Amy Webb’s ‘The Big Nine’ predicts the impact of AI and tech giants over the next 50 years

Using China’s AI strategy as motivation, teachers preparing people for an automated future are paid more, and federal funding for AI projects grows so big it relieves the Googles of the world from obsessing over AI advances in order to meet shareholder demands.

In The Big Nine, Webb seeks to answer this question for the next 50 years.

In her annual tech trends report a year ago, Webb articulated that these nine companies have the most control over cloud computing, research, data, and the popular frameworks used by developers and will therefore shape the future of AI. The 2019 Emerging Tech Trends report is due out Saturday.

Thanks to companies like Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, China is already poised to become the world’s unchallenged AI hegemon, a development Webb isn’t sure is good for the future of humanity.

Best- and worst-case scenarios An ideal future for AI is one in which tech companies work with each other and society to solve the world’s problems.

Webb spends Part III of the book exploring potential solutions, such as weaving ethics into the education of AI practitioners and revising the Office of Technology Assessment to advise members of Congress whose policy initiatives will impact AI. One gripe: I expected to hear more about how this future will look for each of these big companies.

At the start of the book, Webb asserts, “The Big Nine aren’t the villains in this story. In fact, they are our best hope for the future.” Given some of the events in the past year of techlash, I can see why some people may take issue with that statement, but there’s no denying that the steps taken by massive AI-first companies in the present day will shape our future, for better or worse.

This article was summarized automatically with AI / Article-Σ ™/ BuildR BOT™.

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