The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century's Greatest Dilemma
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An urgent warning of the unprecedented risks that AI and other fast-developing technologies pose to global order, and how we might contain them while we have the chance—from a co-founder of the pioneering artificial intelligence company DeepMind
“A fascinating, well-written, and important book.”—Yuval Noah Harari
“Essential reading.”—Daniel Kahneman
“An excellent guide for navigating unprecedented times.”—Bill Gates
Longlisted for the Financial Times and Schroders Business Book of the Year Award • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Most Anticipated Books of the Fall
We are approaching a critical threshold in the history of our species. Everything is about to change.
Soon you will live surrounded by AIs. They will organise your life, operate your business, and run core government services. You will live in a world of DNA printers and quantum computers, engineered pathogens and autonomous weapons, robot assistants and abundant energy.
None of us are prepared.
As co-founder of the pioneering AI company DeepMind, part of Google, Mustafa Suleyman has been at the centre of this revolution. The coming decade, he argues, will be defined by this wave of powerful, fast-proliferating new technologies.
In The Coming Wave, Suleyman shows how these forces will create immense prosperity but also threaten the nation-state, the foundation of global order. As our fragile governments sleepwalk into disaster, we face an existential dilemma: unprecedented harms on one side, the threat of overbearing surveillance on the other.
Can we forge a narrow path between catastrophe and dystopia?
This groundbreaking book from the ultimate AI insider establishes “the containment problem”—the task of maintaining control over powerful technologies—as the essential challenge of our age.
Praise for The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century's Greatest Dilemma
“A heartfelt and candid exploration of what the future may hold for us . . . Eloquently articulated. Reading [The Coming Wave], what came to mind was Gramsci’s famous adage that what we need is ‘pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.’ To his great credit, [Mustafa] Suleyman has both.”—The Guardian
“Dazzling . . . You have by now read a great deal of both hype and doom-mongering on the subject [of AI]. But Suleyman’s is the book you cannot afford not to read. . . . Brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Bloomberg
“Brilliant . . . confronts what may be the most crucial question of our century: How can we ensure that the breathtaking, fast-paced technological revolutions ahead create the world we want?”—Eric Lander, founding director, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
“An erudite, clear-eyed guide both to the history of radical technological change and to the deep political challenges that lie ahead.”—Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian
“Extraordinary . . . utterly unmissable.”—Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google
“Calm, pragmatic, and deeply ethical . . . enthralling reading.”—Angela Kane, former UN under-secretary-general
“Sharp, compassionate, and uncompromising.”—Qi Lu, former COO, Baidu; former EVP, Microsoft Bing
“Truly remarkable, ambitious, and impossible to ignore . . . a persuasively argued tour de force.”—Nouriel Roubini, professor emeritus, New York University
“A practical and optimistic road map.”—Stuart Russell, professor of computer science, University of California, Berkeley
“A panoramic survey and a clarion call to action . . . Everyone should read it.”—Fei-Fei Li, co-director, Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered AI
“A brave wake-up call . . . indispensable reading.”—Tristan Harris, co-founder, Center for Humane Technology
“An extraordinary and necessary book . . . One leaves energized and thrilled to be alive right now.”—Alain de Botton, philosopher and bestselling author
“Deeply researched and highly relevant.”—Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States
“Read this essential book to understand the pace and scale of these technologies.”—Ian Bremmer, founder, Eurasia Group and bestselling author of The Power of Crisis
“A much-needed dose of specificity, realism, and clarity.”—Martha Minow, professor, Harvard Law School
“Incredibly compelling.”—Bruce Schneier, security technologist and bestselling author of A Hacker’s Mind
“Thought-provoking, urgent and written in powerful, highly accessible prose.”—Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab
“Deeply rewarding and consistently astonishing.”—Stephen Fry, actor, broadcaster and bestselling author
“Realistic, deeply informed, and highly accessible.”—Jack Goldsmith, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University
“A strikingly lucid and refreshingly balanced account of our current technological predicament.”—Kevin Esvelt, biologist and associate professor, MIT Media Lab
“The Coming Wave is a masterpiece and a must-read for every leader grappling with today’s reality.”—Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister, Israel
“This book is a masterclass for policymakers on the great technological challenges already upon us and what they mean for geopolitics.”—Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister, Australia