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The Efficiency Paradox by Edward Tenner

The Efficiency Paradox

The Efficiency Paradox by Edward Tenner
Apr 17, 2018 | 320 Pages
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    Apr 17, 2018 | 320 Pages

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    Apr 17, 2018 | 320 Pages

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“The idea of a world that is “friction free” is the technologist’s dream. In The Efficiency Paradox, Edward Tenner explores what that vision casts aside: from human judgment and seeing the world in shades of gray, to the blessings of serendipity and all of the ethical calls that algorithms can’t provide. Tenner holds hope for technology finding a middle way that will bring friction back into the fold, and the benefits will be more than economic—they will be cultural, scientific, political, and social. This is the rare book that doesn’t want to divide optimists and pessimists.” —Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age and Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“This masterly study challenges naïve assumptions that characterize our twenty-first-century world of electronic hyperefficiency. Computers, big data, and artificial intelligence are too often allowed to supersede human judgment and indeed undermine our very self-confidence as human beings. Yet no electronic machine can match our capacity for the untidy human factors needed to balance the sanitized precision and tunnel vision of our digital devices: holistic thinking, serendipity, and intuition. Tenner urges us to forgive ourselves for being human.” —Arthur Molella, Director Emeritus, Smithsonian Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
“A marvel of unexpected wisdom and startling examples… A compelling guide through the thicket of choices as we gather knowledge to ease the path to the future. Tenner, an expert in revealing unintended consequences of technological innovation and rushed change, digs deeply in this remarkable account of how efficiencies, big data, and techniques of surveillance produce new awareness while simultaneously leading us astray. He challenges us to recognize that both small data and large populations contribute to our ability to live our lives and do our jobs. The Efficiency Paradox is essential for anyone who wishes to open the gauzy curtains of conventional beliefs.” —Gary Alan Fine, James Johnson Professor of Sociology at Northwestern and author of Tiny Publics: A Theory of Group Action and Culture
“Most timely… A clearly written, balanced assessment of the power and the hidden risks of the networked society… An essential guide for decision makers. In the age of the cloud and the platform economy, the drive to apply artificial intelligence in order to make business, government, and our personal lives more efficient has inspired both boundless hope and deep dread. Although the specific algorithms that now fascinate Silicon Valley and the turn from Henry Ford’s assembly line to Jeff Bezos’s platforms may be revolutionary, the pursuit of efficiency is centuries old. Tenner shows how a single-minded drive for robotic efficiency offers short-term gains at the cost of long-term stagnation in this provocative yet optimistic argument for serendipity and human intuition.” —Amar Bhidé, Thomas Schmidheiny Professor of International Business at Tufts and author of A Call for Judgment: Sensible Finance for Dynamic Economy

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