“Before us sat the ultimate plaything, the dream of ages, the triumph of humanism – or its angel of death”.
Ian McEwan’s subversive and entertaining new novel “Machines Like Me” is set in a world not quite like this one. Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher is battling Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing has achieved a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. Meanwhile the relationship between two lovers, Charlie and Miranda, will be tested beyond their understanding by a robot named Adam.
We are delighted to welcome Ian McEwan – recently described as our foremost storyteller – to Stroud Book Festival. In conversation with Professor Jon Cook of the University of East Anglia, he discusses his latest novel, and the fundamental questions it raises. What makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives? And could a machine ever understand the human heart?