Books  |    |  April 6, 2021

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

Book by Kate Crawford.
Published by Yale University Press.
336 pages.

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

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.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Earth
  • Labor
  • Data
  • Classification
  • Affect
  • State
  • Conclusion. Power
  • Coda. Space

About the Author

Kate Crawford is a visiting distinguished professor at UC Berkeley, 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, and leads the Foundations of Machine Learning international working group.