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review 2017-08-10 14:55
The recipe for superintelligent AGI
The Fractal Brain Theory - Wai Tsang
   

Amazing! This is one of the best books on AGI I ever read. Tsang not only shows that there is a perfect functional mapping between the genetic realm and the neuronal world, Tsang develops his ideas about universally occuring binary trees to a true recipe to one day generate artificial general intelligence which may reach and even surpass the human level of intelligence. Tsang describes a recursive self-modification process, in which the process takes itself as an object and maps this, like in the Yoneda mapping. A combination of divergent and convergent forward and backward chaining which result in an intersection where they meet is not only a current heuristics technique in present day AI, but is developed in the framework of Tsang's binary tree mapping process as the mapping means to select succesful candidates. This is the recipe to create self-improving AI. This is the book that heralds the advent of superintelligence and the technological singularity. This is the book I always wanted to read. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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review 2017-08-10 14:37
Improve your intelligence!
Is Intelligence an Algorithm? - Antonin Tuynman

Do you wish to improve your intelligence? Then we’ll first have to figure out what “intelligence” actually is.

Join me on a journey that starts with Nature’s ways to generate complexity. I will show you that from bacterial wisdom to the quagmire of human social interactions the same steps are followed to generate so-called “meta-system transitions”, where singleton entities organise into societies and finally into new emergent entities built there from.

In this book I will not only dissect intelligence into elements of cognition, pattern recognition, reasoning, problem-solving and diversity generation, I will also venture into the more elusive realms of emotions and intuition.

From these concepts I will provide strategies, heuristics and architectural plans to create a new generation of Artificial Intelligence. A conceptualisation of Artificial Consciousness and a blueprint for a quasi-conscious Artificial Webmind.

And as a bonus I will provide you with tools. Tools to organise your thoughts, tools to solve any kind of problem, tools to navigate through the wild waves of our emotions.
This is the abstraction of the dissecting knife of the intellect and the great integrator of cliques allowing to spawn a plethora of novel and inventive solutions which are screened and pruned to generate an apotheosis of ever increasing complexity.

This is the book that reveals nature’s inherent simple algorithm to achieve complex goals in complex environments.

By Antonin Tuynman, the author of this book.

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text 2017-07-09 04:23
Reading progress update: I've read 0 out of 224 pages.
AI Yori Aoshi Volume 3 - Kou Fumizuki

I still have how many volumes? 15? 

 

 

Oh, Kaoru and Aoi! You are so damn cute!

 

I finished all my Equestria Girls books, and while I still have 11 MLP books left... I just could not keep my hands off these anymore. They've been staring me down from my bookshelf for a month. 

 

 

Looks like Sunday-Mangday.

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review 2017-07-08 18:03
Void Star
Void Star - Zachary Mason

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

This story takes us on the paths followed by three characters very different from each other: Irina, carrying a brain implant that gives her perfect memory and access to AIs; Kern, a young refugee from the San Francisco favelas, who taught himself through books and martial arts thanks to a laptop found in a dump; and Thales, son of a murdered Brazilian politician, whose life hangs by a thread only because his body may reject the implant that saved his life at any moment.

The world depicted in the novel is not exactly cyberpunk, not exactly transhumanistic, not exactly dystopian, but a blend of all three? Life-prolonging and youth treatments exist... only for those who can afford them. The implant in both Irina and Thales’s brains is exceptional... but. Large corporations dominate everyday life, but the protagonists are different from their more usual cyberpunk counterparts. Earth is going through climate changes and places like Singapore are gradually going underwater, and many people don’t have access to basic necessities... but at the same time, a sense of wonder still permeates the story, if only because of the way the characters are confronted to various threats and obstacles, yet also to hopes and openings towards new paths. Kern’s laptop, for instance, because of what it represents, or could represent, for a young boy living in the streets. Or the inhuman and fascinating beauty of the AIs introduced here, the destructive Cloudbreaker and the elusive Mathematician.

This is both close to us, making it possible to grasp it, with its technologies that we can understand (tablets and phones, albeit somewhat obsolete for the wealthier characters), and at the same time deeply alien and full of mysteries (what would it be like to live with a perfect, artificial memory you can access just whenever, yet that may send you into seizure and kill you?).

‘Void Star’ reads well, although for some reason I felt like taking my sweet time with it, perhaps because unconsciously I didn’t want to finish it too fast? It may sometimes be a wee difficult to follow, since it doesn’t rely on detailed explanations, instead taking its readers through its characters’ travels; I quite liked that, though—I like that in general in SF/F, even though I know I can’t read such stories when I’m too tired, for fear of losing my pace and missing important hints. While some events appeared, as a result, a little confusing, in the end I could still piece everything together. The three main narratives are well interwoven—chapter Y actually holds the missing answers to what happened in chapter X, and so on—and even when I didn’t have all the information to understand their world in the beginning, it wasn’t much of a problem.

Conclusion: Not the easiest read around, due to its (beautiful but sometimes complex) descriptive language and concepts; however, if one is ready to tackle that, this book can be positively fascinating.

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review 2017-04-01 05:11
Waking Hell
Waking Hell - Al Robertson

[I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley.]

Sequel to 'Crashing Heaven', a novel I read a couple of years ago, and quite liked. The world is roughly the same—Station, floating in space—but the protagonists are different, and the situation has changed: one of the gods was forcibly removed, and the fetches (dead people reconstructed from their memories) now have existences of their own, even though their community went through a plague that almost destroyed them along the way.

The characters: as mentioned above, no Hugo Fist or Jack Forster here, although they're briefly mentioned. This time, the story mainly follows Leila, a fetch who's trying to save her genius brother Dieter, and Cassiel, a Totality mind who's investigating said brother's death. It starts with Dieter falling prey to an old tech artifact, and dying from it; however, contrary to what Leila thinks at first, he cannot be brought back as a fetch, due to a fishy contract he signed at the last moment with a couple of shady characters called 'pressure men'. Finding herself the unwilling beneficiary of this contract that left her a rich heiress, Leila uses her newly acquired money—and the door it opens—to try and find out what really happened to Dieter, and bring him back at all costs, the way himself helped her build herself back up after the fetch plague almost deconstructed her for good.

Even though I admit I didn't like Leila much at first (too whiny and self-centered), and would have hoped to see Jack and Hugo again, soon enough the new characters grew up on me. On the one hand, Leila tends to keep focused on Dieter and not on the bigger picture, but this bit on the selfish side makes her, in a way, very human. On the other hand, she puts herself on the front line as well: you definitely can't call her a coward, all the more as the enemy could very well wipe her out of existence. As for Cassiel, she brings a lot of information about the AIs, the way they live, and how close they are to humans even if the latter don't always notice it.

(Interestingly, as a fetch, Leila is just as much dependent on hardware and on the local equivalent of the online world to exist and manifest herself. The world of Station definitely keeps blurring the lines and questioning what makes us human, especially once you throw the gods into the mix: the Rose who isn't so infallible, East who's obsessed with the media and her reality shows...)

There are a lot of epic virtual reality/online world/hidden servers moments. Because both Leila and Cassiel are reconstructed or artificial AIs, they're both powerful and frail. Without a physical body, and armed with a weapon Dieter had once designed for her only, Leila has means of her own to fight and resist; and Cassiel was designed as a weapon herself, with a nanogel body making her suited for both physical and digital combat; and yet, because they're software-based, they're vulnerable to viruses and similar attacks... which makes the pressure men and their ability to edit data (including memories) all the more dangerous to them. Memory is clearly one of the stakes in the novel, because there comes a point when neither characters nor readers can really tell whether their memories are true or were manipulated.

A few discrepancies in terms of style (I had noticed that in the first book already: sometimes the prose switches to short sentences that jar a little with the rest), but not enough to really be a problem. All instances of 'brought' were also printed as 'bought', but since I got a preprint copy, this was hopefully corrected in the final version.

Conclusion: 3.5 stars. I found the ending a little rushed, with some loose ends not so properly tied, and there were a couple of moments when I had to push through for a few pages (for some reason I can't exactly pinpoint). Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed diving into Station and its particular blend of bleak cyberpunk and transhumanism. Should there be a third book, I wouldn't mind reading it either.

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