Driver in the Driverless Car - by Vivek Wadhwa & Alex Salkever (Hardcover)
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About the BookThis book teaches readers to evaluate the potential impact of any new technology by asking three simple questions. According to Vivek Wadhwa, it is up to everyone to choose how technology moves forward. Will our future be Star Wars or Mad Max? If we simply let change happen, we may give our vote to the dark side, which will steal our privacy and control everything by default.
A computer beats the reigning human champion of Go, a game harder than chess. Another is composing classical music. Labs are creating life-forms from synthetic DNA. A doctor designs an artificial trachea, uses a 3D printer to produce it, and implants it and saves a child's life.
Astonishing technological advances like these are arriving in increasing numbers. Scholar and entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa uses this book to alert us to dozens of them and raise important questions about what they may mean for us.
Breakthroughs such as personalized genomics, self-driving vehicles, drones, and artificial intelligence could make our lives healthier, safer, and easier. But the same technologies raise the specter of a frightening, alienating future: eugenics, a jobless economy, complete loss of privacy, and ever-worsening economic inequality. As Wadhwa puts it, our choices will determine if our future is Star Trek or Mad Max.
Wadhwa offers us three questions to ask about every emerging technology: Does it have the potential to benefit everyone equally? What are its risks and rewards? And does it promote autonomy or dependence? Looking at a broad array of advances in this light, he emphasizes that the future is up to us to create--that even if our hands are not on the wheel, we will decide the driverless car's destination.
"....a succinct and provocative examination of the social and ethical implications of breakthroughs."
- 2017 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year - Long List "Writing with Alex Salkever, Wadhwa ranges over applications from genome editing and the Internet of Things to artificial intelligence, weighing up their potential for risk and the universality of any benefits. Readers may not all share his enthusiasm for autonomous vehicles, but his pointed analyses of the coming transformations add nuance to the debate."
--Barbara Kiser, Books in Brief, Nature Magazine "I strongly recommend this well-written book. You would be hard put to find another review of technological advance that covers so much ground so succinctly -- and at times so provocatively."
--Clive Cookson, Financial Times Summer Books of 2017: Science "Of all the books I have read so far this year, 'The Driver in the Driverless Car - How our technology choices will create the future' by American technology guru Vivek Wadhwa and tech journalist Alex Salkever impressed me the most."
--Kofi Annan Foundation, Summer Book Club 2017 "Vivek raises one of the most important issues of our time -- the use of technology to uplift rather than displace humans. His book provides an invaluable guide for assessing the benefits and risks of future technologies."
--Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
"Exponential technologies are about to transform every aspect of our lives. Understanding the potential and implications of these technologies is crucial to every person and every company. In this book, Vivek provides you a clear and authoritative blueprint for assessing their benefits and risks."
--Peter H. Diamandis, MD, cofounder and Executive Chairman, Singularity University, and author of New York Times bestsellers Abundance and Bold
"Realizing the promise of the accelerating returns in front of us while avoiding the peril is arguably the most important issue for humankind's future. Vivek's new book articulately and insightfully examines the contours of both."
--Ray Kurzweil, inventor, futurist, and author of The Singularity Is Near and How to Create a Mind
"Brilliant book! Our constantly-in-change world is now running on 'exponential time, ' and this disruption has huge consequences. Vivek gives us the prism to make sense of it all."
--John Sculley, former CEO, Apple
"Vivek possesses the brilliance and vision to foretell the technological path that will define our future. More important, he has the heart and compassion to trumpet the clarion call so that, as business leaders, we know how to take our employees with us on this journey of innovative enlightenment."
--Lynn Tilton, CEO, Patriarch Partners, LLC
"The questions this book raises are too important to be ignored by our political leaders or by the general public. Vivek Wadhwa compellingly explains the awesome opportunities technological advances hold for us. He also demonstrates the urgent need to establish a new system of governance to ensure that we can reap the rewards while containing the risks awaiting us."
--Kofi Annan, seventh United Nations Secretary General; corecipient of the Nobel Peace Prize; and founder and Chairman, Kofi Annan Foundation
About the AuthorVivek Wadhwa is a Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering and a director of research at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering. He is a globally syndicated columnist for the Washington Post; author of The Immigrant Exodus, which the Economist named a Book of the Year of 2012; and coauthor of Innovating Women, which documents the struggles and triumphs of women in technology. Wadhwa has held appointments at Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School, UC Berkeley, and Emory University and is an adjunct faculty member at Singularity University. Alex Salkever is vice president of marketing communications at Mozilla. He was a technology editor of BusinessWeek, a regular science contributor to the Christian Science Monitor, and a contributor to The Immigrant Exodus.