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Publisher's Summary

From Azeem Azhar, renowned technology analyst and host of the global tech podcast Exponential View, comes a bold exploration and call-to-arms over the widening gap between AI, automation, and big data - and our ability to deal with its effects

We are living in the first exponential age. 

High-tech innovations are created at a dazzling speed; technological forces we barely understand remake our homes and workplaces; centuries-old tenets of politics and economics are upturned by new technologies. It all points to a world that is getting faster at a dizzying pace. 

Azeem Azhar knows this better than most. Over the last three decades, he has founded companies bought by Amazon and Microsoft, served as the Economist’s first ever internet correspondent, and created a leading international tech newsletter and podcast, the Exponential View.

Now, Azhar offers a revelatory new model for understanding how technology - especially that of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, and Spotify - is changing the world. He roots his analysis in the idea of an “exponential gap”, in which technological changes rapidly outpace our society’s ability to catch up with them. Azhar shows that this divide explains many problems of our time - from political polarization to ballooning inequality to unchecked corporate power. With stunning clarity of vision, he delves into how the exponential gap is a near-inevitable consequence of the rise of AI, automation, and big data. And he offers a set of policy solutions that can prevent the growing exponential gap from destroying our societies. 

The result is a wholly new way to think about technology. It will transform your understanding of the economy, politics, and the future.

©2021 Azeem Azhar (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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Good & Bad

Good explanation of the power and potential of exponential technological change. However, in my opinion, too much hand-wringing about how unfair it will be and way too much emphasis on the need for government to step in to control, regulate, break-up and protect us all from big tech.

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Broad primer on Exponential Age

This was a good overview of ongoing trends for those who might be new to to the topic, but as someone who listens to Exponential View and is quite tuned in to the innovation ecosystem, I was disappointed in the lack of depth here. It seems like it was written for someone with little to no prior knowledge of the problems facing technology today, so I didn’t really learn anything new.

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Supply Chains in the Exponential Age

Azeem does an amazing job capturing how the increasing pace of technological change is going to affect supply chains in ways society may be unprepared for.

Supply chains are formed from a complex and interconnected network of social, environmental, and economic systems. The book discusses how technology affects each of these, and how those effects may be even more pronounced in the future as Exponential Technologies become even cheaper and more powerful than they have ever been in the past.

This is a topic everyone should understand. I own the ebook and the audiobook, and I bought two extra copies for my teenage son and his cousin.

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timely and thought provoking

worth a read if one is grappling with the rapid changes of the modern era

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Worth reading if you want to understand where we are headed

Love Azeem’s work, newsletter and interviews. This book clarifies and some of the main lessons he has learned from his work. An essential read if you care about our future.