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Should We Colonize Other Planets? ADAM MORTON

In September 2016, famous entrepreneur Elon Musk announced plans for the gradual colonization of Mars. As humans continue to degrade and destroy our planet’s resources, leading to predictions of total ecological collapse, some now suggest that a human colony elsewhere may be our species’ best hope for survival. In this sharply argued book, philosopher Adam Morton examines these extraterrestrial colonization plans with a critical eye. Reflecting compassionately on the nature of existence, Morton argues that we should treat the end of the human race in the same way that we treat our own deaths: as something sad but ultimately inevitable. The Earth will perish one day, and in the end, we should be more concerned with securing the future of intelligent beings than the preservation of our species, which represents but a nanosecond in the history of our solar system. ADAM MORTON is Visiting Emeritus Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia.

Series: New Human Frontiers

190 x 124mm | 140 pages | September 2018

HB | 978-1-5095-2511-9 £35.00 | $45.00 | €44.90 PB | 978-1-5095-2512-6

£9.99 | $12.95 | €12.90

ebook available

Artifictional Intelligence Against Humanity’s Surrender to Computers HARRY COLLINS

Will computers ever become so intelligent as to render humans obsolete and even enslave us? Collins argues we are getting ahead of ourselves, caught up in fantastical images dreamt up in fictional portrayals. The greater present danger is that we lose sight of the real limitations of artificial intelligence and readily enslave ourselves to stupid computers: the “Surrender.” Recent startling successes in machine intelligence using a technique called “deep learning” seem to blur the line between human and machine. However, by dissecting the intricacies of language use and meaning, Collins shows we have a long way to go before we fail to distinguish between the social understanding of humans and computers. When the stakes are so high, we need to set the bar higher: to redefine “intelligence” and recognize its inherent social basis. Only if machine learning succeeds on this count can we congratulate ourselves for having produced artificial intelligence. HARRY COLLINS is a Fellow of the British Academy, and Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.

210 x 140mm | 232 pages | September 2018

HB | 978-1-5095-0411-4 £50.00 | $64.95 | €65.90 PB | 978-1-5095-0412-1 £15.99 | $22.95 | €20.90

ebook available

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