The Maniac, Benjamin Labatut ( paperback July 2024)


A thrilling, kaleidoscopic book about the destructive chaos lurking in the history of computing and AI

'Monstrously good... Reads like a dark foundation myth about modern technology but told with the pace of a thriller' Mark Haddon

In a scintillating mix of fact and fiction, The MANIAC tells of the dark foundations of our modern world and the nascent era of AI. At its core is John von Neumann, a titan of science who revolutionised fields from game theory to computer systems and helped develop the atomic bomb.

As illness unmoored his mind, his work pushed further into areas beyond human comprehension and control. With dazzling mastery, Benjamín Labatut weaves von Neumann's story together with the crises in physics at the beginning of the twentieth century and humanity's showdown with artificial intelligence a hundred years later. Innovative and disquieting, this book plunges us into the most profound questions of humanity, where reason teeters on the brink of chaos.


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