The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity

The Big Nine are the nine technological giants who control the world’s major artificial intelligence platforms. They are Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. They are worth an estimated $3.8 trillion and have a combined workforce of 1.6 million. Each of the Big Nine has an AI platform that is the basis of its business.

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Artificial intelligence is reshaping our world in ways that were once the stuff of science fiction. In The Big Nine, Amy Webb shines a light on the nine tech titans who are racing to build thinking machines and control AI. From Google’s AlphaGo to OpenAI’s GPT-3, these machines are already capable of remarkable feats. But as Webb shows, AI is developing at an exponential rate, and we’re woefully unprepared for what comes next.

These nine superpowers have the capital, the talent and the algorithms needed to teach machines how to think. They are locked in a Winner Take All race to control AI, and whoever controls AI will control our future. The Big Nine takes us inside their secretive world, introducing us to the brilliant—and sometimes eccentric—machines that they have built. And it shows us how these machines are changing our lives in ways that we’re only just beginning to understand.

What are the Big Nine?

The Big Nine are a group of technology companies that are working on artificial intelligence (AI) and have the potential to change the world as we know it. These companies are Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. These companies are leaders in AI research and development and have access to large amounts of data, which they can use to train their machine learning algorithms.

These companies are not just researching AI; they are also building products that use AI technology. For example, Amazon’s Alexa is an AI-powered digital assistant that can perform tasks such as playing music, setting alarms, and ordering products from Google’s search engine uses AI to provide relevant results for user queries. And Facebook’s News Feed uses AI to decide which stories to show users.

The potential applications of AI are vast and varied. For example, AI can be used to improve efficiency in manufacturing or to diagnose diseases earlier than ever before. However, there is also a risk that AI could be used for malicious purposes, such as creating fake news stories or manipulating social media feeds.

The Big Nine have a lot of power and responsibility when it comes to AI. They will need to make sure that their products are used for good and that they do not unintentionally create any negative consequences for society.

What do the Big Nine want?

The Big Nine are the nine largest technology companies in the world, which collectively control much of the global flow of information. They are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

These companies are known as the GAFA—an acronym derived from their initials in English—or simply as “big tech ” They are also sometimes known as “The Frightful Five,” a term first used by Pichai Sundararajan, an Indian-American professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, in 2017 to refer to these five companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

What do these companies want? That is a difficult question to answer. Each company is unique and has its own history, culture, and goals. But there are some commonalities.

First and foremost, these companies want to make money. They are all for-profit businesses that compete fiercely with each other for market share. This competition can be good for consumers—it leads to lower prices and better products—but it can also be bad for society when it leads to monopolies or other anti-competitive practices.

Second, these companies want to grow. They are all large businesses that have achieved tremendous scale but still have ambitious plans for expansion. This growth can be good for society—it creates jobs and drives innovation—but it can also be bad for society when it leads to economic concentration or other negative side effects.

Third, these companies want to change the world. They are all technology companies that see themselves as agents of change and progress. This mission can be good for society—it leads to new products and services that make our lives better—but it can also be bad for society when it leads to unforeseen consequences or disruptive technologies that upend existing social arrangements.

What are the implications of the Big Nine’s power?

The Big Nine are the nine technology conglomerates that control the majority of the world’s computing power: Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and Lenovo. They are sometimes referred to as the “GAFAMTBL+” (GAFA being Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple; MTBL being Microsoft, Tencent, Baidu, and Lenovo).

These companies are in control of an unprecedented amount of data and computing power. They are using this power to develop artificial intelligence (AI) systems that will have a profound impact on humanity.

There are many implications of the Big Nine’s power. One is that they could use AI to achieve a level of control over humanity that is unprecedented in history. Another is that they could use AI to create a future in which only a tiny elite has access to the most powerful technologies.

Yet another implication is that the Big Nine could use AI to create a future in which machines are smarter than humans and humanity becomes subservient to them. This is a very real possibility that we must take seriously.

What can be done about the Big Nine’s power?

The Big Nine are not evil. They are not intentionally trying to control the world or manipulate people. But they have become immensely powerful, and their power is growing.

There is no easy solution to the problems they pose. But we need to start by recognizing the seriousness of the threat they pose and the urgency of finding ways to limit their power.

We also need to think carefully about the kind of world we want to live in and what values we want to promote. The Big Nine are pursing their own objectives, which may or may not be compatible with our values. We need to make sure that our values are reflected in the policies and regulations that govern the technology sector.

We also need to invest in public institutions that can help us keep pace with the rapid changes wrought by technology. We need better schools, more research funding, and stronger antitrust enforcement. We need to find ways to give ordinary citizens a greater say in how technology is developed and used.

Only by facing up to these challenges can we hope to tame the power of the Big Nine and create a world that is safe for democracy, human rights, and economic progress.


In conclusion, it is important to remember that the Big Nine are not evil. They are simply nine very powerful people who control some of the most important technology in the world. While it is possible that they could use their power to manipulate or even control humanity, it is also possible that they could use their power to help humanity reach its potential. As we enter an age where artificial intelligence will play an increasingly important role in our lives, it is essential that we keep a close eye on the Big Nine and make sure that they use their power responsibly.

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