Peter Mcloughlin's Reviews > Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future

Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford
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Many times people have cried wolf about automation and the risk of extreme unemployment from computers and robotics but this time the wolf may actually make an appearance. AI which always like Brazil was destined for future greatness and always would be is finally becoming a reality. The book details developments that have a serious potential of displacing not only manual and low level clerical workers but professionals who never thought they could be rendered redundant by robotics and AI. We are talking things like medicine and higher education. As Sam Harris recently quipped the future could look like reading about a trillionaire who owns some google kind of company and 50% unemployment even for professionals. The author only touches on Strong AI and the singularity but the prospect of this kind economy never mind terminator robots is not a prospect that seems very appetizing. His policy recommendation for the problem or least bad option is a guaranteed income for the displaced masses to keep the economy rolling till AI gets its own ideas I guess. Not a very cheery outlook.
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Reading Progress

June 18, 2015 – Started Reading
June 18, 2015 – Shelved
June 21, 2015 –
page 29
8.24%
June 21, 2015 –
page 63
17.9%
June 21, 2015 –
page 83
23.58%
June 21, 2015 –
page 129
36.65%
June 22, 2015 –
page 175
49.72%
June 22, 2015 –
page 193
54.83%
June 22, 2015 –
page 229
65.06%
June 22, 2015 –
page 249
70.74%
June 22, 2015 –
page 286
81.25%
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: 1990-to-present
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: american-history
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: complexity
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: computers
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: economics
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: general-history
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: general-science
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: household-items
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: intellectual-history
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: nonfiction
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: politics
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: technology
June 22, 2015 – Shelved as: world-history
July 13, 2016 – Shelved as: 00002both
July 13, 2016 – Shelved as: owned-books
July 13, 2016 –
page 29
8.24% "first chapter was on the technological breakthroughs that have started to give robots some of the powers of the human motor and perceptual systems which we use for everyday tasks. These ubiquitous traits of ordinary people are the hardest to translate to silicon and machinery. However once this barrier is crossed human abilities are truly in danger of becoming obsolete."
July 13, 2016 –
page 63
17.9% "Productivity going up but so is inequality and wages and compensation stagnating. The story of the last 40 years"
July 13, 2016 –
page 129
36.65%
July 13, 2016 –
page 145
41.19%
July 13, 2016 –
page 195
55.4% "Higher ed and medicine are places where robots and automation may make inroads on employment. These are usually considered safe sectors for employment. That may change."
July 13, 2016 –
page 229
65.06% "A not so pleasant scenario is sketched out where our mass based consumer culture with a large consuming middle class is replaced by an economy geared to serve a super rich elite in gated communities while the mass of people is reduced to superfluous serfs living on the margins if at all. Basically the premise of the movie Elysium."
July 13, 2016 –
page 287
81.53%
July 13, 2016 – Finished Reading
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: late-capitalism

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