Artificial Intelligence: What Everyone Needs to Know by Jerry Kaplan — Book Review


Artificial intelligence would profoundly affect the way we live, operate, wage war, play, look for a wife, educate our young people, and care for our elderly over the coming decades. Our aggregate wealth is expected to increase dramatically, but it will also improve our labor markets, reshape our social order, and strain our private and public institutions. Eventually, when computers seek autonomous objectives, it will affect how we see our position in the universe. In realms historically thought to be the sole possession of humans, of their founders and outperform us. It is beside the point whether we consider them as aware or unwitting, respect them as a new way of life, or ignore them as mere smart appliances. They are likely to play an increasingly important and intimate role in many facets of our lives.

The advent of systems capable of independent thought and action poses fundamental concerns about just whose interests they are allowed to represent and what restrictions should be imposed on our society's development and use. On the steps of our courthouses, profound ethical questions that have beset philosophers for years will unexpectedly arrive. Can a machine be held responsible for its behavior? If intelligent systems enjoy autonomous rights and obligations, or are they straight possessions? When a self-driving vehicle kills a pedestrian, who should be held accountable? Is it possible for your robot to keep your position in a line or be forced to testify against you? If it turns out that your mind can be uploaded into a computer, is it still you? The responses can surprise you.


Kaplan is viewed mainly as an Artificial Intelligence professional, a serial entrepreneur, an innovator in technology, an educator, a best-selling author, and a theoretician.

Over his 35-year career, Jerry Kaplan, a renowned Silicon Valley veteran, founded multiple storied technology firms, two of which became public corporations. As the founding CEO of GO Corporation in 1987, Kaplan may be best remembered for his central role in defining the tablet computer industry. Before the GO, Kaplan co-founded one of the very first Artificial Intelligence corporations to market Expert Systems, Teknowledge, Inc., which went public in 1986. Kaplan co-founded Onsale, Inc. in 1994, the first Internet auction website in the world, which became public in 1997. He pioneered the new social games industry in 2004 by founding Winster.com, where he worked for eight years as CEO.

Jerry Kaplan is presently a Professor and Research Associate at CDDRL, a Visiting Lecturer in Computer Science, and a Fellow at Stanford University Law School's Center for Legal Informatics. The social and economic influence of Artificial Intelligence is the subject of his research and teaching. He is the inventor of more than a dozen patents and has written more than twenty articles in academic journals and conference proceedings. Kaplan holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Computer and Information Technology and a BA in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Chicago.

Kaplan is the author of three books, including the popular classic Startup: A Silicon Valley Journey. (Houghton-Mifflin). The startup was picked as one of the top ten business books of 1995 by Business Week, and Sony Pictures was chosen. The Economist honored "Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Artificial Intelligence Age" (Yale University Press) as one of the top ten science and technology books of 2015. His new book, "Artificial Intelligence: What Everyone Needs to Know" (Oxford University Press), was Artificial Intelligence's #1 best-selling Amazon release in 2016.

Kaplan has also been identified in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Financial Week, Logical Fallacy, and Upside. He is a regular source of opinion to influential newspapers and magazines. He was awarded the 1998 Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Prize, Northern California; worked under Pete Wilson, Governor of California, on the Governor's Electronic Commerce Advisory Council Member (1999); Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of California International Business, San Diego, California (2004).

As an artificial intelligence expert, serial entrepreneur, scientific innovator, and best-selling author, Jerry Kaplan is widely recognized. He is currently a Lecturer and Research Associate at Stanford University, where Artificial Intelligence teaches social and economic effects. Over his 35-year career, Kaplan founded many technology firms, two of which became public companies. He is the author of The Classic Best-Selling "Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure" (Houghton-Mifflin, 1995); "People Do Not Apply: A Artificial Intelligence Age Guide to Wealth and Jobs" Artificial Intelligence: What Everybody Needs to Hear (Yale University Press, 2015); and (Oxford Press, 2016). In The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Business Week, Kaplan has been profiled. He holds a Master's from the University of Chicago in History and Philosophy of Science and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

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