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Artificial Intelligence 2019 - Background Readings

This collection of reading materials was created to prepare participants for the 2019 Aspen Institute Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence. The readings articulate the tensions between AI and the principal societal values—liberty, equality, efficiency and community.

A Tension of Values

James O’Toole, The Executive’s Compass, Oxford University Press, 1993: Chapter 4

Values and Technology

David Bollier, Power Curve Society: The Future of Innovation, Opportunity, and Social Equity in the Emerging Networked Society, Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, 2013: 19-26. Available online:

Kai-Fu Lee, “The Human Promise of the AI Revolution,” The Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2018. Available online:

Theodore Kaczynski, "Industrial Society and Its Future," 1995: 15-17, 22-23. Available online:

Kevin Roose, “The Hidden Automation Agenda of the Davos Elite,” The New York Times, January 25, 2019. Available online:

David Kiron and Gregory Unruh, “Even If AI Can Cure Loneliness—Should It?,” MIT Sloan Management Review, November 9, 2018. Available online:

Yuval Noah Harari, “Why Technology Favors Tyranny,” The Atlantic, October 2018. Available online:

John Naughton, “The goal is to automate us: welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism,” The Guardian, January 20, 2019. Available online:


Isaac Asimov, “Runaround,” I, Robot, Doubleday: New York City, 1950: 40
Luciano Floridi, Josh Cowls, Monica Beltrametti, et al., “AI4People—An Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations,” Minds & Machines, December 2018, Volume 28, Issue 4: 695-700. Available online:

Michael Chui, Martin Harrysson, James Manyika, Rita Chung, Pieter Nel and Ashley van Heteren,” Applying artificial intelligence for social good,” Discussion Paper, McKinsey Global Institute, November 2018. Available online:

Meredith Whittaker et al., “AI Now Report 2018,” December 2018: 4-9. Available online:

“Universal Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence,” The Public Voice, October 23, 2018. Available online:


“Global AI Dialogue Series: Observations from the China-US Workshop in Beijing,” Berkman Klein Center, January 26, 2018. Available online:

Aaron Smith, “Public Attitudes Toward Computer Algorithms,” Pew Research Center, November 1, 2018: 2-7. Available online:

Karen Hao, “Americans want to regulate AI but don’t trust anyone to do it,” MIT Technology Review, January 10, 2019. Available online: