To Be a Machine by Mark O'Connell
Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death

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Sharply-written and thought-provoking, “To Be a Machine” is a book that will undoubtedly set your mind to racing and your gears to turning.
-The Maine Edge

Synopsis

An eye-opening journey into a world of visionaries, billionaires, and eccentrics harnessing technology for nothing less than the salvation of mankind

Transhumanism is a movement pushing the limits of our bodies—our capabilities, intelligence, and lifespans—in the hopes that, through technology, we can become something better than ourselves. It has found support among Silicon Valley billionaires and some of the world’s biggest businesses.

In To Be a Machine, journalist Mark O'Connell explores the staggering possibilities and moral quandaries that present themselves when you of think of your body as a device. He visits the world's foremost cryonics facility to witness how some have chosen to forestall death.  He discovers an underground collective of biohackers, implanting electronics under their skin to enhance their senses. He meets a team of scientists urgently investigating how to protect mankind from artificial superintelligence.

Where is our obsession with technology leading us? What does the rise of AI mean not just for our offices and homes, but for our humanity? Could the technologies we create to help us eventually bring us to harm?  Addressing these questions, O'Connell presents a profound, provocative, often laugh-out-loud-funny look at an influential movement. In investigating what it means to be a machine, he offers a surprising meditation on what it means to be human.
 

About Mark O'Connell

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Published February 28, 2017 by Doubleday. 256 pages
Genres: Computers & Technology, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math.
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The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Mar 01 2017

Sharply-written and thought-provoking, “To Be a Machine” is a book that will undoubtedly set your mind to racing and your gears to turning.

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