Building the New Economy
Data as Capital
474 pp., 5 x 8 in, 66 figures, 2 tables
- Published: October 12, 2021
- Published: October 12, 2021
How to empower people and communities with user-centric data ownership, transparent and accountable algorithms, and secure digital transaction systems.
Data is now central to the economy, government, and health systems—so why are data and the AI systems that interpret the data in the hands of so few people? Building the New Economy calls for us to reinvent the ways that data and artificial intelligence are used in civic and government systems. Arguing that we need to think about data as a new type of capital, the authors show that the use of data trusts and distributed ledgers can empower people and communities with user-centric data ownership, transparent and accountable algorithms, machine learning fairness principles and methodologies, and secure digital transaction systems.
It's well known that social media generate disinformation and that mobile phone tracking apps threaten privacy. But these same technologies may also enable the creation of more agile systems in which power and decision-making are distributed among stakeholders rather than concentrated in a few hands. Offering both big ideas and detailed blueprints, the authors describe such key building blocks as data cooperatives, tokenized funding mechanisms, and tradecoin architecture. They also discuss technical issues, including how to build an ecosystem of trusted data, the implementation of digital currencies, and interoperability, and consider the evolution of computational law systems.
“Beating the pandemic is a tough challenge, but also an opportunity to retool for the bigger disruptions of digitization and AI. Building the New Economy brings together the best thinking on exactly how to do that, with perfect combination of rigor and relevance.”
Erik Brynjolfsson, Stanford University
“These essays together offer depth and a path forward. Required reading for a sane future.”
Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University
“Each chapter of Building the New Economy tackles an urgent and important societal question, from how to build effective health surveillance without a national healthcare system to how to protect people's right to control their own data while exploiting its economic value, to how to enjoy the economic benefits of asset-backed securitization while reducing fraud. This boundary-pushing preview of the future we could have is a must-read for policymakers, thought leaders, and all of us wishing to reimagine and build a better society on the other side of the pandemic.”
Beth Noveck, former Deputy CTO, United States
“An assembly of some of the brightest minds in engineering and data science, Building the New Economy bravely tackles not only what the economy needs of technology in our crisis-riddled age, but also what technology demands of financial ecosystems in order for it to make our lives more efficient, fairer, and safer. An ingenious collection of essays, the book provides a fresh new perspective on some of the most cutting-edge technologies of our time.”
Chris Brummer, Georgetown University