In my day job, I’m the Editorial Director of Carnegie Mellon University’s ETC Press, an experimental, open access university publishing house.
In 2019, we had the opportunity to publish groundbreaking author Pamela McCorduck’s book, THIS COULD BE IMPORTANT, a spiritual follow-up to her seminal work, MACHINES WHO THINK.

For those who may not know, MACHINES WHO THINK was the first modern history of artificial intelligence. And since she wrote that, she’s spent much time pulling on the sleeves of public intellectuals, trying in futility to suggest that artificial intelligence could be important.

Memoir, social history, group biography of the founding fathers of AI, THIS COULD BE IMPORTANT follows the personal story of one AI spectator, from her early enthusiasms to her mature, more nuanced observations of the field.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing clips of the conversation we had about her life with the people who helped establish artificial intelligence as a field and the importance of her groundbreaking work writing about science and technology. (As I tell people: I had a job, because she made the job.)

Pamela McCorduck on the pushback she got for writing Machines Who Think

Pamela McCorduck on the origins of Machines Who Think

Pamela McCorduck on A.I. User Experience Interviews in the 1960s!

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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