New Books Published by TAP Scholars in 2022

By TAP Staff Blogger

Posted on December 30, 2022


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This past year, TAP scholars have published books on technology policy issues ranging from the prediction power of artificial intelligence, privacy and surveillance, cybersecurity, antitrust challenges of corporate giants, and quantum computing. While no means a comprehensive list, the following highlight many of the books published by TAP scholars in 2022.

 

Artificial Intelligence

 

Prediction Machines, Updated and Expanded: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence
by Joshua Gans, Ajay Agrawal, and Avi Goldfarb
Harvard Business Review Press; Revised edition, November 15, 2022

 

The impact artificial intelligence (AI) will have is profound, but the economic framework for understanding it is surprisingly simple. In Prediction Machines, Updated and Expanded: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, three eminent economists provide clarity about the AI revolution as well as a basis for action by executives, policy makers, investors, and entrepreneurs. In this new, updated edition, the authors illustrate how, when AI is framed as cheap prediction, its extraordinary potential becomes clear: (1) Prediction is at the heart of making decisions amid uncertainty. Our businesses and personal lives are riddled with such decisions. (2) Prediction tools increase productivity--operating machines, handling documents, communicating with customers. (3) Uncertainty constrains strategy. Better prediction creates opportunities for new business strategies to compete. The authors reset the context, describing the striking impact the book has had and how its argument and its implications are playing out in the real world. And in new material, they explain how prediction fits into decision-making processes and how foundational technologies such as quantum computing will impact business choices.

 

Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence
by Joshua Gans, Ajay Agrawal, and Avi Goldfarb
Harvard Business Review Press; Revised edition, November 15, 2022

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) has impacted many industries around the world--banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, automotive, medical technology, manufacturing, and retail. But it has only just begun its odyssey toward cheaper, better, and faster predictions that drive strategic business decisions. When prediction is taken to the max, industries transform, and with such transformation comes disruption. What is at the root of this? In their bestselling first book, Prediction Machines, eminent economists Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb (all Rotman School of Management professors )explained the simple yet game-changing economics of AI. Now, in Power and Prediction, they go deeper, examining the most basic unit of analysis: the decision. The authors explain that the two key decision-making ingredients are prediction and judgment, and we perform both together in our minds, often without realizing it. The rise of AI is shifting prediction from humans to machines, relieving people from this cognitive load while increasing the speed and accuracy of decisions. This sets the stage for a flourishing of new decisions and has profound implications for system-level innovation. Redesigning systems of interdependent decisions takes time--many industries are in the quiet before the storm--but when these new systems emerge, they can be disruptive on a global scale. Decision-making confers power. In industry, power confers profits; in society, power confers control. This process will have winners and losers, and the authors show how businesses can leverage opportunities, as well as protect their positions.

 

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Antitrust

 

The New Goliaths: How Corporations Use Software to Dominate Industries, Kill Innovation, and Undermine Regulation
by James Bessen
Yale University Press – June 7, 2022

 

Historically, competition has powered progress under capitalism. Companies with productive new products rise to the top, but sooner or later, competitors come along with better innovations and disrupt the threat of monopoly. Dominant firms like Walmart, Amazon, and Google argue that this process of “creative destruction” prevents them from becoming too powerful or entrenched. But the threat of competition has sharply decreased over the past twenty years, and today’s corporate giants have come to power by using proprietary information technologies to create a tilted playing field. This development has increased economic inequality and social division, slowed innovation, and allowed dominant firms to evade government regulation. In the face of increasing calls to break up the largest companies, James Bessen (Boston University School of Law) argues that a better way to restore competitive balance and dynamism is to encourage or compel these companies to share technology, data, and knowledge.

 

ReadHow Software Is Stifling Competition and Slowing Innovation” (The New York Times, July 21, 2022), an interview with Mr. Bessen about his book and why he wants to see “dominant companies pushed to open up.”

 


Cybersecurity

 

Breached! Why Data Security Law Fails and How to Improve It
by Woodrow Hartzog and Daniel J. Solove
Oxford University Press, March 1, 2022

 

Drawing insights from many fascinating stories about data breaches, Professors Daniel Solove (George Washington University School of Law) and Woodrow Hartzog (Boston University School of Law) show how major breaches could have been prevented or mitigated through a different approach to data security rules. Current law is counterproductive. It pummels organizations that have suffered a breach but doesn’t address the many other actors that contribute to the problem: software companies that create vulnerable software, device companies that make insecure devices, government policymakers who write regulations that increase security risks, organizations that train people to engage in risky behaviors, and more. Although humans are the weakest link for data security, policies and technologies are often designed with a poor understanding of human behavior. Breached! corrects this course by focusing on the human side of security.

 

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Privacy

 

Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance
by Karen Levy
Princeton University Press, December 6, 2022

 

A behind-the-scenes look at how digital surveillance is affecting the trucking way of life. Long-haul truckers are the backbone of the American economy, transporting goods under grueling conditions and immense economic pressure. Federal regulations now require truckers to buy and install digital monitors that capture data about their locations and behaviors. Intended to address the pervasive problem of trucker fatigue, these devices support additional surveillance by trucking firms and other companies. Karen Levy, Associate Professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University, reveals how these invasive technologies are reconfiguring industry relationships and providing new tools for managerial and legal control—and how truckers are challenging and resisting them. Data Driven contributes to an emerging conversation about how technology affects our work, institutions, and personal lives, and helps to guide our thinking about how to protect public interests and safeguard human dignity in the digital age.

 

ReadMonitoring Invades Truckers’ Privacy Without Boosting Safety” (Cornell Chronicle, December 6, 2022), an interview with Professor Levy about her new book.

 

The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age
by Danielle Keats Citron
W.W. Norton & Company, October 4, 2022

 

Privacy is disappearing. From our sex lives to our workout routines, the details of our lives once relegated to pen and paper have joined the slipstream of new technology. As a MacArthur fellow and distinguished professor of law at the University of Virginia, Danielle Citron has spent decades working with lawmakers and stakeholders across the globe to protect what she calls intimate privacy—encompassing our bodies, health, gender, and relationships. In The Fight for Privacy Professor Citron investigates the price we pay as technology migrates deeper into every aspect of our lives: entering our bedrooms and our bathrooms and our midnight texts; our relationships with friends, family, lovers, and kids; and even our relationship with ourselves. Drawing on in-depth interviews with victims, activists, and advocates, Professor Citron weaves together visceral stories about the countless ways that corporate and individual violators exploit privacy loopholes. She argues that citizens, lawmakers, and corporations have the power to create a new reality where privacy is valued, and people are protected as they embrace what technology offers. Professor Citron advocates for privacy as a civil right.

 

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Why Privacy Matters
by Neil Richards
Oxford University Press, December 1, 2021
Note: Since this was published so close to the end of 2021 it warrants being included in TAP’s 2022 list.

 

In Why Privacy Matters, Neil Richards, Koch Distinguished Professor in Law at Washington University in St. Louis, explains the importance of privacy and why it matters in our lives and for a healthy society. He argues that the fight for privacy is a fight for power—because human information confers power over others. Privacy is not “dead,” he insists, but it is up for grabs. Unconstrained use of human information is undermining essential human values of identity, power, freedom, and trust. It is also putting at risk the future of democratic self-government. The fight for privacy will determine what our future will look like and whether it will remain fair and free. Professor Richards explains how good privacy rules and strategies can help protect privacy from the forces undermining it.
 

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Further reading: If you’re interested primarily in privacy and security issues, be sure to read a recent post from George Washington University Professor Daniel Solove: Notable Privacy + Security Books 2022.

 


Quantum Computing

 

Law and Policy for the Quantum Age
By Chris Jay Hoofnagle and Simson L. Garfinkel
Cambridge University Press, January 6, 2022

 

It is often said that quantum technologies are poised to change the world as we know it, but cutting through the hype, what will quantum technologies actually mean for countries and their citizens? In Law and Policy for the Quantum Age, authors Chris Jay Hoofnagle (Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley) and Simson L. Garfinkel (Lecturer in Data Science, George Washington University) explain the genesis of quantum information science (QIS) and the resulting quantum technologies that are most exciting: quantum sensing, computing, and communication. This groundbreaking, timely text explains how quantum technologies work, how countries will likely employ QIS for future national defense and what the legal landscapes will be for these nations, and how companies might (or might not) profit from the technology. Professors Hoofnagle and Garfinkel argue that the consequences of QIS are so profound that we must begin planning for them today.

 

ReadWhat if Quantum Computing Is a Bust?” by Chris Jay Hoofnagle and Simson L. Garfinkel (Slate, January 26, 2022). This article is adapted from the authors’ book, Quantum Age.


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