SOCIETY | Aug 13, 2019

10 books on innovation and so on, all to be read

Which books on AI, Big Data, innovation and Social Media should I pack and read on holiday?

No one is born a reader, but you can certainly become one, especially on holiday. Where it is true that the habit of reading can be regained with a little practice and some free time available, a bit of effort under a beach umbrella can be made, if only to change the trend noted by the latest ISTAT report on Italian readers which shows that adults do not read much, and that this is becoming increasingly less, while (fortunately, ed) children in the age group 11-14 years are strong readers, with one book a month.

Which books should I choose for information concerning innovation and the digital world?

1. Citizens in the age of Internet

A book for everyone. Written by Alfonso Fuggetta, a full professor of Computer Science at the Politecnico di Milano and CEO and scientific director of Cefriel, it should be read because it talks about a new way of being a citizen. Not “digital” citizens, but simply, with less effort and with more results, citizens, i.e. people capable of consciously living new contexts in which Internet and digital technologies are not just available tools, but a particularly important key component of existence.

2. The wise machines

A book for those who wish to analyze in depth the themes of Artificial Intelligence Written by Paolo Benanti, who specializes in bioengineering and neuroscience, it takes those who read it on a 156-page journey through the awareness of what has already occurred in terms of the use of artificial intelligence, but above all it leads to pondering the dangers of an important change such as the one we are going through and which must be managed because “only an innovation that becomes authentic human development will be able to achieve a better future and avoid dystopian nightmares”.

3. Data Society. Data governance and the protection of rights in the digital age

A book for those who wish to find out more about the topics which concern Open Data and Big Data. Written by Fernanda Faini, an expert jurist in digital law, the monograph provides readers with tools of knowledge which are useful to understand how data form our digital self as well as constitute the foundation of all human activity. “The governance of the data society – we read in the book – passes through the governance of data and the law, tasked with regulating life, must govern the various aspects taken on by data, information and knowledge in the contemporary world and protect the related rights“.

4. The Fourth Revolution

A book published some time ago but very topical for those who want to reflect on the changes in time, space, identity, or in society in general, which have occurred with digital technology. Written by Luciano Floridi, a full professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at Oxford University, it analyzes how digital ICTs (information and communication technologies) are affecting our sense of self, how we relate to each other and how we shape and interact with our world“.

5. #Humanless. The selfish algorithm

A book for those who wish to understand how machines can change the world through algorithms. Written by Massimo Chiriatti, an AI and BlockChain technologist, it sheds light on how much and how our relationship with machines has changed, how they have become not only tools but also work and life companions. Through the history of the algorithm, created by man and now become selfish, we understand the dynamics, the main choices, the risks and the opportunities of the algorithmic society.

6. A journey through innovation. Inside the ecosystems of change

A book suitable for those who want to understand the term innovation through concrete examples. Written by Roberto Panzarani, a professor of “Innovation Management” at CRIE, Centro De Referencia Em Inteligencia Empresarial at UFRJ, the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, the book aims to accompany readers on a journey, an actual tour of innovation in the places where digital ecosystems were created, where they operate and change the territories on which they are located for the better.

7. Social Media for the Public Administration

A handbook for those who want to understand the usefulness of Social Media in Public Administration. Written by Alessio Baù and Paola Bonini, respectively content strategy and contract professor at the University of Bologna, an expert in digital media, its aim is to help understand the objectives and, through concrete examples, the right methods of public, political and institutional communication, defining the perimeter and platforms where the exchange between institutions and citizens takes place.

8. Our final invention

A book designed for those who wish to reflect on the role of Artificial Intelligence compared with that of man. Written by James Barrat, writer, director and producer of documentaries for the National Geographic Channel, the book starts with a provocation, i.e. what will happen with the advent, in the near future, of a super-intelligence which could generate the extinction of mankind? And what if, once they have reached higher intellectual capacities than humans, artificial systems were able to survive without the help of man?

Oldies but goodies

9. Intellectual capital

A book for all those who haven’t yet read it. Written by Thomas A. Stewart, it explains how knowledge is the key element of economic life. The real wealth of businesses no longer consists of the natural, instrumental or financial resources, but of those linked to intellectual capital. A book which already in 1999 outlined the future in which we live in today and that provided advice which is still extremely valuable on how to transform the intellectual capital of a company into a weapon for competition.

10. Working Knowledge

Like the book above, for all those who haven’t yet read it. Written by Thomas H. Davenport and Laurence Prusak, the book aims to highlight the importance of knowledge as corporate capital. The pages reveal how all types of society can effectively understand, analyze, measure and manage their intellectual assets, transforming them into knowledge which can then be placed on the market as an asset.

Sonia Montegiove