[ExI] Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed Jul 16 16:41:42 UTC 2014

I don't think anybody has mentioned that Nick Bostrom's new book is
now available at Amazon UK.

(September 3, 2014 for US orders on Amazon.com, but you can pre-order).


Book Description

Publication Date: 3 July 2014
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

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.


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