Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World

Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World

This colorful page-turner puts artificial intelligence into a human perspective. Through the lives of Geoff Hinton and other major players, Metz explains this transformative technology and makes the quest thrilling.
--Walter Isaacson,
author of The Code Breaker

Recipient of starred reviews in both Kirkus and Library Journal


What does it mean to be smart? To be human? What do we really want from life and the intelligence we have, or might create?

With deep and exclusive reporting, across hundreds of interviews, New York Times Silicon Valley journalist Cade Metz brings you into the rooms where these questions are being answered. Where an extraordinarily powerful new artificial intelligence has been built into our biggest companies, our social discourse, and our daily lives, with few of us even noticing.

Long dismissed as a technology of the distant future, artificial intelligence was a project consigned to the fringes of the scientific community. Then two researchers changed everything. One was a sixty-four-year-old computer science professor who didn't drive and didn't fly because he could no longer sit down--but still made his way across North America for the moment that would define a new age of technology. The other was a thirty-six-year-old neuroscientist and chess prodigy who laid claim to being the greatest game player of all time before vowing to build a machine that could do anything the human brain could do.

They took two very different paths to that lofty goal, and they disagreed on how quickly it would arrive. But both were soon drawn into the heart of the tech industry. Their ideas drove a new kind of arms race, spanning Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and OpenAI, a new lab founded by Silicon Valley kingpin Elon Musk. But some believed that China would beat them all to the finish line.

Genius Makers dramatically presents the fierce conflict between national interests, shareholder value, the pursuit of scientific knowledge, and the very human concerns about privacy, security, bias, and prejudice. Like a great Victorian novel, this world of eccentric, brilliant, often unimaginably yet suddenly wealthy characters draws you into the most profound moral questions we can ask. And like a great mystery, it presents the story and facts that lead to a core, vital question:

How far will we let it go?

Title:Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World
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    Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World Reviews

  • Will Byrnes

    [In 2016] Ed Boyton, a Princeton University professor who specialized in nascent technologies for sending information between machines and the human brain…told [a] private audience that scientist...

  • Moritz Mueller-Freitag

    How does it feel to see your life’s work go up in smoke? In the early 2000s, the computational linguist Chris Brockett had a sudden panic attack when he realized that a new crop of machine learning ...

  • Mal Warwick

    A closely-linked network of several score brilliant men and a few women are pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence research. You’ll meet many of these high-achieving and sometimes eccentr...

  • Patrick Pilz

    I think Cade Metz writes an important book here. As a top journalist, he covers in this latest book the the story of the people who made Artificial Intelligence what it is today. This is rather somber...

  • Abhilash

    It's hard to write a review of a non-fiction book. It's always a mismatch of expectations and reality. It's a good history book about AI from both academic and corporation pov. It covers almost everyt...

  • Mike

    AI is such a juggernaut today that it's hard to remember how little respect and attention it got in the 1980s and 1990s among computer scientists generally. I began my career in earnest then, and no o...

  • Tathagat Varma

    The fast-evolving world of #artificialintelligencetechnology, especially led by #machinelearning, #deeplearning and a whole slew of newer innovations that have come about in last few years have had a ...

  • Jacob Mainwaring

    I found this to be really interesting! It did not go into much technical detail on how deep learning works but was more focused on its history and its role within the artificial intelligence community...

  • Ridhi Garg

    Many books proclaim that true artificial intelligence is on the horizon, and this expert overview makes a convincing case that genuine AI is…on the horizon.New York Times technology correspondent Me...

  • Ty

    While this is the author's first book, he has been a writer for Wired magazine and the New York Times for many years, so I was familiar with his work and was looking forward to the book. While the boo...