A deep-dive into the weird and wonderful world of Artificial Intelligence
'The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made of atoms which it can use for something else'
This is a book about AI and AI risk. But it's also more importantly about a community of people who are trying to think rationally about intelligence, and the places that these thoughts are taking them, and what insight they can and can't give us about the future of the human race over the next few years. It explains why these people are worried, why they might be right, and why they might be wrong. It is a book about the cutting edge of our thinking on intelligence and rationality right now by the people who stay up all night worrying about it.
Along the way, we discover why we probably don't need to worry about a future AI resurrecting a perfect copy of our minds and torturing us for not inventing it sooner, but we perhaps should be concerned about paperclips destroying life as we know it; how Mickey Mouse can teach us an important lesson about how to program AI; and how a more rational approach to life could be what saves us all.
About the Author
Tom Chivers was BuzzFeed UK's science writer between 2015 and 2018. Before joining BuzzFeed, he spent seven years at the Telegraph, where he once interviewed Terry Pratchett and was told he was 'far too nice to be a journalist'. He has struggled on despite this handicap, winning a British Health Journalism award and an American Psychological Society media award, being shortlisted for an Association of British Science Writers award and being highly commended in the Royal Statistical Society's annual journalism prizes.
Artificial Intelligence, of a superhuman level, is coming. But how soon will it emerge, and how will it impact our world? Will it offer us salvation or bring apocalypse? In this utterly captivating book, Tom Chivers meets both the computer engineers working to build an AI and the Rationalists striving to prevent the worst. Beautifully written, and with wonderful humour, this is a thrilling adventure story of our own future -- LEWIS DARTNELL, author of THE KNOWLEDGE and ORIGINS
Tom Chivers' meticulously researched book is intriguing, persuasive and eye-opening. His writing is warm and witty as he takes us on a surprisingly moving journey to decide - rationally - whether we really are playing Russian roulette with our future -- HANNAH FRY, author of HELLO WORLD
This book is about so much more than AI. It's about what happens when an attempt at perfectly rational behaviour meets the messy complications of humanity and its achievements. In an increasingly digitised world, the outcome has something to say about us all. The brilliance of this book is the challenge it presents, because we can't examine the Rationalists without also examining ourselves. Tom Chivers is a fascinating and honest guide along that bumpy road -- DR HELEN CZERSKI, author of THE STORM IN A TEACUP
Tom Chivers' book is like a self-help guide to stop panicking about technology for people who watched Terminator too many times when they were young. The content is completely gripping. But I think the thing I like best is the tone. He has this OK-lets-all-chill-out-and-look-at-this-rationally approach which makes me feel, for whole minutes at a time, that maybe things are going to be OK and we won't all die in hellfire -- IAN DUNT, editor of politics.co.uk and author of BREXIT: WHAT THE HELL HAPPENS NOW?