New Books

The Culture of AI: everyday life and the digital revolution

Book cover: The Culture of AI: everyday life and the digital revolutionContrary to popular wisdom, the AI revolution is not so much about cyborgs and super-robots of the future, but massive changes in the here-and-now of everyday life.

In The Culture of AI: Everyday Life and the Digital Revolution, UniSA’s Dean of External Engagement Professor Anthony Elliott, explores how intelligent machines, advanced robotics, accelerating automation, big data and the Internet of Everything impact upon day-to-day life and contemporary societies.

Prof Elliott’s examination of the reordering of everyday life highlights the centrality of AI to everything we do – from receiving Amazon recommendations to requesting Uber, and from getting information from virtual personal assistants to talking with chatbots.

Prof Elliott, who is also Executive Director of the Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at UniSA, says the rise of intelligent machines is transforming the global economy and jobs, but there are other major challenges to contemporary societies which are unfolding in complex and uneven ways across the globe.

“Much of what passes for conventional wisdom about artificial intelligence is either ill-considered or plain wrong,” Prof Elliott says.

“Movies have contributed to this misguided idea that the future will be filled with intelligent robots but the fact is that AI is here already and impacting on everything from global politics to everyday communication – including all of our social relations.

“This book explores technological innovations from industrial robots to softbots, and from self-driving cars to military drones.”

The book provides a detailed examination of:

  • The history of AI and the advent of the digital universe;

  • automated technology, jobs and employment;

  • the self and private life in times of accelerating machine intelligence;

  • AI and new forms of social interaction;

  • automated vehicles and new warfare;

  • the future of AI.

Visiting Professor at Oxford and Tsinghua universities Sir Nigel Thrift says artificial intelligence is an overused term which has been the subject of too many inflated claims.

“So we are lucky that in this book, Anthony Elliott expertly guides us through this thicket of hyperbole and out onto clearer ground,” Sir Nigel says.

Prof Elliott’s research on AI has also been strongly endorsed by Lord Anthony Giddens, a member of the UK Parliament’s House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. Lord Giddens has praised Prof Elliott’s book as “a unique and original contribution to the debate about AI now unfolding across the world”.

Published by Routledge, The Culture of AI: Everyday life and the Digital Revolution is available online.