The Atomic Human

What Makes Us Unique in the Age of AI

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By Neil D. Lawrence

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$41.00 CAD

A renowned computer scientist seeks the unique human quality that will prevail against artificial intelligence.

The greatest fear of AI is not that it rules out digital lives but that it displaces human intelligence entirely. If artificial intelligence takes over decision-making what, then, is unique and irreplaceable about human intelligence? The Atomic Human is a journey of discovery to the core of what it is to be human, in search of the qualities that cannot be replaced by the machine.

Neil Lawrence brings a timely, fresh perspective to this new, emerging era, recounting his personal journey to understand the riddle of intelligence. By understanding the essential element of what makes us human—the “atomic human”—Lawrence shows how AI can enable us to choose the future we want.

Lawrence persuasively shows that we can only control AI and decide what is right for society by understanding our intelligence and contrasting it against the new intelligence we are creating—an intelligence he describes as “helpless” without humans, even if unchecked it has the power to do great damage. By contrasting our own intelligence with the capabilities of machine intelligence through history, The Atomic Human reveals the technical origins, capabilities, and limitations of AI systems, and how they should be wielded. Not just by the experts, but ordinary people.

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On Sale
Sep 3, 2024
Page Count
448 pages

Neil D. Lawrence

About the Author

Neil Lawrence is the DeepMind Professor of Machine Learning at the University of Cambridge where he leads the university-wide initiative on AI, and a Senior AI Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. Previously he was Director of Machine Learning at Amazon, deploying solutions for Alexa, Prime Air and the Amazon supply chain. Co-host of the Talking Machines podcast, he's written a series for The Guardian and appeared regularly on other media.


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