Skip to the main content
Everyday Chaos

Everyday Chaos

A Book Talk with author David Weinberger and Joi Ito

What's Happening to the Future?

The Internet and AI are not only changing the future, they're changing our ideas about how the future arises from the present. With this comes changes in some of our most basic and ancient strategies for surviving, managing, and thriving.

In his new book, Everyday Chaos, David Weinberger points to accepted ways we work on the Internet that in fact undo our old assumptions about how the future works: rather than attempting to anticipate what will happen and prepare for it, the Internet is training us to flourish by creating more and more unfathomable possibilities. The Net has also lowered the cost of operating without principles, hypotheses, or even hunches about what will work.

AI in the form of machine learning now is providing us with a model -- a model of models --  of how the future happens, with implications that range from how businesses make decisions to how we think about strategy, progress, explanations, morality, and even the nature of meaning itself.

These changes can be "metaphysically terrifying," Weinberger says, but ultimately are an evolutionary step of a Copernican magnitude.


About David

From the earliest days of the Web, David Weinberger has been a pioneering thought leader about the Internet’s effect on our lives, on our businesses, and most of all, on our ideas. He has contributed in a range of fields, from marketing to libraries to politics to journalism and more.

He has contributed in a remarkably wide range of ways as well: through books that explore the meaning of our new technology; as a writer for publications from Wiredand Scientific American to Harvard Business Review and even TV Guide; as an acclaimed keynote speaker around the world; a strategic marketing vice president and consultant; a teacher; an Internet adviser to presidential campaigns; an early social-networking entrepreneur; a strategic marketing consultant and VP; the codirector of the groundbreaking Harvard Library Innovation Lab; a writer-in-residence at a Google AI lab; a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy; a Franklin Fellow at the US State Department; and always a passionate advocate for an open internet.

Dr. Weinberger received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto, and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Simmons College.


About Joi

Joichi "Joi" Ito is an activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and scholar focusing on the ethics and governance of technology, tackling complex problems such as climate change, societal inequity and redesigning the systems that support scholarship and science. As director of the MIT Media Lab and a Professor of the Practice in Media Arts and Sciences, he supports researchers at the Media Lab to deploy design, science, and technology such AI, cryptography, and synthetic biology to transform society in substantial and positive ways.

Together with The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, Ito teaches Principles of Awareness, a class devoted to exploring the contribution that awareness and focus can bring to the creative process.

Ito is a member of the 2017 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Visiting Professor of Law from Practice at the Harvard Law School, where he and Professor Jonathan Zittrain teach The Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence.

Ito is chairman of the board of PureTech Health and was previously the board chair and chief executive of Creative Commons. He serves on the boards of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The New York Times Company. In Japan, he was a founder of Digital Garage and helped establish and later became CEO of the country's first commercial Internet service provider.

Ito also was an early investor in numerous companies, including Flickr, littleBits, Optimus Ride, FormLabs, Kickstarter, and Twitter.

In 2011, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute. He received an honorary Doctor of Letters from The New School in New York City in 2013 and two years later, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Tufts University. In 2017, he received the IRI Medal.

He earned a PhD from Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance in 2018 for his thesis, The Practice of Change, which is being edited into a book to be published by MIT Press. He serves as a distinguished researcher at the Keio Research Institute at SFC's Internet and Society Laboratory.

Ito is co-author with Jeff Howe of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future (Grand Central Publishing, December 2016), and he writes a monthly column for WIRED magazine.


Download original audio from this event.

Subscribe to the Berkman Klein events series podcast.

Past Event
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - Wednesday, May 15, 2019
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM ET
Harvard Law School Wasserstein Hall
Milstein West
Cambridge, MA 02138 US