Yorick Wilks, Artificial Intelligence: Modern Magic or Dangerous Future?


By Sergei Nirenburg

Artificial Intelligence: Modern Magic or Dangerous Future? by Yorick Wilks (2019) Icon Books, London, 176pp., £9 (paperback) ISBN: 9781785785160

Artificial intelligence has left the worlds of academia and the research laboratory and spread to the worlds of business and public policy. The past several decades have seen many technological advances that have offered ever more capable and convenient prosthetic and orthotic devices that have simplified a lot of everyday tasks, saved a lot of human effort and in many cases done better than humans. This progress has, more often than not, been attributed to advances in AI. So, it is not surprising that AI has become a staple in the output of mass media. This avalanche of news is driven in very large part by public fascination with technology that seems to defy imagination, as well as by the frisson of doomsaying prophecies of machines taking over the world. In his recent book, Artificial Intelligence: Modern Magic or Dangerous Future?, Yorick Wilks presents concise and cogent arguments why AI is not modern magic and why it should not be feared.

page: 91 – 94
Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 37, Issue 1
SKU: 370110

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