Max Tegmark Looks at Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Monday, August 28, 2017

Max Tegmark Looks at Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

What was once science fiction is fast becoming reality, as artificial intelligence transforms war, crime, justice, jobs and society-and, even, our very sense of what it means to be human. More than any other technology, AI has the potential to revolutionize our collective future. Max Tegmark, an MIT professor and co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, explores these issues in his new book, Life 3.0.

Physicist, and co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, Max Tegmark explores artificial general intelligence in his new book, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

"This is a compelling guide to the challenges and choices in our quest for a great future of life, intelligence and consciousness—on Earth and beyond." —Elon Musk, Founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX and co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors.

In the book, Tegmark goes over how artificial intelligence may affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human?  According to Tegmark, the rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology.

Max TegmarkTegmark is an MIT professor who who loves thinking about life's big questions, and has authored two books and more than 200 technical papers on topics from cosmology to artificial intelligence. He is known as "Mad Max" for his unorthodox ideas and passion for adventure. He is also president of the Future of Life Institute, which aims to ensure that we develop not only technology, but also the wisdom required to use it beneficially.

Today our computers and mobile devices read, learn, recognize faces, translate languages, and consult other computers. They don’t yet think, but the contingent of researchers who believe that they will never be smarter than humans is steadily shrinking. In this expert but often wildly speculative rumination, Tegmark joins the fierce debate on what will happen when AGI reaches human level and beyond.

In the book, he dismisses tabloid scenarios of rampaging robots but warns, “we might create societies that flourish like never before…or a Kafkasque global surveillance state so powerful that it could never be toppled.”

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Life 3.0 invites readers to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn't shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues--from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.

Prophesies have a dreadful record, but they are also endlessly fascinating. Readers may balk now and then—Tegmark’s solutions to inevitable mass unemployment are a stretch—but most will find the narrative irresistible.

“Original, accessible, and provocative….Tegmark successfully gives clarity to the many faces of AI, creating a highly readable book that complements The Second Machine Age’s economic perspective on the near-term implications of recent accomplishments in AI and the more detailed analysis of how we might get from where we are today to AGI and even the superhuman AI in Superintelligence…. At one point, Tegmark quotes Emerson: ‘Life is a journey, not a destination.’ The same may be said of the book itself. Enjoy the ride, and you will come out the other end with a greater appreciation of where people might take technology and themselves in the years ahead.” —Science

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