Smarter Than Us: The Rise of Machine Intelligence

by Stuart Armstrong

What happens when machines become smarter than humans? Forget lumbering Terminators. The power of artificial intelligence (AI) lies in its potential for superior intelligence, not physical strength or laser guns. Humans steer the future not because we’re the strongest or fastest species, but because of our cognitive advances; and once AI systems surpass us on this front, we’ll be handing them the steering wheel.

What promises—and perils—does smarter-than-human AI present? Can we instruct AI systems to steer the future as we desire? What goals should we program into them? Stuart Armstrong’s new book navigates these questions with clarity and wit.

Though an understanding of the problem is only beginning to spread, researchers from fields ranging from philosophy to computer science to economics are working together to conceive and test solutions. Are we up to the challenge?

A mathematician by training, Armstrong is a Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) at Oxford University. His research focuses on formal decision theory, the risks and possibilities of AI, the long term potential for intelligent life (and the difficulties of predicting this), and anthropic (self-locating) probability.


Smarter Than Us is published in its entirety online at
It is also available for purchase and download in a variety of formats.


Get your copy of Smarter Than Us today!

Digital Download

Buy Now

The digital download is pay-what-you-want with a suggested price of $2.99* and contains Smarter Than Us in three formats: EPUB, MOBI, and PDF.

*The minimum price is $0.00.


Book Stores

Also available from the CA, UK, and most other stores.

Also available from the CA, UK, and most other stores.

Armstrong, Stuart. 2014. Smarter Than Us: The Rise of Machine Intelligence.
Berkeley, CA: Machine Intelligence Research Institute.

All proceeds go directly to funding the technical and strategic research of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Berkeley, California.