The Media That Helps Azeem Azhar Make Sense of Complexity
“In the last few years, something distinctly different has been happening in the ways that technologies come to market, and come into our lives,” says London-based entrepreneur, analyst, strategist, and investor Azeem Azhar. He would know: A tech-industry veteran, Azhar has founded companies that were later purchased by Amazon and Microsoft, reported on the internet for The Economist, and launched a popular tech newsletter and podcast called Exponential View. (Last year, he discussed the present-day role of the smartphone, among other digital-related issues, as the guest on Ep. 56 of our At a Distance podcast.) Azhar cautions against the speed with which innovations such as artificial intelligence, automation, and big data emerge—which, he believes, is faster than people can adjust to the changes they impose—in his forthcoming book, The Exponential Age: How Accelerating Technology Is Transforming Business, Politics and Society (Diversion Books), out next week. With clarity and insight, he outlines new ways of thinking about technology, alongside concrete suggestions for how to prevent it from further fracturing society.