Stephen L. Baker

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Baker at South by Southwest, 2009

Stephen L. Baker is an American journalist, non-fiction author and novelist. He wrote for BusinessWeek for 23 years from the United States, Europe and Latin America.[1] His first non-fiction book, The Numerati,[1] discusses the rise of the data economy.[2] Themes concerning data mark much of his subsequent work, including his futuristic novel, The Boost.[1][3]

Early life[edit]

Baker grew up in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. He attended Harriton High School and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he majored in Spanish and History.[1] He attended the University of Madrid in Spain during his junior year. He later received a Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University in New York.[4]

Journalism[edit]

He began his professional career at the Black River Tribune, a weekly newspaper in Ludlow, Vermont. After working in Venezuela and Ecuador, he spent a year at the El Paso (Texas) Herald-Post. A year later he was BusinessWeek's bureau chief in Mexico City. From Mexico he moved on to Pittsburgh, PA, where he covered industry for six years, and then to Paris, France, where he covered European technology.[5][5]

Baker has also written for the New York Times,[6] the Wall Street Journal,[7] the Los Angeles Times,[8] and the Boston Globe. He received the Overseas Press Club Morton Frank Award, given for Best business reporting from abroad in magazines,[9] for his portrait of the rising Mexican auto industry.[10]

Books[edit]

In early 2011, Houghton Mifflin published Baker's Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything,[11] which follows IBM's development of Watson, an artificial intelligence computer system designed to play human contestants in the television game show Jeopardy.[12]

His 2014 novel, The Boost [13] , takes place in 2072, a time in which practically everyone on earth carries a cognitive chip, or "boost," implanted in the brain. Kirkus reviews called it a "techno-thriller with deep, dark roots in the present."

He has written an unpublished novel "Donkey Show", which is set on the U.S.-Mexico border between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

Baker currently resides in Montclair, NJ, with his wife, Jalaire. They have three adult sons, Jack, Aidan and Henry.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Stephen Baker". Bloomberg Business. 
  2. ^ Walker, Rob (October 31, 2008). "They’ve Got Your Number". New York Times. 
  3. ^ "The Boost". Kirkus Reviews. May 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Classes of 1980-89". School of Journalism, Columbia University website. 
  5. ^ a b "Stephen Baker Bio". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  6. ^ Baker, Stephen (January 6, 2013). "Can social media sell soap?". New York Times. 
  7. ^ Baker, Stephen (July 11, 2014). "Can a computer win on ‘Jeopardy’?". Wall Street Journal. 
  8. ^ Baker, Stephen (July 11, 2014). "If IBM’s Watson had legs, it would jaywalk". LA Times. 
  9. ^ http://opcofamerica.org/awards/morton-frank-award-1992
  10. ^ "The Morton Frank Award 1992". Overseas Press Club of America. 
  11. ^ Dunn, Andrew (February 19, 2011). "‘Jeopardy,’ IBM Had Reason to Be Scared of Watson Match: Books". Bloomberg Business. 
  12. ^ http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2011/02/steve-bakers-book-final-jeopardy-asks-whats-special-about-human-intelligence.html
  13. ^ "The Boost". MacMillan Publishers. 

External links[edit]

  • The Numerati, presentation and reading by Stephen L. Baker, September 25, 2008, Powell's Books, Portland, Oregon (from his 2008 book tour).