Want to know how AI might change the world? Read science fiction

A recent book on the future of warfare warned that Britain’s pristine new aircraft carriers will be vulnerable to swarms of small, semi-autonomous drones that could not be stopped by conventional protective weaponry. Another looked at whether mass online gaming might be used to recruit networks to attack military or commercial targets. A third raised the prospect of VIPs being endlessly stalked by insect-sized camera drones. In different ways, each could be catastrophic for our security. But if you are wondering how you missed them, it might be because you were looking in the wrong section at your bookshop. For these warnings, in truth not about Britain specifically, were not contained in books on politics or international relations. Rather, they came in recent works by science fiction novelists – in…


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