Android Dreams

The Past, Present and Future of Artificial Intelligence

September 2017 9781849048712 272pp


The development of thinking machines is an adventure as bold and ambitious as any that humans have attempted. And the truth is that Artificial Intelligence is already an indispensable part of our daily lives. Without it, Google wouldn’t have answers and your smartphone would just be a phone.

But how will AI change society by 2050? Will it destroy jobs? Or even pose an existential threat?

Android Dreams is a lively exploration of how AI will transform our societies, economies and selves. From robot criminals to cyber healthcare, and a sky full of empty planes, Toby Walsh’s predictions about AI are guaranteed to surprise you.


‘[Walsh] makes a persuasive case that AI will eventually have as big an impact as the Industrial Revolution. … [his] sparky book provides a useful history of AI, a good analysis of our current state of knowledge, and a provocative guide to the future.’ — Financial Times

‘A sober, thoughtful and fascinating book that walks non-experts through the technology, examines its strengths and shortcomings and draws sensible conclusions about its likely impact.’ — New Statesman Books of the Year 2017

‘A whirlwind tour through the history and the future of AI — and why it matters to all of us. A must-read.’ — Sebastian Thrun, Chairman and co-founder of Udacity, and former Google VP

‘Toby Walsh’s story of how artificial intelligence evolved from the dreams of Alan Turing to a powerful technological force today is exciting, insightful and incisive. Will his predictions about how AI will change life as we know it in the coming decades prove equally dead-on? I, for one, would not bet against him!’ — Henry Kautz, past President of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and Founding Director of Institute for Data Science and Professor at University of Rochester

‘A comprehensive overview that avoids the hype and explains what AI can actually do, written by an expert practitioner of the field.’ — Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google, and co-author of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

‘You’ve heard the hype, now read about the reality from one of the leading researchers in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In his elegant prose, Toby Walsh describes the past, present, and future of AI – culminating in ten tantalizing predictions for the impact of AI on medicine, transportation, entertainment, and more by 2050.’ —  Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence



Toby Walsh is Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales and one of the world’s leading researchers in Artificial Intelligence. He has been elected a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of AI for his contributions to the field, and has won the prestigious Humboldt research award. He has previously held research positions in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Sweden, and has spent his life dreaming about and researching machines that might think.

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