- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (April 3, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1626569711
- ISBN-13: 978-1626569713
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future 1st Edition
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“Vivek raises one of the most important issues of our time -- the use of technology to uplift rather than displace humans. His book provides an invaluable guide for assessing the benefits and risks of future technologies.”
—Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
“Exponential technologies are about to transform every aspect of our lives. Understanding the potential and implications of these technologies is crucial to every person and every company. In this book, Vivek provides you a clear and authoritative blueprint for assessing their benefits and risks.”
—Peter H. Diamandis, MD, cofounder and Executive Chairman, Singularity University, and author of New York Times bestsellers Abundance and Bold
“Realizing the promise of the accelerating returns in front of us while avoiding the peril is arguably the most important issue for humankind's future. Vivek's new book articulately and insightfully examines the contours of both.”
—Ray Kurzweil, inventor, futurist, and author of The Singularity Is Near and How to Create a Mind
“Brilliant book! Our constantly-in-change world is now running on ‘exponential time,' and this disruption has huge consequences. Vivek gives us the prism to make sense of it all.”
—John Sculley, former CEO, Apple
“Vivek possesses the brilliance and vision to foretell the technological path that will define our future. More important, he has the heart and compassion to trumpet the clarion call so that , as business leaders, we know how to take our employees with us on this journey of innovative enlightenment.”
—Lynn Tilton, CEO, Patriarch Partners, LLC
“The questions this book raises are too important to be ignored by our political leaders or by the general public. Vivek Wadhwa compellingly explains the awesome opportunities technological advances hold for us. He also demonstrates the urgent need to establish a new system of governance to ensure that we can reap the rewards while containing the risks awaiting us.”
—Kofi Annan, seventh United Nations Secretary General; corecipient of the Nobel Peace Prize; and founder and Chairman, Kofi Annan Foundation
"I strongly recommend this well-written book. You would be hard put to find another review of technological advance that covers so much ground so succinctly — and at times so provocatively." —Clive Cookson, Financial Times Summer Books of 2017: Science
"Writing with Alex Salkever, Wadhwa ranges over applications from genome editing and the Internet of Things to artificial intelligence, weighing up their potential for risk and the universality of any benefits. Readers may not all share his enthusiasm for autonomous vehicles, but his pointed analyses of the coming transformations add nuance to the debate." —Barbara Kiser, Books in Brief, Nature Magazine
"Of all the books I have read so far this year, 'The Driver in the Driverless Car – How our technology choices will create the future' by American technology guru Vivek Wadhwa and tech journalist Alex Salkever impressed me the most." —Kofi Annan Foundation, Summer Book Club 2017
This book teaches readers to evaluate the potential impact of any new technology by asking three simple questions. According to Vivek Wadhwa, it is up to everyone to choose how technology moves forward. Will our future be Star Wars or Mad Max? If we simply let change happen, we may give our vote to the dark side, which will steal our privacy and control everything by default.
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Top customer reviews
An authoritative look at technology’s potential
In this fascinating and authoritative look at the potential of technology, both positive and negative, Wadhwa demonstrates intimate knowledge of the latest developments in such diverse fields as biomedicine, robotics, education, the Internet of Things, and prosthetics. Unlike the unreservedly optimistic scenarios presented by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis, Wadhwa paints an almost symmetrical portrait of technology’s future, extolling its promise but vividly describing its potential to harm us. (I previously reviewed Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Diamandis.) Ray Kurzweil famously speaks about the exponential rate at which technology advances. Wadhwa bases his argument on the same formula but reaches different conclusions. “You will see that there is no black and white,” he writes; “the same technologies that can be used for good can be used for evil in a continuum limited only by the choices we make jointly.”
It’s a cliché to remark on the speed of technological change, but the reality is nonetheless staggering. As Wadhwa notes, “the amount of information buzzing over the Internet is doubling roughly every 1.25 years. . . We are now creating more information content in a single day that we created in decades or even centuries in the pre-digital era.” He adds, “the iPhone 11 or 12 will have greater computing power than our brains do.”
Three questions to ask about any new technology
The Driver in the Driverless Car is organized around three broad questions, which Wadhwa poses in connection with each of the technologies he discusses: “1. Does the technology have the potential to benefit everyone equally? 2. What are the risks and the rewards? 3. Does the technology more strongly promote autonomy or dependence?” He is merciless in responding to these questions. Only two of the many technologies treated in this book emerge with unreservedly positive reviews: driverless cars and trucks, and solar power. Everything else comes up short, from the biomedical miracles emerging from laboratories on a daily basis to the Internet of Things. In a great many cases, the new technologies render us susceptible to identity theft or worse. For example, Wadhwa fears the loss of privacy that will come from having all our appliances connected to the Internet and to each other: “I am not looking forward to having my bathroom scale tell my refrigerator not to order any more cheesecake.”
A sometimes fantastic vision of the future
Disputing Wadhwa’s sometimes fantastic vision of technology’s future may be a fool’s errand. However, it’s difficult not to remain skeptical about some of his predictions. For example, he envisions 200-mile-per-hour driverless cars guided by a web of sensors on the roadways. Despite the miniscule cost of individual sensors, it’s hard to see where the money might come from to implement such a system. Can you imagine how much it might cost to embed sensors along a 200-mile stretch of highway, much less the full 381 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles? Similarly, the author envisions a sea change in our transportation system within the foreseeable future, with driverless electric cars available on command everywhere, private vehicles and stop lights eliminated, and parking lots a thing of the past. Perhaps, eventually, all this might come to pass. But is it realistic to expect that politicians will resist the screaming complaints from auto manufacturers, oil companies, service station and parking lot owners, and individual citizens by the millions?
Wadhwa emphasizes throughout The Driver in the Driverless Car that only grassroots citizen pressure can force politicians to enact the legislation necessary to permit the widespread use of some of these technologies. For instance, FDA approval may be necessary for the acceptance of many of the biomedical innovations Wadhwa describes. And state governments everywhere will be required to allow driverless vehicles to travel on their roads, a prospect that does not seem imminent. The future Wadhwa envisions may eventually come to pass. But we would be naive to expect no bumps, twists, and turns along the way.
About the authors
Vivek Wadwa has an extraordinary resumé. An Indian-born American futurist, he lives in Silicon Valley and researches technology developments there. Wadhwa holds distinguished positions at Carnegie Mellon and Duke and is a globally syndicated columnist for the Washington Post. In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers. Wadhwa calls his co-author, Alex Salkever, V.P of Marketing Communications at Mozilla, his “writing guru.” The two also co-authored The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent, which the Economist named a Book of the Year in 2012.
Wadhwa is a highly respected and insightful global thought-leader across multiple disciplines. The concepts in this book are not extreme futuristic topics and include many where Wadhwa has personal experience. Wadhwa includes a very pertinent quote from William Gibson who observed back in 1999, “The future is already here; it’s just not very evenly distributed”.
The book highlights both the tremendous opportunities and advantages from emerging technology impacting our healthcare, energy, media, education, retail, commercial, and industrial sectors. The risks and dangers from innovations like AI and genomic research are also addressed throughout the book. Wadhwa reminds us that “the amount of time it takes for a new technology to achieve mass adoption is shrinking” (i.e. Moore’s Law). This book helps prepare the reader to deal with the accelerating changes and critical decisions that we are challenged to make during the rest of our lifetime.
Bottom line, “Driver in the Driverless Car” is a great book and must read for anyone interested in preparing to make prudent personal and professional decisions that will ultimately have a positive and substantial impact.
Now is the time to prepare, to put our foot down, to accelerate our conscious engagement expanding our capacity and capability with commitment, conviction and certitude to advancing us all forward. This book is a first step forward to understand the journey of wonder wall opportunities cascading before us in the face of Mad Max fear and loathing. Create and set your compass. Share. Keep moving us all forward.
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Not because of the subject matter - it is clearly & simply presented, if only too...Read more