Our Final Invention: People, Quotes, Books Mentioned

Our Final Invention
Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era
by James Barrat


Key people mentioned in this book (alphabetical)

  • Bostrom, Nick
  • Kurzweil, Ray


Other books mention in this book (alphabetical)


Quotes used in this book

Chapter 13

“Both because of its superior planning ability and because of the technologies it could develop, it is plausible to suppose that the first superintelligence would be very powerful. Quite possibly, it would be unrivalled: it would be able to bring about almost any possi-ble outcome and to thwart any attempt to prevent the implemen-tation of its top goal. It could kill off all other agents, persuade them to change their behavior, or block their attempts at inter-ference. Even a “fettered superintelligence” that was running on an isolated computer, able to interact with the rest of the world only via text interface, might be able to break out of its confine-ment by persuading its handlers to release it. There is even some preliminary experimental evidence that this would be the case.” —Nick Bostrom, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University

A lot has been written that Watson works through statistical knowledge rather than “true” understanding. Many readers interpret this to mean that Watson is merely gathering statistics on word sequences. . . . One could just as easily refer to the distributed neurotransmitter concentrations in the human cortex as “statistical information.” Indeed, we resolve ambiguities in much the same way that Watson does by considering the likelihood of different interpretations of a phrase. – Ray Kurzweil