The AI Does Not Hate You: Superintelligence, Rationality and the Race to Save the World by Tom Chivers
(Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2019)

The AI Does Not Hate You: Superintelligence, Rationality and the Race to Save the World

by Tom Chivers

When Artificial Intelligence is depicted in films and books it tends to be capable of learning to feel emotions, and absorbing moral values. But, says Tom Chivers, true AI will be nothing like we imagine. The problem is that we are the only general intelligence (a general intelligence is an intelligence that can be applied to any problem) that we have ever encountered, so we inevitably picture AI through an anthropomorphic lens. We’re very wrong to do so. We evolved in an unconscious and contingent way; there’s no reason to suppose that an artificial brain would be anything like a human one. AI might be exceptionally intelligent (perhaps more intelligent than us by the same degree of magnitude as we are more intelligent than nematode worms) and value almost anything. Even, as one particularly brutal and apocalyptic thought experiment reveals, paperclips.

From the origins of AI in Turing’s codebreaking group at the end of WW2, to Deep Blue, AlphaGo, and the technological singularity, Tom Chiver’s book will be an examination of AI through the lens of the Rationalists: the community of coders, scientists and bloggers on the West Coast who are making a sustained attempt to understand how thought (and therefore AI) works. It will be a work of popular science and philosophy, as well as a Jon Ronson-esque deep dive into a very strange and occasionally sinister internet subculture.

Reviews

Artificial Intelligence, of a superhuman level, is coming. But how soon will it emerge, and how will it impact our world? Will it offer us salvation or bring apocalypse? In this utterly captivating book, Tom Chivers meets both the computer engineers working to build an AI and the Rationalists striving to prevent the worst. Beautifully written, and with a wonderful humour, this is a thrilling adventure story of our own future. ”
- Lewis Dartnell, author of The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World After An Apocalypse