Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

By Frank Diana | 12 July 2018
Reimagining the Future

I just added another very good book to the Book Library: Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence – a New York Times Best Seller. Author Max Tegmark takes a fascinating journey through possible AI futures. His physics oriented perspective provides an interesting point of view, as humanity wrestles with the ultimate path of artificial intelligence.

Mr. Tegmark tackles the discussion around how much machines will encroach on human domains, by illustrating a metaphor from Hans Moravec:

Computers are universal machines, their potential extends uniformly over a boundless expanse of tasks. Human potentials, on the other hand, are strong in areas long important for survival, but weak in things far removed. Imagine a “landscape of human competence,” having lowlands with labels like “arithmetic” and “rote memorization,” foothills like “theorem proving” and “chess playing,” and high mountain peaks labeled “locomotion,” “hand-eye coordination” and “social interaction.” Advancing computer performance is like water slowly flooding the landscape. A half century ago it began to drown the lowlands, driving out human calculators and record clerks, but leaving most of us dry. Now the flood has reached the foothills, and our outposts there are contemplating retreat. We feel safe on our peaks, but, at the present rate, those too will be submerged within another half century. I propose that we build Arks as that day nears, and adopt a seafaring life!

I highly recommend the book. Here is the abstract from Amazon:

How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology – and there’s nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who’s helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today’s kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle?

What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn’t shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues – from super-intelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.

Reprinted with permission from the author.

Frank DianaFrank Diana is a recognized futurist, thought leader and frequent keynote speaker. He has served in various executive roles throughout his career and has over 30 years of leadership experience. At Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), he is a thought leader and advisor in the context of business, societal and economic evolution. He blends a futurist perspective with a pragmatic, actionable approach – leveraging horizon scanning and story telling to see possible futures. His leadership experience obtained through various executive roles connects practical realities with the need to focus on an emerging future filled with complexity and change.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Is the name of that Champaign soilent green? It is hard to believe on the way to the future all people will see each other as equals and there may be more than ten million to "equally" enjoy those fruits of technology and biology.

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