Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence

Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence

by Kate Crawford


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The hidden costs of artificial intelligence—from natural resources and labor to privacy, equality, and freedom

"This study argues that [artificial intelligence] is neither artificial nor particularly intelligent. . . . A fascinating history of the data on which machine-learning systems are trained."—New Yorker

"A valuable corrective to much of the hype surrounding AI and a useful instruction manual for the future."—John Thornhill, Financial Times

"It’s a masterpiece, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it."—Karen Hao, senior editor, MIT Tech Review

What happens when artificial intelligence saturates political life and depletes the planet? How is AI shaping our understanding of ourselves and our societies? Drawing on more than a decade of research, award‑winning scholar Kate Crawford reveals how AI is a technology of extraction: from the minerals drawn from the earth, to the labor pulled from low-wage information workers, to the data taken from every action and expression. This book reveals how this planetary network is fueling a shift toward undemocratic governance and increased inequity. Rather than taking a narrow focus on code and algorithms, Crawford offers us a material and political perspective on what it takes to make AI and how it centralizes power. This is an urgent account of what is at stake as technology companies use artificial intelligence to reshape the world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300209570
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 04/06/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 55,477
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kate Crawford is a distinguished research professor at New York University, a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research, and the inaugural chair of AI and Justice at the École Normale Supérieure. She co-founded the AI Now Institute at New York University. Her work has appeared in Nature, the New York Times, and Harper’s Magazine. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Earth 23

2 Labor 53

3 Data 89

4 Classification 123

5 Affect 151

6 State 181

Conclusion. Power 211

Coda. Space 229

Acknowledgments 239

Notes 245

Bibliography 269

Index 315

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