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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Satire
  • Language:English
  • Pages:228
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350963342


A Silicon Valley Satire

by Pedro Domingos

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"I told you not to read books like this." —Your Mom

When AI and the culture wars collide, hilarity ensues.

The 2040 presidential election is in full swing, with an AI facing off against a Native American chief hellbent on abolishing the United States. Ethan is the CEO of KumbAI, the flailing startup that built PresiBot—the AI candidate—as a desperate publicity ploy. With PresiBot buggy and hallucination-prone, it looks like curtains for America unless Ethan and friends can pull off a miracle. But miracles do happen . . . and that’s when the real trouble begins.

"Fun and well written. This book will be a hit!"
Christos Papadimitriou, author of Logicomix

"The most devastating satires are written by those who know the absurdities close up. Pedro Domingos is deeply familiar with both AI and the follies of its followers. And he's funnier than ChatGPT's hallucinations."
Steven Levy, author of Hackers and Facebook: The Inside Story

"A laugh-out-loud comedy of errors, 2040: A Silicon Valley Satire parodies politics and lampoons our reliance on tech with intelligence and wit."
—Independent Book Review

"Domingos writes with verve and passion."
—New Scientist

"Domingos is a genial and amusing guide, who sneaks us around the backstage areas of . . . the subject."
—Times Higher Education


The 2040 presidential election is unlike any in US history. The Republican candidate is an AI named PresiBot, created by a tech startup, KumbAI, who are in deeply over their heads. The Democratic candidate is a fake Native American chief seeking to abolish the United States. What could go wrong?

With PresiBot plummeting in the polls and tech giants like Happinet scheming to take over, KumbAI's brash CEO Ethan Burnswagger and reluctant CTO Arvind Subramanian struggle to keep their company, their friendship—and their lives—under control. But the center cannot hold, and KumbAI, the campaign and America careen inexorably toward disaster.

Fast-paced and dialogue-driven, as befits our ADHD age, 2040 is a scathing critique of the current state of America—from the tech giants' all-encompassing empires and the fear and hype surrounding AI to the invasion of the mainstream by ever-kookier political ideas. Set in a dystopian San Francisco in a near future we can all too easily anticipate, it features characters, entities and incidents whose resemblance to actual ones may or may not be purely coincidental.

If you want to have wicked fun while discovering what AI really is, how the tech industry works, where our deepening polarization might lead us, and—most important—how to break out of this cycle, this is the book for you.

About the author

Pedro Domingos is a world-renowned AI researcher, computer science professor, and tech industry insider. His book The Master Algorithm, introducing machine learning to a broad audience, has been translated into a dozen languages and sold over a third of a million copies worldwide. He lives in Seattle. Follow him on X at @pmddomingos.

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