What We Are Reading Today: Artificial You by Susan Schneider

Updated 30 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Artificial You by Susan Schneider

Humans may not be Earth’s most intelligent beings for much longer: The world champions of chess, Go, and Jeopardy! are now all AIs. Given the rapid pace of progress in AI, many predict that it could advance to human-level intelligence within the next several decades. From there, it could quickly outpace human intelligence. What do these developments mean for the future of the mind?

In Artificial You, Susan Schneider says that it is inevitable that AI will take intelligence in new directions, but urges that it is up to us to carve out a sensible path forward, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

As AI technology turns inward, reshaping the brain, as well as outward, potentially creating machine minds, it is crucial to beware. 

Homo sapiens, as mind designers, will be playing with “tools” they do not understand how to use: The self, the mind, and consciousness. Schneider argues that an insufficient grasp of the nature of these entities could undermine the use of AI and brain enhancement technology, bringing about the demise or suffering of conscious beings. 


What We Are Reading Today: The Politics of Pain

Updated 11 November 2019

What We Are Reading Today: The Politics of Pain

Author: Fintan O’Toole

This is a book about the UK exiting from Brexit. “England’s recent lurch to the right appears to be but one example of the nationalist wave sweeping across the world, yet as acclaimed Irish critic Fintan O’Toole suggests in The Politics of Pain, it is, in reality, a phenomenon rooted in the second World War,” said a review in goodreads.com.
“After the war the UK did not end up as good as they wanted to be. So they were in the European Nation but in 2016 they decided to leave it. They were seeking a new national destiny to shape a new political life and England wanted to be reborn in a new unity that was not with Europe. However, the author does not think their plan went exactly the way they wanted it go,” said the review.
O’Toole is a columnist, assistant editor and drama critic for The Irish Times.
He is a literary critic, historical writer and political commentator, with generally left-wing views. He was and continues to be a strong critic of corruption in Irish politics.