We are at the dawn of the Autonomous Revolution, a turning point in human history as decisive as the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. More and more, AI-based machines are replacing human beings, and online environments are gathering our data and using it to manipulate us. This loss of human autonomy amounts to nothing less than a societal phase change, a fundamental paradigm shift. The same institutions will remain--schools, banks, churches, and corporations--but they will radically change form, obey new rules, and use new tools.
William H. Davidow and Michael S. Malone go deeply into the enormous implications of these developments. They show why increases in productivity no longer translate into increases in the GDP and how zero cost, one-to-many communications have been turned into tools for cybercrime and propaganda. Many of the book's recommendations--such as using taxes to control irresponsible internet behavior and enabling people to put their data into what are essentially virtual personal information "safety deposit boxes"--are bold and visionary, but we must figure out how we will deal with these emerging challenges now, before the Autonomous Revolution overcomes us.
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About the Author
Michael S. Malone covered the technology beat for the San Jose Mercury News in the 1980s and remains one of world's best-known technology-business journalists. He is the author or coauthor of nearly thirty books, including The Virtual Corporation with William Davidow. He is currently dean's executive professor at Santa Clara University.
Table of Contents
Foreword David M. Kennedy ix
Introduction: Digital Leviathan 1
Chapter 1 The Autonomous Revolution: A Third Social Revolution 6
Chapter 2 A Brief History of Social Phase Changes: Why This Time Things Are Different 21
Chapter 3 Substitutional Equivalences: The Drivers of Societal Phase Change 39
Chapter 4 Productivity without Prosperity: The Emerging Era of Non-Monetizable Productivity 51
Chapter 5 Commercial Transformation: Rewriting Business and the Economy 70
Chapter 6 The Death of the Good Job: The Nature of Work in the Autonomous Revolution 95
Chapter 7 Liberty and Privacy: Escaping the Algorithmic Prison 113
Chapter 8 Within the Chimera: Living in a Virtual World 132
Chapter 9 The Body Politic: Government in the Autonomous Revolution 158
Chapter 10 Sacred Values: Novi Coeptus 181
About the Authors 243