Path to Optimistic AI Future
In an eye-opening and timely analysis of the world’s two divergent technological paths, the renowned futurist Amy Webb in The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans & Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity charts out the potential scenarios for an Artificial Intelligence future, pitting the United States and China in direct opposition to each other. Her balanced critique of nine major technology companies of the world—Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba—presents a cautionary tale to champion an ethical blueprint for AI development.
The Networked Public
While Sinha’s ability to understand the citizen’s precarious positioning between corporate and state influence allows for an even-handed prescription, if a reader fundamentally disagrees with Dewey’s optimism and freedom in choice, they might find the remedy shallow even if the diagnosis is clear. Sinha does dissect the beliefs of Dewey’s foil, Walter Lippman, who saw an informed citizenry as an unattainable goal. But this Dewey-Lippman dichotomy does little to illuminate the realistic manipulations that even an open marketplace of information platforms would still grapple with. If any platform were built with the most addictive features of a casino, would the citizen’s choice in platforms be any different? Would enough people choose platforms that prioritize the aspects of deliberative democracy that Sinha illuminates? Does one as a reader have similar faith and trust in an individual’s desire and strength for an informative public?
See my review here.