4 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199678111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199678112
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 2.8 x 16.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 662 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review


"This superb analysis by one of the world's clearest thinkers tackles one of humanity's greatest challenges: if future superhuman artificial intelligence becomes the biggest event in human history, then how can we ensure that it doesn't become the last?"-- Professor Max Tegmark, MIT


"Nick Bostrom makes a persuasive case that the future impact of AI is perhaps the most important issue the human race has ever faced. Instead of passively drifting, we need to steer a course. iSuperintelligencer charts the submerged rocks of the future with unprecedented detail. It marks the beginning of a new era." -- Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Berkley


"Those disposed to dismiss an 'AI takeover' as science fiction may think again after reading this original and well-argued book." -- Martin Rees, Past President, Royal Society





"Nick Bostrom makes a persuasive case that the future impact of AI is perhaps the most important issue the human race has ever faced. Instead of passively drifting, we need to steer a course. Superintelligence charts the submerged rocks of the future with unprecedented detail. It marks the beginning of a new era." -- Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Berkley


"Those disposed to dismiss an 'AI takeover' as science fiction may think again after reading this original and well-argued book." -- Martin Rees, Past President, Royal Society


"This superb analysis by one of the world's clearest thinkers tackles one of humanity's greatest challenges: if future superhuman artificial intelligence becomes the biggest event in human history, then how can we ensure that it doesn't become the last?" -- Professor Max Tegmark, MIT


"Terribly important ... groundbreaking... extraordinary sagacity and clarity, enabling him to combine his wide-ranging knowledge over an impressively broad spectrum of disciplines - engineering, natural sciences, medicine, social sciences and philosophy - into a comprehensible whole... If this book gets the reception that it deserves, it may turn out the most important alarm bell since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring from 1962, or ever." -- Olle Haggstrom, Professor of Mathematical Statistics


"Valuable. The implications of introducing a second intelligent species onto Earth are far-reaching enough to deserve hard thinking" -- The Economist


"There is no doubting the force of [Bostrom's] arguments...the problem is a research challenge worthy of the next generation's best mathematical talent. Human civilisation is at stake." -- Clive Cookson, Financial Times


"Worth reading.... We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes" -- Elon Musk, Founder of SpaceX and Tesla


"a magnificent conception ... it ought to be required reading on all philosophy undergraduate courses, by anyone attempting to build AIs and by physicists who think there is no point to philosophy." -- Brian Clegg, Popular Science





"I highly recommend this book" --Bill Gates


"Nick Bostrom makes a persuasive case that the future impact of AI is perhaps the most important issue the human race has ever faced. Instead of passively drifting, we need to steer a course. Superintelligence charts the submerged rocks of the future with unprecedented detail. It marks the beginning of a new era." --Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Berkley


"Those disposed to dismiss an 'AI takeover' as science fiction may think again after reading this original and well-argued book." --Martin Rees, Past President, Royal Society


"This superb analysis by one of the world's clearest thinkers tackles one of humanity's greatest challenges: if future superhuman artificial intelligence becomes the biggest event in human history, then how can we ensure that it doesn't become the last?" --Professor Max Tegmark, MIT


"Terribly important ... groundbreaking... extraordinary sagacity and clarity, enabling him to combine his wide-ranging knowledge over an impressively broad spectrum of disciplines - engineering, natural sciences, medicine, social sciences and philosophy - into a comprehensible whole... If this book gets the reception that it deserves, it may turn out the most important alarm bell since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring from 1962, or ever." --Olle Haggstrom, Professor of Mathematical Statistics


"Valuable. The implications of introducing a second intelligent species onto Earth are far-reaching enough to deserve hard thinking" --The Economist


"There is no doubting the force of [Bostrom's] arguments...the problem is a research challenge worthy of the next generation's best mathematical talent. Human civilisation is at stake." --Clive Cookson, Financial Times


"Worth reading.... We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes" --Elon Musk, Founder of SpaceX and Tesla


"a magnificent conception ... it ought to be required reading on all philosophy undergraduate courses, by anyone attempting to build AIs and by physicists who think there is no point to philosophy." -- Brian Clegg, Popular Science


"Bostrom...delivers a comprehensive outline of the philosophical foundations of the nature of intelligence and the difficulty not only in agreeing on a suitable definition of that concept but in living with the possibility of dire consequences of that concept." -- A. Olivera, Teachers College, Columbia University, CHOICE


"Bostrom's achievement (demonstrating his own polymathic intelligence) is a delineation of a difficult subject into a coherent and well-ordered fashion. This subject now demands more investigation."--PopMatters


"Every intelligent person should read it." --Nils Nilsson, Artificial Intelligence Pioneer, Stanford University


About the Author

Nick Bostrom is Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University and founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute and of the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology within the Oxford Martin School. He is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias
(Routledge, 2002), Global Catastrophic Risks (ed., OUP, 2008), and Human Enhancement (ed., OUP, 2009), and a forthcoming book on Superintelligence. He previously taught at Yale, and he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the British Academy. Bostrom has a background in physics, computational neuroscience,
and mathematical logic as well as philosophy.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book tedious. If you've read all those bedtime stories of the genie who grants your wish in an ironic way (like you wish for gold and it kills your family by turning them into gold or whatever), then you know the basic formula which this books follows. The author just goes on and on about all the different things you could ask a superintelligent being for and all the ways it will backfire on you.
I don't think the author is wrong about anything he says and I do feel that the book should exist and that it's good that someone is thinking about these things because I believe that technological singularity is inevitable. I just didn't find the book very readable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The most erudite thing I've read in a long time, although not pompous or gratuitous. The content is mostly profound but terrifying... harrowing in places. Veiled phrases abound: "existential crisis" (we all die) and "decisive strategic advantage" (robots kill us all). If you're interested in or — more importantly — working with artifical intelligence and machine learning (I do), you really should probably read this book. Even — especially? — if you think you don't need to.
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By PT Cruiser TOP 100 REVIEWER on Sept. 10 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Nick Bostrom has packed this book with information about how AI (artificial intelligence) may some day progress to a point that is beyond even our wildest imaginings. He explains his theories based on history and data, all noted with sources in the back of the book, from every angle imaginable. It seems to not be a question of if, but the question of when AI will be not only able to learn on its own but to improve upon itself and build more advanced versions of AI. And where will that leave humanity? Perhaps in the dust. Along with all the different scenarios of how this could happen, Bostrom suggests possible ways to keep these machines under some sort of control. But with such superintelligence, almost beyond our imagining, it doesn't leave me with a real sense of confidence that humanity will survive.

Bostrom packs a lot of information into this book. Much of it is highly philosophical. I was not surprised to learn that he is a Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University and founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute. He has a background in physics, computational neuroscience, and mathematical logic. This book reads much like a text and reminded me of books in my college philosophy courses where it would take me a long time to get to a single page, not because there were words that I didn't understand, but because some of the concepts were difficult to wrap my brain around. This book is amazing, don't get me wrong, but there were sections where it was a real chore to get through without having my mind wander because of the dry language. I am very interested in the subject matter could hardly wait to read the book.
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Format: Hardcover
John H. Flavell was probably the first to use the term metacognition when suggesting that it "refers to one's knowledge concerning one's own cognitive processes or anything related to them, e.g., the learning-relevant properties of information or data. For example, I am engaging in metacognition if I notice that I am having more trouble learning A than B; if it strikes me that I should double check C before accepting it as fact." That was in 1976.

As I began to read Nick Bostrom's brilliant book, I was again reminded of Flavell's research. What does the term "superintelligence" mean? According to Bostrom, "We can tentatively define a superintelligence as [begin italics] any intellect that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest [end italics]." Bostrom focuses on three different forms of superintelligence and asserts that they are essentially equivalent: Speed superintelligence, a system that can do all that a human intellect can do, but much faster; Collective superintelligence, a system composed of a large number of smaller intellects such that the system's overall performance across many very general domains vastly outstrips that of any current cognitive system; and Quality superintelligence, a system that is at least as fast as a human mind and vastly qualitatively smarter.

He could well be right that the development of superintelligence - by human beings -- could be "quite possibly the most important and most daunting challenge humanity has ever faced. And - whether we succeed or fail - it is probably the last challenge we will ever face." To his credit, he duly acknowledges the possibility that many of the points made in the book could be wrong.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book tackles an important issue, and helped bring it to a wider audience (especially once Elon Musk recommended it). It also seems to have helped spark actions like the creation of OpenAI to address some of the concerns. This said, I feel like many people who purchased it will never read it, as it can be a challenging read. Someone needs to write a more mainstream interpretation. Having read Eliezer Yudkowsky's early writings on the subject, before Bostrom took his position at Oxford, I think many of the themes from the former have been incorporated and expanded by the latter, although the former has a somewhat more playful and entertaining style. Anyway, amazing that people are even talking about AI as much as they are these days, it's a good thing, and this book helped ignite the important conversation.
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