Human Compatible has been Reissued in the UK

30 Apr 2020

April 30th, 2020 was the UK publication date for the paperback edition of Stuart Russell’s book “Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control.” This is a reissue of his original hardback edition, published in October 2019, has been described as “the most important book on AI so far.”

In this book, he explains why he has come to consider his own discipline an existential threat to our species, and lays out how we can change course before it’s too late. The book explores the idea of intelligence in humans and in machines, describes the benefits we can expect (from intelligent personal assistants to vastly accelerated scientific research), and outlines the AI breakthroughs that still have to happen before we reach superhuman AI. Russell spells out the ways humans are already finding to misuse AI, from lethal autonomous weapons to the manipulation of opinions on a global scale. Finally, he explains why we must ensure that we never lose control of machines more powerful than we are. He suggests that we can rebuild AI on a new foundation, according to which machines are designed to be inherently uncertain about the human preferences they are required to satisfy.

About the Author:

Stuart Russell is a professor of Computer Science and holder of the Smith-Zadeh Chair in Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and an Honorary Fellow of Wadham College, University of Oxford. He has advised Number 10 and the United Nations about the risks of AI. In 1990, he received the Presidential Young Investigator Award of the National Science Foundation, in 1995 he was co-winner of the Computers and Thought Award and in 2005 he received the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award. He is the author (with Peter Norvig) of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, the Number One bestselling textbook in AI which is used in over 1,300 universities in 118 countries around the world. He was born in England and lives in Berkeley.


“This is the most important book I have read in quite some time. It lucidly explains how the coming age of artificial super-intelligence threatens human control. Crucially, it also introduces a novel solution and a reason for hope.”
Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

“A must-read: this intellectual tour-de-force by one of AI’s true pioneers not only explains the risks of ever more powerful artificial intelligence in a captivating and persuasive way, but also proposes a concrete and promising solution.”
Max Tegmark, author of Life 3.0

“This is a fascinating masterpiece: both general readers and artificial intelligence experts will be inspired by it. Professor Russell has made the most profound and clearest analysis in the literature on superintelligence, the ultimate problem of artificial intelligence. More importantly, he proposed a novel solution — a new human-computer relationship — to solve the problem of superintelligence. This idea has opened up a new research direction in AI.”
-Andy Yao, Turing Award-winner and Dean of the
Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences at Tsinghua

“Human Compatible made me a convert to Russell’s concerns with our ability to control our upcoming creation — super-intelligent machines. Unlike outside alarmists and futurists, Russell is a leading authority on AI. His new book will educate the public about AI more than any book I can think of, and is a delightful and uplifting read.”
-Judea Pearl, Turing Award-winner and author of The Book of Why

“Stuart Russell, one of the most important AI scientists of the last 25 years, may have written the most important book about AI so far, on one of the most important questions of the 21st century: How to build AI to be compatible with us. The book proposes a novel and intriguing solution for this problem, while offering many thought-provoking ideas and insights about AI along the way. An accessible and engaging must-read for the developers of AI and the users of AI — that is, for all of us.”
-James Manyika, chairman and director of McKinsey Global Institute

“This beautifully written book addresses a fundamental challenge for humanity: increasingly intelligent machines that do what we ask but not what we really intend. Essential reading if you care about our future.”
-Yoshua Bengio, winner of the 2019 Turing Award and co-author of Deep Learning

“Stuart Russell has long been the most sensible voice in computer science on the topic of AI risk. And he has now written the book we’ve all been waiting for — a brilliant and utterly accessible guide to what will be either the best or worst technological development in human history.”
-Sam Harris, author of Waking Up and host of the Making Sense podcast