A reading club with a view to the future

099 John Brockman: What Do You Think About Machines That Think?

A collection of essays by experts on AI discussing the implications of artificial intelligence on society, economy, and ethics.

John Brockman: What Do You Think About Machines That Think?


The book is a collection of essays written by experts in various fields who share their insights, opinions, and predictions on the future of artificial intelligence (AI). They explore topics such as the ethics of AI, the impact on the economy and job market, the implications of superintelligence, and the role of consciousness in AI. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of AI and its potential impact on society.


Title: What Do You Think About Machines That Think?

Author: John Brockman

Year of Publication: 2015

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Length in hours: 14 hours and 59 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The rise of artificial intelligence is one of the most significant events in human history.
  2. As AI systems become more advanced, they will begin to pose new ethical challenges that we have never faced before.
  3. The impact of AI on the job market will be significant, with many jobs becoming obsolete and new ones emerging.
  4. Superintelligence could have a profound impact on the future of humanity, and we need to ensure that it is aligned with our values and goals.
  5. The debate over whether machines can be conscious is still ongoing, and we need to think carefully about the implications of creating conscious machines.
John Brockman: What Do You Think About Machines That Think?

5 funny quotes

  1. "Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity." - Unknown
  2. "The trouble with computers is that you play with them." - Richard Feynman
  3. "The best thing about a boolean is even if you are wrong, you are only off by a bit." - Anonymous
  4. "I'm pretty sure my cat is a robot spy that is reporting back to some government agency. He's just too smart and too cute." - Brian Posehn
  5. "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Edison

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "We're headed towards a world where artificial intelligence will have a profound impact on how we live our lives, but it is still up to us to decide whether this will be a positive or a negative development." - Stephen Hawking
  2. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair
  3. "We must make sure that the way we use technology reinforces human values like empathy, compassion, and mutual understanding." - Tim O'Reilly
  4. "The great danger of AI is not that it will become too smart and take over the world, but that it will become too stupid and do things we don't want it to do." - Stuart Russell
  5. "The ultimate objective is not to create machines that can think, but to create machines that can do things that are useful to us." - Rodney Brooks

5 dilemmas

  1. How to ensure that artificial intelligence is used in a way that benefits humanity, rather than being controlled by a select few to further their own interests.
  2. The potential loss of jobs and disruption to entire industries as AI and automation increasingly take over certain tasks and roles traditionally performed by humans.
  3. The ethical considerations of developing and deploying autonomous weapons and other AI-based military technologies.
  4. The question of who is responsible when things go wrong with AI systems, particularly in cases where their actions cause harm to humans.
  5. The challenge of creating AI systems that are able to learn and adapt while also remaining transparent and accountable to their human creators.

5 examples

  1. AlphaGo - The artificial intelligence program developed by DeepMind that defeated the world champion of the game of Go.
  2. Watson - IBM's artificial intelligence system that famously won the game show Jeopardy! against human opponents.
  3. Sophia - A humanoid robot developed by Hanson Robotics that has gained attention for its realistic appearance and interactions with humans.
  4. Deep Blue - IBM's chess-playing computer that famously defeated world champion Garry Kasparov in 1997.
  5. Siri - The virtual assistant developed by Apple that uses natural language processing to answer questions and perform tasks for users.

Referenced books

  1. "Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies" by Nick Bostrom
  2. "The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology" by Ray Kurzweil
  3. "The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics" by Roger Penrose
  4. "The Society of Mind" by Marvin Minsky
  5. "The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World" by Pedro Domingos

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"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

John Brockman: What Do You Think About Machines That Think?
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