AI ebook cover design brainstorming

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.