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Technology Fears and Scapegoats: 40 Myths about Privacy, Jobs, AI, and Today’s Innovation Economy

About the Book

Technologies and tech companies are accused of creating a myriad of problems. This book exposes them as mostly myths, falsehoods, and exaggerations.

Technology Fears and Scapegoats debunks 40 widespread myths about Big Tech, Big Data, AI, privacy, trust, polarization, automation, and similar fears, while exposing the scapegoating behind them. Authors Robert D. Atkinson and David Moschella provide a balanced analysis of technology’s impact on society and conclude it is overwhelmingly positive. The book serves as a clarion call for tech insiders, policymakers, and the general public to restore the West’s faith in technological progress.

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  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (May 7, 2024)
  • Title: Technology Fears and Scapegoats: 40 Myths about Privacy, Jobs, AI, and Today’s Innovation Economy
  • Authors: Robert D. Atkinson and David Moschella
  • ISBN-10: 3031523482
  • ISBN-13: 978-3031523489

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“To build a better future, we have to believe in a better future. This means reversing today’s anti-tech mindset and restoring America’s faith in scientific advancement. This book does both.”

Marc Andreessen, Founder of Netscape and Co-founder of Andreessen‑Horowitz

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“Atkinson and Moschella deliver a much-needed reminder that technology, data and innovation can be critical ingredients for solving society’s biggest problems—from accelerating a clean energy revolution, delivering a more equitable healthcare system, to a more open and dynamic economy that rewards entrepreneurship.”

Aneesh Chopra, President of CareJourney, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and author of Innovative State

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“Debates over AI and digital media swing between utopian (technology will cure everything!) and dystopian (too many uncontrollable harms!). Luckily, this insightful new book helps experts and the public alike find the research-based middle ground beyond the hype at both extremes: how to embrace the opportunities while reducing the hazards.”

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of Think Outside the Building

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“This is an excellent collection of essays on U.S. technology actions, policies, and proposals. I strongly endorse this book. It is ideal for wide audiences, and I believe universities and high schools will greatly benefit from the chapters included.”

Albert N. Link, Virginia Batte Phillips Distinguished Professor of Economics at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Series Editor of Palgrave Advances in the Economics of Innovation and Technology, and coauthor of Innovative Activity in Minority-Owned and Women‑Owned Business

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“It’s odd that we need a book defending technology and debunking today’s many myths. Odd because so much good comes from advances in science and technology. But there are so many complaints about tech these days that debunk we must, and Rob and David do it very well.”

Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet and Winner of the 2022 Turing Award

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“Technological progress is our best hope for a future of peace and prosperity, especially in changing the trajectory of climate change. Fortunately, there are a wide array of technologies that can help people achieve those hopes. Unfortunately, there are also a large number of myths that diminish public support for those technologies. Atkinson and Moschella take these myths head on. Technology Fears and Scapegoats is a profound antidote to pessimism about the future and opens the door to a brighter day.”

Peter Schwartz, Chief Future Officer at Salesforce and author of The Art of the Long View

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“Atkinson and Moschella have written an important book on something that should matter to every American: success and innovation in our tech industry. They tackle hard questions head on and provide deep insight.”

Dan Scheinman, Technology Executive, Investor, and Advisor

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“Throughout history, emerging technologies have been blamed for societal ills. Recently, we’ve seen the shift from Techlash around social media to hysteria over ‘human extinction from AI.’ Making sweeping negative generalizations based on inconclusive evidence is easy. Adding scary media narratives on top of it is even easier. The hard task is debunking them. Technology Fears and Scapegoats does an excellent job of battling well-known misconceptions. It’s, therefore, a must-read for policymakers.”

Nirit Weiss-Blatt, author of The Techlash and Tech Crisis Communication


Rob Atkinson appeared on the Tech Policy Podcast to discuss the book with TechFreedom’s Corbin Barthold. The episode, “Tech Facts and Fallacies,” aired on May 20, 2024:

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