Artifictional Intelligence: Against Humanity’s Surrender To Computers by Harry Collins

The Blurb On The Back:

Recent startling successes in machine intelligence using a technique called ‘deep learning’ seem to blur the line between human and machine as never before.  Are computers on the cusp of becoming so intelligence that they will render humans obsolete?  Harry Collins argues we are getting ahead of ourselves, caught up in images of a fantastical future dreamt up in fictional portrayals.  The greater present danger is that we lose sight of the very real limitations of artificial intelligence and readily enslave ourselves to stupid computers: the ‘Surrender’.

By dissecting the intricacies of language use and meaning, Collins shows how far we have to go before we cannot distinguish between the social understanding of humans and computers.  When the stakes are so high, we need to set the bar higher: to rethink ‘intelligence’ and recognise its inherent social basis.  Only if machine learning succeeds on this count can we congratulate ourselves on having produced artificial intelligence.  

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order ARTIFICTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by Harry Collins from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Why Democracies Need Science by Harry Collins & Robert Evans

The Blurb On The Back:

We live in times of increasing public distrust of the main institutions of modern society.  Experts, including scientists, are suspected of working to hidden agendas or serving vested interests.  The solution is usually seen as more public scrutiny and more control by democratic institutions – experts must be subservient to social and political life.

In this book, Harry Collins and Robert Evans take a radically different view.  They argue that, rather than democracies needing to be protected from science, democratic societies need to learn how to value science in this new age of uncertainty.  By emphasising that science is a moral enterprise, guided by values that should matter to all, they show how science can support democracy without destroying it and propose a new institution – The Owls – that can mediate between science and society and improve technological decision-making for the benefit of all.

You can order WHY DEMOCRACIES NEED SCIENCE by Harry Collins & Robert Evans from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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