The Fourth Industrial Revolution
The predicted technological changes, while mostly presented as positives, might very well lead to potential civil unrest fueled by a widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. This divide will be likely seen most prominently in automation (capital) replacing jobs (labor) of both blue (replace by robots) and white collar (replaced by AI) workers. A public-private (read fascism) should be built to ameliorate this unrest by understanding and controlling the rollout of said technology. Ironically there is a simultanious call to increase retirement age (drastically) along with the hope that these emerging technologies will create more jobs than they destroy even though the evidence points directly to that not happening. One major theme that can not be glossed over is that most of the new technology is in the digital world and will lead directly to a loss of privacy and an increased amount of surveillance that can be seen as nothing short of digital totalitarianism.
Godel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid
The book builds in a very approachable manner, for even the most uninitiated reader, from basic formal systems to DNA and artificial intelligence. Each step is presented first with a humorous take in the form of a dialog between characters like Achilles and Tortoise and then the idea is elaborated on in a more formal manner with intellectual exercises that should engage the reader. Also the progression is made with a great many analogies where things like music, memory, DNA, and other seemingly unrelated topics are woven together to give a purchase point from many angles and thus be accessible to a great many people with a variety of backgrounds. I can say that I personally, with those 40 years of hindsight, don't give much credibility to some of the future (current) prospects of AI, but non-the-less find the book interesting and a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the topics. Overall the book is funny, informative, and a great introduction to some topics that 40+ years later we are still grappling with.