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A Next Big Idea Club Must-Read Book

Four Battlegrounds: Text


Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

A new industrial revolution has begun. Like mechanization or electricity before it, artificial intelligence will touch every aspect of our lives—and cause profound disruptions in the balance of global power, especially among the AI superpowers: China, the United States, and Europe. Four key elements define this struggle: data, computing power, talent, and institutions. Four Battlegrounds takes readers inside the fierce competition to develop and implement this game-changing technology and dominate the future.

Engaging and direct, Four Battlegrounds offers a vivid picture of how AI is transforming warfare, global security, and the future of human freedom—and what it will take for democracies to remain at the forefront of the world order.

Now available in stores.

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Four Battlegrounds: Bio


“An invaluable primer to arguably the most important driver of change for our future. Scharre marshals fact after fact to explain not just the technology, but the trends soon to unfold and remake our world.”

P. W. Singer, author of Burn-In

“Paul Scharre argues that the AI race between democratic and authoritarian states is well underway and the stakes could not be higher: whoever wins will write the international rules of the next century. With revealing anecdotes, cogent analysis, and incisive insight, Scharre demystifies AI and its national security implications. If you read one book on AI this year, read this one!”

Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

“How will AI change the balance of power between authoritarian states and democracies? This is one of the most important questions in geopolitics today. Authoritarians have already figured out how to use AI to their maximum advantage, and democrats must urgently do the same or risk losing the contest. First step: Read this book, a farsighted and comprehensive survey of the issues involved and the paths forward.”

Pedro Domingos, author of The Master Algorithm

“America and its military are facing a major test when it comes to AI. The country that best incorporates artificial intelligence technology into its defense will have significant military advantages over its competitors. Four Battlegrounds is an essential book for everyone involved in American leadership and American defense, because it outlines the challenges we face and explains the key components that will determine our success in using this important new technology to support American power and American ideals.”

Admiral James Stavridis, 16th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO

“In this riveting book on AI and power by one of the leading strategists of our time, Paul Scharre highlights an existential challenge: as Americans and Chinese militarize ever more powerful AI to avoid ceding control to each other, they risk ceding too much power to machines.”

Max Tegmark, author of Life 3.0

Four Battlegrounds is a must-read guide to how the emerging artificial intelligence arms race will shape the geopolitical, economic and political struggle between China and its authoritarian allies and the democratic West led by the United States and Europe.”

Martin Ford, author of Rule of the Robots

"Technophiles and technophobes alike will be challenged and enlightened."

Publishers Weekly

"A solid, well-organized account of the military applications of AI and of the race to take the lead global position."

Kirkus Reviews

"Scharre is a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and capable guide."

Foreign Affairs

"This study of the struggle over AI is well-written, impeccably sourced, and densely detailed. Readers knowledgeable about computer science will find it clarifying, while others will gain immense understanding of an often opaque if important subject."


Four Battlegrounds: Testimonials
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