There is a new book out called The Numerati by Stephen Baker. In a nutshell, this book describes machines that are making sense of more and more data about people. As a result, these machines are making more and more decisions for people. The “Numerati” are the people who build these machines and their algorithms.
This book brings to light our journey: machines measuring and directing people and how, as this continues to evolve, it will lead to some pretty interesting consequences … good and bad.
Anyway, Baker names names in this book such as Rayid Ghani (Accenture), Josh Gotbaum (Spotlight Analysis), James Schatz (National Security Agency), Eric Dishman (Intel) and a handful of others as Numerati.
I have a bit of a cameo in the book too (pages 131-37, 140-41, 150-53 and a few other mentions). Also, in this NPR interview (staring at 13:30) Baker describes me as “the dissenting Numerati” which, I still think is a good thing.
And after careful inspection of the references to my work, I must say the author he nailed it. I love that – as there is nothing worse than something untrue making its way into print.
Baker did a fantastic job.