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From AI (Artificial Intelligence) that measures TV series’ liking, to the application able to recognize if a song is of love or deals with sad topics, analyzing text and melody.

Surfing the web, every day you find articles with the most surprising titles, which talk about artificial intelligence, as something known to most.

Behind these titles, there are news that continue to make you discover new scenarios, despite our addiction to technology. But how can you be up-to-dated on the changing world and on daily cultural revolution?

Web helps, of course. But in order to analyze closely such a complex topic, an in-depth study of a good book or essay can help you and maybe give you the solution to most doubts and to some unusual questions.

We have chosen three books, published in 2018, by well-known foreign authors, and translated in Italy. These are non-fiction disclosures by University Professors, scientists and big experts in the field.

We propose them for a careful reading, for animating the debate and making it alive outside the restricted circle of experts.

The first book on artificial intelligence is “Artificial Intelligence. Guide to the near future” by Jerry Kaplan, published by Luiss University Press.

Fellow of the Center for Legal Informatics at Stanford University, where he also teaches at the Department of Computer Science, Jerry Kaplan is one of the leading experts in artificial intelligence. Already in his previous essay “Humans need not apply” addressed the question from different points of view, and that of work automation, in particular.

Starting from this point, Kaplan in his last publication states that the impact of AI on society will not be limited to the economy, but also to social and ethical aspects. He speaks about systems for showing emotions and machines able to give people assistance and comfort, alienating us from .

In summary, Kaplan provides an overview of the basic issues: if the machines will ever be smarter than human beings, if the law should guarantee them the rights and how and what impact the new generation of flexible and learning machines will have on jobs and incomes.

“Life 3.0 Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” is the book written by Max Tegmark, and published in Italy by Raffaello Cortina Editore, which is not afraid to tackle the full spectrum of points of view or the most controversial topics: from superintelligence to the meaning of existence, to consciousness and to the ultimate limits that physics imposes on life in the cosmos.

Max Tegmark, professor of Physics at MIT and President of the Future of Life Institute, appeared in dozens of scientific documentaries, wonders what advice to give to today’s children for future career or whether to fear an arms race with lethal weapons. And he also puts the reader a million-dollar question: will artificial intelligence help life flourish like never or will it give us greater power than we can handle?

Supporting him is Stephen Hawking, English mathematician and astrophysicist, who died in March 2018, shortly after this book release, which stated: “We all have to ask ourselves what we can do to reap the benefits of future artificial intelligence and avoid its risks. This is the most important conversation of our time and Tegmark’s book will help you take part”.

The third reading on artificial intelligence is that one proposed by the Swedish philosopher, born in 1973, Nick Bostrom with his essay “Superintelligence: trends, dangers and strategies” published in Italy by Bollati Boringhieri.

Far from being accused of luddism, Bostrom warns his readers, through a clear philosophical reasoning, on adverse side effects generated by superintelligences.

And he talks with concern and apocalyptic approach: “The machines will only take a small step to take off exponentially, giving rise to superintelligences that for us will quickly become unreachable. At that point, our creatures could escape from our hands, not necessarily out of malice, but also as a side effect of their activity. They could come to destroy us or even destroy the whole world. “

In conclusion

Kaplan, Tegmark and Bostrom: three authoritative and critical voices on artificial intelligence of the contemporary debate, which it is good to continue to reflect. On one hand there are the skeptics, on the other the optimists who rejoice and do not understate all that new technologies are already bringing to today’s life.