I, Human initially caught my eye because of the Asimov reference in the title, and I decided to read it because the premise– an exploration of how AI impacts human society– was interesting, as well as relevant to my own paranoia about surveillance capitalism and the fragmentation of society due to algorithm-fueled hyper-polarization.
About the Book
Title: I, Human: AI, Automation, and the Quest to Reclaim What Makes Us Unique
Author: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
Genre: nonfiction, society, technology
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis (from Goodreads) (truncated):
“It’s no secret that AI is changing the way we live, work, love, and entertain ourselves. Dating apps are using AI to pick our potential partners. Retailers are using AI to predict our behavior and desires. Rogue actors are using AI to persuade us with Twitter bots and fake news. Companies are using AI to hire us—or not.
This is just the beginning. As AI becomes smarter and more humanlike, our societies, our economies, and our humanity will undergo the most dramatic changes we’ve seen since the Agricultural Revolution. Some of these changes will enhance our species. Others may dehumanize us and make us more machinelike in our interactions with others. It’s up to us to adapt and determine how we want to live and work.
Are you ready?”
Thank you to the publisher & Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I, Human initially caught my eye because of the Asimov reference in the title, and I decided to read it because the premise– an exploration of how AI impacts human society– was interesting, as well as relevant to my own paranoia about surveillance capitalism and the fragmentation of society due to algorithm-fueled hyper-polarization. Overall, it was an engaging read, although there were some assertions I felt weren’t backed up with enough solid evidence.
The book touches on a wide variety of different issues exacerbated by the ever-more-ubiquitous presence of AI and influence of “the algorithm” on our lives. From the social-media-fueled narcissism epidemic to surveillance capitalism to political homogeneity/echo chambers, a lot of the problems facing modern society can be said to be at least somewhat influenced by the impact of AI.
The main argument of the book seems to be that AI is effectively “simplifying” our lives, dumbing us down, and increasing our predictability. This was a really interesting thesis, because usually speculation about the threat posed by AI is focused on more flashy and outlandish threats, like The Terminator or HAL-9000 moments. Chamorro-Premuzic’s approach, an exploration of the more subtle ways over-reliance on technology can impact our psychology and patterns of behavior, was a breath of fresh air for me.
However, I do think that he neglected to explore some of the more positive impacts that these technologies have had on our lives, and the book covered such a wide scope that some of the more fascinating topics only got a shallow treatment.
If you want to read an interesting book about how the AI boom could and has impacted society and culture, this one would be a good choice.
Have you read I, Human by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic ? What did you think of it? Feel free to let me know in the comments!
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