Books by futurist Amy Webb
Amy Webb is one of America’s leading futurists and an award-winning author. She is the author of three books.
BOOKS BY AMY WEBB
Launches internationally on March 5, 2019
My upcoming book, The Big Nine: How The Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity (PublicAffairs/ Hachette, March 5, 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. The American portion of the Big Nine—Amazon, Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft and Facebook—have big ideas about how to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges, but they’re beholden to the whims of Wall Street and have only a transactional relationship with Washington. Meanwhile, China’s portion—Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent—are very much tethered to Beijing and the demands of the Chinese Communist Party. All of us are caught in the middle, as our data are mined and refined in service of building the future of AI. I’ve written The Big Nine in three parts. In the first, you’ll learn what AI is and the role the Big Nine have played in developing it. We will also take a deep dive into the unique situations faced by America’s Big Nine members and by Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent in China. In Part II, you’ll see detailed, plausible futures over the next fifty years as AI advances. The three scenarios you’ll read range from optimistic, pragmatic and catastrophic, and they will reveal both opportunity and risk as we advance from artificial narrow intelligence, to artificial general intelligence to artificial superintelligence. These scenarios are intense—they are the result of data-driven models, and they will give you a visceral glimpse at how AI might evolve, and how our lives will change as a result. In Part III, I will offer 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.
Early Praise for The Big Nine
"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, cofounder and partner 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? We can thank Amy Webb for helping us understand the questions and how to arrive at answers that will better serve humanity than our current path. 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, Harvard University
"The Big Nine is thoughtful and provocative, taking the long view and most of all raising the right issues around AI and providing a road map for an optimistic future with AI."―Peter Schwartz, senior vice president, Salesforce.com, and author of The Art of the Long View
"Webb's potential scenarios for specific futures are superb, providing detailed visions for society to avoid as well as achieve."―John C. Havens, executive director, IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems
The Signals Are Talking reveals a systemic way of evaluating new ideas bubbling up on the horizon–– distinguishing what is a real trend from the merely trendy. Signals helps us hear which signals are talking sense, and which are simply nonsense, so that we might know today what developments have long-term consequence for tomorrow.
Amy Webb is a noted futurist who combines curiosity and skepticism, colorful storytelling, and deeply-reported real-world analysis in this essential book for understanding the future. In Signals, Webb shows us how to identify seemingly random ideas at the fringe as they converge and begin to move toward the mainstream.
With the methodology developed in The Signals are Talking, we learn how to think like a futurist and answer vitally important questions: How will a technology––like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving cars, biohacking, bots and the Internet of Things––affect us personally? How will it impact our businesses and workplaces? How will it eventually change the way we live, work, play and think––and how should we prepare for it now?
Most importantly, Webb persuasively shows that the future isn’t something that happens to us passively. Instead, she allows us to see ahead so that we may forecast what’s to come––challenging us to create our own preferred futures.
Praise For Signals
“The clear, insightful, and humorous Amy Webb has crafted a rare treasure: a substantive guide written in a narrative that’s a delight to read. While most futurologists want guru status through a few Nostradamus-like visions that never materialize, Webb modestly reports with depth and discipline, and creates a system and tools we can all use to better navigate the future. Through her deep research, specific anecdotes, and brilliant insights, she has performed the selfless but hugely valuable act of teaching us all to fish at the fringe.” —CHRISTOPHER J. GRAVES, global chair, Ogilvy Public Relations
"[The Signals Are Talking] provides several brain-bending future possibilities...Webb’s stellar reputation in this red-hot field should generate demand." —Booklist
At this moment, it seems obvious that we could all stand to brush up on our skills as prognosticators. And not just so we can avoid being blindsided by seismic elections, but because technology promises to continue its disruptive march through our societies and economies. What will cabbies do when cars are self-driving, and what will warehouse workers do when robots can pick, pack, and ship without lunch breaks and health care benefits? Forget NAFTA; the shift is toward Silicon Valley. But where to start? The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream is a good place. Sitting somewhere between Nate Silver and The Tipping Point, Amy Webb's book provides a practical guide for leaders - at any level - in the age of Big Data, offering tools for picking out the “true signal, a pattern that will coalesce into a trend with the potential to change everything” - and land on the right side of disruption. —Jon Foro, The Amazon Book Review
"Don’t confuse the trendy with trends, warns Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute. Unlike hip, shiny objects, trends persist and can change everything. They include self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and other phenomena that will deeply affect our lives. Her detailed explanation of these simple-seeming steps is based on many years of experience advising organizations and will undoubtedly help leaders contemplate what lies ahead. The author makes clear how difficult it is to recognize forthcoming changes in an era when change is commonplace... Webb’s stories of these companies and her close examination of current trendiness help readers understand how certain fringe thinking is shaped by diverse external forces... Webb provides a logical way to sift through today’s onslaught of events and information to spot coming changes in your corner of the world." —KIRKUS
“Amy Webb, with insight and a big dose of pragmatism, shows how to clearly see the next big disruption and then take action before it strikes.” —RAM CHARAN, advisor to CEOs and corporate Boards, author of The Attackers Advantage, and coauthor of Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
“Forecasting the future is a challenging—and absolutely necessary—part of every leader’s job. In this ambitious and timely book, Amy Webb shows not only how to identify actual trends and surprises emerging from the fringes but—even more important—how to do something about them so you can thrive in the face of the unexpected.” —CRAIG NEWMARK, founder, Craigslist
“The best leaders will know how to listen for the future. Amy Webb’s book tells you the signals to listen for—as well as the noise you should ignore. The signals are talking and leaders should listen.” —BOB JOHANSEN, distinguished fellow, Institute for the Future, and author of Leaders Make the Future
“The renowned futurist Amy Webb zeroes in—with clarity, specificity, and verve—on the indispensable skill for people in every industry: how to recognize and interpret the clues that reveal the next big thing.” —VIVIAN SCHILLER, former president and CEO, National Public Radio
Praise For Data
“A heartening tale of how she found love and you can, too.” – People Magazine
“funny, brutally honest, and inspirational even to the most hopeless dater.”—Publishers Weekly
“Ultimately, [Webb] got her man, ‘a story book wedding’ and the longed-for child. Pleasant, geeky fun.”—Kirkus
“Webb’s instincts…make perfect sense.”—Washington Post
“Takes readers behind the scenes of Internet matchmaking.”—Boston Globe
“The ultimate guide to data-crunching your way to love.”—Wired
“This book is great fun, and possibly even useful to women who need a fresh approach to finding online lurve.” —Toronto Star
“clever and inventive… will be inspiring and eye-opening for anyone who has ever turned to one of the many popular online dating sites in search of love.”—Booklist
“Potent stuff”— Library Journal
“you will laugh, cry and think about the data behind your own dating life. Data, A Love Story is a great read” —Austin Woman