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Ten must-read books on robotics and technology


Books are the perfect way to explore all sorts of topics. Whether you are a fan of fiction or non-fiction, the book world offers plenty of exciting options when it comes to robotics and technology.

So, if you are looking for something to read over the summer holidays, here are ten must-read books on these current topics.

The list below is a good mixture of fiction and non-fiction to give a unique look in robotics and technology. 

1. Humans Need Not Apply by Jerry Kaplan

The book came out in 2015 and it has remained a popular book on robotics and AI. It explores not just the latest advances in these fields, but it also considers the impact all of this will have on human society. Kaplan understood the troubles of having robotics take over our lives and the book is a timely read for business leaders and politician – how do we ensure we don’t end up with mass unemployment.

2. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces that Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

The founding editor of Wired magazine published a book last year that takes a refreshingly positive view on technology and development. The book studies some of the biggest future ideas and innovations and how they might help us all live better.

3. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

In terms of fiction books that take a good look at robotics is the popular Philip K. Dick classic from 1968. It’s possible that you might not recognise the book, but you certainly know about the film adaptation, Blade Runner. The book tells the story of a bounty hunter going after robots. But there is another key character, John Isidore, who wants to help the fugitive robots to safety.

4. Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

The book is the perfect reality check for any Silicon Valley CEO. It provides a realistic look at how technology companies make it big and what happens to those that don’t. The book is still not depressing, but offers a refreshing take on how the industry is like everything in the world – it has a good and a bad side.

5. Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine by J. Storrs Hall

If you’re interested in AI and the opportunities and dangers it can pose to humans, J. Storrs Hall’s book is a must-read. The book explores the biggest roadblocks in terms of creating a conscience machine, as well as predicting what the future might have in store for people. There’s a lot of technological stuff, but also plenty of focus on philosophy and psychology.

6. Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod

Another superb fiction book dealing with robots is the Night Sessions. The book explores the topic from a very different angle, challenging our popular ideas around what robots are and their place in society. The book tells a story of a police officer and his robot partner as they solve a series of religious murders in Scotland.

7. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom’s book is a great way to understand how humanity and intelligent life might look like in the future. The exploration emphasises how machines are starting to gain intelligence and what could potentially happen if they surpass humans in this kind of general intelligence. Will the development help humanity or will machines and robots eventually end up wiping humanity as we know it?

8. Smart Citizens, Smarter State: the Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing by Beth Noveck

Beth Noveck is the former head of the White House Open Gov Initiative, which looked to create an open and collaborative government. In the book, she explores what role technology plays in open government and how it can be used to encourage the way citizens participate in democracy.

9. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

You might have watched the movie, but you should consider picking up the book this summer. It was written at the same time as the movie was being made, but there’s much more depth and a lot of interesting twists to keep you interested. The famous AI program to many is one of science fictions biggest creation and many people viewed it as a robot and not just a computer program.

10. Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark

When it comes to technology, one of the biggest success stories of recent times has been the Chinese giant Alibaba. Duncan Clark’s book is a great story about how Ma was able to challenge the big digital leaders in China and then take the battle to US tech giants and make history. An informative, yet a surprising lovely book to read.

If you can’t pick your favourite robotics book from the above list, you might as well shop for them all.

Click yourself on and you can find book offers with retailers like Waterstones and Amazon.

Some of the above books are even available in audio format.

You can check them too, keeping your passion high in gaining more and more knowledge in this fast growing world of technology and innovations!