The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and The Future of Enterprise is Nada Sanders and John Wood’s book exploring the issue of AI and its growing influence over the business world and culture. The writers take a balanced view of AI’s reach and potential rather than succumbing to the despair found in similar texts and their respective backgrounds studying business and law provide a strong basis for their thoughts and theories on the matter. They begin the book by providing important historical context for the massive changes we face, a sort of primer on where we are right now and how we got here. Many of those already familiar with the subject will not require this overview, but Sanders and Wood are writing for all potential readers, even the neophyte, rather than tailoring their work to serve those already ahead of the curve on this subject. It is a wise decision.
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It provides a strong foundation for everything that follows. Wood and Sanders delve into a host of issues connected to the subject of AI – legal questions, the possibility of mutations, human limitations, and so forth. The book has a broad scope evident by the nine parts the authors take to explore the topic and a plethora of short individual sections diving into each of the topics at a micro level. Laymen may find the subject of AI and its introduction into our society a daunting prospect to digest, even overwhelming, but Sanders and Wood deserves fulsome plaudits for their ability to make a weighty issue digestible for readers while never sacrificing the integrity of their research by glossing over the issues.
There are no competing authorial voices marring the text. Sanders and Wood present an accomplished book in the sense that they speak with one coherent voice from beginning to end despite their co-authorship; this is critical for the book’s success. They never rely on jargon or obscure terminology capable of losing readers and, rather than taking on the subject with academic iciness, they are able to convey to readers the enormous importance of these questions and concerns without ever boring them to tears. It may not seem like an important thing for non-fiction of this type, but it is.
They engage the reader at various points with philosophical concerns without ever falling into the trap of long-winded debate. You may find yourself agreeing with their conclusions in this area, but it isn’t essential – you can still take away much from this book without ever falling in line with its beliefs and concepts. Sanders and Wood never presume they are offering the final word on this subject. Instead, The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and The Future of Enterprise aims to be one more contribution to an expanding gallery of works concentrating on one of the greatest paradigm shifts our species will likely experience. Nada Sanders and John Wood are authors of a book with immediate relevance that will continue to engage modern readers for many years to come and its publication enriches our societal dialogue on the matter.