November 12–13, 2015  •  San Francisco, CA
John Markoff

John Markoff
Journalist, New York Times


John Markoff is one of the most respected technology journalists in the world. He has had a particular interest in AI and robotics, and his latest book, Machines of Loving Grace, explores how humans and machines can best complement each other in the economy of the future. What more need be said? Our goal at this event is to explore exactly that question.

— Tim O’Reilly

Quotes from John

From “Machines of Loving Grace:”

Norbert Wiener issued a warning about the potential of automation: ‘We can be humble and live a good life with the aid of the machines,’ he wrote, ‘or we can be arrogant and die.’ It is still a fair warning.

This is about us, about humans and the kind of world we will create. It’s not about the machines.


The Times nominated John Markoff for a Pulitzer Prize in 1995, 1998, and 2000. The San Francisco Examiner nominated him for a Pulitzer in 1987. In 2005, with a group of Times reporters, John received the Loeb Award for business journalism. In 2007 he shared the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Breaking News award. In 2013 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting as part of a New York Times project on labor and automation.

In 2007 John became a member of the International Media Council at the World Economic Forum. Also in 2007, he was named a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, the organization’s highest honor. In June of 2010 the New York Times presented him with the Nathaniel Nash Award, which is given annually for foreign and business reporting.

Born in Oakland, California on October 29, 1949, John Markoff grew up in Palo Alto, California and graduated from Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, in 1971. He attended graduate school at the University of Oregon and received a masters degree in sociology in 1976.

Markoff is the co-author of The High Cost of High Tech, published in 1985 by Harper & Row. More recently he wrote Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier with Katie Hafner, which was published in 1991 by Simon & Schuster. In January of 1996 Hyperion published Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of America’s Most Wanted Computer Outlaw, which he co-authored with Tsutomu Shimomura. What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture shaped the Personal Computer Industry, was published in 2005 by Viking Books. Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest For Common Ground Between Humans and Robots, by HarperCollins Ecco, will be published in August 2015.

He is married and lives in San Francisco.

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