“Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots” is a compelling exploration of the burgeoning relationship between humanity and automation. Penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist, John Markoff, the book delves into the dichotomy of artificial intelligence, discussing its potential to either replace or augment human labour.

Markoff navigates the reader through the history of robotics, from their inception to the current state, and projects their trajectory into the future. He meticulously unpacks the ethical, societal, and economic impacts of a world increasingly reliant on automation. The book underscores the need to strike a balance between machines that replace humans and those that aid them, a concept Markoff terms ‘IA’ (intelligence augmentation) versus ‘AI’ (artificial intelligence).

Intriguingly, the book suggests that the choice between IA and AI could shape the future of humanity. It highlights the potential for job displacement and economic inequality if AI prevails, but also the promise of human-machine symbiosis if IA is prioritised. The narrative captivates with stories of tech visionaries, roboticists, and AI pioneers, painting a vivid picture of a future where humans and machines coexist.

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