AI ebook cover design brainstorming

by lukeprog 1 min read26th 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.