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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark O'Connell Narrator: James Garnon Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2017 ISBN: 9781524751685
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An eye-opening journey into a world of visionaries, billionaires, and eccentrics harnessing technology for nothing less than the salvation of mankind

Transhumanism is a movement pushing the limits of our bodies—our capabilities, intelligence, and lifespans—in the hopes that, through technology, we can become something better than ourselves. It has found support among Silicon Valley billionaires and some of the world’s biggest businesses.

In To Be a Machine, journalist Mark O'Connell explores the staggering possibilities and moral quandaries that present themselves when you of think of your body as a device. He visits the world's foremost cryonics facility to witness how some have chosen to forestall death.  He discovers an underground collective of biohackers, implanting electronics under their skin to enhance their senses. He meets a team of scientists urgently investigating how to protect mankind from artificial superintelligence.

Where is our obsession with technology leading us? What does the rise of AI mean not just for our offices and homes, but for our humanity? Could the technologies we create to help us eventually bring us to harm?  Addressing these questions, O'Connell presents a profound, provocative, often laugh-out-loud-funny look at an influential movement. In investigating what it means to be a machine, he offers a surprising meditation on what it means to be human. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • O’Connell’s sensibility—his humanity, if you will—and his subject matter are a match made in heaven. It’s an absolutely wonderful book. The Millions
  • A voyage into the dark heart of transhumanism, where dwell many hopeful mind-uploaders, robo-warfighters, subdermal implanters, doomed immortalists, and sundry aging Singularitarians.  A funny, wise, and oddly moving book. Nicholson Baker, bestselling author of House of Holes and Human Smoke
  • O'Connell's forensic investigation of the unnervingly fluid border between the human and the machine is elegant and gripping: at once a hilarious anthropological survey of the people who believe technology will give us eternal life and a terrifying account of how technology is changing the cardinal features of human existence. Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City and The Trip to Echo Spring
  • O'Connell, a columnist for Slate, is a charming, funny tour guide. Writing on transhumanism often gets swept away by the inherent drama of its adherents' promises, but O'Connell's eye for small human details…keeps the narrative grounded in a way that rigorous scientific debunking wouldn't. Max Read, Vice
  • Provocative, funny and not a little gonzo, it’s a great one to recommend to devotees of Jon Ronson Bookseller (UK)
  • O'Connell, a columnist for Slate, is a charming, funny tour guide. Writing on transhumanism often gets swept away by the inherent drama of its adherents' promises, but O'Connell's eye for small human details…keeps the narrative grounded in a way that rigorous scientific debunking wouldn't. Vice
  • Comedic, unsettling, ambivalent, and intriguing…O’Connell’s book is a worthwhile read for all audiences. LitHub
  • *AS EXCERPTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE*
  • A voyage into the dark heart of transhumanism, where dwell many hopeful mind-uploaders, robo-warfighters, subdermal implanters, doomed immortalists, and sundry aging Singularitarians.  A funny, wise, and oddly moving book. Nicholson Baker, author of House of Holes and Human Smoke
  • Hilarious and moving…. To Be a Machine is super-detailed and cosmic and minute and high-stakes and funny and sad, all at the same time. Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed
  • O'Connell, like some dream combination of Jon Ronson and Don Delillo, switches effortlessly from profound to poignant to laugh-out-loud funny. A brilliant illumination of the techno-future, To Be A Machine is also, and more importantly, a joyful summation of what it is to be human. Paul Murray, author of Skippy Dies and The Mark and the Void
  • O'Connell's forensic investigation of the unnervingly fluid border between the human and the machine is elegant and gripping: at once a hilarious anthropological survey of the people who believe technology will give us eternal life and a terrifying account of how technology is changing the cardinal features of human existence. Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City and The Trip to Echo Spring
  • O'Connell unleashes his prodigious researching and writing skills on what could be your future. Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Provocative, funny and not a little gonzo, it’s a great one to recommend to devotees of Jon Ronson Bookseller
  • O’Connell’s book is skeptical but not cynical, and it functions as a witty overview of transhumanism. The Ringer
  • O’Connell is a writer of elegant precision and winning facetiousness… His ear and eye for detail are prodigious… O’Connell’s writing—full of high-low swerves and personal asides—is a constant reminder of the bathetic reality of being human. Brian Dillon, 4Columns
  • Provocative, funny and not a little gonzo, it’s a great one to recommend to devotees of Jon Ronson Bookseller
     
  • O’Connell’s sensibility — his humanity, if you will — and his subject matter are a match made in heaven. It’s an absolutely wonderful book. The Millions
  • O’Connell’s sensibility — his humanity, if you will — and his subject matter are a match made in heaven. It’s an absolutely wonderful book. The Millions
  • Readers will appreciate O’Connell’s sense of humor and his fast-paced writing, and will at times feel like they’re having a dialogue with the author as he ponders the ethics, consequences, and dilemmas of these transhumanist activities embedded in society today. Those who are interested in artificial intelligence, bioengineering, technology, and human development will find this book to be deeply engrossing and informative on the topic of transhumanism and what it means to be a human today and in the future. Booklist 
  • An enlightening tour of transhumanism… packed with eccentric characters…An unsettling but informative and sometimes-optimistic view of mostly legitimate efforts at life extension. Kirkus Reviews
  • Readers will appreciate O’Connell’s sense of humor and his fast-paced writing, and will at times feel like they’re having a dialogue with the author as he ponders the ethics, consequences, and dilemmas of these transhumanist activities embedded in society today. Those who are interested in artificial intelligence, bioengineering, technology, and human development will find this book to be deeply engrossing and informative on the topic of transhumanism and what it means to be a human today and in the future. Booklist 
  • O’Connell writes with an intellectual curiosity that makes his esoteric subject matter accessible to lay readers…a stimulating overview of modern scientific realities once thought to be the exclusive purview of science fiction. Publishers Weekly
  • O'Connell's forensic investigation of the unnervingly fluid border between the human and the machine is elegant and gripping: at once a hilarious anthropological survey of the people who believe technology will give us eternal life and a terrifying account of how technology is changing the cardinal features of human existence. Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City and The Trip to Echo Spring
  • O'Connell's forensic investigation of the unnervingly fluid border between the human and the machine is elegant and gripping: at once a hilarious anthropological survey of the people who believe technology will give us eternal life and a terrifying account of how technology is changing the cardinal features of human existence. Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City and The Trip to Echo Spring
  • A voyage into the dark heart of transhumanism, where dwell many hopeful mind-uploaders, robo-warfighters, subdermal implanters, doomed immortalists, and sundry aging Singularitarians.  A funny, wise, and oddly moving book. Nicholson Baker, author of House of Holes and Human Smoke
  • O'Connell, like some dream combination of Jon Ronson and Don Delillo, switches effortlessly from profound to poignant to laugh-out-loud funny. A brilliant illumination of the techno-future, To Be A Machine is also, and more importantly, a joyful summation of what it is to be human. Paul Murray, author of Skippy Dies and The Mark and the Void
  • Hilarious and moving…. To Be a Machine is super-detailed and cosmic and minute and high-stakes and funny and sad, all at the same time. Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed
  • Hilarious and moving…. To Be a Machine is super-detailed and cosmic and minute and high-stakes and funny and sad, all at the same time. Elif Batuman, New York Times bestselling author of The Possessed
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