Techlash: Who Makes the Rules in the Digital Gilded Age? (Hardcover)
Hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a potent primer on the need to rein in big tech" and Kirkus Reviews as "a rock-solid plan for controlling the tech giants," readers will be energized by Tom Wheeler's vision of digital governance."
Featured on Barack Obama's 11/3/23 list of "What I'm Reading on the Rise of Artificial Intelligence"
An accessible and visionary book that connects the experiences of the late 19th century's industrial Gilded Age with its echoes in the 21st century digital Gilded Age...
Hailed by Ken Burns as one of the foremost "explainers" of technology and its effect throughout history, Tom Wheeler now turns his gaze to the public impact of entrepreneurial innovation. In Techlash, he connects the experiences of the late 19th century's industrial Gilded Age with its echoes in the 21st-century digital Gilded Age. In both cases, technological innovation and the great wealth that it created ran up against the public interest and the rights of others. As with the Industrial Revolution and the Gilded Age that it created, new digital technology has changed commerce and culture, creating great wealth in the process, all while being essentially unsupervised.
Warning that today is not the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" some envision, Wheeler calls for a new era of public interest oversight that leaves behind industrial-era regulatory ideas to embrace a new process of agile, supervised, and enforced code setting that protects consumers and competition while encouraging continued innovation. Wheeler combines insights from his experience at the highest echelons of business and government to create a compelling portrait of the need to balance entrepreneurial innovation with the public good.
"Once again, Tom Wheeler makes sense out of the dizzying technological changes that often seem to initially befuddle and beset us before they come into sharper focus, a focus he brings to each page and each new idea. . . it sometimes takes an original thinker to make clearer the "mess" in front of us. Bravo " -- Ken Burns