Rapture for the Geeks by Richard Dooling
When AI Outsmarts IQ

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Will the Geeks inherit the earth?

If computers become twice as fast and twice as capable every two years, how long is it before they’re as intelligent as humans? More intelligent? And then in two more years, twice as intelligent? How long before you won’t be able to tell if you are texting a person or an especially ingenious chatterbot program designed to simulate intelligent human conversation?

According to Richard Dooling in Rapture for the Geeks—maybe not that long. It took humans millions of years to develop opposable thumbs (which we now use to build computers), but computers go from megabytes to gigabytes in five years; from the invention of the PC to the Internet in less than fifteen. At the accelerating rate of technological development, AI should surpass IQ in the next seven to thirty-seven years (depending on who you ask). We are sluggish biological sorcerers, but we’ve managed to create whiz-bang machines that are evolving much faster than we are.

In this fascinating, entertaining, and illuminating book, Dooling looks at what some of the greatest minds have to say about our role in a future in which technology rapidly leaves us in the dust. As Dooling writes, comparing human evolution to technological evolution is “worse than apples and oranges: It’s appliances versus orangutans.” Is the era of Singularity, when machines outthink humans, almost upon us? Will we be enslaved by our supercomputer overlords, as many a sci-fi writer has wondered? Or will humans live lives of leisure with computers doing all the heavy lifting?

With antic wit, fearless prescience, and common sense, Dooling provocatively examines nothing less than what it means to be human in what he playfully calls the age of b.s. (before Singularity)—and what life will be like when we are no longer alone with Mother Nature at Darwin’s card table. Are computers thinking and feeling if they can mimic human speech and emotions? Does processing capability equal consciousness? What happens to our quaint beliefs about God when we’re all worshipping technology? What if the human compulsion to create ever more capable machines ultimately leads to our own extinction? Will human ingenuity and faith ultimately prevail over our technological obsessions? Dooling hopes so, and his cautionary glimpses into the future are the best medicine to restore our humanity.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Richard Dooling

See more books from this Author
Richard Dooling is a writer and a lawyer.   His second novel, White Man's Grave, was finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. He is also the author of Critical Care and Blue Streak, and he is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and the National Law Journal. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with his wife and children.
 
Published October 6, 2008 by Crown. 272 pages
Genres: Computers & Technology. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Rapture for the Geeks

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Novelist and screenwriter Dooling (White Man’s Grave ) contemplates the “Era of Singularity,” the coming day when computers will be able to outthink humans, in this uneven take on the future of machine intelligence.

Aug 25 2008 | Read Full Review of Rapture for the Geeks: When A...

Gather Books

Richard Dooling discusses the growing power of artificial intelligence and the possibility of the "singularity", the point at which artificial intelligence could become self-aware.

Dec 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Rapture for the Geeks: When A...

Bookmarks Magazine

As Dooling writes, comparing human evolution to technological evolution is “worse than apples and oranges: It’s appliances versus orangutans.” Is the era of Singularity, when machines outthink humans, almost upon us?

Oct 26 2008 | Read Full Review of Rapture for the Geeks: When A...

Ars Technica

("Anyone who asks you to explain [consciousness] is changing the subject or cheating.") And Dooling has a run at Cambridge's current wheelchair-bound Lucasian professor of mathematics, Stephen Hawking, for good measure.

Oct 22 2008 | Read Full Review of Rapture for the Geeks: When A...

Reader Rating for Rapture for the Geeks
50%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 18 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×