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The Fourth Age

Narrated by: Danny Campbell
Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Technology
4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Summary

As we approach a great turning point in history when technology is poised to redefine what it means to be human, The Fourth Age offers fascinating insight into AI, robotics, and their extraordinary implications for our species.

In The Fourth Age, Byron Reese makes the case that technology has reshaped humanity just three times in history:

100,000 years ago we harnessed fire, which led to language.

10,000 years ago we developed agriculture, which led to cities and warfare.

5,000 years ago we invented the wheel and writing, which led to the nation state.

We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. The Fourth Age provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point and how - rather than what - we should think about the topics we’ll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, superintelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity.

By asking questions like “are you a machine?” and “could a computer feel anything?”, Reese leads you through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI and provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age and how they’ll transform humanity.

©2018 Byron Reese. All rights reserved. (P)2018 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Interesting

It was interesting and easy to go through, with practical examples and logic ideas. Good read.

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Absolutely brilliant, filled by realistic optimism

A book with real potential of changing mindsets. Easy to understand yet deep and thoughtful.

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One of the best books I've come across.

A real gem. A book not withstanding its subtitle, a book uncovering what it means to be human.Not an easy task to undertake. But a task I would say achieved with conspicuous talent.

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  • SurferDoug
  • 25-04-18

A Big History Story of AI

What did you love best about The Fourth Age?

I am about a 3rd of the way through the book. I really like how the book gives a perspective of big history and tells a 100,000 year history of AI. I have read a number of AI books and this book complements those books very well.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • rodger blake messer
  • 31-05-18

Really loved this book

Now that I'm through Fourth Age, I'm sad it's over. The book is a journey through philosophy of mind and human potential. Really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • andy
  • 16-10-19

very boring

had to stop listening after 5 chapters. it was all exposition and theories of human history and thinking with lazy assumptions. ie author posits why did some communities invent writing but other didnt? he concludes no one knows.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-08-19

Excellent and enlightening

Very interesting take on why opinions diverge on our future as a species. Well reasoned and very fascinating. I sincerely have a more optimistic outlook on our future after reading this. Very highly recommended, particularly for those worried about automation and the like.

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  • Alejandro Ochoa Camberos
  • 06-08-19

Me gusto

Inspiración a luchar por una vida mejor para todos todos somos humanos o terrestres no hay otra raza más que esa!

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  • Tim
  • 26-07-19

Impressive Thinking Awe Inspiring

One of the greatest works on the impact, potential and risks of applied technology of our time. Written in a highly engaging style this masterpiece provides fuel for thought regarding a vast array of topics that will shape our immediate, near and long-term circumstances. I am better for having listened to it.

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  • Enrique Elizaga
  • 22-07-19

really powerful insights and impeccably documented

This is a great volume on technology and things to come. What makes it powerful is not the interesting predictions or imaginative scenarios but how it accomplishes sharp inference on the future based on retrospective analysis of data and facts.

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  • eclectic reader
  • 04-07-19

to the future with a short history of everything

The author review some of the central questions we face in understanding where we are going with the development of Artificial Intelligence. He reviews many developments and some persistent limitations - such as we don't understand consciousness, and can't even model the tiny brain of some tiny worms. He clarifies some of the challenges facing humanity as the age of technology goes on.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-06-19

Humanity

Great facts that everyone must know about equipment, computers, social behavior and our possible future! Educate yourself and make a difference today. Enjoyed the narrative and philosophy. We are all in this together, Humanity

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  • John Alberts
  • 20-06-19

Positive Futurism

I hope Reese is right. Most looks forward are pretty negative. Reese is net positive.