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Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  16,280 ratings  ·  1,557 reviews
How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology--and there's nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who's helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

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Audio CD, 364 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Random House Audio Publishing Group (first published August 23rd 2017)
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Aris I know this is asked 2 years ago, but a response could still be of help to some readers. Think of it in three tiers:

The second machine age is the most…more
I know this is asked 2 years ago, but a response could still be of help to some readers. Think of it in three tiers:

The second machine age is the most high level of all and it focuses quite a lot on the economical and societal aspects and less on how the technology works.

Tegmark's book is popular science, it discusses the technology itself, its limits both with regards to fundamentals (e.g. optmisation, underlying physics, Darwinist evolution) and the future (it examines a wide number of scenarios of how AI could unfold). It is the broadest while it maintains a lot of depth, all in very accessible language. It is a truly fascinating book.

Bostrom's book is the most academic of the three. It's kind of niche and the least approachable.(less)
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Mark Plutowski
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Last week, I read Nick Bostrom's groundbreaking Superintelligence , an extremely serious, well thought out look at the dangers of creating real artificial intelligences. It left me feeling more than a little concerned: despite working in AI myself, I had not fully appreciated how scary it is. I've just finished this book, written about three years after Bostrom's, and now I'm even more concerned.

Bostrom's book has the air of being primarily intended for senior policy-makers in industry and go
Brian Clegg
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I have to confess that my first reaction to this book was not anything to do with the contents, but trying to work out if there was something really clever about the the way the book's title is printed on the spine in white on cream, so it's illegible - would it be, for example, a subtle test of human versus artificial intelligence (AI)? However, that was just a distraction.

Max Tegmark is an interesting and provocative thinker in the physics arena, so I had high hopes for what he'd come up with
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Unlike the author, I will try to be concise and make my point clear:

1) There is so much name-dropping (authors, books, theories, Ivy League Universities, tv shows, movies... you name it, it's gonna be there) and basically it seems like a secondary literature review rather than an original work.

2) Some chapters feels like fillers, put there just to make the book thicker, they add little to no useful information on Humans and AIs whatsoever.

3) The long awaited (like, 300+ pages awaited) chapter
Manuel Antão
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Deep Learning Architectures: “Life 3.0 - Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” by Max Tegmark

“Life 3.0, which can design not only its software but also its hardware. In other words, Life 3.0 is the master of its own destiny, finally fully free from its evolutionary shackles.”

In “Life 3.0 - Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” by Max Tegmark
See how good your PC is as it ages or you want to install a better
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
tl;dr My animated summary ofLife 3.0 is available here:

We are approaching times when machines start to understand our world. There is a possibility, that in the near future we will be working with Artificial Intelligence as equal partners. This idea divided people into two groups. Some people expect androids to be our slaves, and others think that people will be working for AI. How should we approach this new age? Should we destroy all electronics, or work
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Dec 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Nothing in this book was original. All of the many topics covered in this book were covered in other books that I have read previously. There was definitely a tedious feel to each of the chapters. I think there is no more important or interesting topic then super AI and the author is right when he wants to highlight the topic, but, please tell me things I don’t already know.

The author started each chapter by telling me something that I had already knew, then he would tell me almost nothing more
Andrei Khrapavitski
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just finished listening to an audio version of "Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence," a new book by Max Tegmark. His "My Mathematical Universe" is one of my favorites, so I was really looking forward to his new book. And he didn't disappoint. This is a gripping text for anyone interested in AI and the future of life on our planet and beyond. Without a doubt, this is the most important conversation of our times. If you fail to see why it is so important, consider this. Mos ...more
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I‘m new to AI and even though I do know some technical stuff, I‘m no professional. I got this book because I am interested in AI and what possibilities there are for our life. Even though some parts of the book were repetitive, it provided a good summary and outlook about AI and the effect on our life.

The book was neatly organized and gave good summaries about each chapter. The author did a good job in guiding the reader through the technological landscape and the images were well embedded
Graeme Roberts
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best book so far on the possibilities and dangers of artificial intelligence. The grown-up boy genius, Max Tegmark, is ebullient, full of energy, and very charming. What might be considered name dropping in another author is readily forgiven, as he pulls us into the excitement of this rapidly developing field, and his cofounding of The Future Life Institute to ensure that safety measures are adopted to stop AI from dispensing with its dumb old human forebears.

The prelude contains a
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Giveways
“Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” which I won through Goodreads Giveaways is a fascinating subject that seems like the stuff of a science-fiction novel. It begins with an imaginative “what-if” premise with the tale of the Omega Team who, with a strong commitment to helping humanity secretly build an AI called Prometheus. With security measures in place, this ultra-intelligent machine not only makes millions for its parent organization but transforms the world positive ...more
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Life 3.0 is in turns enlightening and infuriating. It is worth reading for the many enlightening bits.

We are likely to invent A.I. soon. (1) What could happen next, and (2) what should happen next?

To tackle this subject satisfyingly would require somebody who is an unbiased AI researcher, a psychologist, a neuroscientist, a moral philosopher, a metaphysician, a philosopher of mind, an economist, a political scientist, a poet, and perhaps more. Since that person doesn't exist, we're stuck wi
Isil Arican
This one was the most disappointing book I read this year. I started it with optimism: after all the writer is a very intelligent man, it is a very interesting topic, and a particular area I am interested in. Maybe I had too high expectations, but it was an utter disappointment and a waste of time for me.

I should admit, the writer has a clear language, he describes his thoughts well and book is well written. However, my issue is with content more than the style.

I wanted to read this book to unde
Anne ✨
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-tech
An excellent look at how AI is shaping our world, illuminating both the infinite potential AND inherent risks of AI systems building smarter versions of themselves until their intelligence surpasses humans.

You can feel the author's passion and desire to bring awareness to the philosophical discussion surrounding AI's. I appreciated how he avoided making judgments on what humanity should/shouldn't do, but instead presented an array of fascinating possible futures, and asks the reader to think ab
Niklas Laninge
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
By far the best book i have read on the topic. To approach life and AI from a physicists perspective really sets this book apart from say Superintelligence, 2nd Machineage and Humans need not apply. Also, the fictional aspects really makes this book a bit of a page-turner.
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important quote to remember when approaching the subject of AI (from one of my favourite writers Yuval Noah Harari) is: ”If you hear a scenario about the world in 2050 and it sounds like science fiction, it is probably wrong; but if you hear a scenario about the world in 2050 and it does not sound like science fiction, it is certainly wrong.”
I decided to pick up a copy of this after reading Harari’s “21 Lessons For The 21st Century” earlier this year.

Life 3.0 is an engaging read, written fo
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Artificial Intelligence (AI), in many different forms, has been around for a while now. Most of us, surely, have noticed that this buzzword now frequents many fields of modern human (still) activity. From small things, like my friend recently letting AI to clip and edit his GoPro movie to IBM Watson with deep thinking capabilities, AI is here to permanently alter our lives.

According to Marshall Brain, humans will become as irrelevant as cockroaches. Indeed, if humans create something more intell
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Tegmark is an exuberant AI cheerleader awash in the unbridled nerdy enthusiasm of an inevitable post-human future. To his credit the book, a reflection of the work he's doing out in the world, attempts to broaden the discussion around AI to something more than wondering if sentient robots will kill us all.

His prelude on a plausible AI trajectory is compelling and thoughtful stuff and I loved how it expanded the way I think of AI's progress. The exploration into considering whether super intelli
68th book for 2017.

This book is somewhere between a 2-and-3 stars for me.

The book focuses on the long-term dangers of General Artificial Intelligence. The sort of problems that might occur with the great-grandson of HAL3000 in the distant future. There is no discussion of short-to-medium-term dangers from AI destroying millions of jobs. This book is firmly focussed on the danger of the coming age of superminds.

One of the perceived dangers mentioned multiple times is of the form "how do I keep o
Tashfin Awal
I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways and have chosen to give my honest opinion about it.
This book was a phenomenal read! It opened my mind up to so many new things, it was truly very insightful! The arguments and ideas presented in this book develop some current well-known facts as well as some new theories, all of which are incredibly interesting! The lengths to which arguments are presented and the details greatly help develop the book.
Rob Adey
Jul 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was wary of this book when I saw an Elon Musk blurb on the cover. But I enjoyed Tegmark's last book so I gave it a go and... I'm sorry to say he's having dinner with Elon Musk in the first chapter, and if you have dinner with Elon Musk and don't mention some pretty straightforward and low-tech ways he might actually help humanity, and instead indulge him in some hackneyed sci-fi wank fantasies about corporations creating AI and secretly taking over the world, then, well, you're just enabling a ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book based on a review that stated the book was about artificial intelligence (AI) and was extremely disappointed to find there was almost zero technical coverage of AI.
The author mentions several of the well known AI applications such as games, language, etc., but nothing about how these apps are built.
The book is about the future of life with AI becoming the life of the future as super intelligent computers. It is based on the saying "it will be a long time before machines are more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very thorough book about the last invention humanity will make: human-level artificial intelligence. AI has enormous potential ramifications and this book very clearly goes through all of them, this book explains what AI is and how it will be built, and what the benefits to risks are to humanity. It ends with a solid philosophical exploration of what intelligence and consciousness are.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2018
Ask people to describe what they imagine artificial intelligence and a number of their reference points would no doubt be rooted in film and literature. There is the brutal robot from the Terminator films, the benign but deadly HAL9000 from 2001 A Space Odyssey, and the contemplative Deep Thought that Douglas Adams gave us. AI has a long way to go, but it is becoming something that people are beginning to use on a daily basis when they talk to Siri or Alexa.

The potential benefits of AI for huma
Tobias Leenaert
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
a fascinating, lucid and well written exploration of AI and the possible futures for humanity, and a plea for how we all have to get involved into this converstation.
This book contains really big ideas, yet it is rarely too heavy.
Azita Rassi
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook, which was very good, but I need to read it as well and pause at its more difficult parts. Anyhow, this is a profound book and very much worth everyone’s time.
Menglong Youk
If you are confused by the title of the book, let me have a moment to explain. The author divides stages of life into three: 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. Life 1.0, or biological revolution, consists of bacteria and single-celled organisms. Both hardware, the body, and software, the algorithms used to process our thoughts and emotions, are evolved; the hardware and software can be changed, but the process cannot happen in a single organism's lifetime—it has to gradually evolve over many generations. Life 2. ...more
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kind of a disappointing book. Physicist Max Tegmark tries to explain the current status of artificial intelligence research to a broad public in order to invite all of us to start sharing our ideas and wishes for the future. Both goals are commendable - one wishes more scientists would adopt this approach - and I am fully convinced of the need for this public debate.

But Tegmark waters down all the technicalities to explain the main concepts and (his) definitions of life, intelligence, consciousn
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A balanced book on an important subject with a plethora of good information, innovative categorisations to explain the issues at hand and many rational discussions even if without strong conclusions. Certainly, a must-read for anyone thinking about what potentially lies ahead.

The author experiments boldly, particularly with the fictitious scenario of an all-dominating AI, to describe the issues at hand. The explanation helps set up the rest of the discussion, unlike in many other books, where AI
Kair Käsper
Unless God is finally bothered enough to take the elevator down to earth and ban all further technological research, we will eventually give birth to AI. That AI will then be capable of developing a far better AI than the one we, smartish ape cousins, mashed together.

This book does a wonderful job of laying out the context and some possible scenarios of what will happen next. Unfortunately it also excels at describing the microscopic chance we have of getting it right. It is like building the n
Steven Peck
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Don't let this 3 star review keep you from reading this book. It is well worth engaging with. Tegmark has done a great service in getting people thinking about these issues. It's just his view is too seeped in our current situations and imagines future AI as being rather mundane extensions our current concerns. Much of this is long expositions of trivialities of imagined futures. I think Tegmark needs to read more science fiction to get a better sense of the breadth of possible futures. Still, a ...more
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Max Erik Tegmark is a Swedish-American physicist, cosmologist and machine learning researcher. He is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the scientific director of the Foundational Questions Institute.

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You’d never know it from reading the books listed here, but good science writing is incredibly difficult to pull off. There is both an art...
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“Your synapses store all your knowledge and skills as roughly 100 terabytes’ worth of information, while your DNA stores merely about a gigabyte, barely enough to store a single movie download.” 16 likes
“Life 1.0”: life where both the hardware and software are evolved rather than designed. You and I, on the other hand, are examples of “Life 2.0”: life whose hardware is evolved, but whose software is largely designed. By your software, I mean all the algorithms and knowledge that you use to process the information from your senses and decide what to do—everything from the ability to recognize your friends when you see them to your ability to walk, read, write, calculate, sing and tell jokes.” 7 likes
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