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.
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Here’s a 1.5 hour interview with Tegmark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi8LUnhP5yU
Here are presentations by Tegmark and Hameroff on consciousness.
When I read this Axios story on the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) pulling its AI research out of the public’s view I immediately thought of Tegmark’s notional Omega project (see the Prelude).
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 »
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 »
There are some relevant articles on Medium.com: https://medium.com/s/futurehuman
I’m reminded of this Dehaene article, which has a much more specific definition of consciousness and what AI needs to be conscious.
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?
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 »
Roboticist Rodney Brooks (founder of Roomba) offers and tracks the accuracy of technology forecasts over on his blog: https://rodneybrooks.com/blog/. I added a link to our Online Resources page: https://albuquirky.net/resources/
Douglas Rushkoff: Why upgrading humanity is a transhumanist myth.
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
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