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Code Dependent: Living in the Shadow of AI (Hardcover)

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Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction

A riveting story of what it means to be human in a world changed by artificial intelligence, revealing the perils and inequities of our growing reliance on automated decision-making

On the surface, a British poet, an UberEats courier in Pittsburgh, an Indian doctor, and a Chinese activist in exile have nothing in common. But they are in fact linked by a profound common experience—unexpected encounters with artificial intelligence. In Code Dependent, Murgia shows how automated systems are reshaping our lives all over the world, from technology that marks children as future criminals, to an app that is helping to give diagnoses to a remote tribal community.

AI has already infiltrated our day-to-day, through language-generating chatbots like ChatGPT and social media. But it’s also affecting us in more insidious ways. It touches everything from our interpersonal relationships, to our kids’ education, work, finances, public services, and even our human rights.

By highlighting the voices of ordinary people in places far removed from the cozy enclave of Silicon Valley, Code Dependent explores the impact of a set of powerful, flawed, and often-exploitative technologies on individuals, communities, and our wider society. Murgia exposes how AI can strip away our collective and individual sense of agency, and shatter our illusion of free will.

The ways in which algorithms and their effects are governed over the coming years will profoundly impact us all. Yet we can’t agree on a common path forward. We cannot decide what preferences and morals we want to encode in these entities—or what controls we may want to impose on them. And thus, we are collectively relinquishing our moral authority to machines.

In Code Dependent, Murgia not only sheds light on this chilling phenomenon, but also charts a path of resistance. AI is already changing what it means to be human, in ways large and small, and Murgia reveals what could happen if we fail to reclaim our humanity.

About the Author


Madhumita Murgia is an award-winning Indian-British journalist and commentator, who writes about the impact of technology and science on society. She is currently AI Editor at the Financial Times in London, where she leads global coverage of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. She has spent the past decade travelling the world from Silicon Valley to Seoul, writing about the people, start-ups and corporations shaping cutting edge technologies, for publications including WIRED, the Washington Post, Newsweek and the Telegraph. She appears frequently on national radio and TV in the UK, including the BBC’s flagship Today program and Sky News. Her TEDx Talk, about her personal data being sold by data brokers has been viewed by nearly 200,000 people online. Madhu lives in London, but her heart remains in her hometown, Mumbai.

Praise For…


Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction

Code Dependent is the intimate investigation of AI that we’ve been waiting for, and it arrives not a moment too soon. Murgia travels the world to bring us intimate portraits of every aspect of the human condition—inner life, family, work, class, race, geography, gender, community, politics—as each is unmade and remade by today’s global AI juggernaut. Most critically, Murgia doesn’t just ‘tell.’ She ‘shows’ us in moving detail that AI is nothing more than a spectrum of possibilities selected and shaped by the economic and political powers that bring it to life. Her work brilliantly reveals the quiet daily violence and flesh and blood consequences of today’s dominant AI regime designed and deployed by surveillance capitalism. Ultimately, the steady drumbeat of her stories opens our eyes to what could have been and what might yet become if we learn to join forces to reclaim our digital century for people and planet.”
—Shoshana Zuboff, author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus

"Brilliant storytelling. Books about AI often put the tech centre stage, but Murgia makes you, the human, the hero and sadly often the victim in this fascinating collection of stories about the impact of code on our future."
Marcus du Sautoy, author of The Creativity Code

"With its compelling narrative, Code Dependent is a testament to the power of storytelling in unraveling the complexities of AI. Murgia's profound insights and meticulous research offer a rare and invaluable perspective on the intersection of technology and society."
—Azeem Azhar, Founder, Exponential View



Product Details
ISBN: 9781250867391
ISBN-10: 1250867398
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 18th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English
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Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 4/9/2023 02:02pm
Last Updated At: 2/25/2024 01:44am