On this ID the Future from the vault, author Jay Richards discusses The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines. Science fiction tantalizes us — and pundits terrorize us — with images of intelligent machines taking over for humans. Really taking over, as in replacing us. Some thinkers even say that’s just the next phase of evolution, and we’re just machines ourselves, with consciousness and personhood being a mere illusion. In his conversation with host Robert Crowther, Richards makes the case that this is all wrong, and that consciousness, personhood, agency, and human freedom are all real and worth defending, and that any philosophy (e.g., materialism) that denies these realities is bankrupt. He also explains why he’s convinced there’s a lot more to hope for than to fear in our future with our new smart machines.