The fascinating history of Bell labs illustrates how a long-term view is essential for technological progress.
the book, written pre-Trump, pre-Brexit and pre-Cambridge Analytics, underemphasizes the risk of large-scale orchestration of fringe groups to undermine nation states; thereby making the author’s call for stronger institutions feels a bit besides the point.
The book fits neatly in the trend to call out gender inequality, but unfortunately it has limited practical solutions to offer.
The authors see AI as just a new option for the division of labor which, although it can have rather dramatic consequences, does not support apocalyptic GAI fearmongering.
When a a big tech investor like McNamee argues for stricter regulation it makes the argument more convincing.
There is a tendency in critiques of ‘big tech’ to underestimate the long-term resilliance of mankind; although that does not render the argument invalid.
Great effort to democratize AI and peel off some layers of mistique that harm public debate (althought the case against technochauvinism seems at times a bit too shallow).
The history of disc drives and mechanical excavators showcases how difficult it is for incumbents to come out on top when technological innovation hits your market.
Remember: there are many ways in which platforms can fail!
Isaacson’s narrative falacy (‘Leonardo never finishing what he starts’) is at odds with the public recognition he received in his own day and age.
Peter Thiel’s war on Gawker Media shows that money is a decisive factor in the US legal system.
Elegant guide to putting contrarian thinking into action, which tries a bit too had to show it is scientific.
Summary of how tech firms form a risk for democracy, but without a thorough assessment of how technology itself can be applied to improve the democratic process.
Decent summary of developments with some nice examples, but not sufficiently new or surprising to classify as ‘essential reading’.
More thorough and nuanced than most scary-AI-will-take-over-the-world-books, but it still suffers from the same pitfall: over-estimating the importance of superintelligence for evolutionary success (two random examples: cockroaches and Donald Trump).
Please note the irony in the fact that Amazon does not offer this book as ebook.
The narrative of how technology is changing the world told through 12 ‘forces’: Becoming, Cognifying, Flowing, Screening, Accessing, Sharing, Filtering, Remixing, Interacting, Tracking, Questioning, and Beginning.
Enjoyable, yet somewhat theoretical, meandering between fundamental truisms and gross simplicications, leaving the reader with one key question: ‘Where does it pay off to act contrarian?’
Strongly opiniated view on the future of humanity, mostly valuable due to the emphasis on the role of humans in steering development of technology and AI.
Recent move of Disney to boycot Netflixs proves that incumbents are starting to realize the new reality.
The 19th century saw the birth of many aspects that still define our world today; from the end of feudalism to the birth of modern democracy and from the death of god to the emergance of Medicine as a scientific discipline.
Masterful balance between major developments and impact on human scale.