Thoughts on: “Superintelligence” by Nick Bostrom

Bostrom paints a gloomy picture of what’s in store for us would we ever develop a superintelligence. It left me depressed, but I think it’s essential to have rudimentary understanding of the challenges a general artificial intelligence would entail. This book presents potential paths to reach superintelligence and dives deep into the problem of controlling a force with capacities far beyond our own.


Paths to Superintelligence:


🚸 “Seed AI” – A program learning by trial and error. Becoming more and more advanced over time. 🌱


🚸 “Whole Brain Emulation” – Creating a digital representation of a brain by scanning and then replicate and enhance its it’s functions. 🧠


🚸 “Biotechnological Enhancements” – at least weak forms of super intelligence can be achieved by mental and physical enhancements in the near future. 🔬


🚸 “Iterated Embryo Selection” – Another way to reach super intelligence is through gene manipulation and breeding. Creating supersperms by matching and breeding them in labs, concentrating leaps of several generations in one go. This could create a new enhanced “race” of humans that together could be called a super intelligence. 👶🏼


⭐️ Takeaway:

The introduction of a superintelligence will propose a potential existential risk. But it would prevents other existential risks, like a meteor strike or super Volcano eruption.


The book is complex and sometimes painfully dense with information. But I consider it worthwhile investment of my time in hindsight! For a less academic and technical, but more accessible, starting point for learning about AI I recommend “Surviving AI” by C. Chace.


To uplift my spirit I started reading “How to Live: A Life of Montaigne”. It’s awesome so far! What book made you depressed?




Photo credit: @christyharner

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Book reviewer and human lab rat on a mission to put life changing books in the hands of 1 million people. By providing reviews of the best books money can buy on the topics of psychology, philosophy, human nature and human potential, I hope to inspire you to take on the calling to lifelong learning.

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