strength and progressOur thousand-year struggle over technology and prosperity Written by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson (Essential Books/PublicAffairs)
Listen to Technorati from Silicon Valley and you’d think the future is already written in computer code, if not the stars. In this comprehensive and compelling book, two MIT professors reject any notion of technological determinism and explore how countries can shape technology to create more humane societies.
The battle for your brain: Defending the Right to Think Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology Written by Nita Farahani (St. Martin’s Press)
Recent advances in neurotechnology are bringing much-needed relief to stroke victims and epilepsy patients. But the increasing ability to track and hack our brains also opens up sinister possibilities for malign armies, corporations, and governments. Farahani argues the safeguards we need to preserve our privacy and freedom of thought.
Planned everything: the microchip design that changed the world By James Ashton (Hodder & Stoughton)
More than a trillion microchips are sold annually, powering everything from smartphones and nuclear missiles to toothbrushes and toys. A surprising number of them work on designs from the hugely successful and little-known British company: Arm. In this scintillating corporate biography, Ashton recounts her origins and remarkable global influence.
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More than just a glitch: Confronting race, gender, and ability biases in technology Written by Meredith Broussard (MIT Press)
Technology often discriminates against marginalized communities because society does, writes this leading researcher on algorithmic bias and associate professor at New York University. But Brossard argues that a possible reboot is possible and that public interest technology can be used to promote a more just society.
Quantum supremacy: How quantum computers will unlock the mysteries of science–and tackle humanity’s greatest challenges Written by Michio Kaku (Aline Lin)
Although Kaku is overexcited about the potential impact of quantum computers given their severe limitations today, his book helps explain the science behind the technology. If you want to understand all of the quantum theory behind Schrödinger’s cat, superposition, entanglement, and parallel universes, this is a good place to start.
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