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Hailed by the Washington Post as “a sure-footed and witty guide to slippery ethical terrain,” a philosophical exploration of AI and the future of the mind that Astronomer Royal Martin Rees calls “profound and entertaining”
Humans may not be Earth’s most intelligent beings for much longer: the world champions of chess, Go, and Jeopardy! are now all AIs. Given the rapid pace of progress in AI, many predict that it could advance to human-level intelligence within the next several decades. From there, it could quickly outpace human intelligence. What do these developments mean for the future of the mind?
In Artificial You, Susan Schneider says that it is inevitable that AI will take intelligence in new directions, but urges that it is up to us to carve out a sensible path forward. As AI technology turns inward, reshaping the brain, as well as outward, potentially creating machine minds, it is crucial to beware. Homo sapiens, as mind designers, will be playing with "tools" they do not understand how to use: the self, the mind, and consciousness. Schneider argues that an insufficient grasp of the nature of these entities could undermine the use of AI and brain enhancement technology, bringing about the demise or suffering of conscious beings. To flourish, we must grasp the philosophical issues lying beneath the algorithms.
At the heart of her exploration is a sober-minded discussion of what AI can truly achieve: Can robots really be conscious? Can we merge with AI, as tech leaders like Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil suggest? Is the mind just a program? Examining these thorny issues, Schneider proposes ways we can test for machine consciousness, questions whether consciousness is an unavoidable byproduct of sophisticated intelligence, and considers the overall dangers of creating machine minds.
Updated and revised, the highly-anticipated second edition of The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness offers a collection of readings that together represent the most thorough and comprehensive survey of the nature of consciousness available today.
- Features updates to scientific chapters reflecting the latest research in the field
- Includes 18 new theoretical, empirical, and methodological chapters covering integrated information theory, renewed interest in panpsychism, and more
- Covers a wide array of topics that include the origins and extent of consciousness, various consciousness experiences such as meditation and drug-induced states, and the neuroscience of consciousness
- Presents 54 peer-reviewed chapters written by leading experts in the study of consciousness, from across a variety of academic disciplines
- Uses science fiction to address a series of classic and contemporary philosophical issues, including many raised by recent scientific developments
- Explores questions relating to transhumanism, brain enhancement, time travel, the nature of the self, and the ethics of artificial intelligence
- Features numerous updates to the popular and highly acclaimed first edition, including new chapters addressing the cutting-edge topic of the technological singularity
- Draws on a broad range of science fiction’s more familiar novels, films, and TV series, including I, Robot, The Hunger Games, The Matrix, Star Trek, Blade Runner, and Brave New World
- Provides a gateway into classic philosophical puzzles and topics informed by the latest technology
- Raises questions and examines timely themes concerning the nature of the mind, time travel, artificial intelligence, neural enhancement, free will, the nature of persons, transhumanism, virtual reality, and neuroethics
- Draws on a broad range of books, films and television series, including The Matrix, Star Trek, Blade Runner, Frankenstein, Brave New World, The Time Machine, and Back to the Future
- Considers the classic philosophical puzzles that appeal to the general reader, while also exploring new topics of interest to the more seasoned academic