Surviving AI by Calum Chace

The promise and peril of artificial intelligence

A concise, easy-to-read guide to the history and the current state of AI, and looking ahead to the possible creation of a superintelligence - the technological singularity.

Surviving ai

This is the century of two singularities – the economic singularity (technological unemployment) and the technological singularity (the intelligence explosion). Both present enormous opportunities and enormous challenges. If we manage them successfully our future as a species is beyond wonderful. If we fail, it could be miserable – and perhaps short.

The driver is artificial intelligence (AI) - humanity's most powerful technology. Software that solves problems and turns data into insight has already revolutionised our lives, and the revolution is accelerating.

The argument of this book is that we should monitor the changes that are happening, and adopt policies which will encourage the best possible outcomes. The range of possible outcomes is wide, from the terrible to the wonderful, and they are not pre-determined. They will be selected partly by luck, partly by their own internal logic, but partly also by the policies embraced at all levels of society.

Automation and superintelligence are the two developments which we can already see are likely to cause huge impacts. Automation could lead to an economic singularity, and the evolution of an entirely different kind of economy. If we get this wrong an elite may own the means of production and suppress the rest of us in a dystopian technological authoritarian regime. If we get it right we could enjoy an economy of radical abundance, where nobody has to work for a living, and we are all free to have fun, and stretch our minds and develop our faculties to the full.

The arrival of superintelligence, if and when it happens, will represent a technological singularity, which will be the most significant event in human history, bar none. Working out how to survive it is the most important challenge facing humanity in this and the next generation. If we avoid the pitfalls, it will improve life in ways which are quite literally beyond our imagination. A superintelligence which recursively improved its own architecture and expanded its capabilities could very plausibly solve almost any human problem you can think of. Death could become optional and we could enjoy lives of constant bliss and excitement. If we get it wrong it could spell extinction. Because of the enormity of that risk, the majority of this book addresses superintelligence: the likelihood of it arriving, and of it being beneficial.

Genre: COMPUTERS / Intelligence (AI) & Semantics

Secondary Genre: TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / General

Language: English

Keywords: AI, Artificial Intelligence, Technology, Futurism, Superintelligence, Singularity

Word Count: 61,578

Sales info:

14,200 on Amazon

Number 1 on various Amazon categories for several weeks

Sample text:


Artificial intelligence (AI) is humanity's most powerful technology. It is getting more powerful at an exponential rate.

For most of us, the most obvious manifestation of AI today is the smartphone. We take them for granted now, but many of us are glued to them: they bring all the world's knowledge to our fingertips, as well as angry birds and zombies. They are emphatically not just a luxury for people in developed countries: they provide clever payment systems, education, and market information which enable people in the emerging markets to compete and participate in the modern world.

The evolution of smartphones so far offers an intriguing analogy for the development of AI in the future. Nobody suggested thirty years ago that we would have powerful AIs in our pockets in the form of telephones, but now that it has happened it seems obvious. It is also entirely logical. We are highly social animals. Because we have language we can communicate complicated ideas, suggestions and instructions; we can work together in large teams and organise, produce economic surpluses, develop technologies. It's because of our unrivalled ability to communicate that we control the fate of this planet and every species on it. It wasn't and couldn't have been predicted in advance, but in hindsight what could be more logical than our most powerful technology, AI, becoming available to most of us in the form of a communication device?

Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Janardhan Marappa
Author review:
Janardhan is fast, and very responsive. Highly recommended.
Translation in progress. Translated by Alessandro Cataoli
Already translated. Translated by Valquíria Faustino
Author review:
Valquiria was efficient and easy to deal with. She has done a very good job. Recommended.
Already translated. Translated by Tomas Ibarra Cervantes
Author review:
This is the second book I have worked with Tomas on. His translation is flawless, and he understands the publication process very well. A very smart and congenial collaborator. Highly recommended.

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