Fear and Promise in the Age of Thinking Machines
Computer programs can recognize human faces more reliably than humans. They beat us at board games, they bluff better than the best poker players in the world, and some of them can almost pass as human. At a breathtaking pace, machines are becoming better and faster at making complex decisions—even compared to us.
Machines have been getting constantly more adept since the 1960s. Until now, however, they have only assisted with the most repetitive routines of knowledge work. But with Artificial Intelligence, machines are making complex decisions that were once exclusively the province of human beings. Or to state it more precisely: if the data and the decision-making framework are correct, AI systems will make better decisions more quickly and less expensively than truck drivers, administrative staff members, sales clerks, doctors, investment bankers, or human resource managers.
Whoever wants to explore the opportunities and risks of this new technology first needs to understand the basics. They have to find a comprehensible answer to the questions: What is Artificial Intelligence anyway? What is it capable of today and what will it be capable of in the foreseeable future? And what abilities will people need to develop if machines continue to become more and more intelligent? In Who’s Afraid of AI?: Fear and Promise in the Age of Thinking Machines, Thomas Ramge seeks answers to those questions.