Reprogramming the American dream : from rural America to Silicon Valley--making AI serve us all

by Scott, Kevin, 1972-

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 6 copies
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Brentwood Library Nonfiction 338.064 Scott
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** #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller **

In this essential book written by a rural native and Silicon Valley veteran, Microsoft's Chief technology officer tackles one of the most critical issues facing society today: the future of artificial intelligence and how it can be realistically used to promote growth, even in a shifting employment landscape.

There are two prevailing stories about AI: for heartland low- and middle-skill workers, a dystopian tale of steadily increasing job destruction; for urban knowledge workers and the professional class, a utopian tale of enhanced productivity and convenience. But there is a third way to look at this technology that will revolutionize the workplace and ultimately the world. Kevin Scott argues that AI has the potential to create abundance and opportunity for everyone and help solve some of our most vexing problems.

As the chief technology officer at Microsoft, he is deeply involved in the development of AI applications, yet mindful of their potential impact on workers--knowledge he gained firsthand growing up in rural Virginia. Yes, the AI Revolution will radically disrupt economics and employment for everyone for generations to come. But what if leaders prioritized the programming of both future technology and public policy to work together to find solutions ahead of the coming AI epoch Like public health, the space program, climate change and public education, we need international understanding and collaboration on the future of AI and work. For Scott, the crucial question facing all of us is this: How do we work to ensure that the continued development of AI allows us to keep the American Dream alive

In this thoughtful, informed guide, he offers a clear roadmap to find the answer.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Microsoft chief technology officer Scott offers a hopeful but not wholly convincing vision of how artificial intelligence might rescue America's rust belt. Objecting to what he sees as one-sided characterizations of AI, as either all good or all bad, Scott aims for a clear-eyed assessment of its risks and benefits. He begins in his hometown of Gladys, Va., explaining how the local economy has been damaged by the disappearance of traditional, manual labor--reliant industries such as textile manufacturing and tobacco cultivation. What follows is a meandering look at AI's potential to revitalize rural economies, illustrated with snapshots of new and evolving businesses outside tech hubs. Scott interviews, among other people, a lumber company manager who believes robotics will supplement, not supplant, his employees' ability to do a "rough and dirty job," and thereby prolong their careers. Scott makes a strong case that, with improved broadband access and tax incentives, AI-driven manufacturing enterprises could bloom throughout the heartland. His confidence that workers displaced by automation can be "re-skilled" into AI-related jobs is less persuasive, however, given the paucity of supporting details. Scott offers some appealing individual tales of economic revival, but his optimism never quite coheres into a clear argument for how American employment can be salvaged on a large scale. (Apr.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Technological innovations -- Economic aspects -- United States.
Artificial intelligence -- Economic aspects -- United States.
Automation -- Economic aspects -- United States.
Economic development -- United States.
Publisher New York, NY :2020
Edition First edition.
Contributors Shaw, Greg (Microsoft executive), author.
Language English
Description xii, 285 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780062879875
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