In 1716, the philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz spent eight days taking the cure with Peter the Great at Bad Pyrmont in Saxony, trying to persuade the tsar to launch a voyage of discovery from Russia to America and to adopt digital computing as the foundation for a remaking of life on earth. Here the author of Darwin Among the Machines and Turing's Cathedral tells the story of this fateful meeting, and explains how it has led to a new epoch in human history, one driven by a generation of machines whose powers are no longer under programmable control.
"Pleasingly eccentric [and] impossibly wide-ranging…. Racing from the Stone Age to the coming singularity, Dyson is in fine fettle…. A thoughtful—and most thought-provoking—exploration of where our inventions have taken and will take us."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)