In Ray Kurzweil’s New York Times bestseller The Singularity is Near, the futurist and entrepreneur describes the Singularity, a likely future utterly different than anything we can imagine. The Singularity is triggered by the tremendous growth of human and computing intelligence that is an almost inevitable outcome of Moore's Law. Since the book's publication, the coming oIn Ray Kurzweil’s New York Times bestseller The Singularity is Near, the futurist and entrepreneur describes the Singularity, a likely future utterly different than anything we can imagine. The Singularity is triggered by the tremendous growth of human and computing intelligence that is an almost inevitable outcome of Moore's Law. Since the book's publication, the coming of the Singularity is now eagerly anticipated by many of the leading thinkers in Silicon Valley, from PayPal mastermind Peter Thiel to Google co-founder Larry Page. The formation of the Singularity University, and the huge popularity of the Singularity website kurzweilai.com, speak to the importance of this intellectual movement.But what about the average person? How will the Singularity affect our daily lives—our jobs, our families, and our wealth?Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World focuses on the implications of a future society faced with an abundance of human and artificial intelligence. James D. Miller, an economics professor and popular speaker on the Singularity, reveals how natural selection has been increasing human intelligence over the past few thousand years and speculates on how intelligence enhancements will shape civilization over the next forty years.Miller considers several possible scenarios in this coming singularity:-A merger of man and machine making society fantastically wealthy and nearly immortal-Competition with billions of cheap AIs drive human wages to almost nothing while making investors rich-Businesses rethink investment decisions to take into account an expected future period of intense creative destruction-Inequality drops worldwide as technologies mitigate the cognitive cost of living in impoverished environments-Drugs designed to fight Alzheimer's disease and keep soldiers alert on battlefields have the fortunate side effect of increasing all of their users’ IQs, which, in turn, adds a percentage points to worldwide economic growthSingularity Rising offers predictions about the economic implications for a future of widely expanding intelligence and practical career and investment advice on flourishing on the way to the Singularity....
|Title||:||Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World|
|Number of Pages||:||288 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World Reviews
You could see Miller's _Singularity Rising_ as an attempt to swim against the book current of Ray Kurzweil and present some of the *other* visions of the Singularity: specifically, the Intelligence Explosion school as exemplified by Eliezer Yudkowsky and Robin Hanson. It then mixes in a bunch of material on intelligence & genetics, so we might identify an additional subschool: that of Steve Hsu on embryo selection for increasing human intelligence.Miller succeeds in giving a wide overview of quite a few topics, from Hanson's 'crack of a future dawn' em scenario to the Great Filter to comparative advantage & the advantages of trade as it applies (and doesn't apply) to AIs to the intelligence orthogonality thesis (that intelligence does not imply benevolence) to the logic of arms race and its particularly unpleasant applicability to AI development. And then he tosses in the mentioned intelligence & genetics material, which I was a little surprised to learn from - I had read many of his citations (and actually host a few of the online copies of the papers on my personal site, gwern.net), but he still threw in some ones that were new to me.On a purely factual basis, I have relatively little to fault Miller for. He makes a risible claim about 1700s French life expectancies not hitting the 50s (true only if you include infant mortality, otherwise hitting 50s was perfectly routine - even in the worst tabulations, generally if you made it to 20 on average you would reach the 50s; see 0, 1, 2, 3, 4) but he is far from the first to make that mistake; he brings up dual n-back more than once, but he avoids making too many or overreaching claims on behalf of dual n-back such as the increasingly questionable effect on intelligence (see my meta-analysis); he seems to criticize people for not taking seriously the method of castration for life extension but doesn't mention the issues with the data and the likelihood that the method would not work post-puberty (ie. for everyone who is able to morally consent to such a procedure). Otherwise...Otherwise Miller's sins are simply that the writing is merely OK and while he does a reasonable job of, as Hanson puts it in his own review of _Singularity Rising_, "explaining common positions and intuitions behind common arguments", he barely defends them or clearly justifies them. While I and many others involved in the area dislike Ray Kurzweil's theories and arguments and books as being superficial, right for the wrong reason, overly optimistic etc, they do at least do their job of convincing people (and then hopefully they can adopt more nuanced or different views); but though I agree with a large fraction of it, it's hard to believe that anyone could read Miller's book and come out genuinely convinced of pretty much anything in it (as opposed to reactions like "that's interesting" or "maybe"). For example, he does a nice question-answer sequence against the kneejerk bad-philosophy reactions to cryonics, but one could easily bite all the bullets and simply question the incredibly sketchy case he makes (yes, it's great that wood frogs do cryonics all the time, but we're not frogs). He asks that anyone who signs up for cryonics email him about what convinced them - I immediately thought, "50% odds that no one has done so yet". (After writing this review, I asked Miller about this and he said no one had yet.)And aside from as comprehensive a layman discussion of the issues involved in AI economics and technological unemployment as I've ever seen, I can't really name any original contribution this book makes.I can't say I'm really glad I read it, but then I can't say I really regret reading it (I got a number of IQ-related citations, a discussion of neo-Luddism, and info on the more esoteric possibilities of embryo selection). This is because I already know almost everything in the book and have read many of the citations already, so I am not the target audience; it's good if you want an overview of non-Kurzweilian Singularity ideas and you don't want to read through scores of webpages and papers, and more or less unique in conveying them all in a compact single place - so in acknowledgment of this, I bump my rating up to 4 stars (though for me it was more like 3).Excerpts:- intro-ch3- ch4-5- ch9- ch10-12- ch13- ch14-15- ch16
Strage book, most of the times I could have sworn that the author was kidding me, but some things he said were pretty smart in my opinion, probably because I've never thought about them that way.THANKS TO NETGALLEY AND BENBELLA BOOKS FOR THE PREVIEW
This is a very interesting read. The potentials inherent in strong AI run from miraculously positive to utterly destructive. Even weaker forms of AI, such as the machine learning that enables Google and Amazon to appear to read your mind, can have seriously enabling or disruptive impacts. As with other areas of scientific and technological development, it would be wise to inform ourselves of the key opportunities, risks, and probabilities and to use that knowledge to make (or pressure lawmakers to make) good governance decisions.
At some point I need to go back and finish this, more so I can write the rebuttal it deserves than for enjoyment. Miller keeps making divide by zero errors and deriving absurd consequences from them. Technological breakthroughs don't change the world in an instant. They need resources applied and have logistical friction as they spread. There is a lot of good material, but you need a good understanding of the issues to filter the good from bad.Not recommended for anyone new to the subject.
In its naive optimism and lack of genuine critical thinking around moral consequences this work is even more painful to absorb than Kurzweil's original on the topic. Superficial & unqualified judgement along racist, sexist, and nationalist lines further dampens any potential merit of considering the topic he tries to evangelize. To round out the quality of what seems to be the author's first literary foray, a healthy dose of conceit and self-centeredness is added to the narrative.
I liked it. Very interesting.
for me it's the best book I ever read about the singularity , easy to understand and rich in information .
Terribly written with very little thought provoking content.
Could do with some of the smart drugs the book promotes