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Rise of the Robots: Technology and the…
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Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (original 2014; edition 2016)

by Martin Ford (Author)

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3281151,634 (4.06)1 / 16
Member:gregvogl
Title:Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
Authors:Martin Ford (Author)
Info:Basic Books (2016), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:technology, future

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Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford (2014)

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The Rise of the Robots shows what are the jobs of the future and reflects many doubts about the future of the job market. People hope and imagine that the current industrial and technological revolution will eliminate some of the jobs, nevertheless, more positions will be created in order to deal with new possibilities and innovations. So, when we talk about technology we talk about the positives in terms of growth and the ability to enhance productivity.

Unfortunately, Martin Ford, the author of the book argues that this time, it is not the case. He is quite pessimistic about some of the things that robotics and AI might bring to mankind. As new technologies and the development of artificial intelligence accelerate, machines take over not only low-skilled work done by people that don’t have a lot of education. Today’s machines are much more sophisticated and capable to climb the skills ladder. As a result, they are a threat to white-collar jobs including many of the kinds of jobs that University graduates take. So, the book presents some challenges that we need to think through. The reality is that technology is going to have a very significant impact on the job market on an unprecedented scale.

Sceptics will point out that this is something that has happened throughout history and that’s certainly true but we’re now getting machines that can, in some limited sense, at least begin to think like people and can take on intellectual tasks as well as manual tasks. This is not about robots in car factories that have replaced blue-collar jobs. It’s about software that can do something relatively routine, repetitive and very easy to automate. Such software is relatively cheap, in comparison to physical robots and scales across all kinds of jobs of the future.

Now, let’s state that such machines and software is developed to enhance our level of life, our productivity and, ultimately, income. This is where historical data from the US provided by Martin Ford are a bit scary. Wages peaked for production workers until 1973. At this time it was 763USD a week (adjusted for today’s dollar). Due to the introduction of automation, wages have been decreasing and productivity increasing. Because of this, inequality has steadily grown since the 1970s. Between the years 1993 to 2010, more than half the rise in national income directly went to people who are the top 1% of earners in the United States.

In other words, if productivity goes up and people directly responsible for this have less purchasing power, the whole gain goes to owners and shareholders. Of course, this is some simplification as we have to take into consideration globalisation and the fact that a lot of jobs are being moved overseas to bring cheaper labour. Nevertheless, further statistics in the book reflect that today, only the highest incomes are actually...(if you like to read my full review please visit my blog https://leadersarereaders.blog/the-rise-of-the-robots/) ( )
  LeadersAreReaders | Jul 11, 2019 |
Economics meets technology and the result is our future. If you want to read into the future, this is the right book. Scary sometimes, beware. ( )
  lucaconti | Jan 24, 2019 |
Well - this was a depressing read. Ford's hypothesis is that unless you are one of the mega rich, the future is very bleak indeed as soon algorithms i.e artificial intelligence will pretty much be able to do most routine jobs - and most jobs are routine. Only jobs which require physical contact and manipulation e.g health will likely survive and they will probably be mostly minimum wage. Even professionals such as doctors are threatened by AI such as IBM's Watson. As he succinctly states - no business wants to hire a worker - they are expensive and unreliable and need managing. An AI doesn't get sick or have childcare problems or complain about overtime or its coworkers. He is scathing of those who say new types of jobs will be created as has happened in the past. He thinks this time is different.
He makes a suggestion of a basic income for all as a way to maintain a society. Can't see current politics even contemplating that unless there was a complete societal breakdown happening. And even then...
Far from a cheery read. ( )
  infjsarah | Jul 23, 2017 |
Good book. But I had seen most of it already in reading the newspaper and geek magazines. ( )
  bermandog | Jun 17, 2017 |
Technical Library - shelved at: C11 - initially with Nigel Ostime
  HB-Library-159 | Feb 16, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465059996, Hardcover)

A New York Times Science Bestseller

What are the jobs of the future? How many will there be? And who will have them? We might imagine—and hope—that today’s industrial revolution will unfold like the last: even as some jobs are eliminated, more will be created to deal with the new innovations of a new era. In Rise of the Robots, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Martin Ford argues that this is absolutely not the case. As technology continues to accelerate and machines begin taking care of themselves, fewer people will be necessary. Artificial intelligence is already well on its way to making “good jobs” obsolete: many paralegals, journalists, office workers, and even computer programmers are poised to be replaced by robots and smart software. As progress continues, blue and white collar jobs alike will evaporate, squeezing working- and middle-class families ever further. At the same time, households are under assault from exploding costs, especially from the two major industries—education and health care—that, so far, have not been transformed by information technology. The result could well be massive unemployment and inequality as well as the implosion of the consumer economy itself.

In Rise of the Robots, Ford details what machine intelligence and robotics can accomplish, and implores employers, scholars, and policy makers alike to face the implications. The past solutions to technological disruption, especially more training and education, aren’t going to work, and we must decide, now, whether the future will see broad-based prosperity or catastrophic levels of inequality and economic insecurity. Rise of the Robots is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what accelerating technology means for their own economic prospects—not to mention those of their children—as well as for society as a whole.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:10:13 -0400)

Winner of the 2015 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award A New York Times Bestseller Top Business Book of 2015 at Forbes One of NBCNews.com 12 Notable Science and Technology Books of 2015 What are the jobs of the future? How many will there be? And who will have them? As technology continues to accelerate and machines begin taking care of themselves, fewer people will be necessary. Artificial intelligence is already well on its way to making ?good jobs obsolete: many paralegals, journalists, office workers, and even computer programmers are poised to be replaced by robots and smart software. As progress continues, blue and white collar jobs alike will evaporate, squeezing working- and middle-class families ever further. At the same time, households are under assault from exploding costs, especially from the two major industries?education and health care?that, so far, have not been transformed by information technology. The result could well be massive unemployment and inequality as well as the implosion of the consumer economy itself. The past solutions to technological disruption, especially more training and education, aren't going to work. We must decide, now, whether the future will see broad-based prosperity or catastrophic levels of inequality and economic insecurity. Rise of the Robots is essential reading to understand what accelerating technology means for our economic prospects?not to mention those of our children?as well as for society as a whole.… (more)

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