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Facing the Intelligence Explosion

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Sometime this century, machines will surpass human levels of intelligence and ability. This event—the “intelligence explosion”—will be the most important event in our history, and navigating it wisely will be the most important thing we can ever do.

Luminaries from Alan Turing and I. J. Good to Bill Joy and Stephen Hawking have warned us about this. Why do I think Hawking a
Kindle Edition, 91 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Machine Intelligence Research Institute (first published 2013)
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Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a useful but brief primer on critical thinking as it relates to the future of technology and the risks/potentials of creating superintelligent AIs. It's the kind of text I wish I'd read when I was first becoming interested in these elements of modern life, instead of after I'd already begun to dig into the popular literature surrounding the transhuman and futurist movements. Muehlhauser seems like a very smart guy, and I appreciate how his tiny book works very hard to make some pretty co ...more
Harsh Pareek
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent introductory book to read if you haven't seen anything from Less Wrong. The book generously links to the original articles if you want to read more. In fact, a third of the book is just quotes and paragraphs from other articles and posts.

This is a review book and does not introduce any new ideas -- it does however try to collate and clarify many existing ideas. Why is an "Intelligence Explosion" likely? What do we even mean by "intelligence"? Are there limits to human intelligence? Are
Mark Moon
This book does an excellent job of explaining the importance of the AI issue to laypeople. It doesn't leave anything out that I think it needs to have and it doesn't have anything I think it should have left out.

All in all, this is my new weapon of choice for convincing people that 1) AI is coming and 2) it can either be the best thing ever or the worst thing ever.
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most exciting (and slightly terrifying) books I've ever read. Normally, I'm not one for much futurism as it has a pretty terrible track-record of being right, but this isn't that. It's a great, and undoubtedly a very accurate look into how artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence, and what we can do about it to get the best possible result for ourselves. Because honestly, you know what? I like staying alive. And now I really want to do a lot more reading on the ...more
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an important subject treated (very) quickly and lightly here. The informal style serves to undermine the severity of the topic, namely that artificial intelligence has the very real possibility of being the next doomsday invention that could well kill us all. Instead, the tone gives you more of the sense that you're talking to a bright and a bit edgy person at a very interesting party.

All that said, this book is brief and snappy and absolutely worth reading. Some will get distracted by t
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is short: read it. It's a personal and fantastic exploration of machine superintelligence for the layman. The introduction is nice and human, it helps you feel the importance of the claims in here.

Let the ideas germinate and you'll achieve some greater degree of self-abnegation. If anything, the value you get per page is immense.

I took off one star because the way some of the evidence cited can bias you, and this is a book largely about de-biasing. For example, "the computers that do
Niels Bergervoet
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book does a real good job explaining why AI and super human computer intelligence concern us all and are a subject to take seriously. The author gives a good overview of the dangers and opportunities of AI and why we should act on it. The book is well written and easy to read, also for a laymen like me. His arguments are well constructed and he extensivly explains his methods and why he artived at this viewpoint.
Timo Brønseth
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: usefwl-books
Good book on a very important topic. Short and easy to read. It uses the "outside view" to persuasively argue the likelihood of an intelligence explosion, and that the outcome of such an explosion depends on whether we're able to ensure that future intelligence carries our own values.

A bonus is that the first parts of the book is a great introduction to rationality. A necessity if one wants to introduce the absurd topic of AI risk to laypeople.
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Even if you think the possibility of "seed AI" or even Artificial general intelligence unlikely, Muehlhauser makes an excellent case for 1) why you might be mistaken, and 2) even if it would be unlikely, it's definitely something that should be taken seriously given the possibility of both extremely good and bad outcomes. ...more
Boris Vidolov
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
I expected a deeper book with breathtaking research. As I work in the software technology sector, all points of the book are simply trivial and well known. The writing style and the idea exposure was also very primitive, as if the target audience is 7 graders. If this is the first time you hear about artificial intelligence, you may still enjoy it.
Terra Bosart
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent primer on the though process one should engage in, regarding the serious application of safety measures toward artificial intelligence. The author is quite generous with their references, which can lead the reader into more detailed reading about the generalities presented.
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fun look at the current state of IT learning. Worth the time if any of this trans-humanism stuff is interesting to you. It is always helpful to not get to sucked into the inevitability of this stuff.
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
At the very least, this book will provide you with pointers to explode your own intelligence. Which will become necessary in facing the intelligence explosion, "the most important thing we can ever do", and hence this is a most important book. ...more
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good overview, and a quick read. I find the link-heavy nature of it (in ebook form) distracting, but I may go back and make better use of that as a resource.
Sebastian Stabinger
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the intellectually most rigorously written books I have read in quite some time. Kudos!
Paulo Ribeiro
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rationality, science
Great reading. Succinct, direct to the point, with lots of reference. It's really Luke style. ...more
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This one had a negative impact on my backlog - read one book, collected a bunch of web bookmarks to read.
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