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Reviews of A Dangerous Master

Reviews of A Dangerous Master

“Hordes of technologies emerge in lockstep with warnings of their risks. Ethicist Wendell Wallach sorts the hysteria from the hazards in this magisterial study.”


“This book is a must-read for venture capitalists, investors, asset managers, HFT firms and day traders – as well as concerned civic leaders and politicians.”

—Hazel Henderson, Seeking Alpha

“This appeal for deliberate and thoughtful approaches to humankind’s future will find its audience among those interested in ethics, public policy, and the future of health care.”

Library Journal

“[T]his thoughtful polemic convincingly argues that ‘In striving to answer the question “can we do this?” too few ask “should we do this?”’…. Readers will admire this astute analysis while harboring the uneasy feeling that the barn door seems stuck open.”

Publishers Weekly

“A well-mounted argument that deserves wide consideration.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Wendell Wallach, it seems, is always a few years ahead of the rest of us. In this marvelous book, he takes us to the technological frontier and shows us where, why, and how our most promising technologies could turn on us. Wallach is levelheaded and thoughtful, combining his encyclopedic knowledge of emerging technology with a sense of history and an abiding respect for humanity. A Dangerous Master is fascinating, important, and—in defiance of its own gravity—a joy to read.”

—Joshua Greene, Director, Harvard Moral Cognition Lab and author of Moral Tribes

“This timely book offers a balanced assessment of the upsides and risks of a wide range of fast-developing technologies. It helps us to think more clearly about what the world will be like in 2050, and deserves a wide readership.”

—Martin Rees, Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics, University of Cambridge, and author of Universe and Just Six Numbers

“When it comes to technology, humanity is playing for supremely high stakes—and it’s a game we can’t walk away from. In his new book A Dangerous Master, Wendell Wallach surveys a wide range of technological risks, and proposes how we humans may evade disaster, leaving the possibility of wondrously good outcomes.”

—Vernor Vinge, author of A Fire Upon the Deep and Rainbows End

“It is increasingly difficult to weigh the risks associated with new technologies against the benefits they may bring. Experts often disagree, the public is not certain whose views to trust, and politicians and the market take short-term perspectives that may not be best in deciding whether or not to plunge ahead in the face of uncertainty. A Dangerous Master gives us a balanced and timely guide to navigating the troubled waters of decision-making when new technologies appear. Read it—your uncertainty may not diminish but your ability to cope with it will increase.”

—Arthur Caplan, Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics, New York University Langone Medical Center

“Wendell Wallach has done all of us a service. He has alerted us in detail, and provocatively, that there are dangers as well as gains in our national romance with innovative technologies. Like all heated romances, they can be full of drama and distress, but hard to ignore. His account of the troubled technology romance is well told, and it is one we need to hear.”

—Daniel Callahan, President Emeritus, The Hastings Center

“It would be hard to find a more thoughtful, better prepared guide through the difficult terrain of emerging technologies than Wendell Wallach, as he demonstrates yet again in this comprehensive, erudite, and highly readable book. This is a must read volume for anyone who wants to understand the world we have already created, not to mention the one that is rapidly coming into being as technological evolution, already fast, continues to accelerate.”

—Braden Allenby, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Arizona State University

“Wendell Wallach’s A Dangerous Master does a masterful job of describing in an accessible but precise manner the emerging technologies that will transform our lives and society while also delving into the profound and fascinating ethical and social implications of these technologies.”

—Gary Marchant, Regents’ Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

July 23, 20153 commentsRead More