Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Book Review :Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom: Scenarios for the rise of a rogue AI (Artificial Intelligence)



SUPERINTELLIGENCE by NICK BOSTROM (non-fiction): This book posts the various scenarios on the topic of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine turning into a Superintelligence and taking over the human race. Not science fiction but based on current technology's projected development into the future.
Scary and chilling when you consider that great minds like Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have already given warnings on the dangers that can happen when an AI gets out of control.
We have already experienced the great improvement in the intelligence of search engines, translation software, speech recognition and image recognition in recent years. This is just the beginning
The author shows the the various technical scenarios where a machine AI becomes powerful enough to break free from its human programmers, command resources to exponentially improve its own capabilities, destroy other competing AI and go on to plot a takeover of the human race. In this book, the takeover happens at blinding speed- in a few hours- and humans are powerless to stop it.
The AI spreads into the Internet to expand its hardware capacity and knowledge base. It hacks into the weapons systems of States and controls their activation. It manipulates financial markets to gain economic resources with which it buys the collaboration with greedy humans who will assist it. It controls the media(TV, news sites etc) and biases the information flow in its favour. Using its knowledge of molecular biology and nano technology it can produce anything and any material at lightning speed and create an army of slaves to do its bidding.
And what is the timeline for this? Nick Bostrom believes it could happen this century. From a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural society took Mankind 200,000 years. From agricultural to industrial society took 1,000 years. And now, the Internet Economy has developed beyond all past expectations in a matter of decades. At the rate in which AI research is progressing, Nick Bostrom's scenarios are not impossible.

* Those who have some knowledge or experience of AI applications whether in speech recognition, machine vision, financial markets high frequency trading algorithms, robotic or military applications will appreciate this book.

# If you think how the Singapore Police always get their man (e,g, the Standard Chartered Bank robber), it is most probably through a very efficient image recognition software that matches the CCTV images with a travel document (visa, passport) image). And it is must be a very intelligent system that is able to see through disguises and changes in looks.

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