I’m Jonathan Salem Baskin, and I’ve spent the last decade asking questions about the latest innovations in artificial intelligence (“AI”), autonomous cars, smart cities, and new uses for big data: Who asked for it? What will be the consequences of its use, both promised an unintended? What will it cost and who will profit from it? 

I published a collection of my essays in 2019 in a book entitled A Cross of Silicon: Talking Truth to Technology.

I believe we don’t talk enough about those implications, but instead accept at face value the promises of easier, cheaper, and safer working and living that come with every new technology invention. Those promises never pan out or, when they do, they always come with unanticipated consequences.

The promises for AI are the latest and perhaps most impactful pitches we’ve ever seen. My suspicion is that they will come with equally impactful effects that we cannot foresee and may not want.

We need to talk about them.