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  • Published: 26 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9781847927491
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $36.99

The Coming Wave

The instant Sunday Times bestseller from the ultimate AI insider

Cofounder of the pioneering AI company DeepMind sounds the alarm on the unprecedented risks to global order posed by a wave of fast-developing technologies like artificial intelligence and genetic engineering

We are approaching a critical threshold in the history of our species. Everything is about to change.

Soon we will live surrounded by AIs. They will carry out complex tasks - operating businesses, producing unlimited digital content, running core government services, and maintaining infrastructure. This will be a world of DNA printers and quantum computers, engineered pathogens and autonomous weapons, robot assistants and abundant energy. It represents nothing less than a step change in human capability.

We are not prepared.

As co-founder of the pioneering AI company DeepMind, Mustafa Suleyman has been at the centre of this revolution, one poised to become the single greatest accelerant of progress in history. The coming decade, he argues, will be defined by this wave of powerful, fast-proliferating new technologies. Driven by overwhelming political and commercial incentives, these tools will help address our global challenges and create vast wealth - but also upheaval on a once unimaginable scale.

In The Coming Wave, Suleyman shows how these forces threaten the grand bargain of the nation-state, the foundation of global order. As our fragile governments sleepwalk into disaster, we face an existential dilemma: unprecedented harms arising from unchecked openness on one side, the threat of overbearing surveillance on the other. Can we forge a narrow path between catastrophe and dystopia?

This groundbreaking book from the ultimate AI insider establishes 'the containment problem' - the task of maintaining control over powerful technologies - as the essential challenge of our age.

  • Published: 26 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9781847927491
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $36.99

About the author

Mustafa Suleyman

Mustafa Suleyman is the co-founder and CEO of Inflection AI. Previously he co-founded DeepMind, one of the world's leading AI companies. After a decade at DeepMind, Suleyman became vice president of AI product management and AI policy at Google. When he was an undergraduate at Oxford, Suleyman dropped out to help start a non-profit telephone counseling service. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

He tweets @MustafaSuleymn and can be found online at www.inflection.ai.

Praise for The Coming Wave

An extraordinary and necessary book ... one leaves energised and thrilled to be alive right now

Alain de Botton, author and philosopher

Extraordinary ... utterly unmissable

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and author of The Age of AI

Read this essential book to understand the pace and scale of these technologies

Ian Bremmer, founder of Eurasia Group and author of The Power of Crisis

A much-needed dose of specificity, realism, and clarity

Martha Minow, professor at Harvard Law School

Incredibly compelling

Bruce Schneier, author of A Hacker's Mind

Deeply rewarding and consistently astonishing

Stephen Fry

Honest, passionate and unafraid to confront what is clearly one of the great challenges our species will face this century

Andrew McAfee, author of the The Geek Way

Thought-provoking, urgent and written in powerful, highly accessible prose

Erik Brynjolsson, author of The Second Machine Age

Deeply researched and highly relevant

Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States

An erudite, clear-eyed guide both to the history of radical technological change and to the deep political challenges that lie ahead

Anne Applebaum, author of Twilight of Democracy

Suleyman proposes an urgent agenda of actions governments must take now

Graham Allison, professor at Harvard University

Calm, pragmatic, and deeply ethical ... enthralling reading

Angela Kane, Former UN Under Secretary General

This vital book is inspiring and terrifying ... we need to read it and act on it

David Miliband, former UK Foreign Secretary

Deeply thoughtful ... meticulously researched and packed with original insights

Jason Matheny, CEO of RAND

Rich with interesting facts, arresting arguments, and compelling observations, it is essential reading

Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow

A fantastically clear, energetic, well-researched and readable book from the frontline of the greatest technological revolution of our times

Sir Geoff Mulgan, professor at UCL

The best analysis yet of what AI means for the future of humanity. Mustafa Suleyman [is] one of the most important voices on the coming wave of technologies that will shape our world

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn

A brave wake-up call ... Indispensable reading

Tristan Harris, executive director of the Centre for Humane Technology

A panoramic survey and a clarion call to action ... Everyone should read it

Fei-Fei Li, professor at Stanford University

Can we control these new technologies before they control us? ... Mustafa Suleyman is the ideal guide to this crucial question

Jeffrey D. Sachs, professor at Columbia University and president of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Sharp, compassionate, and uncompromising

Qi Lu, CEO of Miracle Plus; ex-COO Baidu and ex-EVP Microsoft Bing

Suleyman has given deep thought about what needs to be done to ensure that emerging technologies are used for human good ... A must-read

Meghan L. O'Sullivan, director at Harvard University

A persuasively argued tour-de-force

Nouriel Roubini, author of Megathreats

An excellent guide for navigating unprecedented times

Bill Gates

A fascinating, well-written and important book

Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens

A strikingly lucid and refreshingly balanced account of our current technological predicament

Kevin Esvelt, associate professor at MIT

A practical and optimistic road map

Stuart Russell, author of Human Compatible

Realistic, deeply informed and highly accessible

Jack Goldsmith, professor at Harvard University

A stunning book by a man at the very centre of the AI revolution - realistic, tough-minded [and] charting a meaningful course between AI catastrophe and dystopia

Rory Stewart

Heartfelt and candid … a serious exploration of what the future might hold for us all


A genuinely mind-boggling read, setting out the ineluctable forces soon to completely transform politics, society and even the fabric of life itself over the next decade or two


Unusually thoughtful, expansive, historically rooted and engagingly written

Washington Post

Compelling… In breezy and sometimes breathless prose, he describes how human beings have finally managed to exert power over intelligence and life itself


Compelling and persuasive, and should be in every government minister’s in-tray

Sunday Times, *Book of the Week*

Convincing… Politicians and lawmakers should listen to the warnings of people such as Mustafa Suleyman

New Statesman


William Hague, The Times

Confused by the current furore about AI? This book is a good place to start… The Coming Wave is a sweeping account of the latest advances in AI and synthetic biology

Financial Times, *Books of the Year*

Thoughtful and persuasive

Sunday Times, *Books of the Year*

Suleyman is the perfect guide to a frequently overwhelming subject

i, *Christmas Gift Guide 2023*

A cogent look at the technology’s potential to transform the economy and society, along with the risks of misuse and surveillance

Economist, *Books of the Year*

The rise of AI has led to a rise in books about AI, among the most insightful of which is The Coming Wave

Prospect, *Books of the Year 2023*

Anyone wanting to know in clear terms what the excitement [surrounding AI] is about could not do better than read Mustafa Suleyman’s The Coming Wave

Church Times

A must-read about the current revolution of technology, how it will transform the world, and whether the risks it brings can be controlled

Evening Standard

Dazzling ... Suleyman's is the book you cannot afford not to read ... brilliant

Niall Ferguson, Bloomberg