Artificial Intelligence, of a superhuman level, is coming. But how soon will it emerge, and how will it impact our world? Will it offer us salvation or bring apocalypse? In this utterly captivating book, Tom Chivers meets both the computer engineers working to build an AI and the Rationalists striving to prevent the worst. Beautifully written, and with wonderful humour, this is a thrilling adventure story of our own future
Tom Chivers' meticulously researched book is intriguing, persuasive and eye-opening. His writing is warm and witty as he takes us on a surprisingly moving journey to decide - rationally - whether we really are playing Russian roulette with our future
Tom Chivers' book is like a self-help guide to stop panicking about technology for people who watched Terminator too many times when they were young. The content is completely gripping. But I think the thing I like best is the tone. He has this OK-lets-all-chill-out-and-look-at-this-rationally approach which makes me feel, for whole minutes at a time, that maybe things are going to be OK and we won't all die in hellfire
This book is about so much more than AI. It's about what happens when an attempt at perfectly rational behaviour meets the messy complications of humanity and its achievements. In an increasingly digitised world, the outcome has something to say about us all. The brilliance of this book is the challenge it presents, because we can't examine the Rationalists without also examining ourselves. Tom Chivers is a fascinating and honest guide along that bumpy road
...[an] intellectual history of our times.
In this informative account of his encounters with the Rationalists . . . Tom Chivers follows a formula pioneered by those chronicling Silicon Valley for Wired magazine in the 1990s. He writes movingly about his insecurities over what the future will bring, telling the head of CFAR, "I'm scared for my children" . . . It is a resonant moment'
A fascinating and delightfully written book about some very smart people who may not, or may, be about to transform humanity forever
An intellectual history of our times