Book Review: The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity

The Fourth Age Book By Byron Reese - A quick review

The book, The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity, written by the Entrepreneur, Futurist, Technologist, Speaker, and Author – Byron Reese, is about the author’s take on technological evolution of humankind, the present and future advancements in technology, and its impact on human lives.

I can hardly contain my excitement for receiving an early copy of the book, straight from the author and CEO of GigaOM – Byron Reese, as I love great reads on technologies and future advancements. I genuinely enjoyed this brain-engaging read.

Technology Quote by Byron Reese.
Quote by Byron Reese.

The book, basically, elucidates about technology, beginning from the first age, from inventing fire for cooking to languages for communication. Humans are the reason for the existence of technology, as it is the brainchild of mankind. The use of technology is for us to perform tasks we couldn’t before, or to perform the same tasks even better. It illustrates facts about how man struggled for, and benefitted from, agriculture, during second age, which was a technological advancement at the time. Also, bringing opium, gambling with dice, makeup, and jewelry into existence, all as a result of technological innovations. Along with all the amazing inventions of mankind, it also outlines the drawbacks of our own inventions, like how we used to have better memories before the machines came into existence, and today we go to Google for answers and struggle to even remember our passwords.

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It superbly portrays the revolutionary changes brought by the recent centuries, which altered the human species and changed the way we lived, entirely. An in-depth understanding of “self”, for every individual, is important to understand the role of machines in our lives, today and in the coming tomorrows. As we now live in the fourth age, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic technology are the massive phenomena we are dealing with. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the sheer line differentiating Artificial Intelligence (AI) from Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and future possibilities of AGI. Also, the uses of a robot and the jobs that are most likely to be taken over by robots, as well as the ones, which are highly unlikely to be replaced by a machine.

Reading The Fourth Age Book By Byron-Reese
Reading The Fourth Age Book By Byron-Reese

We sure have come a long way… and today advancements in technology, as the book claims, can be positively implemented in solving challenges, like hunger, poverty and diseases, and attaining free clean energy and war free world.

Also, two things are certain:

  1. Each era brought with it, a sense of threat among mankind, along with technological progress and innovations.
  2. Humans decidedly opted to live the way they did/do and used technological inventions to benefit themselves.

The book provides the most intriguing knowledge about our future with machines, artificial intelligence, robots, offering a philosophical understanding on various topics, such as the difference between conscious humans with feelings and programmed computers, and the questions that come to mind when we discuss about machines replacing humans, especially in workplaces.

For example,

Would robots take all our jobs?

Can we ever attain fully conscious machines?

Can human brains be implemented by computers?

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Most importantly, what can possibly go wrong with the use of advanced technologies?

And

What’d be beyond that?

Well, you’ll have to read the book to draw those conclusions.

Book on Artificial Intelligence and future of Humanity by Byron Reese
The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese

I, personally, recommend this book to everyone, as it is a tale of technology and it’s journey throughout its existence from the early age until the anticipated future.

The book sums up everything one would want to know about technology and it’s relationship with mankind. It is a must read for not only people who are tech-savvy and research-oriented, but also for anyone living in the present era surrounded by human inventions, as it educates on how to befriend technology, how to benefit from it, when to limit its use. It also provides in depth philosophical dimensions pertaining to the threats posed by future technology, which concerns a majority of global population today.

Back Cover of The Fourth Age book by Byron Reese
Back Cover of The Fourth Age book by Byron Reese

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity”

  1. Excellent book on Artificial Intelligence (AI) it was briefly explained on most of the upcoming features which are useful for our lifestyle.

  2. Fabiha

    Thank you so much for the thoughtful and generous review! This is a wonderful summary of the book, and it is interesting to see your takeaways. Thank you again.

    Byron

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