John Maeda

Books Raphael Sagalyn, +1 240 479 9610 Email Raphael Sagalyn

How to Speak Machine

book | Non-Fiction | Nov 2019
World English → Portfolio Content (Ed. Niki Papadopoulos)

Laws of Design for a Computational Age

John Maeda is one of the world's preeminent interdisciplinary thinkers on technology and design. In
How to Speak Machine, he offers a set of simple laws that govern not only the computers of today, but the unimaginable machines of the future. 

Technology is already more powerful than we can comprehend, and getting more powerful at an exponential pace. Once set in motion, algorithms never tire. And when a program's size, speed, and tirelessness combine with its ability to learn and transform itself, the outcome can be unpredictable and dangerous. Take the seemingly instant transformation of Microsoft's chatbot Tay into a hate-spewing racist, or how crime-predicting algorithms reinforce racial bias.

How to Speak Machine  provides a coherent framework for today's product designers, business leaders, and policymakers to grasp this brave new world. Drawing on his wide-ranging experience from engineering to computer science to design, Maeda shows how businesses and individuals can identify opportunities afforded by technology to make world-changing and inclusive products - while avoiding the pitfalls inherent to the medium.


Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Portfolio Content.

Jake Smith-Bosanquet manages the translation rights for How to Speak Machine


This book is concise, eye-opening, approachable, constructive, and a necessary learning experience for anybody wishing to make the best of our contemporary world. It is the inscription, however, that says it all: only by embracing what makes us deeply human will we be able to find true companions—among humans and machines alike.

Paola Antonelli
MoMA's Senior Curator of Architecture & Design and Director of R&D

This book is mind-expanding. Not everyone needs to understand how to program a computer, but understanding how computers ‘think’ is no longer optional.

Tim O'Reilly
Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, bestselling author of WTF

People who are fluent in ‘machine’ shape how technology benefits and burdens each of us. Making that language, and power, more accessible begins with this book.

Kat Holmes
UX Director at Google and author of Mismatch

Dazzling, unique, and radical. How to Speak Machine is like nothing I've ever read. It will rewire your brain (in a good way). A must-read for anyone looking to shape the future.

Jake Knapp
New York Times bestselling author of Sprint

Loved, loved, loved this book. It is not more than about machines; it's about philosophy, design, humanity, and our future. Buy it, devour it, gift it to those you care for.

Juan Enriquez
Author of As the Future Catches You and Evolving Ourselves

Before you can get machines to do what you want, you’d better learn to speak their language. John Maeda engineers rapprochement between humans and our computational creations in this engaging, enlightening book.

Douglas Rushkoff
Author of Team Human

John Maeda has written an entertaining, thought-provoking, and relatable guide for people who want to better understand design and computing, and the inextricable relationship between the two. He breaks down complex concepts and presents them in a way that is approachable and artful. I am thrilled to have How to Speak Machine in my toolkit as I work to level the playing field in the tech industry.

Jewel Burks Soloman
Tech Entrepreneur

How to Speak Machine is an all-encompassing tour of the computational realm. John Maeda’s delight and wonder, along with his cautionary wisdom, are exactly what we all need when thinking through the many implications for what happens when the worlds of machines and humans intersect.

Sam Arbesman
Author of Overcomplicated

A book with as much to teach about human behavior as it does technology. Riveting and important.

Emily Chang
Bloomberg TV Host and bestselling author of Brotopia

Raphael Sagalyn
+1 240 479 9610
Email Raphael Sagalyn
Translation Rights
Jake Smith-Bosanquet
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Jake Smith-Bosanquet