Future Tense: How We Made Artificial Intelligence—and How It Will Change Everything

Feiwel & Friends. Mar. 2024. 272p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781250765925.
Gr 9 Up–“The future is not what you think it is,” writes Brockenbrough, and, after reading this book, readers will understand that the future truly is not what we have been led to believe regarding artificial intelligence. The author’s evenhanded approach sharply contrasts oft-quoted doomsayers or those who welcome AI as a benevolent overseer. The book begins with a historical look at computer science but refocused on computing’s lack of intelligence. It demystifies AI by exploring the many ways we have been using it in our daily lives and explains the first tests of intelligence through the use of games. Human versus computer matches of Go and chess are described in breathtaking detail. Part 2 examines intelligence, both human and artificial, and how the two differ. Readers learn about neural networks, algorithms, and the researchers who are trying to train computers to think and learn similarly to humans. Part 3 explores how AI is currently used in education, healthcare, finance, and many other industries, as well as its limitations. Part 4 brings readers into the possible future uses of AI including propaganda and warfare, and more advanced uses in healthcare and economics. The book ends with the best safeguard against dangerous AI—humans. Using Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics and newer principles for AI creators, Brockenbrough establishes a pathway for harnessing the power of artificial intelligence without destroying ourselves in the process.
VERDICT A fascinating and grounded look at technology and the need for human intelligence even as artificial intelligence grows smarter.

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