Author: Andrew Keen

The “attention economy” created by Silicon Valley is bankrupting us

Andrew Keen Contributor Andrew Keen is the author of three books: Cult of the Amateur, Digital Vertigo and The Internet Is Not The Answer. He produces Futurecast, and is the host of Keen On. More posts by this contributor: Another week, another political crisis. We’ve had yet another few days of outrageous tweets from President Trump all designed, it seems, to monopolize the national conversation. It’s all so predictably unpredictable — and what Tristan Harris, the co-founder of the nonprofit group Time Well Spent, calls a world dominated by the race for attention. According to Harris, an ex-design ethicist at Google...

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Does Silicon Valley have a moral responsibility to stop developing robots?

Andrew Keen Contributor Andrew Keen is the author of three books: Cult of the Amateur, Digital Vertigo and The Internet Is Not The Answer. He produces Futurecast, and is the host of Keen On. More posts by this contributor: The debate about the impact of new technology, particularly AI, on society continues to rage. Last month, for example, the current front runner to replace Jerry Brown as Californian Governor in 2018, Gavin Newsom – traditionally one of Silicon Valley’s most vocal supporters – warned graduating computer science students at UC Berkeley about the duty to “exercise their moral authority” to improve society. “This is code red, a firehose, a tsunami, that’s coming our way,” he said about the impact of new technology on jobs and inequality. So is Newsom right? Is the job of entrepreneurs and technologists, in his words, to “exercise their moral authority”? To answer this question, and to talk more generally about the impact of AI on employment, I sat down with the co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Andrew McAfee. One of the world’s leading authorities on the economic consequences of new technology, McAfee is also the co-author of the 2014 bestseller The Second Machine Age and the just published Machine, Platform, Crowd. Three years ago, I interviewed McAfee and his co-author, the MIT professor Erik Brynjolfsson, about the connection between digital technology and jobs. So what’s changed since 2014, I asked McAfee...

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