About Stephen Baker

Stephen Baker is author of The Numerati and Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything, both published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and The Boost, a dystopian novel, published by Tor Books. Most recently, he’s the co-author of Hop Skip Go: How the Mobility Revolution is Changing our Lives. (Harper Collins, 2019) He is represented by James Levine of Levine Greenberg Rostan, of New York.

Baker was BusinessWeek’s senior technology writer for a decade, first from Paris and later New York. His specialty is writing clearly for a broad audience about complicated technologies and social trends. It was his cover story, “Math Will Rock Your World,” which led to The Numerati. Published in fall of 2008, The Numerati introduced the computer scientists and math whizzes who sift through our data to model and predict our behavior as shoppers, voters, patients, workers, potential terrorists, and even lovers. In a review, the Wall Street Journal recommended the book as “a highly readable and fascinating account of the number-driven world we now live in.” 

In 2010, Baker spent a year with the IBM team building the Jeopardy computer, Watson. This led to his second book, Final Jeopardy: Man vs Machine and the Quest to Know Everything (2011). In addition to telling Watson’s story, the book looks at the future of artificial intelligence, and explores how our minds and machines will increasingly work together. He expanded on this subject in a novel, The Boost, set in the near future. Kirkus Reviews called the book “a true delight of a techno-thriller that has deep, dark roots in the present.”

Before moving to New York in 2002, Baker was Paris-based European technology correspondent for BusinessWeek, where he headed up the magazine’s coverage of wireless technology and the mobile Internet. Previously, he was BusinessWeek’s bureau chief in Pittsburgh and Mexico City. In Mexico, he won the 1993 Overseas Press Club Award for business coverage for his story on the auto industry’s southern migration, Detroit South. Before that, he worked at newspapers in Ludlow, VT, El Paso, TX., and Caracas, Venezuela.

He is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and earned his B.A. at the University of Wisconsin, with majors in Spanish and History. He speaks Spanish and French.