Video, PodcastJanuary 22 2020

Uncanny Valley

Anna Wiener

Databite No. 128

Writer Anna Wiener discusses her debut book, Uncanny Valley, and her experiences navigating the new digital economy.

 

 

Part coming-of-age-story, part portrait of an already-bygone era, Anna Wiener’s memoir of working in Silicon Valley is a rare first-person glimpse into high-flying, reckless startup culture at a time of unchecked ambition, unregulated surveillance, wild fortune, and accelerating political power. Anna deftly charts the tech industry’s shift from self-appointed world savior to democracy-endangering liability, alongside a personal narrative of aspiration, ambivalence, and disillusionment.

Unsparing and incisive, Uncanny Valley is a cautionary tale, and a revelatory interrogation of a world reckoning with consequences its unwitting designers are only beginning to understand.

This event is moderated by Data & Society Director of Communications Sam Hinds Garcia.


Anna Wiener is a contributing writer to The New Yorker online, where she writes about Silicon Valley, startup culture, and technology. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, New York, The New Republic, and n+1, as well as in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017. She lives in San Francisco. Uncanny Valley is her first book.

About Databites

Data & Society’s “Databites” speaker series presents timely conversations about the purpose and power of technology, bridging our interdisciplinary research with broader public conversations about the societal implications of data and automation.