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Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  6,157 ratings  ·  604 reviews
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 ca ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Basic Books
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Daniel The Republican Party in the United States always wants to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Evidently they think the best response to the coming tsunami of…moreThe Republican Party in the United States always wants to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Evidently they think the best response to the coming tsunami of technological unemployment is to create more babies to compete for the shrinking supply of jobs.

To answer your first question, I'm not seeing much in the book about how to solve the problem. The book is more about explaining what the problem is than how to fix it. The first step in fixing a problem is to acknowledge that it exists, and so far I haven't heard of a government anywhere on the planet that acknowledges this one. We're basically stampeding toward massive, permanent unemployment with absolutely no plan. A guaranteed minimum income is one possible policy response, but it's hard to see that becoming a reality. It might not stand up to robotic deflation anyway - as people start losing jobs, they consume less, so the economy shrinks, so the gazillionaires have less money we could tax away to fund the guaranteed minimum wage. Basically, technological progress says the human population needs to shrink, like the horse population did when horses became obsolete, There's no nice way to do that. No politician could get elected on that platform.(less)

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Max Nova
May 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: automation, economics
Where Ford's first book was a revelation, his second book is a disappointment. He adds very little new to the conversation with "Rise of the Robots" - for the most part this book is a recycled laundry list of popular news articles about cool startups and technologies that are making progress in various areas of automation. If you've read his first book, The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future or Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolut ...more
Sandra T
Una opinione pessimista sull'avvento delle macchine nel mondo del lavoro, dalla produzione di beni alla distribuzione dei servizi, fino alla sostituzione totale degli esseri umani, anche i più istruiti e talentuosi in ambiti considerati sicuri come la creatività artistica o la costruzione e manutenzione delle macchine stesse (ahi ahi, le reti neurali). Ne esce una visione distopica in cui la massa, in larghissima maggioranza, sta erodendo il suo margine di spesa discrezionale fin dagli anni '70 ...more
Doichin Cholakov
Jun 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
With the Swiss Referendum on the universal basic income coming in three days you might be interested in the intellectual undercurrents that made the idea so widely popular lately.

This book actually is a good point to start. It is atrociously primitive in terms of both style and quality of the research, but seems to powerfully strike a chord and has collected a good amount of raving reviews and distinctions. The argument goes like that - since when we open the whatever media we are reading we see
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
En udmærket og realistisk gennemgang af mulige fremtidsscenarier, når robotterne kommer og overtager det meste af arbejdet for os. Og vi kommer meget længere under overfladen end de sædvanlige fremtidsoptimistiske Kurzweill-disciples slideshows i stilen "Wuuuuhuuu fremtiden kommer med selvkørende biler lige om lidt" (Ja og hvad så?). Vi kommer godt ned i både global og nationaløkonomi, alle de mekanismer der er på spil, og hvad de førende eksperter mener om fremtiden - og Ford citerer ikke kun d ...more
Aaron Arnold
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Star Trek replicator has long been a dream of humanity - completely automated provision of the means of subsistence, with the potential to eliminate unprecedented amounts of drudgery. Far from everyone being freed to pursue their dreams of becoming starship captains, though, it's entirely possible that the current dramatic increase in automation will simply put humans out of work, whether those humans are low-wage burger-flippers, manufacturing workers at home or offshore, or white-shoe corp ...more
Sashko  Liutyj
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
це дуже нудно. дуже.
роботи поработят мір, це ми і так знали.
не дочитав.
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The bulk of the book may deserve 5 stars, but the recommendations at the end do not [see below].

The book manages to discuss an impressive range of topics directly or indirectly related to the automation of econonic activity and the impact on human employment. It does this without being a particularly long book. Of course, that means that some readers will find some topics are not covered in the depth and detail they would have preferred. However, I did not find that to be a general issue.

For ins
Дмитрий Филоненко
It's that type of book when you feel like in a conversation with an author. I started reading it and after 1-2 chapters I thought: "OK, that's pretty clear and obvious, although quite alarmistic. According this topic - I don't think that authorities are going to oversleep such moment, they will definitely be intervening. And according that topic - I see some potential solution. So, what is he going to write about in the rest 8 chapters? Just about yet more bogeys from the coming future?" But the ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couple years ago I was a big fan of automation. It was always mesmerised to see a vending machine, conveyor belt in sushi restaurant and automated ordering system in ramen shop. I see automation as the answer for the future—without even thinking the implication. However, this book shaped my pessimistic argument toward the future. The issue of 'rise of the robots' is indeed inevitable.

In 2013, Nike announced that rising wages for Indonesian labour had negatively impacted its quarterly financial
Otto Lehto
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Henry Ford shaped the 20th century, giving us the assembly line, the welfare state and the middle class. All of these are on the way out.

Martin Ford, no relation, looks into the 21st century, showing us the next stage in industrial transformation, where human workers are replaced by robots, the welfare state by something completely different, and the middle class with rising inequality and precariousness. We will need to rethink our pathway to continuing human prosperity.

In the age of the autom
Volodymyr Stoyko
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Нова модель Tesla, повторний запуск та посадка першого ступеня ракети Falcon, робота над Hyperloop та багато інших тем на слуху в людей, що цікавляться сектором енергоефективних технологій та транспорту майбутнього. Одна з ключових ролей у цій сфері належить Ілону Маску, кожне висловлювання якого генерує тисячі матеріалів для новинних сайтів та обговорення на рівні міністрів у твітері. Одним з останніх резонансних інтерв'ю була розмова Маска на каналі CNBC на тему майбутньї ролі роботів у нашому ...more
Mike Scialom
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'The Rise of the Robots' should come with a warning sticker saying: “This book will provoke a lot of
By the end of chapter one I began reassessing the changes technology has wrought, even just during my lifetime.
I remember my first encounter with a computer. It was 1979 (I know, I’m so ancient) and I was an undergraduate in Manchester. The psychology course I’d opted for involved a surprising amount of statistics and a computer was made available for our use to crunch the numbe
Hikmet Okur
Enteresan bir 'hikâye' olmuş Martin Ford'un kitabı. Peki neden hikâye? Başlarda adeta bir gerilim/korku türüymüş gibi başlıyor kitap: tekrarlı ve niteliksiz işlerden tutun da insana has el ve zihin becerisine muhtaç nitelikli işlere kadar bütün 'işlerin' insanoğlunun elinden kayıp gideceği üzerine çarpıcı olay ve uygulama örnekleri üzerinize üzerinize gönderiliyor. Kaldı ki, söylediklerinin gerçeklikle hiçbir bağı olmadığını iddia etmek büyük saflık olur. E haliyle insan da bir tedirgin olmuyor ...more
Pete Brigham
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the book I didn't want to read. Except I did. Except we all should, because like it or not, the future is coming, and the face of the future is a robot. Yes, we have all heard about the Tesla factories where a few people with clipboards oversee a vast army of whirring robots. We knew about Deep Blue playing chess. But did we know about robots that pick strawberries... at night? Or the robot that perfectly stacks cardboard boxes of irregular shapes, one per second? Or the "burger robot" t ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rise of the Robots is an excellent and somewhat depressing book. If you've been brooding a lot about the prospects for the future, you should probably postpone reading this book until you're in a better mood. Of course, if you read it, then you'll be a bad mood again. Sigh. Did I mention climate change? Best to skip any books on that topic too. Better to just go out and do something nice for a fellow human being instead.

The thesis of this book is that automation in general, including the use of
If you're looking for a primer on the next industrial revolution - the automation revolution - look no further than this book. In truth, 287 pages isn't long enough to do justice to the IT phenomenon that's heading our way, but Ford does an admirable job of it.

Within these pages you'll find cause to be extremely concerned if you have children, or are just starting out in your career. If politics and consumerism-fueled-by-debt proceeds business as usual, the future belongs to the capital owners
Sunny Jaggi
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Martin Ford's book Rise of The Robots gives an intriguing insight into the futuristic impact technical advances in automation such as robotics and AI will have on job-market and society as whole. First half of the book describes latest technologies such as robotics in fast-food and retail services and then the book focus more towards how automation has and will continue to soar the unemployment rate. What will happen to all those blue- and white-collar workers who will eventually become redundan ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love this book. Maybe 2.5 stars. The first half was filled with 'no-brainers'; the author stating the obvious, and what wasn't obvious logic, was information I already knew (from reading and listenting to many podcasts related to the topic). However, perhaps it offers a detailed background for someone that knows little on the topic. I listened to this book on Audible, so I found myself listening at 2x speed to try and get through the monotony of the first half. The second half was a lit ...more
Sirius Scientist
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A great look into the future of robotics and AI in every day life and the economic concerns around that environment. Some chapters project into the realm of scifi, such as the safety of creating an entity with superior intelligence compared to humanity, other chapters discuss the potential "de-skilling" of the current job market and more concrete ideas taken from current and historical data trends.

In the 2004 film I, Robot, the protagonist, played by Will Smith, asks a robot, “Can a robot write
satej soman
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kind of a dual of The Second Machine Age in that it's a technologist explaining economic trends rather than economists explaining technological trends. In addition to bringing technological literacy to the discussion, Ford presents a balanced viewpoint between AI alarmists and those who deny 21st-century automation will create mass unemployment (either through job creation in brand-new industries or via new roles that cooperate with machines).

I particularly enjoyed Ford's lucid explanation about
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a lot of information about technologies for our deeper understanding of all challenges that we will have in the future. Every time in a human history new technologies provide crucial changes in society. It is not a big surprise that in the beginning of XXI century we will observe some kind of transformation in our education, economy and wealth. The main idea of this book that we should be ready to overcome all the barriers that we will get after global automatization. Better educ ...more
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El autor nos plantea diversos caminos que la humanidad tomará en el momento que los robots se conviertan en una parte esencial y cubran la mayoría de las áreas de trabajo.

Sí los robots cubren los puestos de trabajo; los humanos ¿cómo lograremos generar ingresos y con ello adquirir productos?

¿Es beneficioso que los robots cubran los puestos de trabajo?

La tendencia marca que vamos hacia ese lugar pero ¿estamos listos o lograremos crear fuentes de ingresos diferentes?

Un libro que me gustó para pens
Ahmed Elsherbiny
The book discusses the effect of advancements in technology, especially autorotation, robots and artificial intelligence on the future of Labour and economy. Supported with statistics and numbers, as well as many examples. It covers the topic broadly and extensively starting from effect on markets and creating jobs, giving examples of some special sectors like manufacturing, education and healthcare, to the effect of economic inequality on the economy as a whole and how technology could contribu ...more
Dariusz Nawojczyk
Osoby oczekujące wnikliwej analizy technologicznej będą zawiedzione. Ale dla kogoś poszukującego kulturowych i społecznych implikacji automatyzacji ta książka to prawdziwa gratka. Potok otwierających głowę danych i analiz opisujących dość precyzyjnie historię, dziś i niedaleką przyszłość. Tutaj autor odrobił zadanie domowe. Słabsze momenty to te, w których Ford próbuje skonstruować jakieś własne odpowiedzi lub propozycje. Wydają się one dość trywialne wobec skali problemu, przed którym wszyscy s ...more
Pat Rolston
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent overview of the causes and effects from economic to psychological as pertains to the technologies enabled by the digital revolution and potential worldchanging AI/robotics era. Ford provides historical context and delves into the impact of Moore's law to date and the ongoing fallout, good and bad. He clearly explains the semiconductor and computer revolution's stunning progress as pertains to unleashing AI and robotics applications and the corresponding impact to the future of manki ...more
P. S. Hoffman
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're going to be alive in the next 40 years, you probably want to read this...
Eugene Gavrylenko
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This exceptional book talks about the advent of robots. In other words it shows why and how we should learn to stop worrying and love the AI=)
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
The book foresees a very dark future, especially for the people who are not qualified enough. I find it realistic though, some of the ideas are already visible in the job market. Read with caution.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An important book that examines how machines are fast taking over the work that we do today. Martin Ford is sober and balanced in his analysis, even though the subject matter lends itself easily to doomsday prophesies. Ford considers various scenarios of how things could play out in the future being careful to consider alternative scenarios and timelines in each case. He also discusses policies that could be implemented to dampen the the inevitable socio economic impact of accelerating technolog ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly scary picture of the future
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Martin Ford is the author of the two books Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (2015) and The Lights In the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future (2009) — both dealing with the effects of automation and mass-unemployment. He is the founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development firm, and obtained a computer engineering degre ...more
“I find it somewhat ironic that many conservatives in the United States are adamant about securing the border against immigrants who will likely take jobs that few Americans want, while at the same time expressing little concern that the virtual border is left completely open to higher-skill workers who take jobs that Americans definitely do want.” 8 likes
“In 2012, Google, for example, generated a profit of nearly $14 billion while employing fewer than 38,000 people.9 Contrast that with the automotive industry. At peak employment in 1979, General Motors alone had nearly 840,000 workers but earned only about $11 billion—20 percent less than what Google raked in. And, yes, that’s after adjusting for inflation.” 5 likes
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