2022’s Noteworthy Books on Data, AI, and CI, Curated by The Living Library

As the year comes to a close, The GovLab’s Data Program is taking a look back at some of the year’s most intriguing books on data, artificial intelligence, and collective intelligence curated throughout the year by The Living Library — a repository of current knowledge spanning topic areas from artificial intelligence, open data, and blockchain, to citizen science, open innovation, and civic technology. The readings are arranged in alphabetical order.

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Data

Bronson, Kelly, The Immaculate Conception of Data: Agribusiness, Activists, and Their Shared Politics of the Future. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022.

The Immaculate Conception of Data reviews the legal agreements around agricultural big data. The book explores the concentration of data within large corporations and examines “the work of corporate scientists, farmers using the data, and activist ‘hackers’ building open-source data platforms.” Bronson argues that these groups share a way of speaking about data and its value for the future.

Learn more about the book here.

Curry, Edward, Simon Scerri, and Tuomo Tuikka. Data Spaces: Design, Deployment, and Future Directions. Springer, 2022.

In this open-access book, the authors break down the requirements for building a successful data space. They examine the organizational design and methods of a data space, data governance structures, and the use of artificial intelligence in data spaces through a range of multi-sectoral use cases. They close with a discussion on future best practices, especially in light of European governance measures, to design trustworthy and privacy-preserving data spaces.

Learn more about the book here.

Frank, Christopher J., Paul F. Magnone, and Oded Netzer. Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information. Wiley, 2022.

This book illuminates better ways of using data to make decisions. Exploring the concept of Quantitative Intuition, which combines data intelligence with human judgment to create decisions, the authors help decision-makers harness data to make smarter, more informed choices.

Learn more about the book here.

Gwilt, Ian. Making Data: Materializing Digital Information. Bloomsbury, 2022.

In this edited anthology, contributors discuss new ways of presenting data through artifacts, environments, and digital objects for better visualization and understanding of information. Applying these practices to ecology, smart cities, and augmented reality, they show how data can be shaped and presented for widespread and creative understanding of information that goes beyond statistics and spreadsheets.

Learn more about the book here.

Kubica, Jeremy. Data Structures the Fun Way: An Amusing Adventure with Coffee-Filled Examples. No Starch Press, 2022.

Kubica explains data structures for computer science programming through diagrams, pseudocode, and analogies and demonstrates how these concepts are applied across numerous coding languages.

Learn more about the book here.

Lamdan, Sarah. Data Cartels: The Companies That Control and Monopolize Our Information. Stanford University Press, 2022.

In this book, Lamdan pulls back the curtain on data cartels — the few and unregulated companies that underpin the brunt of our critical informational resources. She discusses how these companies engage in mining and selling our data and the ways in which they circumvent existing information and privacy laws to perpetuate digital discrimination and targeting.

Learn more about the book here.

Murphy, Brian Michael. We The Dead: Preserving Data at the End of the World. University of North Carolina Press, 2022.

In this book, Murphy traces the emergence of the data complex — the system of data collection and storage on individuals’ personal information — from early-20th century record-keeping practices to today’s cloud and cryptocurrency technologies. He discusses how the blurring between humans and machines creates new opportunities for storing digital information that can persist long after humans.

Learn more about the book here.

Renieris, Elizabeth M. Beyond Data: Reclaiming Human Rights at the Dawn of the Metaverse. The MIT Press, 2023.

Renieris echoes existing stances that unchecked technology poses a threat to human dignity and autonomy. However, she argues that the focus on data protection efforts has forgotten to protect people and core human values. Looking at legal and corporate policy frameworks created to advance data privacy, Renieris argues that data is not an “objective trust” but a dynamic web of facts. She closes with a human rights-based framework for technology regulation that centers on human principles that can ethically and responsibly check technology.

Learn more about the book here.

Robinson, Pamela, and Teresa Scassa. The Future of Open Data: Law, Technology, and Media. University of Toronto Press, 2022.

This multi-year research looks at how open government geospatial data can be utilized across disciplines and sectors. The authors look at the origins and current practices of open data in a Canadian context, discussing the Indigenous data sovereignty movement and the challenges of existing open data practices. They close by pondering the future of open data and its applications in Canada, local and rural governments, and other countries.

Learn more about the book here.

Stephens-Davidowitz, Seth. Don’t Trust Your Gut. HarperCollins, 2022.

Traditionally, people undertake self-improvement with advice from their closest friends and family and their intuition. Data scientist Stephens-Davidowitz takes a different approach to life’s biggest decisions: he advocates for data-driven decision-making. From dating to career planning, he looks at the data collected over the past multiple decades to discern smarter ways of making choices and improving our lives.

Learn more about the book here.

Sturge, Georgina. Bad Data: How governments, politicians and the rest of us get misled by numbers. Hachette UK, 2022.

Sturge considers how data can be misconstrued by governments and lead to inaccurate statistics. She looks at the history of inconsistent and uncertain data practices that lead to questionable statistics through a series of troubling to absurd examples. Bad Data stresses the need for statistical literacy and policymaking transparency to show the accountability of data-driven claims and help individuals build a more critical understanding of facts.

Learn more about the book here.

Artificial Intelligence

Aloisi, Antonio, and Valerio De Stefano. Your Boss Is an Algorithm: Artificial Intelligence, Platform Work and Labour. Bloomsbury 2022.

This book assesses the impact of robots, algorithms, and online platforms on the state and future of work, from streamlining practices to creating surveillance systems that infringe on worker rights. Through case studies from the EU, UK, and US, Aloisi and De Stefano look at how work has changed and is likely to change in the future. They close with a discussion on new regulatory practices to protect workers while promoting innovation.

Learn more about the book here.

Autor, David, David A. Mindell, and Elisabeth B. Reynolds. The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligence Machines. The MIT Press, 2022.

Building on findings from the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, the authors look at why U.S. innovation climbs while the quality of life for low- and middle-class workers stay stagnant. They argue that technology is neither the problem nor the solution to the changing work climate. Rather, they stress the need to support workers during long cycles of technological transformation to leverage technological innovation for a more equitable distribution of its benefits.

Learn more about the book here.

Buchanan, Ben, and Andrew Imbrie. The New Fire: War, Peace, and Democracy in the Age of AI. MIT Press, 2022.

Buchanan and Imbrie compare the invention of AI to the discovery of fire: When harnessed responsibly, it is a force for good but wielded carelessly, it will wreak havoc. They break down the “new fire” of AI into three sections: data, algorithms, and computing power and examine how each “spark” can be used to achieve utopian and dystopian ends by governments.

Learn more about the book here.

Christin, Angèle. Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms. Princeton University Press, 2022.

Christin demonstrates the different ways in which data and metrics are reacted to by U.S. and French journalism strategies. Drawing on four years of research in newsrooms, she shows how cultural and historical differences influence the interpretation of web traffic, site clicks, and audience analytics, demonstrating how data can be influenced by society at large.

Learn more about the book here.

Davenport, Thomas H., and Steven M. Miller. Working with AI: Real Stories of Human-Machine Collaboration. The MIT Press, 2022.

Working with AI argues that AI is not a job destroyer, but rather a job changer that requires human-machine collaboration. Through real-world case studies, the authors demonstrate how AI will enhance jobs by automating some aspects of work, creating opportunities for humans to hone in on more complex aspects of tasks.

Learn more about the book here.

Findlay, Mark, and Jolyon Ford, Josephine Seah, and Dilan Thampapillai. Regulatory Insights on Artificial Intelligence. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022.

In this book, the authors explore the relationship between existing laws and regulations and AI governance to understand how policy can be used to check AI and harness its power for good. They examine key issues around data collection and privacy, data (re)use, IP rights, and surveillance to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of AI to call for more innovative, socially-oriented regulation.

Learn more about the book here.

Hampton, Andrew J., and Jeanine A. DeFalco (eds.). The Frontlines of Artificial Intelligence Ethics. Routledge, 2022.

In The Frontlines of Artificial Intelligence Ethics, Hampton and DeFalco assess the history of data science and policy perspectives around artificial intelligence and ethics. Through social, technological, and economic frameworks, they consider how changing social relationships between humans and AI influence ethical needs across a variety of case studies. They close with a look at how decision-makers can improve the future of AI ethics.

Learn more about the book here.

Kore, Akshay. Designing Human-Centric AI Experiences. SpringerLink, 2022.

In Designing Human-Centric AI Experiences, Kore, a senior product designer, discusses UX design in light of the growing use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. He gives readers insight into how to harness applied UX design techniques for their teams and looks at how they can create new design systems and ethics.

Learn more about the book here.

Lapenta, Francesco. Our Common AI Future — A Geopolitical Analysis and Road Map, for AI Driven Sustainable Development, Science and Data Diplomacy. DataEthics, 2021.

Lapenta looks at the past, present, and future of AI innovation and its relationship with the Sustainable Development Goals. He contextualizes global action on AI regulation and uses existing data principles, data sharing structures, and data stewardship practices. He calls on global governance practices that codify ‘red lines’ for AI to prohibit its use in ways that are unethical or harmful to the planet. He also advocates for ‘green zones’ for multilateral cooperation and scientific cooperation to advance AI research.

Learn more about the book here.

Robinson, David G. Voices in the Code. Russell Sage, 2022.

Investigating how “moral” applications of artificial intelligence are carried out, Robinson critically examines the true story of a new transplant-matching algorithm, the Kidney Allocation System. The algorithm was built between 2004 and 2014 with participation from a diverse group of patients, medical professionals, technical experts, and public officials. Considering the criticisms and merits of the program’s creation, he looks at ways in which public participation, transparency, and accountability can be embedded in algorithms and code.

Learn more about the book here.

Collective Intelligence

Anwar, Mohammad Amir, and Mark Graham. The Digital Continent: Placing Africa in Planetary Networks of Work. Oxford University Press, 2022.

The past decade has seen an explosion in digital connections between individuals, especially within African states. In a world where location is not a major limiting factor for socio-economic opportunity due to global online connectivity, digital work creates new prospects for African workers. In this open-access book, the authors present the findings of their five-year longitudinal study of workers in South Africa, Kenya Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda to understand how the future of work — through online platforms, remote setups, and call and contact centers — will impact African workers.

Learn more about the book here.

Gabrys, Jennifer. Citizens of Worlds: Open-Air Toolkits for Environmental Struggle. University of Minnesota Press, 2022.

Citizens of Worlds provides a systematic study of the use of internet of things technologies to monitor and respond to air pollution across the world. Using data from the Citizen Sense research group, Gabrys demonstrates ways in which technologies are used to detect air quality and pollution while navigating their interactions with communities, governments, and environments.

Learn more about the book here.

Gehl, Robert W., and Sean T. Lawson. Social Engineering: How Crowdmasters, Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls Created a New Form of Manipulative Communication. The MIT Press, 2022.

The authors look at where and how manipulated information takes shape across numerous industries, as well as earlier misinformation techniques to social engineer the masses. They explore the methods by which misinformation is created and spread and look at ways to deprogram social engineering to mitigate misinformation.

Learn more about the book here.

Mantelero, Alessandro, Beyond Data: Human Rights, Ethical and Social Impact Assessment in AI. T.M.C. Asser Press The Hague. 2022.

In this book, Alessandro Mantelero, Associate Professor of Private Law and Law & Technology at the Polytechnic University of Turin, examines the impact of artificial intelligence on individuals and society from a legal perspective. He then provides “ a comprehensive risk-based methodological framework to address it” that highlights the limits of data protection and offers solutions based in human rights and societal value. The piece draws extensively on current and future European policy and regulation.

Learn more about the book here.

Nielsen, Rasmus Kleis, and Sarah Anne Ganter. The Power of Platforms. Oxford University Press, 2022.

In The Power of Platforms, Nielsen and Ganter examine the power and popularity of online platforms over modern news and media journalism. They look at how social media platforms have reshaped the way news is presented, what this means for evolving platform-publisher relationships, and who stands to benefit from these information flows.

Learn more about the book here.

Randma-Liiv, Tiina, and Veiko Lember. Engaging Citizens in Policy Making: e-Participation Practices in Europe. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022.

In this open-access book, Randma-Liiv and Lember gather different techniques and examples of e-participation in policymaking and governance from across Europe at national and local levels. From this case-based analysis, they uncover successful tactics and enabling factors for greater citizen and government involvement through digital tools.

Learn more about the book here.

Splichal, Slavko. Datafication of Public Opinion and the Public Sphere: How Extraction Replaced Expression of Opinion. European Communication Research and Education Association, 2022.

Examining the rise of the ‘court of public opinion’ through history, Splichal introduces a new conceptual model of publicness that centers on visibility, access, reflexivity, mediation, influence, and legitimacy. He then looks at how public sentiment and opinion data are collected by modern technology, such as data mining and algorithms.

Learn more about the book here.

Verma, Neeta, Citizen Empowerment through Digital Transformation in Government. Taylor & Francis Group. 2021.

In this book edited by Verma, a variety of authors describe the ways that technologies and platforms are facilitating greater citizen engagement with the government. Relying on real-world examples from India, where information and communications technology has played a major role, it describes how institutions can deliver citizen-centric services and empower individuals working across sectors.

Learn more about the book here.

Happy reading! We look forward to engaging with more thought-provoking reads around responsible and sustainable data and data governance practices in 2023.

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Responsible Data Leadership to Address the Challenges of the 21st Century

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