Machines Behaving Badly: The Morality of AI (Hardcover)

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Toby Walsh explores how AI is here to stay and although it may not be the stuff of science fiction, but it will undoubtedly change the future of the human race, for better or worse.

AI is rapidly becoming a pervasive and critical technology that invisibly permeates every aspect of our lives. It’s a little like electricity – an essential, largely unseen component of our homes, farms, factories, shops and now even our cars. AI touches every stage of life, from the start (predicting which fertilized eggs to implant) to the very end (powering chatbots that spookily bring back the dead).

At present, there are approximately 3 million robots working in factories around the world, and another 30 million or so in people’s homes. Soon robots will outnumber humans.

For the first time, we are giving technology autonomy. But what happens if an autonomous AI harms or kills a person, deliberately or accidentally? It will happen, in fact, it already has. AI is changing how we operate and shaping society in ways that we unaware of. It is influencing how we shop, how we live in our homes, how we vote, how we date, how and when we have sex, and what we think about those around us.

Its presence in our lives means we need to get to grips with how it works and how it thinks, after all do we know: Is Alexa racist? Can (and will) AI help tackle the climate emergency? What limits should we place on face recognition software? Can robots have rights? And what regulations can we put in place to ensure AI makes the world a better place?

In this compelling and, at times, unnerving book, Toby Walsh explores how AI is here to stay and although it may not be the stuff of science fiction, but it will undoubtedly change the future of the human race, for better or worse.

About the Author


TOBY WALSH is one of the world’s leading researchers in Artificial Intelligence. He is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales and leads a research group at Data61, Australia’s Centre of Excellence for ICT Research. He has been elected a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of AI for his contributions to AI research, and has won the prestigious Humboldt research award. He regularly appears on the BBC and writes for The Guardian, New Scientist, and The New York Times. He is the author of Machines that Think: The Future of Artificial Intelligence.

Praise For…


On Machines That Think:

“You’ve heard the hype; now read about the reality from one of the leading researchers in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). In his elegant prose,Toby Walsh describes the past, present, and future of AI—culminating in ten tantalizing predictions for the impact of AI on medicine, transportation, entertainment, and more by 2050.”  —Oren Etzioni, CEO, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

“A whirlwind tour through the history and the future of AI—and why it matters to all of us. A must-read.” —Sebastian Thrun, founder of Google X, cofounder of Udacity, former professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford University, and Google Fellow

“A comprehensive overview that avoids the hype and explains what AI can actually do, written by an expert practitioner of the field.” —Peter Norvig, director of research at Google, and coauthor of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

“Walsh is one of those rare individuals who combine a deep knowledge of AI technology, a serious interest in its economic and social implications, and a verve for lively and engaging writing. If you want real insights about the coming future of machines that think better and faster than humans in more and more domains, then you need to read this book.” —Erik Brynjolfsson, professor at MIT and coauthor of The Second Machine Age and Machine, Platform, Crowd

“Walsh is a first-rate researcher in AI who transmits both an understanding of the history and current state of the field, and an educated speculation on its future trajectory and impacts.”Subbarao Kambhampati, professor, Arizona State University, and president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence

“Walsh’s story of how artificial intelligence evolved from the dreams of Alan Turing to a powerful technological force today is exciting, insightful, and incisive. Will his predictions about how AI will change life as we know it in the coming decades prove equally dead-on? I, for one, would not bet against him!” —Henry Kautz, past president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and founding director of the Institute for Data Science, and professor at the University of Rochester


“This concise but clear and readable overview of the history, current status, and probable near future of AI is a welcome relief from a great deal of breathless hype we have been hearing recently. Toby Walsh’s expertise is welcome, but his levelheaded treatment is even more so.” —J. Storrs Hall, PhD, AI researcher and author of Beyond AI


Product Details
ISBN: 9780750999366
ISBN-10: 0750999365
Publisher: Flint
Publication Date: October 1st, 2022
Pages: 288
Language: English

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