The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century's Greatest Dilemma

Av Michael Bhaskar, Mustafa Suleyman

| 2023
The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century's Greatest Dilemma
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The Coming Wave
Technology, Power and the Twenty-First Century's Greatest Dilemma

A cofounder of the pioneering AI company DeepMind sounds the alarm on the unprecedented risks to global order posed by a wave of fast-developing technologies like artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, warning that the window to contain them is rapidly closing

Imagine a world in which anyone with a $20,000 desktop DNA synthesizer can develop novel viruses that could wreak havoc on global public health. Such a nightmare is not so far off: the coming decades will be defined by a burst of innovation that brings with it unprecedented dilemmas. Technologies such as synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing will create wealth and surplus unlike anything ever seen-but the disruption, too, will be on an unimaginable scale, threatening the very idea of the nation state.

As cofounder of DeepMind, the company behind a series of pioneering AI technologies and now owned by Google, Mustafa Suleyman has witnessed first-hand just how quickly our technological advances are accelerating-and just how flawed our approaches to grappling with them are. As we avert our eyes from the dramatic ways technologies are changing our reality, humanity is in an existential bind, with dystopian techno-authoritarianism on one side and even more catastrophic outcomes, like societal collapse, on the other.

In this groundbreaking book, a clarion call to action from the ultimate AI insider, Suleyman interrogates these defining questions, establishing 'the containment problem'-or the challenge of maintaining human control over dangerous technologies-as the essential dilemma of our age and proposes radical ways forward, including the need for what he calls 'deep adaptation' if humans are to live with great changes ahead.

Grounded in a rigorous, lively historical analysis as well as Suleyman's frontline insights, Containment Is Not Possible, written with Suleyman's long-time collaborator Michael Bhaskar, explores how humankind may still make it through the narrow corridor between dystopia and catastrophe.
Mustafa Suleyman (Author)
Mustafa Suleyman is the co-founder and CEO of Inflection AI and a venture partner at Greylock, a venture capital firm. Before that, he co-founded DeepMind, the world's leading artificial intelligence company, and was vice president of AI product management and AI policy at Google.

He tweets @MustafaSuleymn and can be found online at


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