Our Final Invention by James Barrat
Our Final Invention by James Barrat is a well researched, well written, and very provocative look at the dangers and ethical issues surrounding artificial intelligence. Many today think we are so technically advanced and savvy due to our computers, tablets, smart phones, and the internet. Such technologies are “dark ages” old technology compared to what is developing in software, artificial intelligence and robotics. The masses don’t really understand how far artificial intelligence is progressing. We often are affected by it in search engines that predict our interest and SIRI in the Apple smart phones that use some of the elementary early artificial intelligence technologies but it is rapidly marching toward a general artificial intelligence to match human brain capability which will quickly progress to super artificial intelligence, many times surpassing human intelligence.
The experts talk a lot about this “tipping point” and how it will be at a level of being able to correct, write, and improve its own code. This level of artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence by growing according to Moore’s law where it will improve itself and become thousands of times more intelligent than humans in a very short time. This will most likely include a logical self-preservation ideology that could be very dangerous by it inserting copies of its code in places throughout the net so humans that created it can’t shut it down or kill it. This intelligence might even decide humans are a threat to it and become dangerous.
Yes we are talking about the fiction represented in the Terminator movies here becoming reality and sooner than most realize. There are now many major companies in the world rapidly progressing in artificial intelligence. Additionally there are over 60 countries with active military robotic programs. The thought leaders in technology and science have written extensively about the ethical issues and dangers of such technology including how it may even result in our own human extinction. The famous Stephen Hawking recently wrote an article about this very subject. It’s real and racing up on us rapidly even though the masses are often ignorant about such technology and resulting issues.
Interestingly the recent movie starring Johnny Depp titled Transcendence was considered a box office flop. This was Hollywood’s fictional portrayal of these very real issues. I thought it was actually a very good movie but I think its lack of financial success was probably due to this subject matter being way over the heads of the average viewer.
This is an important issue and very well presented in this fascinating and provocative book. I highly recommend this book so as usual…… Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!