From time to time, when we get a collection of related books into the library we like to share a list on a particular topic. This time we’ve got three on technology. These titles are housed in Cedar Rapids, but you can request them to be delivered to any of the other centers at any time.
The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb, Call Number: 006.301 G646b
NOTE: Artificial Intelligence is poised to change the course of human history forever, and the big nine companies who will determine its future – Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent – serve masters whose needs are increasingly out of whack with humanity’s interests. Amy Webb’s sobering and prescient forecast into the present and future of AI provides the wake-up call we need when there is still time to change course… before the big nine lead humanity to disaster. (Of the big 9 list, the last 3 that you probably don’t know are Chinese companies.)
Cracking the Digital Ceiling: Women in Computing Around the World, Edited by Carol Frieze and Jeria L. Quesenberry, Call Number: 004.082 C883
NOTE: Is computing just for men? Are men and women suited to different careers? This collection of global perspectives challenges these commonly held western views, perpetuated as explanations for women’s low participation in computing. By providing an insider look at how different cultures worldwide impact the experiences of women in computing, the book introduces readers to theories and evidence that support the need to turn to environmental factors, rather than innate potential, to understand what determines women’s participation in this growing field. This wakeup call to examine the obstacles and catalysts within various cultures and environments will help those interested in improving the situation understand where they might look to make changes that could impact women’s participation in their classrooms, companies, and administrations.
Why Hackers Win: Power and Disruption in the Network Society by Patrick Burkart and Tom McCourt, Call Number: 364.168 B959w
NOTE: When people think of hackers, they usually think of a lone wolf acting with the intent to garner personal data for identity theft and fraud. But what about the corporations and government entities that use hacking as a strategy for managing risk? Why Hackers Win asks the pivotal question of how and why the instrumental uses of invasive software by corporations and government agencies contribute to social change. Through a critical communication and media studies lens, the book focuses on the struggles of breaking and defending the “trusted systems” underlying our everyday use of technology. It compares the United States and the European Union, exploring how cybersecurity and hacking accelerate each other in digital capitalism, and how the competitive advantage that hackers can provide corporations and governments may actually afford new venues for commodity development and exchange. Presenting prominent case studies of communication law and policy, corporate hacks, and key players in the global cybersecurity market, the book proposes a political economic model of new markets for software vulnerabilities and exploits, and clearly illustrates the social functions of hacking.