THURSDAY, 13 JUNE 2019Visiting laboratories and conferences, bunkers and basements, O’Connell meets foremost scientists, programmers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs, who are ahead of their time and have dedicated their lives to transforming humanity with technological enhancement. Akin to a traveller’s diary, this book describes unbelievable technologies of tomorrow, such as mind uploading, cryonics, artificial superintelligence and device implantation. It also unearths ethical conundrums that might come to light if any of these technologies overtake the society. The author’s intimate reflections, such as him imagining his mind outside of his body, make the book even more engaging. While investigating what it might be like to be a machine, this book may have uncovered more about what it is like to be a human.
To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell was published by Granta Publications in 2017. Reviewed by Nelli Morgulchik