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  • Published: 29 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141990798
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $19.99

Novacene

The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence




An astounding look at the future of life on Earth by the great scientific visionary of our age

The creator of the Gaia hypothesis and the greatest environmental thinker of our time has produced an astounding new theory about the future of life on Earth. James Lovelock argues that the anthropocene - the age in which humans acquired planetary-scale technologies - is, after three centuries, coming to an end. A new age - the novacene - has already begun.

New beings will emerge from existing artificial intelligence systems. They will think 10,000 times faster than we do and will regard us as we now regard plants. The cruel, violent machine takeover imagined by sci-fi writers will not happen: these hyper-intelligent beings will be as dependent on the health of the planet as we are. They will need the planetary cooling system of Gaia to defend from the increasing heat of the sun. Gaia depends on organic life. We will be partners in this project. It is crucial, Lovelock argues, that the intelligence of Earth survives and prospers. We are at present the only beings capable of understanding the cosmos, but he speculates that the novacene could be the beginning of a process that will see intelligence suffusing the entire cosmos. At the age 100, Lovelock has produced the most compelling work of his life.

  • Published: 29 September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141990798
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

James Lovelock

James Lovelock is the author of more than 200 scientific papers and the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis (now Gaia Theory). He has written three books on the subject: Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, The Ages of Gaia and Gaia: The Practical Science of Planetary Medicine, as well as an autobiography, Homage to Gaia. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1974. Since 1961 he has worked as a wholly independent scientist but retained links with universities in the UK and the USA, and since 1994 has been an Honourary Visiting Fellow of the Green College, University of Oxford. He has been described as 'one of the great thinkers of our time' (New Scientist) and 'one of the environmental movement's most influential figures' (Observer). In 2003 he was made a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty the Queen, and in September 2005 Prospect magazine named him as one of the world's top 100 global public intellectuals.

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