The Big Nine
- FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year award longlist
- Winner, Gold Axiom Medal
- Thinkers50 Award shortlist
- Amazon Editor’s Selection
The Big Nine: How The Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity (PublicAffairs/ Hachette 2019), is a call-to-arms about the broken nature of artificial intelligence, and the powerful corporations that are turning the human-machine relationship on its head. AI’s destiny is in the control of nine big corporations in the U.S. and China, who may have big ideas about how to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges but are beholden to investors and government officials. All of us are caught in the middle, as our data are mined and refined in service of building the future of AI.
Written in three parts, The Big Nine offers a clear window into how the future of AI might unfold. In Part I, you’ll gain new perspective on what AI is and the role the Big Nine have played in developing it. In Part II, you’ll see detailed, plausible future scenarios spanning the next 50 years as AI advances. Part III is a proposal to develop AI in the best interests of the public, which includes tactical and strategic solutions to the all of the problems identified in the scenarios along with a concrete plan to reboot the present. Part III is intended to jolt us into action, so there are specific recommendations for our governments, the leaders of the Big Nine, and even for you.
“Rather than questioning the character of thinking machines, futurist Amy Webb turns a critical eye on the humans behind the computers. With AI’s development overwhelmingly driven by nine tech powerhouses, she asks: Is it possible for the technology to serve the best interests of everyone?”―Wired
“Instead of predicting the future, Webb lays out scenarios for optimistic, pragmatic, and catastrophic outcomes — all extrapolated from current facts. However impractical you may find the idea of a common Apple-Amazon operating system named Applezon, considering potential scenarios is a fantastically healthy exercise, because anyone who tells you they know how AI is going to turn out is lying.”―VentureBeat
Rather than questioning the character of thinking machines, futurist Amy Webb turns a critical eye on the humans behind the computers. With AI’s development overwhelmingly driven by nine tech powerhouses, she asks: Is it possible for the technology to serve the best interests of everyone?
Webb’s assessments are based on analyses of patent filings, policy briefings, interviews and other sources. She paints vivid pictures of how AI could benefit the average person, via precision medicine or smarter dating apps…Her forecasts are provocative and unsettlingly plausible.