I am a pediatric cardiologist and have cared for children with heart disease for the past three decades. In addition, I have an educational background in business and finance as well as healthcare administration and global health – I gained a Masters Degree in Public Health from UCLA and taught Global Health there after I completed the program.
“The future depends on what we do in the present.”
Mahatma Gandhi, political ethicist
This book, The Age of AI and Our Human Future, gathers three of the most outstanding thinkers of our time: the elder statesman Henry Kissinger, the Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur Eric Schmidt, and perhaps the least known of the three and the inaugural dean of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, Daniel Huttenlocher. With this all-star authorial group, one would have relatively elevated expectations for an exciting and educational read.
The focus of this book is on how AI will alter our relationships with politics, knowledge, education, healthcare, and the society and the world as a whole but it tends to meander and go off on a tangent. For most AI enthusiasts, there is probably not enough AI nuance to keep one entertained as the discussions are relatively vague – and worse, quite repetitive. One may have expected new insights or ideas from these three insiders, but the book is more of an overview of AI that is acceptable in quality but not in depth (terms like GANs and GPT-3 are briefly delineated but not in great detail).
While the authors continue to expound on the issues and problems of AI in the current world (regulatory, adoption, etc), there are hardly any bold predictions or novel insights to speak of. This significant weakness of the book is especially ironic given that the title includes the word “future”. The reality of making predictions is that people tend to only remember the right ones, and barely recollect the less than accurate predictions (so the authors could and should have been much more adventurous in their future projections). The authors do propose an AI commission with members like the authors themselves but this seems a bit self-serving at best.
While this may not have quite the substance nor insights of an AI book that one would expect from this powerful triumvirate, it is perhaps still worth perusing in one night, given the eleven dollars ($10.94 to be exact) that this new hardcover book costs on Amazon.