The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines

Berrett-Koehler. Feb. 2020. 264p. ISBN 9781523087617. $26.95. TECH
Davidow and Malone (coauthors, The Virtual Corporation) offer a provocative work combining historical inquiry, present-day technology crises, and possible future solutions. More than solely addressing automation, as implied by its title, this volume provides ample historical context, from the British Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution in the 17th and 18th centuries, through the present era, which the authors deem the Autonomous Revolution. In this new era, the challenges technologies bring are profoundly threatening to our livelihoods, liberties, and security. While not specifically focused on Artificial Intelligence writ large, this book is a worthy exploration of adjacent and distinct concerns of technology in general, including best practices for the future of privacy, presenting original solutions to myriad privacy and security issues.
VERDICT This work will find an active readership among historians of technology and those with an interest in popular historical narratives that focus on the social science angle of technologies.
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