K Allado-McDowell


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Ignota Books
28 September 2020
ISBN: 9781838003906
232 pages

From the publisher


During the first summer of the coronavirus pandemic, a diary entry by K Allado-McDowell initiates an experimental conversation with the AI language model GPT-3. Over the course of a fortnight, the exchange rapidly unfolds into a labyrinthine exploration of memory, language and cosmology.

The first book to be co-created with the emergent AI, Pharmako-AI is a hallucinatory journey into selfhood, ecology and intelligence via cyberpunk, ancestry and biosemiotics. Through a writing process akin to musical improvisation, Allado-McDowell and GPT-3 together offer a fractal poetics of AI and a glimpse into the future of literature.

Pharmako-AI reimagines cybernetics for a world facing multiple crises, with profound implications for how we see ourselves, nature and technology in the 21st century.

Praise for Pharmako-AI

‘The GPT-3 neural net is powerful, and when it’s fed a steady diet of Californian psychedelic texts, the effect is spectacular. No human being ever composed a “book” like Pharmako-AI – it reads like a gnostic’s Ouija board powered by atomic kaleidoscopes.’ — Bruce Sterling, author of The Difference Engine and Islands in the Net and editor of Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology 

‘An exciting example of the future of AI creativity: code as collaborator not competitor. Discover how AI can stop us humans falling into lazy mechanistic ways of thinking and challenge us with provocative new ideas.’ — Marcus du Sautoy, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford and author of The Creativity Code

‘This is the first time I feel as if technology is actively participating in our collective effort to make sense of life and our shared destiny. And I’m actually hopeful we may get to do this next stage of existence, together.’ — Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock, Team Human and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus