Books  |    |  October 1, 2013

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

Book by James Barrat.
Published by Macmillan.
322 pages.

In as little as a decade, artificial intelligence could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies around the world are pouring billions into achieving AI’s Holy Grail—human-level intelligence. Once AI has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine.

Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, James Barrat’s Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And will they allow us to?

Table of Contents

  1. The Busy Child
  2. The Two-Minute Problem
  3. Looking into the Future
  4. The Hard Way
  5. Programs that Write Programs
  6. Four Basic Drives
  7. The Intelligence Explosion
  8. The Point of No Return
  9. The Law of Accelerating Returns
  10. The Singularitarian
  11. A Hard Takeoff
  12. The Last Complication
  13. Unknowable by Nature
  14. The End of the Human Era
  15. The Cyber Ecosystem
  16. AGI 2.0

About the Author
James Barrat is a documentary filmmaker who’s written and produced films for National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, and many other broadcasters in the United States and Europe. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and two children.