Discover the next stage of humanity’s evolution—the age of artificial intelligence—in this fascinating, essential, and accessible exploration of the coming advances in robotics, computing, and associated technologies from the publisher of one of the most popular technology news websites in the world, Gigaom.com.
We often talk about the rapid pace of change in our world, where every month seems to bring a startling technological advancement. While it’s true that we are surrounded by new devices and innovations, cooler toys and fresher platforms, these are only tremors compared to the earthquake that is in our future. Futurist and tech maven Byron Reese explains that a number of disruptive technologies—each of which alone would be world-changing—are all converging at the same time in a perfect storm. We are building robots that can do human jobs. We are designing computers that might be capable of intelligence. We are likely on the cusp of creating a new life form: a conscious computer to which we could outsource our thinking minds, with a companion robot to perform the functions of our bodies.
In captivating and clear language, Reese explores this imminent technological revolution and its species-changing implications. He helps us to understand what this brave new world can mean for us both practically and existentially, in the process arriving at a more complete definition of what it means to be human. The Fourth Age doesn’t resort to the doomsday view of the future we often encounter in movies and fiction, but instead locates us at a great turning point in human history and provides you with the vocabulary and breadth of knowledge you need to be part of the debate about what kind of world we will soon inhabit.
About the Author
Byron Reese is the CEO and publisher of the technology research company Gigaom, and the founder of several high-tech companies. He has spent the better part of his life exploring the interplay of technology with human history. Reese has obtained or has pending patents in disciplines as varied as crowdsourcing, content creation, and psychographics. The websites he has launched, which cover the intersection of technology, business, science, and history, have together received over a billion visitors. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Infinite Progress: How Technology and the Internet Will End Ignorance, Disease, Hunger, Poverty, and War. He lives in Austin, Texas.
"In The Fourth Age, Byron Reese offers the reader something much more valuable than what to think about Artificial Intelligence and robotics-he focuses on HOW to think about these technologies, and the ways in which they will change the world forever. If you only read just one book about the AI revolution, make it this one." -- John Mackey, co-founder and CEO, Whole Foods Market
"Reese frames the deepest questions of our time in clear language that invites readers to make their own choices. Using 100,000 years of human history as his guide, he explores the issues around artificial general intelligence, robots, consciousness, automation, the end of work, abundance, and immortality. As he does so, Reese reveals himself to be an optimist and urges us to use technology to build a better world." -- Bob Metcalfe, UT Austin Professor of Innovation, Ethernet inventor, 3Com founder
"Timely, highly informative, and certainly optimistic." * Booklist *
"The Fourth Age not only discusses what the rise of A.I. will mean for us, it also forces readers to challenge their preconceptions. And it manages to do all this in a way that is both entertaining and engaging." * The New York Times *