image : Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom is Professor at Oxford University, where he is the founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute, a multidisciplinary research center which enables a set of exceptional mathematicians, philosophers, and scientists to think about global priorities and big questions for humanity. He also directs the Strategic Artificial Intelligence Research Center.Bostrom has a background in physics, computational neuroscience, and mathematical logic as well as philosophy. He is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias (Routledge, 2002), Global Catastrophic Risks (ed., OUP, 2008), Human Enhancement (ed., OUP, 2009), and the academic book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (OUP, 2014), which became a New York Times bestseller. He is best known for his work in five areas: (i) existential risk; (ii) the simulation argument; (iii) anthropics (developing the first mathematically explicit theory of observation selection effects); (iv) impacts of future technology, especially machine intelligence; and (v) implications of consequentialism for global strategy.He is recipient of a Eugene R. Gannon Award (one person selected annually worldwide from the fields of philosophy, mathematics, the arts and other humanities, and the natural sciences). He has been listed on Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers list twice; and he was included on Prospect magazine's World Thinkers list, the youngest person in the top 15 from all fields and the highest-ranked analytic philosopher. His writings have been translated into 24 languages. There have been more than 100 translations and reprints of his works.For more, see

The Best 5 Books on Nick Bostrom

image Nick Bostrom

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

A New York Times bestseller

Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.

But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?

This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
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Global Catastrophic Risks

A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again.

In Global Catastrophic Risks 25 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including asteroid impacts, gamma-ray bursts, Earth-based natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issues - policy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes.

This is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the big issues of our time; for students focusing on science, society, technology, and public policy; and for academics, policy-makers, and professionals working in these acutely important fields.
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Human Enhancement

To what extent should we use technology to try to make better human beings? Because of the remarkable advances in biomedical science, we must now find an answer to this question.

Human enhancement aims to increase human capacities above normal levels. Many forms of human enhancement are already in use. Many students and academics take cognition enhancing drugs to get a competitive edge. Some top athletes boost their performance with legal and illegal substances. Many an office worker begins each day with a dose of caffeine. This is only the beginning. As science and technology advance further, it will become increasingly possible to enhance basic human capacities to increase or modulate cognition, mood, personality, and physical performance, and to control the biological processes underlying normal aging. Some have suggested that such advances would take us beyond the bounds of human nature.

These trends, and these dramatic prospects, raise profound ethical questions. They have generated intense public debate and have become a central topic of discussion within practical ethics. Should we side with bioconservatives, and forgo the use of any biomedical interventions aimed at enhancing human capacities? Should we side with transhumanists and embrace the new opportunities? Or should we perhaps plot some middle course?

Human Enhancement presents the latest moves in this crucial debate: original contributions from many of the world's leading ethicists and moral thinkers, representing a wide range of perspectives, advocates and sceptics, enthusiasts and moderates. These are the arguments that will determine how humanity develops in the near future.
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Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy (Studies in Philosophy)

Anthropic Bias explores how to reason when you suspect that your evidence is biased by "observation selection effects"--that is, evidence that has been filtered by the precondition that there be some suitably positioned observer to "have" the evidence. This conundrum--sometimes alluded to as "the anthropic principle," "self-locating belief," or "indexical information"--turns out to be a surprisingly perplexing and intellectually stimulating challenge, one abounding with important implications for many areas in science and philosophy.

There are the philosophical thought experiments and paradoxes: the Doomsday Argument; Sleeping Beauty; the Presumptuous Philosopher; Adam & Eve; the Absent-Minded Driver; the Shooting Room.

And there are the applications in contemporary science: cosmology ("How many universes are there?", "Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life?"); evolutionary theory ("How improbable was the evolution of intelligent life on our planet?"); the problem of time's arrow ("Can it be given a thermodynamic explanation?"); quantum physics ("How can the many-worlds theory be tested?"); game-theory problems with imperfect recall ("How to model them?"); even traffic analysis ("Why is the 'next lane' faster?").

Anthropic Bias argues that the same principles are at work across all these domains. And it offers a synthesis: a mathematically explicit theory of observation selection effects that attempts to meet scientific needs while steering clear of philosophical paradox.

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Superinteligência: Caminhos, perigos, estratégias (Portuguese Edition)

O cérebro humano possui algumas aptidões ausentes nos cérebros dos demais seres vivos. Nossa posição dominante no planeta se deve a estas particulares habilidades. Outros animais possuem músculos mais robustos ou mandíbulas mais afiadas, mas nós temos cérebros mais sofisticados. Se algum dia os cérebros artificiais superarem a inteligência dos cérebros humanos, então esta nova superinteligência pode se tornar muito poderosa. Assim com o destino dos gorilas hoje depende mais dos humanos do que dos próprios símios, o destino da nossa espécie também se tornaria dependente das ações destas máquinas superinteligentes. Mas nós temos uma vantagem: começamos a dar o primeiro passo. Será possível construir uma inteligência artificial ou projetar condições iniciais para que possamos gerar uma explosão de inteligência sustentável, que não implique no fim da nossa espécie? Como poderíamos alcançar uma expansão controlada desta inteligência?
Profundamente ambicioso e original, Superinteligência: Caminhos, Perigos, Estratégias avança cuidadosamente por um amplo e árduo terreno intelectual, porém, com uma escrita tão perspicaz e clara que faz com que tudo pareça simples. Através de uma jornada completamente envolvente que nos conduz às fronteiras do pensamento sobre a condição humana e o futuro da vida inteligente, a obra do filósofo Nick Bostrom redefine o desafio essencial de nosso tempo.
Superinteligência, de Nick Bostrom - professor na faculdade de Filosofia na Universidade de Oxford -, tem sido aclamado e recomendado por nomes como Bill Gates e Elon Musk. Traduzido em mais de uma dezena de países, o livro alcançou a lista de mais vendidos do New York Times e o autor foi incluído pela revista Foreign Policy entre os "Top 100 Global Thinkers" de 2015. A obra integra a linha editorial Crânio, da DarkSide Books, que tem o compromisso de publicar material minuciosamente selecionado. Obras assinadas por especialistas, acadêmicos e pensadores em diversas áreas, dispostos a dividir experiências e pontos de vista transformadores que nos ajudem a entender melhor esse estranho e admirável mundo novo.
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