Stephen L. Baker

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Baker at South by Southwest, 2009

Stephen L. Baker is an American journalist, author and blogger. His first published book, The Numerati,[1] discusses the increasing role that data-mining plays in shaping politics, business, law enforcement, and even romance. It highlights the mathematicians, consultants and programmers who harness the information to learn more about people as consumers, employees, voters and lovers, and use it to target them more precisely. Formerly a senior writer at BusinessWeek,[2] Baker left the magazine in December 2009.

In early 2011, Houghton Mifflin published Baker's next book Final Jeopardy,[3] which follows IBM's development of Watson, an artificial intelligence computer system designed to play human contestants in the television game show Jeopardy.[4]

His 2014 novel, The Boost, 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.

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. 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.

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.

Baker has also written for the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. He received the Overseas Press Club Morton Frank Award, given for Best business reporting from abroad in magazines,[5] for his portrait of the rising Mexican auto industry.

He has written an unpublished novel "Donkey Show", which is set on the U.S.-Mexico border between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.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, and son, Henry. He also has two adult sons, Jack and Aidan, who are students.


External links[edit]

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