The Big Nine:
How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity
This event includes a book signing
April 2, 2019
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes quantitative futurist and founder of the Future Today Institute AMY WEBB for a discussion of her latest book, The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity.
About The Big Nine
We like to think that we are in control of the future of "artificial" intelligence. The reality, though, is that we—the everyday people whose data powers AI—aren't actually in control of anything. When, for example, we speak with Alexa, we contribute that data to a system we can't see and have no input into—one largely free from regulation or oversight. The big nine corporations—Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple—are the new gods of AI and are short-changing our futures to reap immediate financial gain.
In this book, Amy Webb reveals the pervasive, invisible ways in which the foundations of AI—the people working on the system, their motivations, the technology itself—is broken. Within our lifetimes, AI will, by design, begin to behave unpredictably, thinking and acting in ways which defy human logic. The big nine corporations may be inadvertently building and enabling vast arrays of intelligent systems that don't share our motivations, desires, or hopes for the future of humanity.
Much more than a passionate, human-centered call-to-arms, this book delivers a strategy for changing course and provides a path for liberating us from algorithmic decision-makers and powerful corporations.
"The Big Nine is provocative, readable, and relatable. Amy Webb demonstrates her extensive knowledge of the science driving AI and the geopolitical tensions that could result between the US and China in particular. She offers deep insights into how AI could reshape our economies and the current world order, and she details a plan to help humanity chart a better course." ―Anja Manuel, Stanford University, co-founder and partner of RiceHadleyGates
"The Big Nine is an important and intellectually crisp work that illuminates the promise and peril of AI. Will AI serve its three current American masters in Washington, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street or will it serve the interests of the broader public? Will it concentrate or disperse economic and geopolitical power? . . . The Big Nine should be discussed in classrooms and boardrooms around the world." ―Alec Ross, author of The Industries of the Future
"The Big Nine makes bold predictions regarding the future of AI. But unlike many other prognosticators, Webb sets sensationalism aside in favor of careful arguments, deep historical context, and a frightening degree of plausibility." ―Jonathan Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of International Law and professor of Computer Science at Harvard University
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.
While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.
Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:
- Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
- Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
- Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.
Ordering a signed book by phone:
- Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
- If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.
Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.
Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!
Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.
I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.
More questions? Give us a call!
Featured event books will be for sale at the event. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
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