What I’m Reading on the Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Barack Obama
2 min readNov 3, 2023

Earlier this week, President Biden issued an executive order on artificial intelligence — a breakthrough technology that has the power to change the world in ways we’re only beginning to understand.

After the order was released, I sat down with Nilay Patel, host of the Decoder podcast, to talk more about how we can learn from the past and harness the power of AI in a way that benefits, rather than undermines, our democracy. It’s a topic I’m excited to keep exploring this week at the Obama Foundation Democracy Forum — an event that will bring together activists, thought leaders, and changemakers to discuss challenges like AI and their potential impact.

Ahead of those conversations, I wanted to share some of the books, articles, and podcasts that have helped shape my perspective over the past year. This list offers a range of viewpoints on the threats, opportunities, and challenges posed by AI and some thoughtful ideas on how to respond.

I hope it’s useful if you’re looking to dive in. And be sure to tune into the Democracy Forum today at Obama.org.




  • Techlash: Who Makes the Rules in the Digital Gilded Age? by Tom Wheeler
  • Impromptu: Amplifying Our Humanity Through AI by Reid Hoffman
  • The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century’s Greatest Dilemma by Mustafa Suleyman
  • Recoding America Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better by Jennifer Pahlka
  • The Worlds I See: Curiosity, Exploration, and Discovery at the Dawn of AI by Fei-Fei Li (Published 11/7/23)