Blood in the Machine

Blood in the Machine

Brian Merchant

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"The most important book to read about the AI boom" (Wired): The "gripping" (New Yorker) true story of the first time machines came for human jobs—and how the Luddite uprising explains the power, threat, and toll of big tech and AI today

Named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker, Wired, and the Financial Times • A Next Big Idea Book Club "Must-Read"

The most urgent story in modern tech begins not in Silicon Valley but two hundred years ago in rural England, when workers known as the Luddites rose up rather than starve at the hands of factory owners who were using automated machines to erase their livelihoods.

The Luddites organized guerrilla raids to smash those machines—on punishment of death—and won the support of Lord Byron, enraged the Prince Regent, and inspired the birth of science fiction. This all-but-forgotten class struggle brought nineteenth-century England to its knees.

Today, technology imperils millions of jobs, robots are crowding factory floors, and artificial intelligence will soon pervade every aspect of our economy. How will this change the way we live? And what can we do about it?

The answers lie in Blood in the Machine. Brian Merchant intertwines a lucid examination of our current age with the story of the Luddites, showing how automation changed our world—and is shaping our future.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9780316487740

Number of pages: 496

Format: Hardback

Imprint: Little, Brown and Company

English en