Scribe is to publish The Digital Ape, a book on the "smart machine revolution" by co-founder of the Open Data Institute, academic Sir Nigel Shadbolt, and writer and public executive, Roger Hampson.
Philip Gwyn Jones, publisher-at-large at Scribe, acquired UK, EU and Commonwealth English-language rights at auction from Toby Mundy at TMA, who controls all other rights.
The Digital Ape is a book about the way the "smart machines revolution is already re-shaping (and could further re-shape) our lives and our societies". The book will attempt to "remove terror, confusion and misconception from ordinary people's lives by demonstrating that the much-vaunted 'Transcendence' [2014 film about artificial intelligence] moment is not coming any time soon; we are not about to be elbowed aside by a rebel army of super-intelligent robots of our own creation".
The publisher said: "We retain control, but how we exercise that control – in employment matters, in privacy matters, in political matters etc – is the crux of our collective future well-being."
Gwyn Jones said: "You will think you have read, or heard of, many such books before, but there is something distinctively British about this one, in the best sense, and its lead author is a thinker of real significance, and it offers a unique approach to the subject of Web science and the ethics of intelligent systems".
Scribe is to publish The Digital Ape in spring 2017. Scribe will publish simultaneously in hardback in the UK and in trade paperback in Australia and export in early 2018.