• 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

Most Helpful

Timely topic, ponderous style and robot narrator

What made the experience of listening to Superintelligence the most enjoyable?

It's a timely topic that is covered in great detail, perhaps stating the obvious a bit too frequently. It is extremely thorough in the approach, delving into a variety of areas that support the central topic of AI and the potential threats it harbours

Who was your favorite character and why?


What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator is a text to speech synthesiser rather than a real person, and whilst it is better than most, giving a fair degree of intonation, it fails badly at times (eg abbreviations said in a way no human would say) and because the tone is so repetitive any initial advantages in clarity are soon swamped by the monotony.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, and this is partly the topic, partly the style and partly the synthetic narrator.

Any additional comments?

It's remarkable that no reviews appear to identify that the narrator is synthetic (one person stated that it was spoken like one). It isn't clear from the sample if you are not prepared but it is obvious once you start to listen, as most words at the same point in a sentence have identical sound, lacking the subtle variation that human narrators provide. It is surprisingly clear but in the long run it becomes extremely tedious to listen to. This also brings the question of whether the book is good value, and given that the narrator being synthetic is not made clear to the purchasers I feel that it is not. Others may disagree and it's a matter of taste but you should be aware before you purchase

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- Neil Stoker

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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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Book Details

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