To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Date: February 2017
Duration: 8 hours 46 minutes
An eye-opening journey into a world of tech visionaries, billionaires, and eccentrics dedicated to nothing less than the salvation of mankind
Transhumanism is a movement pushing the limits of our biology—of our senses, intelligence, and lifespans. It has been quietly exerting its influence on technology for decades, but in the last few years it has achieved critical mass, finding support among some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley and beyond.
In To Be a Machine, journalist Mark O'Connell explores the staggering (and terrifying) possibilities that present themselves when you of think of your body as an outmoded device. He visits the world's foremost cryonics facility to witness how some have chosen to forestall death. He discovers an underground collective of biohackers, enhancing their senses by implanting electronics under their skin. He meets with members of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, a team urgently investigating how to protect mankind from falling victim to artificial superintelligence.
Through this journey, O'Connell presents a singular, entertaining look at a growing movement, and an exploration of the ancient yearning to transcend our animal condition—a desire as primal as the oldest religions, as elemental as the ancient myths. In investigating what it means to be a machine, he offers a surprising meditation on what it means to be human.