James Vlahos

Talk to Me
  • Talk to Me

  • The gripping inside story of the race to build conversationally capable computers

    Chat with the author: ask your Alexa device to ‘open the voice computing book’
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    The next great technological disruption is coming.

    The titans of Silicon Valley are racing to build the last, best computer that the world will ever need. They know that whoever successfully creates it will revolutionise our relationship with technology – and make billions of dollars in the process. They call it conversational AI.

    Computers that can speak and think like humans do may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but they are rapidly moving towards reality. In Talk to Me, veteran tech journalist James Vlahos meets the researchers at Google, Amazon and Apple who are leading the way to a voice computing revolution. He explores how voice tech will transform every sector of society: handing untold new powers to businesses, upending traditional notions of privacy, revolutionising access to information, and fundamentally altering the way we understand human consciousness. And he even tries to understand the significance of the revolution firsthand – by building a chatbot version of his terminally ill father.

    Vlahos’s research leads him to one fundamental question: What happens when our computers become as articulate, compassionate, and creative as we are?
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    ‘Brilliant and essential . . . You’ll find insights and meaning on every page, and you’ll keep turning them. This book is dynamite.’ NICHOLAS THOMPSON, editor-in-chief of Wired

    ‘Conversational AI is a genuine paradigm shift in our experience with technology. Vlahos brings the whole story to life . . . A thoughtful and enjoyable read.’ TOM GRUBER, co-creator of Siri

    ‘The baton of disruption has been passed from the smart phone to voice, and Vlahos helps make sense of this tectonic shift.’ SCOTT GALLOWAY, author of The Four

    ‘Voice computing is revolutionising the way we interact with our devices. Talk to Me offers a road map showing how we got to this point and the opportunities and risks that lie ahead.’ MARTIN FORD, author of The Rise of the Robots


    ‘Well researched and reported, written by someone with a deep understanding of the tech itself.’ NEW YORK TIMES

    ‘James Vlahos has written an excellent book on how voice computing has become more and more of a growing presence in our everyday world.’ RAY KURZWEIL, author of The Singularity Is Near

James Vlahos is a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Popular Science, Scientific American, The Atlantic, GQ and National Geographic. He lives in El Cerrito, California.