Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

William Powers

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: Orleans, MA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2008, 2023

William Powers is a writer and technologist. He spent his early career as a staff writer at The Washington Post and as a media critic for national magazines.

He is the author of Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age (HarperCollins, 2010), one of the early books to question the impact of digital technologies on our minds and lives. A New York Times bestseller, it has been published in many countries and languages.

Begun at MacDowell during his 2008 Fellowship, the book then took him to MIT, where he spent five years as a research scientist working on projects to ensure that artificial intelligence reflects human values and enables social progress.

At MacDowell in 2023, Powers wrote a proposal for a book. A follow-in to Hamlet's BlackBerry, it will offer a philosophical vision for a more human-centered technology future. It will draw on his experience over the last decade working on AI projects in labs at MIT, USC, and currently the Max Planck Center for Humans and Machines in Berlin



William Powers worked in the Star studio.

Funded by Alpha Chi Omega, a national fraternity founded in 1885, Star Studio — built in 1911–1912 — was the first studio given to the residency by an outside organization. To this day, Alpha Chi sorority pledges learn the story of Star Studio and its role in supporting American arts and letters. Beginning as a nicely proportioned…

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