Pandora's Brain

Pandora's Brain[Reading] ➬ Pandora's Brain ➳ Calum Chace – Around half the scientists researching artificial intelligence AI think that a conscious AI at or beyond human level will be created by 2050 If they are right the conseuence could be an intelligence e Around half the scientists researching artificial intelligence AI think that a conscious AI at or beyond human level will be created by If they are right the conseuence could be an intelligence explosion in which the artificial intelligence rapidly and enormously exceeds human cognitive abilityPandora's Brain is a techno thriller by best selling writer Calum Chace It uses the issues raised by the coming machine intelligence explosion as a platform for a fast paced and thought provoking adventure storySet in the very near future it features Matt a shy but engaging and resourceful student who discovers that his recently deceased father was involved in research that could enable the construction of the world's first conscious machineMatt's enuiries lead to him being kidnapped as he is caught in the crossfire between two groups pursuing that goal one led by an internet billionaire and another backed by the US military Matt has to do than simply survive he has to harness these powerful forces to his own ends At stake is his own life and those of his family and friendsA dramatic seaborne rescue operation a series of brutal murders and other filmic action scenes follow In the course of his adventures Matt discovers that the potential upside of creating machine intelligence includes immortality and godlike powers of understanding and being but the potential downside is immediate extinction or worse As he is drawn deeper into his adventure he becomes both the symbol and the victim of a global struggle over the approach to be taken towards this powerful new technology A landmark decision at a meeting of the UN General Assembly forces Matt to make a fateful decision which sparks the story's final twistA book that will appeal to fans of Michael Crichton Also suitable for Young Adult readers. I got this free for an honest review I'm sorry to say it's not a good one It's a 9 hour audio book I made it a bit over 4 hours before I couldn't take it any There was very little about AI just a poorly written thriller The characters are flat the situations simplistic the plot trite when it wasn't ridiculous The main character never showed any signs of being particularly bright nor insightful the idea that he was worth the significant risks taken was ludicrousPerhaps I went into this with my hopes too high The author has also written Surviving AI The promise and peril of artificial intelligence a nonfiction book plus several others about the Internet While his background is in business marketing I had thought he would have been better versed in the actual science of AI I'm no expert in the field but I have a Sunday Supplement level of understanding due to a love of SF my career working with computersThe field is rife with complexity yet all he could come up with was brain mapping via 'really thin scrapings'? What abouthttpwwwhumanconnectomeprojectorg ?There's no mention of mind melding or direct communicationhttpio9com5987567brain to brainThe main character is supposed to be interested in philosophy AI but there is no depth to the brief discussion on what consciousness is or the ethics of creating it I got out of this article story puts forth some vaguely paranoid philosophies about the motivations of a completely artificial intelligence but pattern survival versus the traditional gene survival isn't mentioned at allhttpwwwkurzweilainetpattern surI don't recall him mentioning patterns at all which is odd since he mentions Kurzweil several times Chace mentions the singularity but if he did than skim the Wikipedia article about ithttpsenwikipediaorgwikiTheSinthere is no sign of Kurzweil's ideas is that extending the neocortex is desirable by extending pattern recognition That's a whole can of worms that would really be interesting to explore from a philosophical point in AI since it's not a simple linear process in our own brains It's a layered process that also reacts with other parts of the brain isn't always accurate since it relies on bidirectional hierarchies There was a brief mention of two identical machines being used to check each other but nothing was said about the statistical nature of our chip building I regularly build 'identical' machines have different resultsAnyway there were a lot of places this story could have gone but it didn't I was highly disappointed It was thoroughly banal facile The narrator Joe Hempel was serviceable but his rather flat narration didn't do anything to improve the story I'm not sure John Lee could have though Full disclosure I received the audiobook for Pandora’s Brain for free from audiobookblast dot com in exchange for an honest review I was recently listening to a Market Foolery podcast and they were talking about having an “easy act to follow” with regard to an incoming CEO at a large company As I began to read Pandora’s Brain I had just finished reading the Three Body Problem a wonderful epic work that I enjoyed than almost any book I have ever read And while Pandora’s Brain doesn’t rise to the level of Three Body it is an excellent thought provoking work that I highly recommend I first heard the author of Pandora’s Brain Calum Chace while listening to the Singularity Podcast episode 164 if you are interested and become very interested in Chace’s thoughts about the future of AI This book while fiction and with the prereuisite action scenes is really about big ideas It is well written and you will learn a lot while reading or listening to this book There are a lot of “info dumps” spaced out at different points in the book where the main characters talk about AI and what it means to be human Most of the characters in the book are not well developed and serve mainly a supporting role to push the story forward The main character Matt though is a most compelling and likable character that you really can relate to as he goes through multiple ups and downs and twists in the story In summary if you’re looking for a non stop actionthriller story involving a rogue AI there are better choices out there such as AI Apocalypse from William Hertling or Daemon from Daniel Suarez However if you would like to listen to a very thought provoking and still entertaining book this is very solid choice The implications of the story will linger in your mind long after the final page is finished Regarding the audiobook format this was the first time I had listened to Joe Hempel It likely will not be last I really enjoyed his narration of the book and thought he did a solid job with the different voices Up next for me are two related books 1 The Six by Mark Alpert a YA novel featuring a rogue AI named Sigma brain scanning and 6 teenagers whose minds are downloaded into robots and 2 Surviving AI a non fiction companion to Pandora’s Brain also written by Calum Chace available to borrow for free for Prime members I have the audible version but will review the book here as wells a huge science fiction fan I was curious as to how this topic AI and the possible dangers of consciousness of artificial intelligence could be done in a new way since it is a topic that has featured in many science fiction stories I was pleasantly surprised This is an extremely thoughtful book with an interesting blend of philosophy and science and it made me think wonder worry It seemed well balanced between scientific explanation and plot and never read like a text book Though the science wasn't watered down or overly simplified it was accessible to the lay reader to the non expert It was also thoughtful in terms of uestions like what is consciousness what are we facing in our uest for artificial intelligence why are we seeking it who would be seeking it what is our moral obligation what are the real dangers given human nature etc And that kind of thoughtful exploration to me is what makes science fiction fun and interesting I think particularly if this is a topic that is new to you this will be a really informative and thoughtful bookIn addition to that it is fairly well written in my opinion and well paced The story and plot itself are strong and I felt engaged by the characters and their dilemmas in fact some of their plight was a little scary at times and I felt involved in the goings on For those who are not into philosophy or hard science fiction this book is pretty strong in terms of plot as well it is a bit of a thriller with villains and good guys and plenty of action etcBut I do have a few small criticisms It is at times I think perhaps a bit descriptive than it needed to be but not so much that it ruined the overall experience Also I think I would have liked it had the main hero been a little less perfect from the outset had a bit of a complex or flawed character to make him a bit accessible and relatable But still he does work as the hero so it's not a major problem The ending was a little open as though a seuel is not out of the uestion Personally I am not a big fan of that but it is so common these days I can't really single this out and to be fair I would probably be interested in a follow up storyThe narrator does a good job too and it felt performed and audibly engaging not simply read in fact the narrator gave me the book for free for my unbiased review and assessment through audiobookblastdotcom and I am glad he did I really did enjoy it Overall it's a pretty engaging and thoughtful book and kept me entertained and had some interesting insight as well from a scientific and philosophical point of view Is our world a real created world or it is merely a simulation? Are we being watched by a God who created us or by an entity who simulated us? Are we real? Or are we really nothing at all? I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book and it didn't make a great impression when I first began reading it I don't know how much it had to do with the book or that I had just finished a book I hated to see end Sometimes the book after a really great read doesn't fair so well even if it happens to be a great read on its own It did become interesting as the story progressed A little lacking in character development; they didn't have the depth reuired to make you care about them They were okay but there was nothing about the characters that made them uniuely different from each other There was a lot of repetition in this book different characters repeating the same problem theories and incidents verbatim The characters had the same problem They each had one problem one feeling one personality trait or one attribute which was retold throughout the book Because of this I found them to be dull and lifeless Of course may be that was the point if we are a simulation wouldn't we be rather lacking in depth??? Something to consider The audio narration was really good I enjoyed listening to the narrator and would definitely purchase another book narrated by Joel Hempel This would be good book for a light read or listen The plot of the first half of the book could have used any background as a premise for the story and used AI The second half specifically about AI was too neat simple and straightforward although interesting and different The speed at which Matt and his family adapted and enthused about his new state was to me unrealistic The characters all seemed much the same with little depth Nice scenic desciptions at times but generally the prose was flat and the dialogue was very mechanical and cliched I am fascinated by the subject near term general artificial intelligence And perhaps this novel is a good introduction for some people I also liked the part where view spoiler Matt becomes a conscious upload and starts learning super fast hide spoiler Interesting story about a young man who dies and is scanned into a computer to keep his brainmind alive What are the repercussions for his family? For the world? Find out one scenario Read this book You got so much in this book it could be two Wet dream for all futurology lovers AI trans humanism simulation Great story and narration There was an editing error in chapter 24 and Ivan's accent was a little off but those complaints are insignificant This was truly an awesome story I'd love to see this authornarrator combo do on AI Very good ideas on the development of AI and its issues in the public acceptance