Robots Uprising: How to Survive Superintelligent Machines?

Technology and more specifically artificial beings (i.e. robots) have always made people imagine dystopian futures. The predicted outcome resembles the Terminator films or the Ex Machina movie, where machines become smarter than humans, and kill their creators in the pursue of world domination. However, these dark scenarios can also be depicted in funny way. Daniel Wilson’s book “How to survive a robot uprising” is a hilarious survival guide by a roboticist. It discusses the various kinds of robots, and points their weaknesses to allow humans defeat the “inevitable” robot rebellion.

Robots and robotics is also the theme of the music album “The Somewhat Surprising Return of the Hussalonia Robot Singers” (Audio streaming below). This collection of songs by Hussalonia are sung by robots. The lyrics address themes of robotic alienation, robotic love, robotic resentment, robotic work, and hostile robotic takeover. They are available under a non-commercial Creative Commons license. You can learn the surprising story of Hussalonia by listening to Episode 14 of the great “Flash Forward” podcast by Rose Eveleth.

Robot Uprising Book by Daniel WilsonBuy from Amazon
Robot Uprising
Music: The Somewhat Surprising Return of the Hussalonia Robot Singers
However, SciFi stories should not be taking too lightly, especially with recent progress of computing and AI technics such as Deep Learning. This is why many bright minds (e.g. Elon Musk and Stefen Hawking) are nowadays discussing AI, its potential harmful implications for humanity, and how to control it. An enlightening representative of this ongoing debate is the TED talk by Nick Bostrom (see Video bleow).

A good companion to the video (or is it the other way around?) is the book by the very same Oxford University Professor Nick Bostrom. This New Times Best Seller entitled: “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies” discusses how to control AI it before it’s too late.

Superintelligence book by Nick BostromBuy from Amazon
Superintelligence Book
Video: What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

Summary of Book: Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful – possibly beyond our control. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.

But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?

This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom’s work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.

Superintelligence Book by Nick BostromBuy from Amazon
Superintelligence Book
Robot Uprising Book by Daniel WilsonBuy from Amazon
Robot Uprising Book

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