Book review – Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, by Max Tegmark

Max Tegmark’s book, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, introduces a framework for defining types of life based on the degree of design control that sensing, self-replicating entities have over their own ‘hardware’ (physical forms) and ‘software’ (“all the algorithms and knowledge that you use to process the information from your senses and decide what to do”).

It’s a relatively non-academic read and well worth the effort for anyone interested in the potential to design the next major forms of ‘Life’ to transcend many of the physical and cognitive constraints that have us now on the brink of self-destruction. Tegmark’s forecast is optimistic.

If you’ve read the book, please share your observations and questions in the comments below this article. (If you are not a member and would like to be able to comment, send your preferred email address to cogniphile@albuquirky.net. Please provide a concise description of your interests relevant to our site. Links to relevant books and articles will be accepted. No other advertising or unrelated comments will be accepted and submitters may be banned.)

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Edward Berge
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Edward Berge

Here’s a 1.5 hour interview with Tegmark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi8LUnhP5yU

Edward Berge
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Edward Berge

Here are presentations by Tegmark and Hameroff on consciousness.

Edward Berge
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Edward Berge

Over all I’m still hesitant about this sort of AI model. Granted it likely won’t be like human consciousness but will AI ever achieve consciousness without some form of information/body interaction? Chapter 2 constantly reiterates that information is independent of a physical substrate, but qualify that a substrate is necessary for it. And they grant that advances in the tech substrate has indeed advanced the capacities for processing and storing information. So the substrate is not irrelevant. While the information might be the same despite the substrate indicates that there is a lot more than just information to consciousness. The… Read more »

Edward Berge
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Edward Berge

I’m also reminded of what Damasio said in this recent video discussing his latest book,The Strange Order of Things. While Tegmark does cite Damasio in the book, I don’t yet see how he incorporates his insights of emotions and feelings as necessary to consciousness into an AI version. Damasio: “There are people that are totally convinced that that minds are nothing but computer programs. And that minds, or even whole organisms, are captured by algorithms. Some say we are actually nothing but algorithms. […] The people that say that obviously have no idea what a mind is, given the result… Read more »

M Harris
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M Harris

There are some relevant articles on Medium.com: https://medium.com/s/futurehuman

Edward Berge
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Edward Berge

I’m reminded of this Dehaene article, which has a much more specific definition of consciousness and what AI needs to be conscious.
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6362/486

Edward Berge
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Edward Berge

Reading Chapter 5 on the various scenarios for super intelligent AI it occurred to me that one of those options is already in process: The collaborative commons. I did a review of Rifkin’s book The Zero Marginal Cost Society where he lays out how humanity is already using tech to implement an ethos of shared wealth. Granted the book doesn’t address Tegmark’s sort of AI but we could easily include it in our discussion of this emerging societal movement. Maybe even read the entire book and do the next discussion on it?

Edward Berge
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Edward Berge

In Chapter 5 discussing the types of super AI he notes Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Some forms of SAI wants to provide for not just our survival needs but our more evolved needs like meaning and purpose. This ties into Chapter 7 on goals. Physics goal is dissipation, biology’s is replication. The latter maintains and incorporates physics’ fundamental goal by adding an instrumental subgoal. Cultural evolution then further maintains and incorporates the other two with subgoals of its own. Per Damasio humanity evolved feelings as motivators for this hierarchy of goals. This hierarchy also ties into a developing world model… Read more »

Edward Berge
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Edward Berge
Edward Berge
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Edward Berge

We brought up UBI and how it might create time and energy for our higher drives. https://integralpostmetaphysicalnonduality.blogspot.com/2019/01/life-with-universal-basic-income.html

Edward Berge
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Edward Berge

Given our discussion of the book, and our previous discussion of memes, this Blackmore video on memes and temes, and how the latter control us (17:25), is pertinent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ_9-Qx5Hz4