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James Barrat

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Member Since
August 2012

Documentary Filmmaker and Author of ‘Our Final Invention’

For about 20 years I’ve written and produced documentaries, one of the most rewarding ways of telling stories ever invented. It’s a privilege to plunge into different cultures and eras and put together deeply human narratives that can be enjoyed by everyone. My clients include National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, and other broadcasters in the US and Europe. Some of my favorite films, and series I’ve contributed to, appear on the next page.

My long fascination with Artificial Intelligence came to a head in 2000, when I interviewed inventor Ray Kurzweil, roboticist Rodney Brooks, and sci-fi legend Arthur C. Clarke. Kurzweil and Brooks were casually optimistic about a future they consider

Average rating: 3.75 · 2,843 ratings · 370 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
Our Final Invention: Artifi...

3.75 avg rating — 2,843 ratings — published 2013 — 16 editions
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Our Final Invention by James Barrat
"James Barrat gives us IT professionals a lot to think about. while we all enjoy the writings of Marvin Minsky or Ray Kurzweil, James Barrat counters with profound concerns about the future of Artificial Intelligence and our own. At times a little dep" Read more of this review »
Our Final Invention by James Barrat
"I really enjoyed this book, very interesting.

I heard the author interviewed on TWIT Triangulation podcast. "
Our Final Invention by James Barrat
"Although the writing style leans heavily towards the "layman" (in fact venturing into magazine article territory), the author succeeds in compiling an interesting case against the possibility of a bright "Singularity" where man merges with machine.

In" Read more of this review »
Our Final Invention by James Barrat
"The book has changed my entire outlook with regard to artificial intelligence, and has revealed to me many possible outcomes with regard to the ongoing advancement of artificial intelligence. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of tec" Read more of this review »
James Barrat added a status update: Liked Our Final Invention (Excerpt) by James Barrat | Tor.com http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/ou...
James Barrat rated a book it was amazing
Go with Me by Castle Freeman Jr.
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This is a perfect novella, with a simple powerful dramatic engine. The sharply drawn characters develop throughout the plot, and your understanding of everything has changed by the end. I often reread books I enjoy, and I've probably read this gem
More of James's books…
“A powerful AI system tasked with ensuring your safety might imprison you at home. If you asked for happiness, it might hook you up to a life support and ceaselessly stimulate your brain's pleasure centers. If you don't provide the AI with a very big library of preferred behaviors or an ironclad means for it to deduce what behavior you prefer, you'll be stuck with whatever it comes up with. And since it's a highly complex system, you may never understand it well enough to make sure you've got it right.”
James Barrat, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

“The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else. —Eliezer Yudkowsky, research fellow, Machine Intelligence Research Institute”
James Barrat, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

“As I’ll argue, AI is a dual-use technology like nuclear fission. Nuclear fission can illuminate cities or incinerate them. Its terrible power was unimaginable to most people before 1945. With advanced AI, we’re in the 1930s right now. We’re unlikely to survive an introduction as abrupt as nuclear fission’s.”
James Barrat, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

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