Publication of Stuart Russell’s new book on AI safety - reviews needed

post by CarolineJ · 2019-10-08T05:29:04.506Z · score: 40 (26 votes) · EA · GW · 8 comments

Stuart Russell, professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley and Director of the Center for Human-Compatible Intelligence (CHAI), has a new book out today: “Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Control Problem”.

In the book, he explains why he has come to consider his own discipline an existential threat to our species, and lays out how we can change course before it's too late. The book explores the idea of intelligence in humans and in machines, describes the benefits we can expect (from intelligent personal assistants to vastly accelerated scientific research), and outlines the AI breakthroughs that still have to happen before we reach superhuman AI. Russell spells out the ways humans are already finding to misuse AI, from lethal autonomous weapons to the manipulation of opinions on a global scale. Finally, he explains why we must ensure that we never lose control of machines more powerful than we are. He suggests that we can rebuild AI on a new foundation, according to which machines are designed to be inherently uncertain about the human preferences they are required to satisfy.

I think the book can be an extremely impactful and positive contribution to the field of AI safety. It makes the case for working on AI safety to a broad audience. It also gives updated arguments on AI safety five years after Nick Bostrom’s “Superintelligence” and gives examples of promising research areas. It has also been favorably reviewed by experts in the field, such as Yoshua Bengio and Judea Pearl.

If you would like to support the book’s success, here are some ways to help:

I am working at CHAI, and I’m helping with communication around the book launch. I’d be happy to answer your questions!

Thanks to Aaron Gertler for his help with editing.


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Pablo_Stafforini · 2019-10-19T02:51:02.777Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

The latest Alignment Newsletter [? · GW] (published today) includes a review of Russell's book by Rohin Shah. Perhaps he can publish it on Amazon and/or GoodReads?

comment by rohinmshah · 2019-10-24T19:40:33.094Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Amusingly, I use my own Amazon account so infrequently that they refuse to let me write a review. I didn't think about GoodReads, I might do that.

comment by HowieL · 2019-10-11T03:49:34.458Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Will it be available on Kindle/Audible in the UK? If so, do you know when?

comment by CarolineJ · 2019-10-11T19:36:04.424Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Happily, they are already available:

comment by HowieL · 2019-10-11T23:46:44.031Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

That's great!

I ended up getting one from the US Audible store so doesn't matter for me personally anymore. But just FYI since it's at least possible the problem isn't limited to me not knowing how to use technology:

That link for the Kindle version works for me but when I search for "Human Compatible" on my phone (in the Android Kindle App's store), it doesn't appear.

When I follow the Audible link, I get the message "Title Not For Sale In This Country/Region." Same happens when I search in my phone's Audible store.

comment by Habryka · 2019-10-12T06:40:29.277Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I had the same problem, for me it turned out to be caused by Amazon and audible separately keeping track of the country in which my account was registered. I can imagine that you are running into the same problem, since you relatively recently moved to the UK (at least if I remember correctly).

comment by HowieL · 2019-10-12T07:55:27.806Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Huh. Ok, I think you're onto something since if I go to in Incognito, the book seems to be there. But I don't totally follow you.

It's right that my Audible/Amazon accounts were registered in the US and I'm now in the UK. Do I need to reregister my account in the UK somehow so it's consistent with where I live? Why would this make certain audiobooks unbuyable for me but not others?

comment by Habryka · 2019-10-12T19:39:38.932Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Yes, that is correct. Audible and Amazon have country settings that you have to change when you move. This article should cover how to change the amazon one: