Book review: Beyond AI by J. Storrs Hall


I really liked this book. It’s clear that the author is quite literate even in philosophy and psychology. While giving a deep view into the full AI timeline he keeps reflecting back to human biology, behavior, ethics or even history. I really liked that he did not say any formal stuff about how to prove that this and that will work. Instead he gave a brief description of how should thing be implemented or described. This book is not about how to build intelligent robots nor an AI history book but a synthesis of both.

This book is not for naive readers nor for hardcore AI-ers. It’s for people like me: enthusiastic young computer scientists. I would even recommend it to anyone with mathematical and engineering studies with a strong interest to AI. This book should raise their attention towards this field.

I think I got myself a meme for a looong time from this book: formalist float. Even though I’m not an engineer I like to think practically when doing robotics&AI. There is a line you should not pass when going abstract but this is sometimes not so easy to recognize so it happens often too late. Better to keep the notion of formalist float in mind.

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