Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine
Artificial intelligence (AI) is now advancing at such a rapid clip that it has the potential to transform our world in ways both exciting and disturbing. Computers have already been designed that are capable of driving cars, playing soccer, and finding and organizing information on the Web in ways that no human could. With each new gain in processing power, will scientists soon be able to create supercomputers that can read a newspaper with understanding, or write a news story, or create novels, or even formulate laws? And if machine intelligence advances beyond human intelligence, will we need to start talking about a computer's intentions?These are some of the questions discussed by computer scientist J. Storrs Hall in this fascinating layperson's guide to the latest developments in artificial intelligence. Drawing on a thirty-year career in artificial intelligence and computer science, Hall reviews the history of AI, discussing some of the major roadblocks that the field has recently overcome, and predicting the probable achievements in the near future. There is new excitement in the field over the amazing capabilities of the latest robots and renewed optimism that achieving human-level intelligence is a reachable goal.But what will this mean for society and the relations between technology and human beings? Soon ethical concerns will arise and programmers will need to begin thinking about the computer counterparts of moral codes and how ethical interactions between humans and their machines will eventually affect society as a whole. Weaving disparate threads together in an enlightening manner from cybernetics, computer science, psychology, philosophy of mind, neurophysiology, game theory, and economics, Hall provides an intriguing glimpse into the astonishing possibilities and dilemmas on the horizon.J. Storrs Hall. Ph.D. (Laporte, PA), the founding chief scientist of Nanorex, Inc., is a research fellow for the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing and the author of Nanofuture, the Nanotechnologies section for The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy, and numerous scientific articles. He has designed technology for NASA and was a computer systems architect at the Laboratory for Computer Science Research at Rutgers University from 1985 to 1997.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
J. Storrs Hall wrote a very insightful summary and popularization of the AI endeavor in his book, which might as well have been titled 'Before AI' because of its concise but wonderful job in summarizing the history of the field. He is well versed not only with mainstream academic AI work, but also with the fringe AGI and Singularitarian ideas, particularly the emphases on machine ethics which academia has mostly neglected. Aside from an overview, Hall includes, in my opinion, two very important concepts which are used throughout the book to support his thinking, and they are: autogeny and formalist float. Autogeny is vaguely similar to the ideas of recursion, self-replication, and self-organization. Formalist float is the general problem of codifying or formalizing the complexities of reality. These ideas are not new, and they can be found in many of the better books on AI, especially Hofstadter's GEB, but he does label them and treat them specifically as important concepts, which is nice to see. Though he doesn't explicitly juxtapose the two concepts, in my mind I see these two notions related to each other, at least within an engineering perspective; formalist float is a problem only when the code/formalism lacks continued autogeny, code is a frozen snapshot of a system, and if the represented system has a high degree of autogeny then formalist float will plague the formalism. The grandest scientific questions of our time and in the near future, AI included, are autogenic phenomena that, thus far, have been impervious to our intellectual probing precisely because they cause formalist float. I had not heard of Hall before reading this book, but because of it I am now definitely an admirer of his thinking.
Review: Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the MachineUser Review - Goodreads
Very interesting, although unless you're in the field the last half gets a bit technical.