Robot Overlords Redux: An AI for an AI

Shelf RenewalIn June, The Booklist Reader published Welcome, Robot Overlords! 12 Books to Help You Prepare for the Coming Singularity. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, over 1,000 artificial intelligence experts and leading researchers (Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and Stephen Hawking, to name a few) signed an open letter warning of a “military artificial intelligence arms race” and calling for a ban on “offensive autonomous weapons.” Mere coincidence—or is The Booklist Reader becoming sentient?

If we have learned nothing else from The Simpsons, it is that if we make our stuff too smart, it will ultimately try to kill us. (See: Ultrahouse 3000, “Treehouse of Horror XII.”) Don’t trust either us or Matt Groening to predict the future? You’ve got plenty of books on your shelves that speculate on what might happen if we really let the AI genie out of the bottle.

Almost Human Making Robots Think by Lee Gutkind2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, by Ray Kurzweil

Almost Human: Making Robots Think, by Lee Gutkind

Berserker, by Fred Saberhagen

The Butlerian Jihad, by Brian Herbert

City Of Golden Shadow, by Tad Williams

Daemon, by Daniel Suarez

The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, by Philip K. Dick

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

Excession, by Iain M. Banks

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything, by Stephen Baker

House of Suns, by Alastair Reynolds

Hyperion, by Dan Simmons

I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

The Lifecycle of Software Objects, by Ted Chiang

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

Neuromancer, by William Gibson

Newton’s Wake, by Ken MacLeod

On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines, by Jeff Hawkinds and Sandra Blakeslee

Pandora’s Star, by Peter F. Hamilton

Prey, by Michael Crichton

Revelation Space, by Alastair Reynolds

Singularity Sky, by Charles Stross

When Things Start to Think, by Neil Gershenfeld

WWW: Wake, by Robert J. Sawyer



About the Author:

Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, a Booklist reviewer, and one of Library Journal's 2009 "Movers and Shakers." Follow her on Twitter at @KarenKleckner.

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