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Smarter Than Us: The Rise of Machine Intelligence Book Report

2021-09-28 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

51Due教员组今天给各位留学生带来一篇纯原创代写读后感范文,讲的是由斯图尔特·阿姆斯特朗撰写的书,希望这篇可以帮助到各位留学生,同时需要代写也可以直接联系我们51Due客服vx(vx:Jenny_dynh)进行咨询。

This book was written by Stuart Armstrong and was published in 2014. It provides us some fresh perspectives and integrates a number of new opinions and both scientific and philosophical reflections about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Like a lot of researchers and writers, the author believes that the rise of AI is inevitable, and this book focuses on one big question — what happens when AI starts to completely overpower humans on a level of general intelligence? In this book, the author mainly discusses the risks of a superhuman intelligence emerging that is greatly superior to us in every way, but also proposes some solutions to these problems. It is important to remember that while AI continues to develop, we should appreciate both the risks and opportunities that technology creates.   

For a book on the topic of science, the book is a light, entertaining, and thoughtful read. Armstrong has made his work simple and easy to read by starting the book with a provocative and familiar introduction using an imagined conversation between a Terminator from the popular science fiction film series and a truly advanced AI as might be conceived in the near future. The author uses two whole chapters to introduce and reinforce one single concept: the risks and dangers of AI do not come from laser guns or physical strength, but comes from the incredibly overpowering intelligence that AI represents. This is also the core concept of this book, and the point around which all of Armstrong’s reflections are centers. The then book goes deeper by going on to analyze four major problems. Firstly, the book defines what AI means and its potential abilities, then talks about the value and ethical issues that AI might bring. This is followed by the question of where we should go from here and how to get AI absolutely right, given the risks and moral issue involved. Finally, the book talks about how we should face this dramatically different society.

Generally speaking, reading this book gave me a delightful afternoon. As a computer science major, I have spent quite some time considering how AI will develop and how every one of us can be involved in this world-changing revolution. I knew that AI would not only affect technology and how things work, but more importantly, it will reshape society and how we think of ourselves and live our lives. Tens of thousands of jobs have already been replaced by machines and AI continues to beat humans in an ever-growing list of fields. These phenomena surely arouse some worries among many people. This book has definitely deepened my thoughts on AI and added a layer of real understanding and philosophical insight, as well as more of a consideration on the ethics and structure of the task facing humanity.

This book not only plays the role of an informative and introductory science text; the focus of this book is to explore the integration and conflict between human nature and technology, as well as the exploration of the unknown future. The whole book talks about ethics and humanity, such as what humans are, and what human values are. I do not think the author is being alarmist. On the contrary, this book makes a lot of sense in the discussion of AI. With the rapid development of AI in the past few decades, although the current level is still not high, the industry has shown an irresistible momentum.

First thing to clarify in this book, like the readers wonder, what is AI and how powerful it could be. Actually, the definition of AI is a controversial topic. Armstrong argues that some philosophers and religious figures denied that true intelligence could be achieved by machines because it lacks a soul, or consciousness, or creativity, etc. This point of view is understandable because they have been trying to define or build an ideal world for thousands of years.  But I agree with the author’s summary of AI, it is a machine that could achieve human performance despite its metaphysical status. Because the book's attitude toward AI is based on assumptions and the exploration of infinite possibilities.

People used to regard AI as something that has only existed in science fiction movies, and when it does exist, it is something very familiar and recognizable to us. But in fact, AI has already surrounded us, though in a very primitive way. The author believes that AI has been sneaking up on us. The capabilities of AI are something we should really think about. Armstrong claims that it is possible that AI will eventually be capable of doing whatever a human can do, and doing so much, much better and faster, to the point of being incomparable. However, this future remains uncertain. This perspective reminds me of a speech I saw delivered by Stephen Hawking, he said the rise of AI could be either the best, or the worst thing happen to humanity, yet we do not know which. If we are not sure about it, then where does our fear come from? Maybe we should not worried about how powerful AI will be, but more about how it is not strong enough. For example, the news about self-driven car hitting a person to death. This balance between strength and wisdom, between limits and safety is quite difficult to maintain.

Further more, the author rises the technical challenge of “pick up the yellow ball” and argues that the process of making AI understand and follow orders is a gradual process. It's like learning a new language. Some mechanical processes have improved very rapidly, such as facial recognition. This is an issue that has vexed computer programmers for decades, and was suddenly solved in only the last couple of years. AI is an issue which has both been growing in a sudden and alarming way and yet also has stagnated in many important ways for several decades. It remains to be seen which way AI will ultimately go, and whether human-level or superhuman general intelligence will be possible within our lifetimes, but the rate of technological growth over the past decade and of machine learning techniques, laboratories, research, and applications suggests that human-comparable general intelligence is not more than a couple of decades off at most. Whether the singularity comes to pass or not, effectively preparing for the ethical issues it raises is both useful and harmless.

After talking about AI itself and the basic relationship between humanity and AI for the first five chapters, the author then talks about the role of humans in chapter six. This is a more tricky problem and a more interesting topic, focused on how people are going to interact with AI and how to lead AI towards a safer direction. Looking at current work on the subject, it’s hard to say which is more difficult: developing programs that keep AI “safe” and obedient, or getting humans to peacefully integrate with an alien intelligence for the first time in our history as a species.

These basic moral and philosophical issues did not just emerge with AI. In fact, humankind has been facing these problems since our earliest history. For example, the increasing differentiation of the social class has led to a society and polity in which a tiny minority of entitled people set the rules for the entire society, largely to protect themselves and their assets, and this is basically the same concern that Armstrong hasn about AI: how to ensure these people always make correct and ethical decisions? This issue goes beyond questions of pure technology. An important aspect of using AI is to help people make better decisions instead of directly performing an action. AI can help advise people, make recommendations, and help people to make better choices and decisions. This can be very valuable, especially in risky situations. Compared to human intelligence, issues that affect long-term results are not very obvious. Indeed, humans tend to easily adopt unconscious biases rather than real data without clear and useful information when making decisions. From this point of view, the author has convinced me that AI has a big advantage in implementing projects. However, the problem with AI is that it is still a flawed product of humanity, which means that AI will act in accordance with human-made programs. As the author puts it, human values are complex and fragile, and they will continue to adjust and adapt as society advances. I think this point of view actually explains some people's concerns about AI, that is, what will happen to humanity when the will of AI conflicts with human will.

In the following sections, the author cited many vivid examples to discuss what exactly humans want and how to accurately describe or follow them. This brings huge risks of AI because we basically need to solve almost all moral and philosophical issues in order to create an absolutely safe AI, and it could be super complicated and difficult. Back to the beginning of this book, since the author chooses the Terminator as example, I am going to take the TV show West World and the movie Blade Runner 2049 to explore this issue. In West World, AI robots are made to be objects of human decompression and pleasure. It forms into a never-land to release the horrible side of humanity, so how are we going to avoid it while making rules about what human want? Finally the robots choose revenge to settle the conflict with humans, which goes with the point of this book, that intelligence is what makes AI scary. The situation in Blade Runner 2049 is even more complex. The AIs are divided into the part with free consciousness and the part that obey humans, and even the AI has a lower class of AI service, such as the main character’s virtual girlfriend.

Under multiple levels of complexity, the movie explores three profound issues: whether an AI has a soul or not, whether they have independent will, and the big question: who are we? Given the increasingly unclear lines between man and AI, the exploration of morality and the formulation of rules are eternal problems. It is true that the gap between the actual AI technology and AI of popular culture is still huge, but this does not hinder our discussion of morality and ethics. How will we create AI, how to guide AI? Is it safe? Armstrong put forward these sharp questions with a witty tone, and this is very provocative.

In conclusion, I found this book to be very interesting and easy to read, and it is also fun and scary to some extent. It uses basic knowledge about AI and offers detailed analysis on the potential risks of AI. After reading it twice, I still did not find any obvious biases or mistakes in the book. There are more and more books discussing the risks of AI or talking about ethical issues about AI, however, Armstrong chooses a unique perspective and his argument is simple and intuitive, yet it has a certain depth and leaves the readers lots of room to think. In the end, the author mentions three things to improve the situation, which are research, funds, and awareness. These three things may not be comprehensive enough, but they are very practical. I personally believe that the integration of humanity and technology will inevitably become deeper and deeper. Therefore, the control of the development pace of both parties is also a matter that needs to be considered. But as summarized in this book, this goal is very difficult to achieve.

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