I am a writer of fiction and non-fiction, a science communicator, an Artificial Intelligence engineer, a futurist, and a digital innovation professional. I write fiction and non-fiction books, and I’m also working with private and public organizations to reimagine business and democratic institutions in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I view the arts, the humanities, the natural sciences and engineering not as discrete disciplines but as a continuum, a wonderful canvas continuously enriched by human creativity and imagination. That’s why I believe that we need a new Renaissance spirit to inspire us and guide us towards overcoming our shared, global problems of armed conflict, inequality of opportunity, poverty, health, and environmental catastrophe.
In this website I would like to share with you my thoughts, books, plays, poems, music, designs and dilemmas, and invite you to join a conversation about who we are and what our future might be.
I loved storytelling ever since I was little boy and my father wooed me with tales from his mythical childhood in his remote Greek village: how he wrestled with moustachioed giants and seductive water nymphs, and how we solved the riddles of trickster snakes that spoke in many tongues. How he had once met a siren that used to be the sister of Alexander the Great before being cursed by Zeus to live forever as half woman and half fish. I believed every word he said.
At school I read tons of comics and science fiction books and dreamt of becoming an interstellar astronaut. In my early 20s I went on to read almost every beatnik author I could lay my hands on. I retain two authors that still inspire me: Phillip K. Dick and William Burroughs.
I am grateful to my Greek schooling for forcing me to learn ancient Greek. Homer and Euripides remain my favourite poets of all time, and Aristophanes still makes me roll in laughter every time I read him or watch one of his plays. From modern Greek writers the Alexandrian poet Cavafy and the Cretan novelist Nikos Kazantzakis are closest to my literary obsessions. From English literature, apart from the beatniks, I swear by the names of Henry James and Charles Dickens. But the two masters who shaped my style and narrative direction were born and lived in Latin America: Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges, mis dos compañeros de armas.
The human brain has always fascinated me and when I was 21 years old, I decided to do a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. I remain a student of mind philosophers and neuroscientists ever since, and for a while I dabbled in research beyond my doctorate, applying ideas from cybernetics in the study of consciousness. I have changed my mind several times with regards to how our brains beget an awareness of selfhood, whether this awareness can be replicated in a computer, and what would such a machine mean for the future of human civilisation. I have somewhat settled in my beliefs now and have written a book about the roots and the ultimate goal of Artificial intelligence, as well as the feasibility for artificial consciousness. The title of that book is “In Our Own Image: will Artificial Intelligence save us or destroy us?” (Rider Books, 2015).
As I look into the future one of the things that concerns me the most is how to use automation for the benefit of everyone and not just the few. As I am a firm believer in personal freedom and economic liberty, I wanted to find a way to make free markets and democratic institutions fairer and more inclusive without the need of massive governmental intervention. I am reporting on the result of my thinking in my new, non-fiction book “Cyber Republic: reinventing democracy in the age of intelligent machines” (MIT Press, 2020).
I live in London and I am currently working on a new novel.