AI ebook cover design brainstorming

by lukeprog 6y26th Sep 201335 comments


Thanks to everyone who brainstormed possible titles for MIRI’s upcoming ebook on machine intelligence. Our leading contender for the book title is Smarter than Us: The Rise of Machine Intelligence.

What we need now are suggestions for a book cover design. AI is hard to depict without falling back on cliches, such as a brain image mixed with computer circuitry, a humanoid robot, HAL, an imitation of Creation of Adam with human and robot fingers touching, or an imitation of March of Progress with an AI at the far right.

A few ideas/examples:

  1. Something that conveys ‘AI’ in the middle (a computer screen? a server tower?) connected by arrow/wires/something to various ‘skills/actions/influences’, like giving a speech, flying unmanned spacecraft, doing science, predicting the stock market, etc., in an attempt to convey the diverse superpowers of a machine intelligence.

  2. A more minimalist text-only cover.

  3. A fairly minimal cover with just an ominous-looking server rack in the middle, with a few blinking lights and submerged in darkness around it. A bit like this cover.

  4. Similar to the above, except a server farm along the bottom fading into the background, with a frame composition similar to this.

  5. A darkened, machine-gunned room with a laptop sitting alone on a desk, displaying the text of the title on the screen. (This is the scene from the first chapter, about a Terminator who encounters an unthreatening-looking laptop which ends up being way more powerful and dangerous than the Terminator because it is more intelligent.)

Alex Vermeer sketched the first four of these ideas:

Some general inspiration may be found here.

We think we want something kinda dramatic, rather than cartoony, but less epic and unbelievable than the Facing the Intelligence Explosion cover.