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Gary Marcus: Taming Big Tech and AI

September 23 @ 5:30 pm 8:00 pm

On balance, will AI help humanity or harm it? Proponents of the new technology say AI could revolutionize science, medicine, and technology, and deliver us a world of abundance and better health. Opponents say it could be a disaster, leading to the downfall of democracy, or even our extinction.

Gary Marcus occupies a position that includes parts of both propositions. He is a noted psychologist, cognitive scientist, businessman, and AI researcher who believes “Big Tech” is taking advantage of us, AI is making it worse, and there’s still a way we can create a thriving, AI-positive world.

He says we still have a choice about what future we have. He lays out his arguments in his new book Taming Silicon Valley: How We Can Ensure That AI Works for Us, and he’ll draw on the ideas raised in the book when he joins us at the Club.

Marcus says Big Tech has effectively captured policymakers and has been playing both the public and the government. Why has the U.S. government thus far been ineffective at reining in Big Tech? What are some suggestions for what a coherent AI policy should like? How can ordinary citizens push for what is so desperately needed?

Part Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book and part Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, Marcus’ outlook is tuned to this perilous historical moment.


This program has 2 types of tickets available: in-person and online-only. Please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

If you have symptoms of illness (coughing, fever, etc.), we ask that you either stay home or wear a mask. Our front desk has complimentary masks for members and guests who would like one.

Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California is a nonprofit public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our programming.

This program is generously supported by the Jackson Square Partners Foundation.Jackson Square Partners Foundation

.Ken and Jaclyn Broad Family Fund

All in-person attendees will receive a copy of “Taming Silicon Valley” compliments of the Ken and Jaclyn Broad Family Fund

Photo courtesy the speaker.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

$10 – $30 $10 online only; $30 includes a copy of Taming Silicon Valley

The Commonwealth Club of California

The Commonwealth Club of California

110 The Embarcadero; Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, California 94105 United States
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