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Publisher's Summary

Visionary designer and technologist John Maeda defines the fundamental laws of how computers think, and why you should care even if you aren't a programmer. 

"Maeda is to design what Warren Buffett is to finance." (Wired)

John Maeda is one of the world's preeminent interdisciplinary thinkers on technology and design. In How to Speak Machine, he offers a set of simple laws that govern not only the computers of today, but the unimaginable machines of the future. 

Technology is already more powerful than we can comprehend, and getting more powerful at an exponential pace. Once set in motion, algorithms never tire. And when a program's size, speed, and tirelessness combine with its ability to learn and transform itself, the outcome can be unpredictable and dangerous. Take the seemingly instant transformation of Microsoft's chatbot Tay into a hate-spewing racist, or how crime-predicting algorithms reinforce racial bias. 

How to Speak Machine provides a coherent framework for today's product designers, business leaders, and policymakers to grasp this brave new world. Drawing on his wide-ranging experience from engineering to computer science to design, Maeda shows how businesses and individuals can identify opportunities afforded by technology to make world-changing and inclusive products - while avoiding the pitfalls inherent to the medium.

©2019 John Maeda (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“This book is mind-expanding. Not everyone needs to understand how to program a computer, but understanding how computers ‘think’ is no longer optional.” (Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media and best-selling author of WTF?)

“People who are fluent in ‘machine’ shape how technology benefits and burdens each of us. Making that language, and power, more accessible begins with this book.” (Kat Holmes, UX director at Google and author of Mismatch)

“Dazzling, unique, and radical. How to Speak Machine is like nothing I’ve ever read. It will rewire your brain (in a good way). A must-read for anyone looking to shape the future.” (Jake Knapp, New York Times best-selling author of Sprint)

What listeners say about How to Speak Machine

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  • Jack Frasier
  • 2020-09-16

more sjw than computer science

the author never misses a beat to inject political politics into hos text. also, this book does not cover computational thinking as much as others. hard pass this one.