The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity
March 04, 2019
Prominent futurist and bestselling author Amy Webb delivers a timely wake-up call to the most urgent but under-explored question of our times: how can we steer the evolution of artificial intelligence in the right direction?
The greatest power to change the future is AI, and it lies in the hands of only nine decision-makers: Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, and Apple in the U.S. and Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent in China. If you’re not worried, you should be.
In The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity, prominent futurist and bestselling author Amy Webb delivers a timely wake-up call to the most urgent but under-explored question of our times: how can we steer the evolution of artificial intelligence in the right direction?
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with AI insiders and influencers, Webb reveals that the future of AI is currently moving along two developmental tracks that are often at odds with what’s best for humanity. China’s AI push is motivated by geopolitics: a coordinated attempt to create a new world order led by President Xi, while market forces and consumerism are the primary drivers in America. This dichotomy is AI’s ultimate challenge and it’s up to us to resolve it. In the book, Webb delves into:
- What AI is, the role the Big Nine have played in developing it, and the stark divide between how it is evolving in China vs. the U.S.
- Three different plausible AI futures that could happen over the next 50 years ranging from optimistic to pragmatic to catastrophic.
- A tactical action plan for solving the problems we could face in these scenarios along with concrete solutions to reboot the present.
As Webb says, “Every person alive today can play a critical role in the future of artificial intelligence. The decisions we make about AI now—even the seemingly small ones—will forever change the course of human history.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Webb is a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading foresight and strategy firm. Now in its second decade, the Future Today Institute helps leaders and their organizations prepare for deep uncertainties and complex futures. Named by Forbes as one of the five women changing the world, Webb was named to the Thinkers50 Radar list of the 30 management thinkers most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led and won the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar Award. She is a Fellow in the United States-Japan Leadership Program and was a Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where her research received a national Sigma Delta Chi award. She was also a Delegate on the former U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, where she worked on the future of technology, media and international diplomacy. Webb’s research focus is artificial intelligence, and she has advised three-star generals and admirals, White House leadership and CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies on the risks and opportunities presented by AI.
This giveaway is brought to you by PublicAffairs, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. We have 20 copies available.