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Price: $35.00

Hardback 336 pp.
10 b/w line drawings, 10 b/w halftones, 156 mm x 234 mm



Publication date:
June 2014

Imprint: OUP UK

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Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Nick Bostrom

Human beings occupy a dominant position on our planet, not because we have stronger muscles or sharper teeth than other species, but because we have smarter brains. Our brains developed the technologies and the complex social organization that make us powerful. For example, our smartness gave us bulldozers and knives that are stronger and sharper than any animal's muscles or teeth.

If machine brains come to surpass human brains as ours surpass those of other animals, the machine brains could become as powerful relative to us as we are to the other animals. Extreme levels of machine intelligence - superintelligence - would potentially be in a position to shape the future. What happens to humanity, whether humanity would even survive, would then depend on the goals of the superintelligence. The possibility of a machine intelligence revolution is therefore an extremely important topic. Perhaps it is the most important topic.

Readership : Suitable for general readers as well as academics in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Computer Science, and Philosophy.

1. Past Developments and Present Capabilities
2. Roads to Superintelligence
3. Different Forms of Superintelligence
4. Singularity Dynamics
5. Decisive Strategic Advantage?
6. Intellectual Superpowers
7. The Superintelligent Will
8. The Control Problem
9. Achieving a Controlled Detonation
10. Oracles, Genies, Sovereigns, and Tools
11. Acquiring Values
12. Design Choices
13. What is to Be Done?

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Nick Bostrom is Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University and founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute and of the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology within the Oxford Martin School. He is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias (Routledge, 2002), Global Catastrophic Risks (ed., OUP, 2008), and Human Enhancement (ed., OUP, 2009), and a forthcoming book on Superintelligence. He previously taught at Yale, and he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the British Academy. Bostrom has a background in physics, computational neuroscience, and mathematical logic as well as philosophy.

Making Sense in Engineering and the Technical Sciences - Margot Northey and Judi Jewinski

Special Features

  • Original material based on new research.
  • Written by one of the leaders in the field.
  • Novel concepts and terminology will be explained making it suitable for the general reader.