Baffled by bitcoin? Excited about ethereum? Nervous about NFTs? New titles offer a primer on how to navigate an increasingly virtual life.

The AI Factor

Asha Saxena. Post Hill, Feb. 2023

If it walks like science fiction and quacks like science fiction, it’s... a real-life innovation that can transform industry as we know it. Saxena, founder and CEO of private networking group Women Leaders in Data and AI, breaks down the concepts behind artificial intelligence, robotics, and smart devices into easily understood chunks, and shows readers how the new big data they garner can help build a business.

All In on AI

Thomas H. Davenport and Nitin Mittal. Harvard Business Review, Jan. 2023

While most companies are still grappling with what AI really is, there’s a small expert group that’s using the technology to its best advantage, according to Davenport, an IT and management professor, and Mittal, a principal with Deloitte Consulting. Organizations including Airbus, Anthem, and Capital One have recast their best practices using artificial intelligence; the authors punctuate case studies of these and other companies with practical what-nows for those who hope to embrace the AI revolution.

Creators Take Control

Edward Lee. Harper Business, Mar. 2023

The very letters NF, and T elicit either dollar signs in the eyes or raucous laughter, depending on the listener. Illinois Tech Chicago–Kent College law professor Lee makes a case that the benefit of an NFT lies not with the riches-seeking buyer, but with the creator. His theory of interactive ownership is intended to allow artists, marketers, and creatives of all types more control over their collateral and open up opportunities for collaboration and community-building.

Decoding the Metaverse

Chris Duffey. Kogan Page, Feb. 2023

Creative Cloud strategist Duffey advises readers on how they can monetize the metaverse and grow their businesses using Web3 principles and technologies. He explains how blockchain, NFTs, and other seemingly abstract entities can have a real impact on revenue, through the examples of companies he sees as operating to their full potential in the metaverse. The book wraps up with a look at the ethics backing these frequently misunderstood areas of enterprise.

I, Human

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. Harvard Business Review, Feb. 2023

Business psychology professor Chamorro-Premuzic puts voice to the inchoate concerns many have about artificial intelligence—it can ease lives, certainly, but is it ushering humankind into an uncanny valley where the line between human and machine blurs? This discomfiting vision isn’t an inevitable future, he says; we have a choice in how human we want our machines to be, or how machinelike our humans. By focusing on characteristics that separate us from the robots—empathy and creativity, among others—we can hold fast to our own personhood.

Into the Metaverse

Cathy Hackl. Bloomsbury Business, Jan. 2023

It’s no longer enough to understand how one’s business functions on the internet as it exists today, according to Hackl, cofounder of the design firm Journey and one of a handful of people in the world to hold the title chief metaverse officer; one also has to figure out how to function in its future iterations. This is a tall order, as it requires developing a thorough understanding of “virtual goods, avatars, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), gaming, extended reality, and more,” she writes, not to mention “cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, gaming engines, and digital design.” Per PW’s review, “Hackl’s fascinating account of the metaverse’s potential should be required reading for tech-savvy leaders.”


The Threshold

Nick Chatrath. Diversion, Feb. 2023

The advance of AI shouldn’t be a source of fear, says former McKinsey consultant–turned–leadership coach Chatrath. Rather, it should spur humanity to greater heights of the kinds of innovation that technology can never replicate. Machines are set to surpass humans in terms of baseline competencies, he explains, but can’t compete when it comes to creativity, independent thinking, or strong leadership. Chatrath describes a “threshold” model of leadership, focused more on empathy and emotional intelligence, to safely shuttle companies into a more mechanized future. Humankind 1, Skynet 0.

To the Moon

Erica Stanford and Anthony Day. Kogan Page, July 2023

For anyone who quails at the first mention of blockchain, Stanford, Warwick Business School cryptocurrency lecturer, and Day, who hosts the Blockchain Won’t Save the World podcast, explain not just the what of crypto but the how. Starting with the first glimmer in pseudonymous bitcoin developer Satoshi Nakamoto’s eye and continuing through the growth of cryptocurrency and the controversy over NFTs, the authors aim to help readers scythe through the jargon.    

Return to main feature.