The Technological Singularity
15%
off

The Technological Singularity

3.89 (334 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

The idea of technological singularity, and what it would mean if ordinary human intelligence were enhanced or overtaken by artificial intelligence.

The idea that human history is approaching a "singularity"-that ordinary humans will someday be overtaken by artificially intelligent machines or cognitively enhanced biological intelligence, or both-has moved from the realm of science fiction to serious debate. Some singularity theorists predict that if the field of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop at its current dizzying rate, the singularity could come about in the middle of the present century. Murray Shanahan offers an introduction to the idea of the singularity and considers the ramifications of such a potentially seismic event.

Shanahan's aim is not to make predictions but rather to investigate a range of scenarios. Whether we believe that singularity is near or far, likely or impossible, apocalypse or utopia, the very idea raises crucial philosophical and pragmatic questions, forcing us to think seriously about what we want as a species.

Shanahan describes technological advances in AI, both biologically inspired and engineered from scratch. Once human-level AI-theoretically possible, but difficult to accomplish-has been achieved, he explains, the transition to superintelligent AI could be very rapid. Shanahan considers what the existence of superintelligent machines could mean for such matters as personhood, responsibility, rights, and identity. Some superhuman AI agents might be created to benefit humankind; some might go rogue. (Is Siri the template, or HAL?) The singularity presents both an existential threat to humanity and an existential opportunity for humanity to transcend its limitations. Shanahan makes it clear that we need to imagine both possibilities if we want to bring about the better outcome.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 127 x 178 x 14mm | 272.16g
  • MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Mass., United States
  • English
  • 0262527804
  • 9780262527804
  • 232,867

Review quote

Shanahan's presentation is succinct, comprehensive and commendably accessible for such a complex subject.

-E & T: Engineering & Technology Magazine This evenhanded primer on a topic whose significance is becoming increasingly recognized ought, as per its inclusion in this series, to receive wide exposure. It will naturally appeal more to those with lay interests in philosophy, ethics, anthropology, computer science, cognitive science, engineering, sf, and world issues.

-Library Journal
show more

About Murray Shanahan

Murray Shanahan is Professor of Cognitive Robotics in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London. He is the author of Solving the Frame Problem (MIT Press) and Embodiment and the Inner Life.
show more

Rating details

334 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 25% (85)
4 47% (157)
3 20% (67)
2 7% (22)
1 1% (3)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X