Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control

Anyone who thinks that the scenario in this novel is so remote from current reality as to fall into the realms of fantasy should read the excellent exploration of some of the issues raised, in Professor Stuart Russell’s  book ‘Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control’.

Stuart Russell is Professor of Computer Science at the University of California and Berkeley and Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. He is worth paying attention to.

To quote from the preface to Human Compatible,

“This book is about the past, present, and future of our attempt to understand and create intelligence. This matters, not because AI is rapidly becoming a pervasive aspect of the present but because it is the dominant technology of the future………….we must plan for the possibility that machines will far exceed the human capacity for decision making in the real world………

Everything civilisation has to offer is the product of our intelligence; gaining access to considerably greater intelligence would be the biggest event in human history. The purpose of the book is to explain why it might be the last even in human history and how to make sure that it is not.”

Almost Human is a fictionalised way of raising some of the questions that will face humanity as it grapples with the issues explored by Stuart Russell and other scientists. Are we talking about these issues enough?

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