By @SimonCocking review of Will Computers Revolt? Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence, by Charles J Simon.

Details: Nonfiction, 5½”x8½”, 252 pages, 48 diagrams and
illustrations, index, and glossary. Publisher, Future AI,
email: [email protected]
Hardcover: $39.95 ISBN: 978-1-7326872-2-6.
Paperback: $19.95 ISBN: 978-1-7326872-1-9.
eBook: $9.99 ISBN: 978-1-7326872-3-3.

Do you believe that future thinking machines are likely in our lifetimes?
Explore the world of computer intelligent technology and how we can prepare ourselves. For those imagining the future directions of thinking machines, this book gives readers an excellent place to start, as it is easy to read, well researched, and provocative. This book includes many real-world examples to interest the layman along with enough technical detail to convince the computer scientist.

Is it coming? The Singularity, the Skynet moment, the day when the machines take over? This book aims to soberly look at AI, general AI, the differences, the challenges and an assessment of where we are currently at. The author, along with a growing number of thought leaders we have encountered recently feels that the Turing Test may no longer be an accurate test for us to be concerned about. AI can already mimic human responses to the point where we can not always accurately distinguish between an AI responder, a 14-year-old or someone from the Ukraine. However, as a counterpoint, simply because a machine can beat us at chess, this doesn’t necessarily mean it is able to do anything else at all, make a cup of tea, walk down a corridor or open a door. This clearly demonstrates that localised AI is one thing, and a self-aware, multi problem-solving machine is a very different beast. On the other hand, the emergence of AlphaGoZero is a very different proposition, and one that we need to be thinking about the implications of very carefully.

In many areas, this book is a careful and considered explanation of the key AI issues we need to think about. It is well written, and well reasoned out and explains the key issues and questions we need to be asking ourselves. Asimov’s Laws of Robotics are considered and questioned in terms of their limitations too, and what a more accurate future of robot/human relations might look like. We liked large parts of this books and would recommend it if you are looking to get up to speed in this area. Our one regret in this book, is that for our liking, the author has dodged the bullet in terms of answering the key question posed in the title. Only the final two paragraphs of the book cover this question and don’t really offer any real answers. Maybe this book is still to be written perhaps?

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