Mapping AI’s Societal Impact

April 14, 2021

AI is not just code and algorithms. It’s an industry built on a global network of resource extraction, human labor, and data collection. Kate Crawford, senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research and research professor of communication and science and technology studies at USC Annenberg, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the far-reaching impacts of AI and to consider the urgent case for proper governance and regulation of the industry.

They also discuss:

  • Why we need to observe hardware supply chains to understand AI’s impact.
  • Why the AI industry, like aviation and pharma, should be subject to strict regulation.
  • Why tech leaders should take a much greater responsibility for the social and environmental effects of technical systems.


Further Reading:

  • Anatomy of an AI System” (Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler, 2018)
  • AI, Accountability, and Power” (Exponential View with Mereditch Whitaker, 2019)
  • Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence” (Kate Crawford, Yale University Press 2021)
  • How AI is exploiting people and the planet” (New Scientist, 2021)
  • Time to regulate AI that interprets human emotions” (Nature, 2021)

HBR Presents is a network of podcasts curated by HBR editors, bringing you the best business ideas from the leading minds in management. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Harvard Business Review or its affiliates.

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