Hadrian'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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bookshelves: technology, nonfiction, economics-finance-business

Deeply unsettling vision of the future where automation and machine learning replace a greater percentage of the human workforce, causing a mass reduction in employment and a reduced role in consumption. Conjures up images of the nightmare world of 'Elysium', where elites shutter themselves off from the unemployed, wanting, masses.

Calls for a massive restructure of government and society to adapt to this change in employment structure, and he makes the case this will happen whether we want to or not. Else the worker may go the way of the horse.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 16, 2016 – Shelved
January 16, 2016 – Shelved as: technology
January 16, 2016 – Shelved as: nonfiction
January 16, 2016 – Shelved as: economics-finance-business
January 16, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Jose (last edited Jan 17, 2016 07:05AM) (new) - added it

Jose Moa The machines are ideal workers for the employers,dont complain,dot get ill,dont make strikes,work 24 hours,dont have holidays and dont are paid pension when retired


Hadrian Jose: They are. But they also don't buy things.

Ana: Thank you! I could use an alternative view.


message 3: by Ted (new)

Ted I'm sure this is a deeply unsettling book, Hadrian, thanks for the review.

It needs to be factored in, however, that consumption is a two-edged sword - in the U.S. is sustains our (as presently structured) unsustainable way of life, as we consume a disproportionate part of the world's resources.

The points you make a huge problems, but they're problems that can be confronted and solved (I hope) by new economic paradigms.


message 4: by Jose (new) - added it

Jose Moa Adrian you are right ,it is a factor to take account in the equation


message 5: by sologdin (new)

sologdin Chris Harman considered the robot economy hypothetical in 'Economics of the Madhouse,' an SWP pamphlet. as I recall it, basic thesis was that this is not a useful model of surplus extraction as the organic composition of capital is cocked up by massive capital expenditures in the absence of concomitant labor power. (though if AI gets rights, they are laborers, of course.). other objection is that surplus extraction is unrealizable in absence if human laborers who must reproduce their means of production via market participation.


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa This fits my reading of Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano almost perfectly. Scary to think he saw certain developments 50 years ago.


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