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The Age Of Em

Author: Robin Hanson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198754620
Size: 70.19 MB
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Many thinkers believe that the next transformational change in human organization will be the onset of human-level artificial intelligence (the 'singularity'), and that the most likely method of achieving this will come through brain emulations or "ems": the ability to scan human brains and program their connections into ever faster computers. Taking this as his starting point, Hanson describes what a world dominated by these ems will be like.

The Age Of Em

Author: Robin Hanson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191069663
Size: 22.21 MB
Format: PDF
View: 7281
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Robots may one day rule the world, but what is a robot-ruled Earth like? Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations or ems. Scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer, and you have a robot brain, but recognizably human. Train an em to do some job and copy it a million times: an army of workers is at your disposal. When they can be made cheaply, within perhaps a century, ems will displace humans in most jobs. In this new economic era, the world economy may double in size every few weeks. Some say we can't know the future, especially following such a disruptive new technology, but Professor Robin Hanson sets out to prove them wrong. Applying decades of expertise in physics, computer science, and economics, he uses standard theories to paint a detailed picture of a world dominated by ems. While human lives don't change greatly in the em era, em lives are as different from ours as our lives are from those of our farmer and forager ancestors. Ems make us question common assumptions of moral progress, because they reject many of the values we hold dear. Read about em mind speeds, body sizes, job training and career paths, energy use and cooling infrastructure, virtual reality, aging and retirement, death and immortality, security, wealth inequality, religion, teleportation, identity, cities, politics, law, war, status, friendship and love. This book shows you just how strange your descendants may be, though ems are no stranger than we would appear to our ancestors. To most ems, it seems good to be an em.

The Age Of Em

Author: Robin Hanson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191069655
Size: 61.63 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
View: 5866
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Robots may one day rule the world, but what is a robot-ruled Earth like? Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations or ems. Scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer, and you have a robot brain, but recognizably human. Train an em to do some job and copy it a million times: an army of workers is at your disposal. When they can be made cheaply, within perhaps a century, ems will displace humans in most jobs. In this new economic era, the world economy may double in size every few weeks. Some say we can't know the future, especially following such a disruptive new technology, but Professor Robin Hanson sets out to prove them wrong. Applying decades of expertise in physics, computer science, and economics, he uses standard theories to paint a detailed picture of a world dominated by ems. While human lives don't change greatly in the em era, em lives are as different from ours as our lives are from those of our farmer and forager ancestors. Ems make us question common assumptions of moral progress, because they reject many of the values we hold dear. Read about em mind speeds, body sizes, job training and career paths, energy use and cooling infrastructure, virtual reality, aging and retirement, death and immortality, security, wealth inequality, religion, teleportation, identity, cities, politics, law, war, status, friendship and love. This book shows you just how strange your descendants may be, though ems are no stranger than we would appear to our ancestors. To most ems, it seems good to be an em.

The Elephant In The Brain

Author: Kevin Simler
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190496010
Size: 63.63 MB
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Human beings are primates, and primates are political animals. Our brains, therefore, are designed not just to hunt and gather, but also to help us get ahead socially, often via deception and self-deception. But while we may be self-interested schemers, we benefit by pretending otherwise. The less we know about our own ugly motives, the better - and thus we don't like to talk or even think about the extent of our selfishness. This is "the elephant in the brain." Such an introspective taboo makes it hard for us to think clearly about our nature and the explanations for our behavior. The aim of this book, then, is to confront our hidden motives directly - to track down the darker, unexamined corners of our psyches and blast them with floodlights. Then, once everything is clearly visible, we can work to better understand ourselves: Why do we laugh? Why are artists sexy? Why do we brag about travel? Why do we prefer to speak rather than listen? Our unconscious motives drive more than just our private behavior; they also infect our venerated social institutions such as Art, School, Charity, Medicine, Politics, and Religion. In fact, these institutions are in many ways designed to accommodate our hidden motives, to serve covert agendas alongside their "official" ones. The existence of big hidden motives can upend the usual political debates, leading one to question the legitimacy of these social institutions, and of standard policies designed to favor or discourage them. You won't see yourself - or the world - the same after confronting the elephant in the brain.

Mind Children

Author: Hans Moravec
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674576186
Size: 27.70 MB
Format: PDF
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"A dizzying display of intellect and wild imaginings by Moravec, a world-class roboticist who has himself developed clever beasts . . . Undeniably, Moravec comes across as a highly knowledgeable and creative talent--which is just what the field needs".--Kirkus Reviews.

Death Is Wrong

Author: Gennady Stolyarov II
Publisher: Rational Argumentator Press
ISBN: 0615932045
Size: 36.24 MB
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If you have ever asked, “Why do people have to die?” then this book is for you. The answer is that no, death is not necessary, inevitable, or good. In fact, death is wrong. Death is the enemy of us all, to be fought with medicine, science, and technology. This book introduces you to the greatest, most challenging, most revolutionary movement to radically extend human lifespans so that you might not have to die at all. You will learn about some amazingly long-lived plants and animals, recent scientific discoveries that point the way toward lengthening lifespans in humans, and simple, powerful arguments that can overcome the common excuses for death. If you have ever thought that death is unjust and should be defeated, you are not alone. Read this book, and become part of the most important quest in human history. This book was written by the philosopher and futurist Gennady Stolyarov II and illustrated by the artist Wendy Stolyarov. It is here to show you that, no matter who you are and what you can do, there is always a way for you to help in humanity’s struggle against death. "I thought the book was fun to read and important in what it tries to accomplish." - Zoltan Istvan, Psychology Today

Gone With The Mind

Author: Mark Leyner
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 031632311X
Size: 36.90 MB
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The blazingly inventive fictional autobiography of Mark Leyner, one of America's "rare, true original voices" (Gary Shteyngart) Dizzyingly brilliant, raucously funny, and painfully honest, GONE WITH THE MIND is the story of Mark Leyner's life, told as only Mark Leyner can tell it. In this utterly unconventional novel-or is it a memoir?-Leyner gives a reading in the food court of a New Jersey shopping mall. The "audience" consists of Mark's mother and some stray Panda Express employees, who ask a handful of questions. The action takes place entirely at the food court, but the territory covered in these pages has no bounds. A joyride of autobiography, cultural critique, DIY philosophy, biopolitics, video games, demagoguery, and the most intimate confessions, GONE WITH THE MIND is both a soulful reckoning with mortality and the tender story of the relationship between a complicated mother and an even more complicated son. At once nostalgic and acidic, deeply humane and completely surreal, GONE WITH THE MIND is a work of pure, hilarious genius.

Here Be Dragons

Author: Olle Häggström
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198723547
Size: 45.64 MB
Format: PDF
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The 20th century saw an unprecedented rate of technological development, and no slowdown is in sight. On the contrary, it is highly likely that changes in the 21st century will be even more revolutionary than those of the 20th, due to advances in science, technology and medicine. Particular areas where extraordinary and perhaps disruptive advances can be expected include biotechnology, nanotechnology, machine intelligence, and various ways to enhance humancognitive and other abilities using, e.g., pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering or machine-brain interfaces. The potential benefits are enormous, but so are the risks, including the possibility of humanextinction. This book is an attempt at a balanced discussion of these various technologies and their potential consequences. At the same time, it is a passionate plea for acting with foresight.

Light Of The Stars Alien Worlds And The Fate Of The Earth

Author: Adam Frank
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393609022
Size: 33.72 MB
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Astrophysicist and NPR commentator on what the latest research on the existence and trajectories of alien civilizations may teach us about our own. Light of the Stars tells the story of humanity’s coming of age as we awaken to the possibilities of life on other worlds and their sudden relevance to our fate on Earth. Astrophysicist Adam Frank traces the question of alien life and intelligence from the ancient Greeks to the leading thinkers of our own time, and shows how we as a civilization can only hope to survive climate change if we recognize what science has recently discovered: that we are just one of ten billion trillion planets in the Universe, and it’s highly likely that many of those planets hosted technologically advanced alien civilizations. What’s more, each of those civilizations must have faced the same challenge of civilization-driven climate change. Written with great clarity and conviction, Light of the Stars builds on the inspiring work of pioneering scientists such as Frank Drake and Carl Sagan, whose work at the dawn of the space age began building the new science of astrobiology; Jack James, the Texas-born engineer who drove NASA’s first planetary missions to success; Vladimir Vernadsky, the Russian geochemist who first envisioned the Earth’s biosphere; and James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, who invented Gaia theory. Frank recounts the perilous journey NASA undertook across millions of miles of deep space to get its probes to Venus and Mars, yielding our first view of the cosmic laws of planets and climate that changed our understanding of our place in the universe. Thrilling science at the grandest of scales, Light of the Stars explores what may be the largest question of all: What can the likely presence of life on other worlds tell us about our own fate?

Cents And Sensibility

Author: Gary Saul Morson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691184410
Size: 37.63 MB
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In Cents and Sensibility, an eminent literary critic and a leading economist make the case that the humanities—especially the study of literature—offer economists ways to make their models more realistic, their predictions more accurate, and their policies more effective and just. Arguing that Adam Smith’s heirs include Austen, Chekhov, and Tolstoy as much as Keynes and Friedman, Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro trace the connection between Adam Smith’s great classic, The Wealth of Nations, and his less celebrated book on ethics, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. The authors contend that a few decades later, Jane Austen invented her groundbreaking method of novelistic narration in order to give life to the empathy that Smith believed essential to humanity. More than anyone, the great writers can offer economists something they need—a richer appreciation of behavior, ethics, culture, and narrative. Original, provocative, and inspiring, Cents and Sensibility demonstrates the benefits of a dialogue between economics and the humanities and also shows how looking at real-world problems can revitalize the study of literature itself. Featuring a new preface, this book brings economics back to its place in the human conversation.