cover image A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence Is Defining Who We Are

A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence Is Defining Who We Are

Flynn Coleman. Counterpoint, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-640-09236-5

Human rights attorney Coleman offers a relentlessly, if unconvincingly, optimistic view of the future that might be ushered in by artificial intelligence, even while arguing that time is running out if humans are to take the steps necessary to control that future. Hers is a clarion call to implement AI correctly, by creating technology that promotes the best humanity has to offer. Coleman argues that diverse voices are needed to accomplish this and ensure that the next generation of smart machines doesn’t incorporate human biases, and that it “is incumbent upon us to attempt to design and implement an ethical framework” into AI. Unfortunately, she points out, most AI leaders “have received virtually no training in the ethical ramifications of creating intelligent machines.” Nonetheless, even as she explains that AI will soon replace approximately 45% of all American jobs, including those of white-collar professionals such as surgeons and writers, and predicts that AI will soon surpass humans as the planet’s most intelligent entities, Coleman remains resolute in her belief that sentient machines can be fairer, more moral, and more empathetic than their creators. This treatise is unlikely to satisfy many that humanity’s future is in good hands, though she presents enough facts and color to compensate. (Oct.)