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Book synthesis

8 books for me, my AI and ChatGPT

Other major dilemma: AI, friend or foe? I am aware of what it implies for mankind and the planet, of ethical, philosophical and deontological issues it raises, or I don’t care, what matters being increasingly fast communications? Here are a few thoughts, pointing in both directions, because it is still very difficult to be clear-headed on the subject, even with ChatGPT!

On the Brink of Utopia

By Thomas Ramge and Rafael Laguna de la Vera
MIT Press 2023

How to encourage the disruptive innovations we urgently need to face our collective future? What major issues should we tackle? Who makes technological leaps? In which contexts? The authors describe a world in which technologies will solve many contemporary problems. Are they hope-filled visionaries or naive irrationalists?

The Dark Cloud: how the digital world is costing the earth

By Guillaume Pitron and Bianca Jacobson
Scribe Publications, 2023

If the digital sector were a country, it would be the third-largest consumer in the world, after China and the US. Recommended by Adam Grant, The Dark Cloud is a fascinating investigation of the dark side of the digital world. It shows not only how costly it is, but also how devastating it is for the environment. In fact, it is one the of major environmental challenges of the 21st century.

The Geek Way

By Andrew McAfee
Little Brown, 2023

How does a geek function? By trial and error, egalitarianism, group testing and proofing of ideas – rather than by relying on the boss’s instinct. One of the most convincing studies of what the Silicon Valley learned about creating more efficient organizations, a new spirit, a new paradigm of what a company, an organization can and should do. The Geek Way…

We, the Data

By Wendy Wong
MIT Press 2023

Tremendous paradox pointed out by Wendy Wong: with the data collected from us, we are the digital world’s crucial actors and contributors – yet we are excluded from the most urgent conversations about technology, ethics and politics. Our rights should go beyond our physical self to include our entire digital self.

Out of Touch

By Michelle Drouin
MIT Press 2022

How can modern technology simultaneously enable and hinder our need for connection? We are more and more connected, and to more and more people, but what aspirations do these connections answer? Why do they leave us hungry for real connections? Or, as the author phrases it, how to survive an intimacy famine?

Ainsi parlait ChatGPT

By François Deymier
Petit précis pour être précis éditeur, 2023

In a surprising dialogue between a human being and machine, plenty of ideas pop up as the author, a journalist seeking novel experiences, and ChatGPT discuss life and death, spirituality or Elon Musk’s quest for truth. The preface was penned by Mathias Leboeuf, a philosopher and journalist. A must-read!

The Coming Wave

By Mustafa Suleyman, with Michael Bhaskar
Crown 2023

Named best book of the year by The Economist, the Financial Times, and CEO Magazine among others, this is an alert by Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind (which now belongs to Google). He warns about the dangers of blindly going along with AI. Instead, he says, the coming wave of change must be contained with ideas and tools to navigate the narrow, treacherous path ahead.

Contre-atlas de l’intelligence artificielle

By Kate Crawford
Ed. Zulma 2022

AI isn’t all that “artificial”, in fact. Where and how is it made? Who funds it and who does it serve? The AI industry voraciously consumes natural, material, logistical and human resources. Because it is being developed and designed without control, without assessment with justice and ethical criteria, AI is a reflection of power, the expression of a new form of colonialism, according to Crawford.

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Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.