The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

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by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, Jeff Cummings
     
 

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A revolution is under way.

In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies—with hardware, software, and networks at their core—will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply

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Overview

A revolution is under way.

In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies—with hardware, software, and networks at their core—will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human.

In The Second Machine Age, MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee—two thinkers at the forefront of their field—reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives.

Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds—from lawyers to truck drivers—will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar.

Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape.

A fundamentally optimistic audiobook, The Second Machine Age will alter how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.

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Editorial Reviews

Clive Cook - Bloomberg
“Excellent.”
Steven Pearlstein - The Washington Post
“Optimistic and intriguing.”
Thomas L. Friedman - New York Times
“Fascinating.”
Andrew Leonard - Salon
“Fascinating.”
Thomas Claburn - InformationWeek
“Maddeningly reasonable and readable.”
Michael Spence
“A terrific book. Brynjolfsson and McAfee combine their knowledge of rapidly evolving digital technologies and relevant economics to give us a colorful and accessible picture of dynamic forces that are shaping our lives, our work, and our economies. For those who want to learn to 'Race with the Machines,' their book is a great place to start.”
Garry Kasparov
“Will our new technologies lift us all up or leave more and more of us behind? The Second Machine Age is the essential guide to how and why that success will, or will not, be achieved.”
Zoë Baird
“A brilliant look at the future that technology is bringing to our economic and social lives. Read The Second Machine Age if you want to prepare yourself and your children for the world of work ahead.”
Reid Hoffman
“Offers important insights into how digital technologies are transforming our economy, a process that has only just begun.”
Clayton M. Christensen
“Truly helped me see the world of tomorrow through exponential rather than arithmetic lenses. Macro and microscopic frontiers now seem plausible, meaning that learners and teachers alike are in a perpetual mode of catching up with what is possible. It frames a future that is genuinely exciting!”
Marc Andreessen
“Brynjolfsson and McAfee are right: we are on the cusp of a dramatically different world brought on by technology. The Second Machine Age is the book for anyone who wants to thrive in it. I’ll encourage all of our entrepreneurs to read it, and hope their competitors don’t.”
Lawrence H. Summers
“What globalization was to the economic debates of the late 20th century, technological change is to the early 21st century. Long after the financial crisis and great recession have receded, the issues raised in this important book will be central to our lives and our politics.”
Kevin Kelly
“Technology is overturning the world’s economies, and The Second Machine Age is the best explanation of this revolution yet written.”
Hal Varian
“A whirlwind tour of innovators and innovations around the world. But this isn’t just casual sightseeing. Along the way, they describe how these technological wonders came to be, why they are important, and where they are headed.”
Rodney Brooks
“In this optimistic book Brynjolfsson and McAfee clearly explain the bounty that awaits us from intelligent machines. But they argue that creating the bounty depends on finding ways to race with the machine rather than racing against the machine. That means people like me need to build machines that are easy to master and use. Ultimately, those who embrace the new technologies will be the ones who benefit most.”
Austan Goolsbee
“An important book on the technology-driven opportunities and challenges we all face in the next decade. Anyone who wants to understand how amazing new technologies are transforming our economy should start here.”
Nicholas Negroponte
“After reading this book, your world view will be flipped: you’ll see that collective intelligence will come not only from networked brains but also from massively connected and intelligent machines.”
John Seely Brown
“This provocative book is both grounded and visionary, with highly approachable economic analyses that add depth to their vision. A must-read.”
Vivek Wadhwa
“Brynjolfsson and McAfee do an amazing job of explaining the progression of technology, giving us a glimpse of the future, and explaining the economics of these advances. And they provide sound policy prescriptions. Their book could also have been titled Exponential Economics 101—it is a must-read.”
Joshua Kim - Inside Higher Education
“My favorite book so far of 2014. Both hopeful…and realistic.”
Carl Bass
“A masterful job of exploring both the promise of computer technology and its profound societal impact.”
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-14
A hopeful view of the future as we enter a second machine age. Driverless cars and 3D printers are harbingers of a new era, argue MIT colleagues Brynjolfsson (Director/Center for Digital Business; co-author, Wired for Innovation: How Information Technology Is Reshaping the Economy, 2013, etc.) and McAfee (Principal Research Scientist/Center for Digital Business; Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization's Toughest Challenges, 2009, etc.). Some 200 years ago, the invention of the steam engine sparked massive amounts of mechanical power to drive factories and mass production in the first machine age. Now, computers and other digital advances are providing such "a vast and unprecedented boost to mental power" that technologies once found only in science fiction are becoming everyday realities. Drawing on research, including interviews with inventors, investors, entrepreneurs, engineers and others, the authors describe the forces driving the emerging age, notably the digitization of nearly everything, which increases understanding and fosters innovation, and an amazing exponential growth in improvements. We're now seeing "the emergence of real, useful artificial intelligence (AI) and the connection of most of the people on the planet via a common digital network." As machines complete cognitive tasks--as opposed to physical ones--engaging in pattern recognition and complex communication, AI will do more and more, for example, giving key aspects of sight to the visually impaired and restoring hearing to the deaf. Along with benefits, including greater amounts of individual choice, technological progress will bring economic disruption, leaving some people behind and workers without jobs. The authors describe the large differences that are already apparent among people in both income and wealth and explain how individuals can improve their skills to maintain healthy wage and job prospects. "Our generation has inherited more opportunities to transform the world than any other," they write. "That's a cause for optimism, but only if we're mindful of our choices." Valuable reading for policymakers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781491544822
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
09/02/2014
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.40(d)

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