Archives de catégorie : Popular Science

POWER AND PREDICTION d’Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans & Avi Goldfarb

Disruption resulting from the proliferation of AI is coming. The authors of the bestselling Prediction Machines can help you prepare.

The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence
by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans & Avi Goldfarb
Harvard Business Review Press, November 2022
(via Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary)

Artificial intelligence (AI) has impacted many industries around the world—banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, automotive, medical technology, manufacturing, and retail. But it has only just begun its odyssey toward cheaper, better, and faster predictions that drive strategic business decisions. When prediction is taken to the max, industries transform, and with such transformation comes disruption.
What is at the root of this? In their bestselling first book, 
Prediction Machines, eminent economists Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb explained the simple yet game-changing economics of AI. Now, in POWER AND PREDICTION , they go deeper, examining the most basic unit of analysis: the decision. The authors explain that the two key decision-making ingredients are prediction and judgment, and we perform both together in our minds, often without realizing it. The rise of AI is shifting prediction from humans to machines, relieving people from this cognitive load while increasing the speed and accuracy of decisions.
This sets the stage for a flourishing of new decisions and has profound implications for 
system-level innovation. Redesigning systems of interdependent decisions takes time—many industries are in the quiet before the storm—but when these new systems emerge, they can be disruptive on a global scale. Decision-making confers power. In industry, power confers profits; in society, power confers control. This process will have winners and losers, and the authors show how businesses can leverage opportunities, as well as protect their positions.
Filled with illuminating insights, rich examples, and practical advice, POWER AND PREDICTION is the must-read guide for any business leader or policymaker on how to make the coming AI disruptions work for you rather than against you.

Ajay Agrawal is Professor of Strategic Management and the Geoffrey Taber Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He is founder of the Creative Destruction Lab and the Metaverse Mind Lab and cofounder of NEXT Canada and Sanctuary.
Joshua Gans is the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Professor of Strategic Management at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He is Chief Economist of the Creative Destruction Lab, department editor (Strategy) at Management Science, and cofounder and managing director of Core Economic Research.
Avi Goldfarb is the Rotman Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare and Professor of Marketing at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He is also Chief Data Scientist at the Creative Destruction Lab, a fellow at Behavioral Economics in Action at Rotman, and a faculty affiliate at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

BIG MEG de Tim & Emma Flannery

Professor Tim Flannery, and his daughter, Emma Flannery, bring the Megalodon to life in this fascinating and engaging natural history.

The Story of the Rise and Fall of the Largest and Most Mysterious Predator that Ever Lived
by Tim & Emma Flannery
Text Publishing, August 2023

Its name means giant tooth but everything about it is gigantic, including its pull on the human imagination. Tim and Emma Flannery’s BIG MEG will not only tell the story of the Megalodon, the Great Shark itself—what we know about where and how it lived, bred, hunted and died, a shark whose size and ferocity are the stuff of nightmares and whose teeth are probably the most sought after fossils in the world—but also how it continues to fascinate us.
The great shark, aka
Otodus megalodon, the big meg, was the largest predator that ever stalked the planet weighing somewhere between fifty and 100 tonnes. We know that this leviathan was warm blooded, that it had the most powerful bite of any animal ever to have lived and that it could open that mighty jaw to a gape of three metres, wide enough to take a killer whale whole.
will be not only the biography of a phenomenal animal, but a compelling exploration of the role it plays in the popular imagination. The Megalodon might have been extinct for more than three million years but it flourishes in the stories we tell about it, in our hunt for its relics, and our quest to uncover more of the mystery surrounding it.

Tim Flannery is a scientist, an explorer, a conservationist and a leading writer on climate change. He has held various academic positions including visiting Professor in Evolutionary and Organismic Biology at Harvard University, Director of the South Australian Museum, Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum, Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, and Panasonic Professor of Environmental Sustainability, Macquarie University. His books include the award-winning international bestseller The Weather Makers, Here on Earth, Atmosphere of Hope and Europe: The First 100 Million Years.

Emma Flannery is a scientist and writer. She has explored caves, forests and oceans across most of the globe’s continents in search of the elusive fossils, animals and plants. With postgraduate experience in geology, chemistry and palaeontology, Emma’s research and writing has been published in scientific journals, children’s books and a number of museum-based adult education tours. She has worked for and with universities, government agencies and museums.


Dr. Falk builds on Nobel prize winning behavioral economics Richard Thaler and Cass Sustein’s bestselling juggernaut, Nudge, which argues that subtle interventions in our environment (nudges) can make new and desired behaviors easier to adopt by working with our default ways of thinking. You want someone to eat healthier? Move the fruit to eye level. You want employees to use less paper? Make everyone share one printer. While this Nudge theory of persuasion can be effective in many ways, it can also feel like a benevolent manipulation or puppetry. Dr. Falk presents a revolutionary way to think about personal change and persuasion by tapping into ones own values system–but not the way you might think.

The Neuroscience of Becoming More Purposeful and Persuasive
by Dr. Emily Falk
W.W. Norton, Winter 2024
(via Park & Fine Literary and Media)

Bringing the fresh perspective of a neuroscientist to a conversation long dominated by behavioral economists and social psychologists, Dr. Falk’s research is focused on a straight-forward question: What is actually happening in the brain when people make decisions? The answer is the value calculation, which has surprisingly little to do with what we typically think of as “values,” such as religion, political views, family tradition, or even our own stated goals. Dr. Falk reveals how our brains use the value calculation to balance a messy array of information to reach decisions in real time by playing a moment-to-moment, behind the scenes game of “would you rather” with a very simple set of inputs: self-relevance, social relevance, and what is front of mind in the moment. Understanding the science behind this value calculation, and how we can tip the scales in favor of the behaviors and values we want to prioritize, can allow us to make better decisions for ourselves – and make us more persuasive with others.
As millions of people are re-thinking their careers, re-examining their relationships, and prioritizing self-care, there has never been a more important time for a book to help readers make more meaningful decisions and connections. Most of us have default answers for both the big and small questions in our lives, but WOULD YOU RATHER will teach you how to reconsider what you
really want to place front and center in your value system, and how to realign your choices in ways that will help you interrupt default thinking, recommit to your most positive habits, and open you up to new paths, new friendships, new perspectives, and new discoveries.

Dr. Emily Falk is a Professor of Communication, Psychology, Marketing and Operations, Information and Decisions, at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. A leading expert in the science of attitude and behavior change, Dr. Falk has been recognized with numerous awards in her field, including a DARPA Young Faculty Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and a Fulbright grant. Her work has been widely covered in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BBC, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Scientific American and others.


The secret life of foxes: Clever, playful and caring – what these shrewd survival artists can teach us. Surprising and inspiring.

[The Wisdom of Foxes]
by Dag Frommhold & Daniel Peller
‎ Ludwig/Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe, September 2022

Red fur, amber eyes, a bushy tail: foxes are incredibly beautiful animals. We also think of them as intelligent, shrewd and playful. Yet foxes are not just smart: they have an extraordinary gift for empathy and are excellent communicators. They have a capacity for altruism and self-sacrifice, foster close emotional relationships, and are affectionate partners and loving parents. Foxes prove that you can achieve more through constructive debate than aggression, that smarts and flexibility can get us what we want, and that selflessness benefits everyone in the end.
In DIE WEISHEIT DER FÜCHSE, fox experts Dag Frommhold and Daniel Peller tell astonishing stories showing just how fascinating foxes are – not only are they much more like us than we think, but we can learn a lot from these unsung heroes.

Dag Frommhold has loved foxes ever since he was a child. As an author, co-founder of wildlife conservation initiatives and spokesperson for various wildlife and nature conservation organisations, he has spent many years championing foxes and their fellow vulpines.
When a serious illness forced him to give up his job, Daniel Peller decided to dedicate his life to foxes. After more than twenty years of observing them, corresponding with international fox specialists and closely working with wildlife shelters, he is now a bona fide fox expert. In 2017, he founded the organisation « Fox Aid », running its online aid network, and campaigning for wildlife conservation.

BÖSE BÄUME de Markus Bennemann

The evil life of trees: they kill, steal and commit arson – the truth about our beloved woodland friends.

[Bad Trees]
by Markus Bennemann
Goldmann/Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe, November 2022

No wonder we love trees so much. Even just a short stroll through a park or woodland helps us breathe easier and replenish our energy resources, and looking up into the leafy canopy above your head can help clear your mind. But beeches, yews, etc. also have a darker side: they commit all sorts of nefarious deeds, and are willing to poison, mutilate and kill to gain the advantage over their neighbours. In BÖSE BÄUME, the science editor Markus Bennemann – who loves nothing more than taking a stroll in the woods – uncovers the unpleasant truth about their darker side. He tells readers about the tropical strangler fig, which insidiously chokes its victims; about the domestic walnut, which turns out to be a nasty poisoner; and about eucalyptus trees, who are actually pyromaniacs – and many other such unpalatable fellows in the world of trees.

Markus Bennemann couldn’t decide whether to major in literature or biology. In the end, he chose literature, and now writes books about… well, biology. He is the author of several adult non-fiction and children’s books, which have been translated into numerous languages.