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    These Strange New Minds: How AI Learned to Talk and What It Means

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    ISBN: 9780241694657
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    AuthorSummerfield, Christopher
    Pub Date13/03/2025
    Publisher: HAMISH HAMILTON
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    'An engaging, insightful and panoramic survey of where we are, why we got here and what it means. A brilliant guide to the most important technology of our times' Mustafa Suleyman, CEO of Microsoft AI & Cofounder of DeepMind

    Stunning advances in digital technology have given us a new wave of disarmingly human-like AI systems. Chatbots like ChatGPT, Claude and Gemini put the knowledge of all the world's experts at our fingertips, and can generate meaningful sentences, equations and computer code. The march of this new technology is set to upturn our economies, challenge our democracies, and refashion society in unpredictable ways. We can expect these AI systems to soon be making autonomous decisions on the user's behalf, with transformative impact on everything we do. It is vital we understand how they work. Can AI systems 'think', 'know' and 'understand'? Could they manipulate or deceive you, and if so, what might they make you do? Whose interests do they ultimately represent? And when will they be able to move beyond words and take actions for themselves in the real world?

    To answer these questions, neuroscientist and AI researcher Christopher Summerfield explains how these strange new minds work. He charts the evolution of AI, from the earliest inklings about thinking machines in the seventeenth century to today's gargantuan deep neural networks. The resulting book is the most accessible, up-to-date and authoritative exploration of this radical new technology. Ultimately, armed with an understanding of AI's mysterious inner workings, we can begin to grapple with the existential question of our age: can we look forward to a technological utopia, or are we in the process of writing ourselves out of history?

    'As a leading authority in both computational neuroscience and the social impacts of AI, Christopher Summerfield is perfectly situated to explore the meaning and implications of these machines that are so uncannily like - and unlike - ourselves' Brian Christian, co-author of Algorithms to Live by

    'AI expert Chris Summerfield takes us on a tour of this astonishing new technology, and helps us to understand the issues it raises. You might choose to be alarmed, excited, or indifferent to LLMs, but you should read Chris's book before you decide' Mike Woolridge, author of The Road to Conscious Machines