Published: 23 April 2020
Publisher: Constable & Robinson

Smoke & Mirrors

by Gemma Milne


‘ROBOTS WILL STEAL YOUR JOB!’

‘AI WILL REVOLUTIONISE FARMING!’

‘GENETIC EDITING WILL CURE CANCER!’

Bombastic headlines about science and technology are nothing new. To cut through the constant stream of information and misinformation on social media, or grab the attention of investors, or convince governments to take notice, strident headlines or bold claims seem necessary to give complex, nuanced information some wow factor.

But hype has a dark side, too.

It can mislead. It can distract. It can blinker us from seeing what is actually going on.

From AI, quantum computing and brain implants, to cancer drugs, future foods and fusion energy, science and technology journalist Gemma Milne reveals hype to be responsible for fundamentally misdirecting or even derailing crucial progress.

Hype can be combated and discounted, though, if you’re able to see exactly where, how and why it is being deployed.

This book is your guide to doing just that.

"Stop following the news until you've read Gemma Milne's persuasive analysis of the hype and bullshit that distort our understanding of emerging science. As she shows, the starting point to grasping the genuine opportunities of AI, life sciences and climate tech is a healthy dose of critical thinking" - David Rowan, founding editor of WIRED UK
"Couldn't be more timely. Fascinating and vitally important" - Jamie Bartlett, author of The People Vs Tech
"A much-needed blast of fresh air! Gemma Milne expertly shows us how to separate the truth from the hype surrounding the emerging techs of today, and those of the near-tomorrow" - Lewis Dartnell, author of Origins: How the Earth Made Us

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