New and forthcoming
Dozens of times per day, we all interact with intelligent machines that are constantly learning from the wealth of data now available to them. These machines, from smart phones to talking robots to self-driving cars, are remaking the world of the 21st century in the same way that the Industrial Revolution remade the world of the 19th century.
In the face of all these changes, we believe that there is a simple premise worth keeping in mind. If you want to understand the modern world, then you have to know a little bit of the mathematical language spoken by intelligent machines. Our book will teach you that language—but in an unconventional way, anchored around stories rather than mathematics.
You will meet a fascinating cast of historical characters who have a lot to teach you about data, probability, and better thinking. Along the way, you'll see how these same ideas are playing out in the modern age of big data and intelligent machines—and how these technologies will soon help you to overcome some of your built-in cognitive weaknesses, giving you a chance to lead a happier, healthier, more fulfilled life.
Trevor Cox has been described by the Observer as ‘a David Attenborough of the acoustic realm’. In Speech Odyssey he takes us on a journey through the wonders of human speech, starting with the evolution of language and our biological capability to speak (and listen), and bringing us up to date with the latest computer technology that seeks to record, transform and mimic the human voice.
Language is what makes us human, and how we speak is integral to our personal identity. But with the invention of sound recording and the arrival of the electrified voice, human communication changed forever; now advances in computer science and artificial intelligence are promising an even greater transformation. And with it come the possibilities to reproduce, manipulate and replicate the human voice – sometimes with disturbing consequences.
Speech Odyssey is the fascinating story of our ability to converse. It takes us back to the core of our humanity, asking important questions about what makes us human and how this uniqueness might be threatened. On this illuminating tour we meet vocal coaches and record producers, neuroscientists and computer programmers, whose experience and research provide us with a deeper understanding of something that most of us take for granted – our ability to talk and listen.
The Macintosh challenged games to be more than child’s play and quick reflexes. It made human–computer interaction friendly, inviting and intuitive.
Mac gaming led to much that is now taken for granted by PC gamers and spawned some of the biggest franchises in video game history. It allowed anyone to create games and playful software with ease, and gave indie developers a home for their products.
It welcomed strange ideas and encouraged experimentation. It fostered passionate and creative communities who inspired and challenged developers to do better and to follow the Mac mantra ‘think different’.
Drawing on archive material and interviews with key figures from the era – and featuring new material from Craig Fryar, Apple’s first Mac games evangelist and the co-creator of hit game Spectre – The Secret History of Mac Gaming is the story of those communities and the game developers who survived and thrived in an ecosystem that was serially ignored by the outside world. It’s a book about people who followed their hearts first and market trends second, showing how clever, quirky, and downright wonderful video games could be.
Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Artificial Intelligence is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to intelligent machines and the humans that program them.
Written by computer scientist Michael Wooldridge, Artificial Intelligence chronicles the development of computers that 'think' from Turing's primitive chatbots to today's digital assistants like Siri and Alexa.
AI is not something that awaits us in the future. Inside you'll learn how we have come to rely on embedded AI software and what a society of ubiquitous AI might look like.
Jaron Lanier, ‘the father of Virtual Reality … a high-tech genius’ (Sunday Times), tells the extraordinary story of how in just over three decades Virtual Reality went from being a dream to a reality – and how its power to turn dreams into realities will transform us and our world.
Virtual Reality has long been one of the dominant clichés of science fiction. Now Virtual Reality is a reality: those big headsets that make people look ridiculous, even while radiating startled delight; the place where war veterans overcome PTSD, surgeries are trialled, aircraft and cities are designed. But VR is far more interesting than any single technology, however spectacular. It is, in fact, the most effective device ever invented for researching what a human being actually is – and how we think and feel.
More than thirty years ago, legendary computer scientist, visionary and artist Jaron Lanier pioneered its invention. Here, in what is likely to be one of the most unusual books you ever read, he blends scientific investigation, philosophical thought experiment and his memoir of a life lived at the centre of digital innovation to explain what VR really is: the science of comprehensive illusion; the extension of the intimate magic of earliest childhood into adulthood; a hint of what life would be like without any limits.
As Lanier shows, we are standing on the threshold of an entirely new realm of human creativity, expression, communication and experience. While we can use VR to test our relationship with reality, it will test us in return, for how we choose to use it will reveal who we truly are.
Welcome to a mind-expanding, life-enhancing, world-changing adventure.
Welcome to a world of games you never knew existed. You will probably wish you still didn’t.
YouTube sensation Stuart Ashen is back with his second instalment of terrible old computer games you’ve probably never heard of... because what the world needs right now is to know exactly how bad Domain of the Undead for the Atari 8-bit computers was.
Attack of the Flickering Skeletons is even bigger than the original Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of – this second excavation of gaming’s buried past will not only unearth more appalling excuses for digital entertainment, but also feature guest contributors and several special interest chapters not based around single specific games.
These are NOT the games you’ve heard of a million times in YouTube videos. This is a compilation of truly obscure and dreadful games. Dripping with wry humour and featuring the best, worst graphics from the games themselves, this book encapsulates the atrocities produced in the days of tight budgets and low quality controls.
These are even more appalling games that leaked from the industry’s tear ducts, taken down from the dusty shelves of history by the man who has somehow made a living by sticking rubbish on a sofa and talking about it.
Is your business looking out?
The world today is drowning in data. There is a treasure trove of valuable and underutilized insights that can be gleaned from information companies and people leave behind on the internet - our 'digital breadcrumbs' - from job postings, to online news, social media, online ad spend, patent applications and more.
As a result, we're at the cusp of a major shift in the way businesses are managed and governed - moving from a focus solely on lagging, internal data, toward analyses that also encompass industry-wide, external data to paint a more complete picture of a brand's opportunities and threats and uncover forward-looking insights, in real time. Tomorrow's most successful brands are already embracing Outside Insight, benefitting from an information advantage while their competition is left behind.
Drawing on practical examples of transformative, data-led decisions made by brands like Apple, Facebook, Barack Obama and many more, in Outside Insight, Meltwater CEO Jorn Lyseggen illustrates the future of corporate decision-making and offers a detailed plan for business leaders to implement Outside Insight thinking into their company mindset and processes.
Be inspired by the first self-made football club owner
Alright, mate, how’s it going?
Believe it or not, I haven’t always been football mad. But then FIFA: Road to World Cup 98 came out. FIFA inevitably led to Football Manager. And that’s where I started getting properly hooked.
Now I’m a football club owner who’s played to 20,000 people at Wembley Stadium and travelled the world with my team, Hashtag United. And the best bit of all? I’m not even that good.
So, how on earth did this happen? How did someone who spent his life playing computer games and making YouTube videos pull it off?
I’m hardly sure myself, but here’s my attempt to tell the story.
Something massive is shifting in the world of entertainment.
Across the planet, humans spend more of their free time watching video than doing anything else. But increasingly it’s not TV they're watching, but online video. In 2016, Swedish vlogger PewDiePie made a record $15 million from his YouTube videos, beating Hollywood A-listers like Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams. Something massive is shifting in the world of entertainment.
Since its founding in 2005, YouTube has become the first and only truly global media platform, with over a billion users worldwide. It has changed the media industry as profoundly as the development of radio, film and television. In Streampunks, YouTube’s Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl gets to the heart of this creative revolution through behind-the-scenes stories of its biggest stars – YouTubers like Tyler Oakley, Lilly Singh, and Casey Neistat—and the dealmakers brokering the future of media, like Scooter Braun, who scouted 12-year old Justin Bieber on YouTube, and Vice media mogul Shane Smith who used the platform to turn young people onto news and current affairs.
By giving anyone with a smartphone their own TV channel, YouTube is fuelling a new creative boom. Not only is it generating the new faces of entertainment, but also changing how students are taught, how social issues are discussed and how small businesses advertise and develop.
Streampunks is the definitive book on the modern pop-culture juggernaut Youtube, the platform remaking the face of entertainment.
'This is the most important conversation of our time, and Tegmark's thought-provoking book will help you join it' Stephen Hawking
'This is a rich and visionary book and everyone should read it' The Times
We stand at the beginning of a new era. What was once science fiction is fast becoming reality, as AI transforms war, crime, justice, jobs and society-and, even, our very sense of what it means to be human. More than any other technology, AI has the potential to revolutionize our collective future - and there's nobody better situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor and co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, whose work has helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.
In this deeply researched and vitally important new book, Tegmark takes us to the heart of thinking about AI and the human condition, bringing us face to face with the essential questions of our time. How can we grow our prosperity through automation, without leaving people lacking income or purpose? How can we ensure that future AI systems do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will AI help life flourish as never before, or will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, and even, perhaps, replace us altogether?
Life 3.0 gives us the tools to join what may be the most important conversation of our time, guiding us through the most controversial issues around AI today -- from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.
What sort of future do you want?
New York Times Bestseller
'Fascinating and deeply disturbing' - Yuval Noah Harari, Guardian Books of the Year
'A manual for the 21st-century citizen... accessible, refreshingly critical, relevant and urgent' - Federica Cocco, Financial Times
A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life - and threaten to rip apart our social fabric
We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives - where we go to school, whether we get a loan, how much we pay for insurance - are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated.
And yet, as Cathy O'Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and incontestable, even when they're wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination. Tracing the arc of a person's life, O'Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These "weapons of math destruction" score teachers and students, sort CVs, grant or deny loans, evaluate workers, target voters, and monitor our health.
O'Neil calls on modellers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it's up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.
'If you're someone who dreams of penning a bestseller, read this book' The Week
'What if the success of E.L.James and Dan Brown was not so random? What if there were an algorithm that could pick out the bestseller DNA concealed within these books before they're published? This is the audacious claim made by Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers ... Smart, savvy and full of ideas' Fiona Wilson, The Times
Girl on the Train. Fifty Shades. The Goldfinch. Why do some books capture the whole world's attention? In The Bestseller Code, Archer and Jockers boldly claim that not only can mega-hits be explained and identified - but they've built the algorithm to prove it. Using cutting-edge text mining techniques, they have developed a model that analyses theme, plot, style and character to explain why some books resonate more than others with readers. Provocative, entertaining, and ground-breaking, The Bestseller Code explores the hidden patterns at work in the biggest hits and, more importantly, the real reasons we love to read.
'Non-formulaic, eye-opening, deeply-researched - and really worth your time' GQ
'When a story captures the imagination of millions, that's magic. Can you qualify magic? Archer and Jockers just may have done so' Sylvia Day, no.1 bestselling author
'The claims are eye-grabbing . . . and also highly plausible' Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Spectator
'Thought-provoking and interesting ... Here is a book worth reading' David Bond, Financial Times
Long-listed for FT Business Book 2017
The inside story of Uber, the multi-billion dollar disruptor that has revolutionised the transportation industry around the world
Uber is one of the most fascinating and controversial businesses in the world, both beloved for its elegant ride-hailing concept and heady growth, and condemned for CEO Travis Kalanick's ruthless pursuit of success at all cost.
In Wild Ride, Adam Lashinsky, veteran Fortune writer and author of Inside Apple, traces the story of Uber's meteoric rise: from its murky origins to its plans for expansion into radically different industries. The company has already poached entire departments from top research universities in a push to build the first self-driving car and possibly replace the very drivers it's worked so hard to recruit.
With access to current and former employees, as well as CEO Travis Kalanick, this book will be the first to unlock Uber's vault. It's a story that start-up founders, business executives, tech-savvy readers, and drivers and riders will find riveting.
So, you think you know Terraria? Well, it's time for a real challenge . . . Hardmode!
This fourth handbook in the series of guides to the hit sandbox game is your vital companion as you enter into Terraria's toughest realm. Are you ready to enter the forbidden Jungle Temple, or call the Moon Lord himself down from the heavens? This is your essential guide to proving it!
Here's what some of the top Terraria players on YouTube had to say about the first book in the series, The Ultimate Survival Handbook:
"This is a super-sick book! It's chock-full of information!"
"It really does have everything you could possibly need!"
The world as we know it is changing. Driverless cars, drone deliveries and autonomous weapon systems are no longer the stuff of science fiction.
But what's next for technology and business, and how will it impact our society?
In Connected World, Philip Larrey of the Pontifical Lateran University explores the consequences of the new digital age in conversation with leaders including Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet, and Maurice Lévy, CEO of Publicis Groupe.
Ranging from the death of privacy to the rise of artificial intelligence, Connected World asks the existential questions which will come to define our age.
'A world without Pokemon would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.' - Ash
Like our heroes Ash and Pikachu, we are all on a road to personal mastery. But life isn’t always sunshine and Jigglypuffs.
Written by some of the greatest Pokemon trainers in history, this inspirational book of wit and wisdom offers advice for every turn of life’s winding path.
Bursting full of positivity, humour and fun, this charming book of inspirational quotes and illustrations shows that although Jigglypuff, Meowth and Pikachu may be Pokémon, their values could not be more human.
The Pokémon Book of Joy will leave you ready to overcome any challenge. And to truly catch ‘em all!