And Now for Something Completely Different

 BY MATTHEW HERBERT

One of the rules of blogging is to stay active. Try to post something every week or so just to keep your head in the game and, if you have any followers, to remind them you’re not dead.

I am not dead. Or at least I have written a few lines of Python that will create blog posts for me even after I’m dead. Or something has written such lines.

And as long as those lines evince sufficient devotion to Orwell or sufficient contempt for blockheaded fundamentalists, wouldn’t it in some sense still be “me” blogging after I’m gone?

Anyway, I’m hard at work writing something about artificial intelligence and the future of humanity. If it’s any good, I’ll post the interesting parts here.

In the mean time, here are a few of the books that have propelled me down this road:

Nick Bostrom’s Super Intelligence: Paths, Risks, Strategies,

Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Machines Like Me,

John Brockman’s Possible Minds: 25 Ways of Looking at AI,

Paul Scharre’s Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War,

and two by Juval Noah Harari–Homo Deus; A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

Here’s a little something from that last book:

If somebody describes to you the world of the mid-21st century and it sounds like science fiction, it is probably false. But then if somebody describes to you the world of the mid-21st century and it doesn’t sound like science fiction – it is certainly false.

I have also found Bill Joy’s justly famous essay from the April 2000 Wired, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” moving and discomfiting. Even if you’ve never felt like reading anything about technology, read this.

Peace.

Machines like me

 

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