Thursday, July 18, 2024

Life 3.0

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A review of the book Life 3.0 has become essential to highlight the ways in which generative AI poses extraordinary potential and threats

In the fast paced world of the 21st century, AI or Artificial Intelligence has become the buzzword.

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Put simply AI refers to non-biological intelligence that has strong cognitive intelligence to work on its own, i.e. autonomously without the need for human intervention.

In the light of that numerous books have come out in the market highlighting the pros and cons of the AI ecosystem and its future prospects.

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One such book that has become an international bestseller and is ruling the discourse surrounding AI is Max Tegmark’s Life 3.0-Being Human In The Age of Aritificial Intelligence.

Max Tegmark is a physicist who is the president of Future of Life Institute.

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Subject Matter

The book begins with a scenario set in the dystopian future. The prologue narrates the tale of Omega- a superintelligent AI launched by a clandestine group that starts performing primitive functions in the beginning, but slowly manages to conquer the entire planet, thanks to its ability to learn new things very fast.

It not only managed to control the political narrative but ended up enslaving humans.

The author deliberately wrote the prologue like this to provide a potential insight about the dangerous yet transformative potential of an AI.

There are nine chapters in the book focusing on basic concepts like intelligence, cognition, nature of matter etc.

A key aspect of the book is its deep analysis about what the future may hold for us.

It insisted on the need to harness baryonic matter to create new and sustainable matter.

Chapters 3,4,5 & 6 delved into the ideas of what a potential AI superpower may create in the future-the type of government.

It also delved into the uses of AI in almost every field, what was a bit disturbing was the terrible potential for AI in the field of defense.

This is particularly related to the killer robots or autonomous drones that can be created in the near future.

Consciousness

The book’s most important chapter is number 8 which delves into the concept of consciousness.

While we all assume to know what consciousness is, we actually do not have an iota of clue about it.

The author defines consciousness as ‘subjective experience’.

He argues that AI can only threaten humans if it gains consciousness, but the prospect of a superintelligent surpassing the intelligence levels of human beings not does seem possible now.

Needless to say, the book is a brilliant account of what AI is and what it can do.

The book ends with the potential future of our planet should Artificial Intelligence come to exercise its powers independently and the future of the human race.

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