Weapons of Reason: AI

Driven by a desire to better understand the complex challenges shaping our world, Weapons of Reason is our own in-house publishing project. Issue six examines the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) in an attempt to separate the hard facts from the science fiction.

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The Challenge

  • Weapons of Reason is an eight-issue publishing venture that aims to interrogate and articulate the global challenges facing the world today.
  • Having already tackled the Arctic, ageing, megacities, power and food, issue six dives into yet another timely topic: artificial intelligence.
  • Our ambition was to explore both the utopian possibilities and dystopian pitfalls of a future with intelligent machines.
  • Every WoR issue is governed by a core creative principle: everything for a reason. We needed to keep the AI issue lean yet informative, simple yet striking, beautiful on the surface and just as rich within.

The Solution

  • As with every WoR issue, we divided the magazine into “Past” “Present” and “Future” to allow readers to move through the dense subject of AI logically, hitting key touchpoints along the way.
  • Each article in the AI issue consists of three main elements: engaging editorial, beautiful illustration and unique data design.
  • We commissioned 12 AI experts — including academics, specialist journalists and thought leaders — to write articles examining the concept of AI from a range of perspectives.
  • These experts explored topics such as the potential benefit of using AI in healthcare systems; whether automation could lead to utopia or dystopia; and how intelligent machines could impact everything from transport and the criminal justice system, to our understanding of art, love and religion.
  • We commissioned 13 world-class illustrators who, through bold imagery and beautiful illustration, helped bring each article to life.
  • We took a human approach to data design and focused on presenting information in the cleanest, simplest way possible. Where possible, we incorporated playful illustrative elements to infuse the data with a certain charm and personality.

The Results

  • We celebrated the launch of issue six at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch.
  • Aided by Newsstand and Antenne Books, WoR has achieved a global readership: from Leeds to Lisbon, from Perugia to Tianjin, our audience now numbers over 16,000 people.
  • Head to the Weapons of Reason site to order your copy, and follow Weapons of Reason on Instagram and Twitter.

Weapons of Reason: The AI issue cover illustration by Rob Bailey

Weapons of Reason AI issue pattern illustration

Spread from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Spread from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

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Illustration from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

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Datapoint from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Datapoint about fashion automation from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Spread from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Spread from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Spot illustration by Alva Skog from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Alexa usage datapoint from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Upgrade Day illustration by Lisa Tegtmeier spread from Weapons of Resaon magazine: The AI issue

Moore's Law datapoint spread from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Illustration by Xoana Herrera from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

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Spot illustration by Cecile Gariepy from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Transhumanism photo spread from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Transhumanism photospread by David Vintiner from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Transhumanism photospread by David Vintiner from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

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Illustration by Xingyu Chai from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

Pattern and quote from Weapons of Reason magazine: The AI issue

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