BetweenBrains is AWS Book of the Month

The 2020 book BetweenBrains: Taking Back our AI Future, co-authored by NASA’s Dr. Omar Hatamleh and PHI President Tilesch was Book of the Month at Amazon Web Services in August 2020.

BetweenBrains: The book

Taking back our AI Future…now!

Following an intense and enlightening debate with AWS AI-focused employees, George Tilesch sat down with Book Club host Ozii Obiyo for a long interview:

There are already many books about artificial intelligence; what compelled/inspired you to write this book, and why is now the right time for everyone to read BetweenBrains?

First, when we started writing more than three years ago, the situation was wildly different re: the sheer quantity of AI Books present. As a transversal technology on the path of becoming near-ubiquitous, that also triggers fundamental philosophical/ethical questions; it is actually very welcoming to have many books on the topic, as it exposes myriad perspectives.

We got inspired to research and write at a point in time when there was an explosion in both AI capabilities and AI investment. Those days were characterized by boundless techno-optimism and the ecstasy of exponential returns. This period was the time of big bets on AI, and almost nobody talked about dangers or risks. Even those who did were talking about the dangers of a very distant future. What has changed since is that the media exposed the topic as something that is much more mainstream. Unfortunately, AI automatically became part of various mainstream black-or-white narratives circulating in our low-trust, high-tension world that is primarily digital now. As such, people became equally concerned and curious about AI but without the general, unbiased understanding that would enable taking stances based on the thorough proper analysis in the right mindset.  

When we started to write, we were pretty explicit about a few principles and the mission. We wanted to write a balanced book applying critical thinking and thorough analysis, but also with a strong and uncompromising moral anchor. We wanted to write a beautiful mixture that is full of accurate and relevant data on how our world has already changed because of AI but is also timeless in a sense because of fundamental philosophical questions it inevitably raises. We thought it essential to provide a peek into our field experience that we gathered while working with world leaders and top executives to make some aspects very practical and human at the same time. We wanted to cover the now and the near-term.  We believed much of the AI narrative was being captured by notions of Superintelligence, Singularity, or Robot Rights. These notions had way less relevance and impact on our lives than the AI technologies that were already out or ready to jump, near invisibly to most.

And most importantly, we wanted to ask the questions both profound and hard that would enable humanity to define the purpose and steer the course of a beneficial AI Future for our civilization. We wanted to expand the horizons of those AI practitioners and stakeholders who mostly see one slice of the enormous AI pie.  Also, talk to the broadest possible audience of informed digital citizens increasingly seeking answers to the myriad question marks that even AI’s current power and promise triggers.”

Read the full interview here.

Get the book on Amazon and most major book platforms in e-book, print or audio.

Readers have said:

“Asimov, Hawking, and Gates have all posited that AI is dangerous to mankind’s future and will likely end mankind’s reign on this earth. Hatamleh and Tilesch artfully explain why we can have a synergistic future with AI…”

“This is a great book for anyone wanting to get a broad idea of the current impact of AI on our economy and society and learn about some of the hypotheses on its near and distant future.”

“Dr. Hatamleh and Dr. Tilesch have put together an amazing and a timeless piece of work. It will stimulate your brain, tease your imagination, and it will take you back in time to your childhood and makes you question the past the present and the future…”

“I enjoyed this book tremendously. Written with clarity and sweeping in breadth it can act as a great introduction into the world of AI or serve to broaden the horizons and stimulate the thought process of experienced practitioners.”

“Truly amazing overview of this exciting topic at the era when humanity is birthing a new species. Holistic view, attention to details and satisfies curiosity while leaves space for imagination.”

“It is inspiring, easy-to-read, yet full of data and research results about where humanity is heading. Would recommend for everyone who want to be in the know about the future of humanity in the age of AI”

“AI has been woo-woo stuff for decades, perpetually around the corner. It’s been a Utopian/Dystopian riff on the Boy Who Cried Wolf, and we’ve gotten used to it. “Betweenbrains” is a remarkably researched, thoughtful broadside telling us to pay attention now.”