• by Nick Bostrom
  • Narrated by Napoleon Ryan
  • 14 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.
But we have one advantage: We get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?
This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

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Buy the physical book

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Napoleon Ryan?

Someone directed to do a less hammy and over-dramatic performance of what is a non-fiction book.

Any additional comments?

Had I known the book makes many references to figures in the print version, I wouldn't have downloaded.

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The most/last important book you'll ever read

This is an intelligent, passionate and thoughtful book for a general, educated audience. Its hard at times, but saving humanity usually is hard.

I've followed Bostrom's academic writing for sometime on matters relating to existential risk. He's a cogent antidote to conspiracy theories, taking seriously our own and nature's capacity for human extinction.

This book outlines the likelihoods and timescales of different technologies creating an intelligence orders of magnitude beyond our own; the possible outcomes, good and bad, for humanity; and ways we can manage and mitigate the effects. In essence, it's, message is that sooner or later we will likely create an intelligence vastly beyond our own and without careful planning (say, not encoding this intelligence to optimize what we humans care about - freedom of choice, minimizing pain, beauty etc) we could very likely be superseded, if not destroyed.

It's all speculative, of course, as is any book about the future. But it's foolish not to plan for rainy days. This is one of those books that humbles you; makes your daily battle against confectionary or anxiety over relationships or vanity about your position in society seem petty.
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- Matthew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-09-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios