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David Runciman


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Does it matter if we are ceding power to AI? Especially if we have been there before.

'The Singularity' is what Silicon Valley calls the idea that, eventually, we will be overrun by machines that are able to take decisions and act for themselves. What no one says is that it happened before.

A few hundred years ago, humans started building the robots that now rule our world. They are called states and corporations: immensely powerful artificial entities, with capacities that go far beyond what any individual can do, and which, unlike us, need never die.

They have made us richer, safer and healthier than would have seemed possible even a few generations ago - and they may yet destroy us. The Handover distils over three hundred years of thinking about how to live with artificial agency.


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