You are not about to surrender your life and understanding of the world to machines. That head of yours with its conscious mind, reading this column, remains in the driving seat and always will. It's true that the capacity of machines to supplement human intelligence, monitor us, mimic us and replace routine jobs and tasks is exploding and in the wrong hands could represent a step change in creating dark forms of economic and social control. But that is the battle for democracy, with the confrontation of the worst of capitalism taking on a new dimension. It does not mean that the end of human life is nigh – it means we have to be cleverer in fashioning responses.