From the author of When We Cease to Understand the World: a dazzling, kaleidoscopic book about the destructive chaos lurking in the history of computing and AI.
Johnny von Neumann was an enigma. As a young man, he stunned those around him with his monomaniacal pursuit of the unshakeable foundations of mathematics. But when his faith in this all-encompassing system crumbled, he began to put his prodigious intellect to use for those in power. As he designed unfathomable computer systems and aided the development of the atomic bomb, his work pushed increasingly into areas that were beyond human comprehension and control – and that threatened human destruction.
In The Maniac, Benjamin Labatut braids fact with fiction in a scintillating journey to the very fringes of rational thought, right to the point where it tips over into chaos. Stretching back to early twentieth-century conflict over contradictions in physics and up to advances in artificial intelligence that outpace the human, this is a mind-bending story of the mad dreams of reason.
Imprint: PUSHKIN PRESS
Publication date: 07/09/2023