Erik Brynjolfsson

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pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Bundling benefits both superstars and niche providers by creating a more complete product offering and increasing sales to consumers with different opinions about the values of the bundled products. But markets in which bundling is common also tend to be winner-take-all markets. See Yannis Bakos and Erik Brynjolfsson, Management Science 45, no. 12 (1999); Yannis Bakos and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Bundling and Competition on the Internet,” Marketing Science 19, no. 1 (2000): 63–82, doi:10.1287/mksc.19.1.63.15182. 16. See Michael D. Smith and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters,” NBER (December 1, 2001): 541–58. 17. Catherine Rampell, “College Degree Required by Increasing Number of Companies,” New York Times, February 19, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/business/college-degree-required-by-increasing-number-of-companies.html. 18.

Their book could also have been titled Exponential Economics 101—it is a must-read.” —Vivek Wadhwa, director of research at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering and author of The Immigrant Exodus Also by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee RACE AGAINST THE MACHINE How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy Also by Erik Brynjolfsson WIRED FOR INNOVATION Also by Andrew McAfee ENTERPRISE 2.0 New Collaborative Tools for your Organization’s Toughest Challenges Copyright © 2014 by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee All rights reserved First Edition For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110 For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact W.

Bret Swanson,“Technology and the Growth Imperative,” The American, March 26, 2012, http://www.american.com/archive/2012/march/technology-and-the-growth-imperative (accessed Sept 23, 2013). 3. Congressional Budget Office, The 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook, September 2013, p. 95. http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44521-LTBO2013.pdf. 4. Robert Solow, “We’d Better Watch Out,” New York Times Book Review, July 12, 1987. 5. Erik Brynjolfsson, “The Productivity Paradox of Information Technology,” Communications of the ACM 36, no. 12 (1993): 66–77, doi:10.1145/163298.163309. 6. See, e.g., Erik Brynjolfsson and Lorin Hitt, “Paradox Lost: Firm Level Evidence on the Returns to Information Systems,” Management Science 42, no. 4 (1996): 541–58. See also Brynjolfsson and Hitt, “Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, no. 4 (2000): 23–48, which summarizes much of the literature on this question. 7.


pages: 72 words: 21,361

Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Erik Brynjolfsson

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, business process, call centre, combinatorial explosion, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, hiring and firing, income inequality, intangible asset, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Ray Kurzweil, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, shareholder value, Skype, too big to fail, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Race Against the Machine How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee Digital Frontier Press Lexington, Massachusetts © 2011 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee All rights reserved. No part of the book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher. For information about quantity discounts, email info@raceagainstthemachine.com www.RaceAgainstTheMachine.com Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Brynjolfsson, Erik Race against the machine : how the digital revolution is accelerating innovation, driving productivity, and irreversibly transforming employment and the economy.

Ever-greater investments in education, dramatically increasing the average educational level of the American workforce, helped prevent inequality from soaring as technology automated more and more unskilled work. While education is certainly not synonymous with skill, it is one of the most easily measurable correlates of skill, so this pattern suggests that demand for upskilling has increased faster than its supply. Studies by this book’s co-author Erik Brynjolfsson along with Timothy Bresnahan, Lorin Hitt, and Shinku Yang found that a key aspect of SBTC was not just the skills of those working with computers, but more importantly the broader changes in work organization that were made possible by information technology. The most productive firms reinvented and reorganized decision rights, incentives systems, information flows, hiring systems, and other aspects of organizational capital to get the most from the technology.

The MIT Center for Digital Business (CDB) has been the ideal home from which to conduct this work, and we’re particularly grateful to our colleague David Verrill, executive director of the CDB. David makes the place run beautifully; he’ll be the last person ever replaced by a machine. We claim sole ownership of virtually none of the ideas presented here, but we’re emphatic that all the mistakes are 100% ours. Authors Erik Brynjolfsson is a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, Chairman of the Sloan Management Review, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and co-author of Wired for Innovation: How IT Is Reshaping the Economy. He graduated from Harvard University and MIT. Andrew McAfee is a principal research scientist and associate director at the MIT Center for Digital Business at the Sloan School of Management.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

It creates a customized playlist every twenty-four hours for every user. ‡‡‡ The surprising economics of bundling and sharing for information goods were worked out in a series of papers by Erik with Yannis Bakos, and other coauthors. See, for example, Yannis Bakos and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits, and Efficiency,” Management Science 45, no. 12 (1999): 1613–30; Yannis Bakos and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Bundling and Competition on the Internet,” Marketing Science 19, no. 1 (2000): 63–82; and Yannis Bakos, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Douglas Lichtman, “Shared Information Goods,” Journal of Law and Economics 42, no. 1 (1999): 117–56. §§§ The rates are periodically reassessed by a special set of judges on the congressional Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), where Erik had the pleasure of testifying in 2005 about the economics of the industry.

Norton, 292–94 Xiaomi, 203 Yahoo, 232–33 Yates, Joanne, 311 Yellow Cab Cooperative, 201 YouTube, 77, 231, 273 Zayner, Josiah, 272 Zervas, Georgios, 223 Zuckerberg, Mark, 8, 10 Also by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies Race against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy Also by Erik Brynjolfsson Wired for Innovation Also by Andrew McAfee Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges Copyright © 2017 by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson All rights reserved First Edition For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110 For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact W.

., “Clinical versus Mechanical Prediction: A Meta-analysis,” Psychological Assessment 12, no. 1 (2000): 19–30, http://zaldlab.psy.vanderbilt.edu/resources/wmg00pa.pdf. 41 “the clinicians received more data”: Ibid. 41 “There is no controversy”: Paul E. Meehl, “Causes and Effects of My Disturbing Little Book,” Journal of Personality Assessment 50, no. 3 (1986): 370–75, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15327752jpa5003_6. 42 Working with the US Census Bureau: Erik Brynjolfsson and Kristina McElheran, “Data in Action: Data-Driven Decision Making in US Manufacturing,” 2016, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=2722502. Early work using a smaller sample found similar results: Erik Brynjolfsson, Lorin M. Hitt, and Heekyung Hellen Kim, “Strength in Numbers: How Does Data-Driven Decisionmaking Affect Firm Performance?” 2011, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=1819486. 43 7.5 billion: Worldometers, “Current World Population,” accessed February 26, 2017, http://www.worldometers.info/world-population. 43 “Because System 1 operates automatically”: Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, p. 28. 44 “1.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

Vijay Gurbaxani and Seungjin Whang, “The Impact of Information Systems on Organizations and Markets,” Communications of the ACM 34, 1 (1991), 59–73. 10. Ibid., 71. 11. Ibid., 71–72. 12. See, for example, Erik Brynjolfsson and Lorin Hitt, “Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, 4 (2000): 23–48, or Timothy F. Bresnahan, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Lorin M. Hitt, “Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 117 (2002): 339–376, or Prasanna Tambe, Lorin Hitt and Erik Brynjolfsson, “The Extroverted Firm: How External Information Practices Affect Innovation and Productivity,” Management Science 58(2012): 678-697. 13. James Quinn, “Strategic Outsourcing: Leveraging Knowledge Capabilities,” MIT Sloan Management Review, July 15, 1999. http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/strategic-outsourcing-leveraging-knowledge-capabilities. 14.

Some that were quite influential early on were with Odile Beniflah, Lauren Capelin, Shelby Clark, Sunil Paul, Jessica Scorpio, Erica Swallow, Molly Turner, and Hal Varian. Some of the others that were especially notable and/or frequent were with Bhavish Aggarwal, Alisha Ali, Douglas Atkin, Michel Avital, Emily Badger, Mara Balestrini, Yochai Benkler, Rachel Botsman, danah boyd, Nathan Blecharczyk, Jennifer Bradley, Erik Brynjolfsson, Valentina Carbone, Emily Castor, David Chiu, Marc-David Chokrun, Sonal Choksi, Peter Coles, Chip Conley, Ariane Conrad, Arnab Das, Cristian Fleming (and his team at the Public Society), Richard Florida, Natalie Foster, Justin Fox, Liz Gannes, Lisa Gansky, Marina Gorbis, Neal Gorenflo, Alison Griswold, Vijay Gurbaxani, Tanner Hackett, Aassia Haroon Haq, Scott Heiferman, Jeremy Heimans, Sara Horowitz, Sam Hodges, Milicent Johnson, Noah Karesh, Stephane Kasriel, Sarah Kessler, David Kirkpatrick, Marjo Koivisto, Karim Lakhani, Kevin Laws, Michael Luca, Benita Matofska, Andrew McAfee, Ryan McKillen, Lesa Mitchell, Amy Nelson, Jeff Nickerson, Melissa O’Young, Janelle Orsi, Jeremy Osborn, Jeremiah Owyang (to whom I owe a special debt of gratitude for his remarkably selfless sharing of ideas and data), Wrede Petersmeyer, Ai-Jen Poo, Andrew Rasiej, Simone Ross, Anita Roth, Chelsea Rustrum, Carolyn Said, Marcela Sapone, Marie Schneegans, Trebor Scholz, Swati Sharma, Clay Shirky, Dane Stangler, Alex Stephany, James Surowiecki, Jason Tanz, Marie Ternes, Henry Timms, Viv Wang, Cheng Wei, Adam Werbach, Jamie Wong, Caroline Woolard, and numerous members of the OuiShare collective (including Flore Berlingen, Julie Braka, Albert Cañigueral, Simone Cicero, Javier Creus, Arthur De Grave, Elena Denaro, Diana Fillipova, Marguerite Grandjean, Asmaa Guedira, Ana Manzanedo, Bernie Mitchell, Edwin Mootoosamy, Ruhi Shamim, Maeva Tordo and especially Francesca Pick).

Gurbaxani and Whang, however, maintain that either type of growth may be promoted by digital technologies, and that the direction or shift of economic activity cannot be clearly predicted. So, what has transpired since? Digital technologies permeate the economy today, but the enduring changes have not moved the organization of economic activity in any one specific direction. As MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson and his collaborators (Lorin Hitt of the University of Pennsylvania, Timothy Bresnahan of Stanford University, and my NYU colleague Prasanna Tambe, among others) have discovered in a series of studies, digital technologies hold the potential to dramatically improve the productivity of economic activity organized within companies, but such productivity gains only accrue to those firms (about 20% of all firms in their studies) that also invest in a series of “complementary organizational changes,” like the redesign of work, an increase in performance-based pay, an increased empowerment of workers, and a flattening of the hierarchy.12 We have also witnessed a wide range of outsourcing that has been enabled by digital technologies, as Dartmouth’s James Quinn described in detail in his MIT Sloan Management Review article.13 Today, for example, a vast majority of firms outsource all or part of their employee tech support and call-center operations, and almost all of high-tech manufacturing is done by a few giant firms based in China, Taiwan, and South Korea.


pages: 159 words: 45,073

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle

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Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial intermediation, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, mutually assured destruction, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, new economy, Occupy movement, purchasing power parity, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, University of East Anglia, working-age population

Kevin Kelly, “The Post-Productive Economy,” The Technium, 1 January 2013, http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2013/01/the_post-produc.php. 12. Paul Krugman, “Robots and Robber Barons,” New York Times, 9 December 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/opinion/krugman-robots-and-robber-barons.html?_r=0. 13. Erik Brynjolfsson and Adam Saunders, “What the GDP Gets Wrong,” MIT Sloan Management Review, fall 2009, http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/what-the-gdp-gets-wrong-why-managers-should-care/. Accessed 27 March 2013. 14. See, for example, “What Good Is the Internet?” Economist, 8 March 2013, http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/03/technology. Accessed 27 March 2013. 15. Erik Brynjolfsson and JooHee Oh, “The Attention Economy: Measuring the Value of Free Digital Services on the Internet,” MIT working paper, July 2012. See also a summary in “Net Benefits,” The Economist, 9 March 2013, http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21573091-how-quantify-gains-internet-has-brought-consumers-net-benefits. 16.

That is why science and art are so hard to fund. But they are also the foundation of long-term growth.11 We find it hard to think straight about productivity anyway. Kelly is comfortable with the idea of robots taking over far more of the work people currently undertake. Some economists have recently, on the contrary, been worried about increasing automation. Paul Krugman waded into the debate, on the heels of the MIT economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in their book Race against the Machine. Krugman wrote in his New York Times column: “What’s striking about their examples is that many of the jobs being displaced are high-skill and high-wage; the downside of technology isn’t limited to menial workers. Still, can innovation and progress really hurt large numbers of workers, maybe even workers in general? I often encounter assertions that this can’t happen.

This accounts for the confusing debate under way among economists about the implications for jobs and incomes, including income distribution, of the current wave of capital investment in digital equipment and machines. A related issue is how to account for the value of a specific type of intangible product or service, the purely digital items such as online music, search engines, apps, crowd-sourced encyclopedias or software, and so on. Often these have a price of zero, and with no market price they are not captured in GDP statistics. As Erik Brynjolfsson and Adam Saunders put it, in a nod to the famous statement by Robert Solow about computers, “We see the influence of the information age everywhere, except in the GDP statistics.”13 So, for example, the record industry’s sales of music have declined in dollar terms, but there is almost certainly more rather than less listening to music. The gap between what a consumer pays and the value he or she receives from the purchase is called “consumer surplus,” and the growing prevalence of zero-priced goods and services online seems to be increasing consumer surplus.14 It is another reason to think the wedge between what GDP measures and aggregate economic welfare is growing uncomfortably large.


pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Auden, “For the Time Being,” 1944. Thomas Davenport quotation—Cukier interview with Davenport, December 2009. The-Numbers.com—Cukier interviews with Bruce Nash, October 2011 and July 2012. [>] Brynjolfsson study—Erik Brynjolfsson, Lorin Hitt, and Heekyung Kim, “Strength in Numbers: How Does Data-Driven Decisionmaking Affect Firm Performance?” working paper, April 2011 (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1819486). [>] On Rolls-Royce—See “Rolls-Royce: Britain’s Lonely High-Flier,” The Economist, January 8, 2009 (http://www.economist.com/node/12887368). Figures updated from press office, November 2012. Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, Michael Sorell, and Feng Zhu, “Scale Without Mass: Business Process Replication and Industry Dynamics,” Harvard Business School working paper, September 2006 (http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/07-016.pdf also http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5532.html). [>] On the movement toward increasingly large data holders—See also Yannis Bakos and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits, and Efficiency,” Management Science 45 (December 1999), pp. 1613–30. [>] Philip Evans—Interviews with the authors, 2011 and 2012. 8.

In one instance, its analysis found that a project would have a far better chance of success if the male lead was an A-list actor: specifically, an Oscar-nominated one paid in the $5 million range. In another case, Nash informed the IMAX studio that a sailing documentary would probably be profitable only if its $12 million budget was reduced to $8 million. “It made the producer happy—the director less so,” says Nash. From whether to make a movie to what shortstop to sign, the shift in corporate decision-making is beginning to show up on bottom lines. Erik Brynjolfsson, a business professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and his colleagues studied the performance of companies that excel at data-driven decision-making and compared it with the performance of other firms. They found that productivity levels were as much as 6 percent higher at such firms than at companies that did not emphasize using data to make decisions. This gives the data-guided firms a significant leg up—though like the advantage of mindset and skills, it may be short-lived as more companies adopt big-data approaches to their business.

Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, Michael Sorell, and Feng Zhu, “Scale Without Mass: Business Process Replication and Industry Dynamics,” Harvard Business School working paper, September 2006 (http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/07-016.pdf also http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5532.html). [>] On the movement toward increasingly large data holders—See also Yannis Bakos and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits, and Efficiency,” Management Science 45 (December 1999), pp. 1613–30. [>] Philip Evans—Interviews with the authors, 2011 and 2012. 8. Risks [>] On the Stasi—Much of the literature unfortunately is in German, but one well researched exception is Kristie Macrakis, Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi’s Spy-Tech World (Cambridge University Press, 2008); a very personal story is shared in Timothy Garton Ash, The File (Atlantic Books, 2008). We also recommend the Academy Award–winning movie The Lives of Others, directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmark, Buena Vista/Sony Pictures, 2006.


pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, John Markoff, John von Neumann, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

All with no strings attached. For other parts of the book, there were people I spent whole days with, such as Timothy Buchman at the Emory medical center in Atlanta and Nick Dokoozlian in the grape vineyards of central California and Michael Haydock in suburban Minneapolis. Many others were interviewed for this book. They include Sam Adams, Brooke Barrett, Richard Berner, Patrick Bosworth, Thomas Botts, Erik Brynjolfsson, John Calkins, Murray Campbell, Dennis Charney, Herbert Chase, Jeffrey Chester, Sharath Cholleti, Adam D’Angelo, Arne Duncan, Sue Duncan, Tony Fadell, Edward Felten, David Ferrucci, Rachana Shah Fischer, Brian Gehlich, Jim Goodnight, Nagui Halim, Hendrik Hamann, Glenn Hammerbacher, Lenore Hammerbacher, Danny Hillis, Jeffrey Immelt, Jon Iwata, James Kalina, Kaan Katircioglu, Gary King, Jon Kleinberg, Martin Kohn, Randy Komisar, Patricia Kovatch, Edward Lazowska, and Michael Linderman.

Take the simple example that Dan Kahneman used of the man named “Steve” who was described as “meek,” and people are asked to choose whether he is more likely a librarian or a farmer. The librarian choice is entirely logical, until you get the data Kahneman knew in advance. The data makes you rethink your intuition. The prospect of such data-animated nudges to sharpen decision making, repeated countless times, up and down corporations, throughout the economy, is the why Erik Brynjolfsson believes big data will bring a “management revolution.” Brynjolfsson is an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and an intellectual champion for the transformative power of big data. He is tall, with deep-set eyes, reddish-brown hair, and a trimmed beard and mustache. When he is talking excitedly about a subject, his voice occasionally cracks into a high-pitched range.

Today, the manufacturing share of the labor force has declined to about 8 percent, even as the nation’s manufacturing output has increased sharply in value over the decades. Yet even techno-optimists have second thoughts as they see smarter machines likely to take on cognitive tasks long reserved for humans—when what is being replaced is not sweat but synapses. In The Second Machine Age, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of MIT make the case for a technology-led surge in productivity and growth in the future, but one that will have more sweeping and disruptive effects on society than previous waves of automation. The book, published in 2014, calls for adaptive changes in policy, education, and skills training to prevent more and more workers from being left behind. Their book also raises a central issue: As intelligent computers make more decisions, might humans lose control?


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

In my 2009 book The Lights in the Tunnel, I wrote that “while technologists are actively thinking about, and writing books about, intelligent machines, the idea that technology will ever truly replace a large fraction of the human workforce and lead to permanent, structural unemployment is, for the majority of economists, almost unthinkable.” To their credit, some economists have since begun to take the potential for widespread automation more seriously. In their 2011 ebook Race Against the Machine, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology helped bring these ideas into the economic mainstream. Prominent economists including Paul Krugman and Jeffrey Sachs have likewise written about the possible impact of machine intelligence.60 Nonetheless, the idea that technology might someday truly transform the job market and ultimately demand fundamental changes to both our economic system and the social contract remains either completely unacknowledged or at the very fringes of public discourse.

We can be sure that more education and training will be the primary proffered solution for these workers. Yet, the message of this chapter has been that the ongoing race between technology and education may well be approaching the endgame: the machines are coming for the higher-skill jobs as well. Among economists who are tuned in to this trend, a new flavor of conventional wisdom is arising: the jobs of the future will involve collaborating with the machines. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been especially strong proponents of this idea, advising workers that they should learn to “race with the machines”—rather than against them. While that may well be sage advice, it is nothing especially new. Learning to work with the prevailing technology has always been a good career strategy. We used to call it “learning computer skills.”

In other words, they get less practice and, over time, the nearly instinctual reactions that professional pilots develop over countless hours of training can begin to degrade. Carr worries that a similar effect is likely to cascade across offices, factories, and other workplaces as automation continues its advance. This idea that engineering “design philosophy” is the problem has also been embraced to some degree by economists. MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, for example, has called for a “New Grand Challenge for Entrepreneurs, Engineers and Economists” to “invent complements, not substitute[s] for labor” and “replace [the] labor saving and automation mindset with [a] maker and creator mindset.”8 Suppose that a start-up company were to rise to Brynjolfsson’s challenge and build a system specifically designed to keep people in the loop. A competitor designs a system that is fully automated, or at least requires minimal human intervention.


pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

—Chess grandmaster Jan Hein Donner, when asked what strategy he would use against a computer The title of this book was inspired by a series of Thomas Friedman’s columns in The New York Times. Friedman expanded on this idea in a chapter in his book with Michael Mandelbaum, That Used to Be Us, entitled “Average Is Over.” I owe a debt of gratitude to their work and thinking on this very important subject. I also recommend to the reader Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s Race Against the Machine, a book that came out while I was doing the research and writing on this one. I have benefited considerably from reading their work and from conversations with them. Contents Also by Tyler Cowen Title Page Copyright Dedication Epigraph PART I Welcome to the Hyper-Meritocracy 1 Work and Wages in iWorld 2 The Big Earners and the Big Losers 3 Why Are So Many People Out of Work?

What is happening is an increase in the ability of machines to substitute for intelligent human labor, whether we wish to call those machines “AI,” “software,” “smart phones,” “superior hardware and storage,” “better integrated systems,” or any combination of the above. This is the wave that will lift you or that will dump you. The fascination with technology and the future of work has inspired some important writings, including Martin Ford’s classic The Lights in the Tunnel, the more recent and excellent eBook Race Against the Machine by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, and Ray Kurzweil’s futuristic work on how humans will meld with technology. Debates about mechanization periodically resurface, most prominently in the 1930s and in the 1960s but now once again in our new millennium. Average Is Over builds upon these influential works and attempts to go beyond them in terms of detail and breadth. In these pages I paint a vision of a future which at first appears truly strange, but at least to me is also discomfortingly familiar and indeed intuitive.

Let’s draw up a simple list of some important characteristics in technologically advanced modern workplaces: 1. Exactness of execution becomes more important relative to an accumulated mass of brute force. 2. Consistent coordination over time is a significant advantage. 3. Morale is extremely important to motivate production and cooperation. Recent research bears out these principles. Economists Timothy F. Bresnahan, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Lorin M. Hitt performed an extensive poll of managers, combined with follow-up interviews. They found that in the opinions of managers, computer use increases the need for skilled workers, computers tend to increase workers’ autonomy, and computers increase the need and ability for management to monitor their workers. All of those features will feed into the need for workers who are smarter, better trained, and more conscientious.

Big Data at Work: Dispelling the Myths, Uncovering the Opportunities by Thomas H. Davenport

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Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, cloud computing, commoditize, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, intermodal, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, sorting algorithm, statistical model, Tesla Model S, text mining

Companies and organizations will increasingly know more about their business environments, and they’ll be able to use analytics—both automated and in support of human decisions—to decide and act on what they know. It’s not yet clear at what pace managers will adopt these new approaches. But h ­ istory would indicate that it’s unlikely. After all, small data a­nalytics have been around for decades, yet many managers still make gutbased decisions—and power and politics certainly are unlikely to disappear from organizations anytime soon. And while my friends Erik ­Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee talk and write often about the decline in importance of the “Hippo”—the highest-paid person’s Chapter_01.indd 27 03/12/13 3:24 AM 28  big data @ work opinion—such animals are hardly extinct in the organizations I visit (though it would certainly be desirable if this transpired quickly).19 If you count on the disappearance of power and politics from decision making, you are likely to be disappointed—at least in the short run.

Agree strongly Unless there is some reason to weight some questions or areas more than others, I would recommend averaging the scores within each DELTTA factor to create an overall score. It may also be useful to ­combine the factor scores to create an overall readiness score. Appendix.indd 205 03/12/13 2:14 PM 206  Appendix The following questions are largely modified from a set used by the ­International Institute for Analytics to assess analytical capabilities. I have also drawn in small measure from questions created to assess big data readiness by MIT researchers Erik ­Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee.1 The questions can be applied to an entire organization or to a business unit within it. Whoever replies to the questions should be familiar with the entire organization or unit’s approaches to big data. Data ——— We have access to very large, unstructured, or fast-moving data for analysis. ——— We integrate data from multiple internal sources into a data warehouse or mart for easy access. ——— We integrate external data with internal to facilitate ­high-value analysis of our business environment. ——— We maintain consistent definitions and standards across the data we use for analysis. ——— Users, decision makers, and product developers trust the quality of our data.

Anand Rajaram, “More Data Usually Beats Better Algorithms,” Datawocky (blog), http://anand.typepad.com/datawocky/2008/03/more-data-usual.html. 17.  Alon Halevy, Peter Norvig, and Fernando Pereira, “The Unreasonable ­Effectiveness of Data,” IEEE Intelligent Systems, March 2009, 8–12. 18.  Pew Research Center, Internet Users Don’t Like Targeted Ads, March 13, 2012, http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/internet-users-dont-like-targeted-ads/. 19.  Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Big Data: The Management ­Revolution,” Harvard Business Review, October 2012, 60–68. Chapter 2 1.  “88 Acres: How Microsoft Quietly Built the City of the Future,” http://www .microsoft.com/en-us/news/stories/88acres/88-acres-how-microsoft-quietly-builtthe-city-of-the-future-chapter-1.aspx. 2.  Stephanie Clifford and Quentin Hardy, “Attention, Shoppers: Store Is Tracking Your Cell,” New York Times, June 14, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/ business/attention-shopper-stores-are-tracking-your-cell.html. 3. 


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The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

It is characterized by a much more ubiquitous and mobile internet, by smaller and more powerful sensors that have become cheaper, and by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Digital technologies that have computer hardware, software and networks at their core are not new, but in a break with the third industrial revolution, they are becoming more sophisticated and integrated and are, as a result, transforming societies and the global economy. This is the reason why Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee have famously referred to this period as “the second machine age”2, the title of their 2014 book, stating that the world is at an inflection point where the effect of these digital technologies will manifest with “full force” through automation and and the making of “unprecedented things”. In Germany, there are discussions about “Industry 4.0”, a term coined at the Hannover Fair in 2011 to describe how this will revolutionize the organization of global value chains.

Here, in particular, I thank members of the Emerging Technologies taskforce: David Gleicher, Rigas Hadzilacos, Natalie Hatour, Fulvia Montresor and Olivier Woeffray – and the many others who spent time thinking deeply about these issues: Chidiogo Akunyili, Claudio Cocorocchia, Nico Daswani, Mehran Gul, Alejandra Guzman, Mike Hanley, Lee Howell, Jeremy Jurgens, Bernice Lee, Alan Marcus, Adrian Monck, Thomas Philbeck and Philip Shetler-Jones. My deep gratitude also goes to all members of the Forum community who helped shape my thinking about the fourth industrial revolution. I am particularly thankful to Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson for inspiring my ideas on the impact of technological innovation and the great challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and to Dennis Snower and Stewart Wallis for underscoring the need for values-based narratives if we are to succeed in harnessing the fourth industrial revolution for the global good. Additional thanks to Marc Benioff, Katrine Bosley, Justine Cassell, Mariette DiChristina, Murali Doraiswamy, Nita Farahany, Zev Furst, Nik Gowing, Victor Halberstadt, Ken Hu, Lee Sang-Yup, Alessio Lomuscio, Jack Ma, Ellen MacArthur, Peter Maurer, Bernard Meyerson, Andrew Maynard, William McDonough, James Moody, Andrew Moore, Michael Osborne, Fiona Paua Schwab, Feike Sijbesma, Vishal Sikka, Philip Sinclair, Hilary Sutcliffe, Nina Tandon, Farida Vis, Sir Mark Walport and Alex Wyatt, all of whom I corresponded with or were interviewed for this book.

SharpBrains, USA, Nov 10 http://sharpbrains.com/blog/2015/11/10/10-neurotechnologies-about-to-transform-brain-enhancement-and-brain-health/ Notes 1 The terms “disruption” and “disruptive innovation” have been much discussed in business and management strategy circles, most recently in Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor, and Rory McDonald, What is Disruptive Innovation?, Harvard Business Review, December 2015. While respecting the concerns of Professor Christensen and his colleagues about definitions, I have employed the broader meanings in this book. 2 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, W.W. Norton & Company, 2014. 3 James Manyika and Michael Chui, “Digital Era Brings Hyperscale Challenges”, The Financial Times, 13 August 2014. 4 The designer and architect Neri Oxman offers a fascinating example of what I just described. Her research lab works at the intersection of computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering and synthetic biology.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

The large number of relevant texts include: Ad Hoc Committee, ‘The Triple Revolution’, International Socialist Review 24: 3 (1964); Donald Michael, Cybernation: The Silent Conquest (Santa Barbara, CA: Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, 1962); Paul Mattick, ‘The Economics of Cybernation’, New Politics 1: 4 (1962); David Noble, Progress Without People: In Defense of Luddism (Toronto: Between the Lines, 1995); Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era (New York: Putnam, 1997); Martin Ford, The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future (US: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2009); Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014). 16.These estimates are for the US and European labour markets, though similar numbers undoubtedly hold globally and, as we argue later, may even be worse in developing economies. Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?

, New Left Review II/84 (November–December 2013), p. 137. 101.Sukti Dasgupta and Ajit Singh, Manufacturing, Services and Premature Deindustrialization in Developing Countries: A Kaldorian Analysis, Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economics Research, 2006, at ideas.repec.org, p. 6; Breman, ‘Introduction’, p. 2; Fields, Working Hard, Working Poor, p. 58; Davis, Planet of Slums, p. 15. 102.Davis, Planet of Slums, p. 175; Breman, ‘Introduction’, pp. 3–8; George Ciccariello-Maher, We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013), Chapter 9. 103.Sassen, Expulsions, Chapter 2. 104.Sanyal, Rethinking Capitalist Development, p. 69. 105.Davis, Planet of Slums, pp. 181–2. 106.Rather than a 30–40 per cent manufacturing share of total employment, the numbers are closer to 15–20 per cent, and manufacturing now begins to decline as a share of GDP at per capita levels of around $3,000, rather than $10,000. Dani Rodrik, ‘The Perils of Premature Deindustrialization’, Project Syndicate, 11 October 2013, at project-syndicate.org, p. 5. 107.Over 30 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since 1996. Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee and Michael Spence, ‘New World Order’, Foreign Affairs, August 2014. 108.Manfred Elfstrom and Sarosh Kuruvilla, ‘The Changing Nature of Labor Unrest in China’, ILR Review 67: 2 (2014) 109.Real wages rose by 300 per cent between 2000 and 2010. ILO, Global Wage Report 2012/13: Wages and Equitable Growth (Geneva: International Labour Organization, 2013), pdf available at ilo.org, p. 20. 110.ILO, Global Employment Trends 2014, p. 29. 111.International Federation of Robotics, World Robotics: Industrial Robots 2014 (Frankfurt: International Federation of Robotics, 2014), pdf available at worldrobotics.org, p. 19; Lee Chyen Yee and Clare Jim, ‘Foxconn to Rely More on Robots; Could Use 1 Million in 3 Years’, Reuters, 1 August 2011; ‘Guangzhou Spurs Robot Use amid Rising Labor Costs’, China Daily, 16 April 2014, at chinadaily.com.cn; Angelo Young, ‘Nike Unloads Contract Factory Workers, Showing How Automation Is Costing Jobs of Vulnerable Emerging Market Laborers’, International Business Times, 20 May 2014. 112.Majority of Large Manufacturers Are Now Planning or Considering ‘Reshoring’ from China to the US, Boston Consulting Group, 24 September 2013, at bcg.com; Stephanie Clifford, ‘US Textile Plants Return, with Floors Largely Empty of People’, New York Times, 19 September 2013. 113.Dani Rodrik, Premature Deindustrialization, BREAD Working Paper No. 439, Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, 2015, at ipl.econ.duke.edu, p. 2. 114.Fiona Tregenna, Manufacturing Productivity, Deindustrialization, and Reindustrialization, World Institute for Development Economics Research, 2011, at econstor.eu, p. 11. 115.Out of a labour force of 481 million, approximately 1 million work in this sector.

Eventually, with legal and insurance changes, consumers will be forced into adopting this technology. 28.Isaac Arnsdorf, ‘Rolls-Royce Drone Ships Challenge $375 Billion Industry: Freight’, Bloomberg, 25 February 2014, at bloomberg.com; BBC News, ‘Amazon Testing Drones for Deliveries’, BBC News, 2 December 2013; Danielle Kucera, ‘Amazon Acquires Kiva Systems in Second-Biggest Takeover’, Bloomberg, 19 March 2012, at bloomberg.com; Vicky Validakis, ‘Rio’s Driverless Trucks Move 100 Million Tonnes’, Mining Australia, 24 April 2013, at miningaustralia.com.au; Elise Hu, ‘The Fast-Food Restaurants that Require Few Human Workers’, NPR.org, 29 August 2013, at npr.org; Christopher Steiner, Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2012); Mark Levinson, The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008); Daniel Beunza, Donald MacKenzie, Yuval Millo and Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, Impersonal Efficiency and the Dangers of a Fully Automated Securities Exchange (London: Foresight, 2011). 29.For a slightly outdated but still useful summary of various automation processes, see Ramin Ramtin, Capitalism and Automation: Revolution in Technology and Capitalist Breakdown (London: Pluto, 1991), Chapter 4. 30.Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014), Chapters 2–4. 31.Ibid., Chapter 1; Frey and Osborne, Future of Employment, p. 44. 32.Paul Lippe and Daniel Martin Katz, ‘10 Predictions About How IBM’s Watson Will Impact the Legal Profession’, ABA Journal, 2 October 2014, at abajournal.com. 33.Brynjolfsson and McAfee, Second Machine Age, Chapter 2. 34.Dave Cliff, Dan Brown and Philip Treleaven, Technology Trends in the Financial Markets: A 2020 Vision (London: Foresight, 2011), p. 36.


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Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Thanks to the rise of robots – machines that can mimic and outperform humans – many millions of jobs are at risk. Whose jobs exactly? Anyone with a role involving tasks, skilled or not, that a programmer could write software to perform, from warehouse stackers, car welders and travel agents to taxi drivers, paralegal clerks and heart surgeons. This wave of digital automation is still in its infancy, but it has already led to what the digital economy expert Erik Brynjolfsson has called the ‘great decoupling’ of production from jobs, seen most clearly in the United States. From the end of the Second World War until 2000, US productivity and employment were closely intertwined, but they have strongly diverged ever since: while productivity has kept on rising, employment levels have fallen flat.71 Technology has of course replaced workers before, and it can be to society’s broad benefit when it frees people up to engage in other productive enterprise.

An obvious starting point is to switch from taxing labour to taxing the use of non-renewable resources: it would help to erode the unfair tax advantage currently given to firms investing in machines (a tax-deductible expense) rather than in human beings (a payroll tax expense). At the same time, invest far more in skilling people up where they beat robots hands-down: in creativity, empathy, insight and human contact – skills that are essential for many kinds of work, from primary school teachers and artistic directors to psychotherapists, social workers and political commentators. As Erik Brynjolfsson and his co-author Andrew McAfee put it, ‘Humans have economic wants that can be satisfied only by other humans, and that makes us less likely to go the way of the horse.’75 That’s reassuring, but only partly, because if most workers continue to earn income just from selling their labour alone, they will simply not earn enough. Wages, analysts anticipate, will fail to capture a big enough slice of the economic pie to ensure that everyone gets some of it, let alone a fair share of it.

‘If growth wanes,’ she warned a TED audience in 2015, ‘the risk to human progress and the risk to social and political instability rises and societies become dimmer, coarser, and smaller.’28 Since economic growth is deemed a political necessity by the keep-on-flying crowd – no matter how wealthy a country already is – it is no surprise to hear them argue that further growth in high-income countries is possible because it is coming and it can be made environmentally sustainable. First, growth is on the way, argue technology optimists such as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee: thanks to the exponential growth in digital processing power, we are entering the ‘second machine age’, in which the fast-rising productivity of robots will drive a new wave of GDP growth.29 What’s more, argue green growth advocates such as the UN, World Bank, IMF, OECD and EU, future growth can become green by decoupling GDP from ecological impacts. In other words, while GDP continues to grow over time, its associated resource use – such as freshwater use, fertiliser use, and greenhouse gas emissions – can fall at the same time.


pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

3D printing, Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, fixed income, full employment, future of work, high net worth, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, litecoin, mass incarceration, means of production, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart meter, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts diminishing sea ice, acidification of the oceans, and increasing frequency of droughts and extreme storm events.2 At the same time, news of technological breakthroughs in the context of high unemployment and stagnant wages has produced anxious warnings about the effects of automation on the future of work. In early 2014, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee published The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.3 They surveyed a future in which computer and robotics technology replaces human labor not just in traditional domains such as agriculture and manufacturing, but also in sectors ranging from medicine and law to transportation. At Oxford University, a research unit released a widely publicized report estimating that nearly half the jobs in the United States today are vulnerable to computerization.4 These twin anxieties are in many ways diametrical opposites.

NOTES Introduction: Technology and Ecology as Apocalypse and Utopia 1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” ESRL.NOAA.gov, 2014. 2Thomas F. Stocker et al., “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis,” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group I Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 3Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, New York: W. W. Norton, 2014. 4Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?,” OxfordMartin.ox.ac.uk, 2013. 5Kevin Drum, “Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don’t Fire Us?,” Mother Jones, May/June 2013. 6Brynjolfsson and McAfee, The Second Machine Age, pp. 7–8. 7Frey and Osborne, “The Future of Employment.” 8Martin Ford, Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, New York: Basic Books, 2015. 9Katie Drummond, “Clothes Will Sew Themselves in Darpa’s Sweat-Free Sweatshops,” Wired.com, June 6, 2012. 10Leanna Garfield, “These Warehouse Robots Can Boost Productivity by 800%,” TechInsider.io, February 26, 2016. 11Ilan Brat, “Robots Step into New Planting, Harvesting Roles,” Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2015. 12Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1970. 13Soraya Chemaly, “What Do Artificial Wombs Mean for Women?”


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Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

With a professional understanding of software technologies, he was also deeply pessimistic. For a while he stood alone, much in the tradition of Rifkin’s 1995 The End of Work, but as the recession dragged on and mainstream economists continued to have trouble explaining the absence of job growth, he was soon joined by an insurgency of technologists and economists warning that technological disruption was happening full force. In 2011, two MIT Sloan School economists, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, self-published an extended essay titled “Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy.” Their basic theme was as follows: “Digital technologies change rapidly, but organizations and skills aren’t keeping pace. As a result, millions of people are being left behind.

Gordon pointed out that unlike the earlier industrial revolutions, there has not been a comparable productivity advance tied to the computing revolution. “They remind us Moore’s Law predicts endless exponential growth of the performance capability of computer chips, without recognizing that the translation from Moore’s Law to the performance-price behavior of ICT equipment peaked in 1998 and has declined ever since,” he noted in a 2014 rejoinder to his initial paper.45 Gordon squared off with his critics, most notably with MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson, at the TED Conference in the spring of 2013. In a debate moderated by TED host Chris Anderson, the two jousted over the future impact of robotics and whether the supposed exponentials would continue or were rather the peak of an “S curve” with a decline on the way.46 The techno-optimists believe that a lag between invention and adoption of technology simply delays the impact of productivity gains and even though exponentials inevitably taper off, they spawn successor inventions—for example the vacuum tube was followed by the transistor, which in turn was followed by the integrated circuit.

Department of Defense, July 2012, http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/AutonomyReport.pdf. 21.John Maynard Keynes, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” in Essays in Persuasion (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1963), 358–373. 22.Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era (New York: Putnam, 1995), xvii. 23.John Markoff, “Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software,” New York Times, March 4, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/science/05legal.html?pagewanted=all. 24.Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier Press, 2011). 25.Paul Beaudry, David A. Green, and Ben Sand, “The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks,” NBER Working Paper No. 18901, National Bureau of Economic Research, March 2013, http://www.economics.ubc.ca/files/2013/05/pdf_paper_paul-beaudry-great-reversal.pdf. 26.Ibid. 27.James Manyika, Susan Lund, Byron Auguste, and Sreenivas Ramaswamy, “Help Wanted: The Future of Work in Advanced Economies,” McKinsey Global Institute, March 2012, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/employment_and_growth/future_of_work_in_advanced_economies. 28.Robin Harding, “US Has Lost 2M Clerical Jobs since 2007,” Financial Times, April 1, 2013, http://www.ft.com/intl/cm/s/0/37666e6c-9ae5-11e2-b982-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3V2czZqsP. 29.Melody Johnson, “Right-Wing Media Attack Obama for Accurate Remarks on Business’ [sic] Investment in Automated Machines,” MediaMatters for America, June 15, 2011, http://mediamatters.org/research/2011/06/15/right-wing-media-attack-obama-for-accurate-rema/180602. 30.


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The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, break the buck, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, currency peg, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, future of work, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, oil shale / tar sands, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, yield curve, zero-sum game

,” New York Times, January 23, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/25/opinion/sunday/what-happened-to-the-price-of-oil.html. 2. Mohamed A. El-Erian, “Good, Bad and Ugly of Lower Oil Prices,” Bloomberg View, December 1, 2014, http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-12-01/good-bad-and-ugly-of-lower-oil-prices. 3. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: Norton, 2014). 4. See, for example, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier Press, 2011). CHAPTER 28: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER 1. Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel, No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends (New York: PublicAffairs, 2015). 2.

HARNESSING DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION The ongoing technological revolution is a second factor that contributes to a relatively unstable distribution of future potential outcomes. It is a revolution that combines two critical elements: empowering individuals to an extent that was deemed unlikely, if not unthinkable, not so long ago; and deploying big data, artificial intelligence, and what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee have dubbed “the second machine age.”3 Many observers and researchers have referred to these revolutionary and transformational forces as among the most powerful in history. In a March 2015 conference on the Future of Work, organized by WorldPost, a joint venture between Nicolas Berggruen’s Institute and Arianna Huffington’s Huffington Post, Andrew McAfee added that it is “the only free lunch that economists can agree on.”


pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lifelogging, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Metcalfe’s law, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

The Luddites viewed James Hargreaves’s spinning jenny in the nineteenth century with the same anxious suspicion that today’s pessimists view Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web in the twenty-first century. See Eric Hobsbawm and George Rudé, Captain Swing (2001). 29 David Autor, ‘Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth’, NBER Working Paper 20485, National Bureau of Economic Research (2014). 30 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (2014). Also see Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine (2011). 31 Kasparov, ‘The Chess Master and the Computer’. 32 <http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/ibmwatson/> (accessed 23 March 2015). Also see John Kelly and Steve Hamm, Smart Machines (2013). 33 Autor, ‘Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth’, 38. 34 Autor, ‘Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth’, 38. 35 David Autor, Frank Levy, and Richard J.

(2010), and The Future of Law. 10 See Clayton Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997), and Jill Lepore, ‘The Disruption Machine’, New Yorker, 23 June 2014. 11 See e.g. Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring, The Innovative University (2011). 12 Joseph Schumpeter describes the process of ‘creative destruction’ in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1994), foreshadowing this contemporary literature. See part II, ch. VII. 13 See e.g. <http://www.data.gov> for the USA, <http://data.gov.uk> for the UK, and <http://www.data.go.jp> for Japan. 14 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age (2014), ch. 12. 15 Most notably, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 (enacted 30 July 2002), known also as the ‘Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act’. This is part of the federal law of the USA. 16 See e.g. Glasgow Herald, 18 Nov.1985, p. 15. 17 <http://www.ey.com> (accessed 23 March 2015). 18 Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto (2010), 34. 19 Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto, 36. 20 See Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks—How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (2006). 21 <http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk>. 22 See Eric Topol, The Patient Will See You Now (2015), on driverless cars and doctorless patients. 23 Penelope Eckert, ‘Communities of Practice’, in The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, ed.

And they are given some academic support for this claim by the MIT economist David Autor, who suggests that ‘many of the tasks currently bundled into these jobs cannot readily be unbundled … without a substantial drop in quality’.29 However, this is simply not the experience of those who are working at the vanguard of the professions (see Chapter 2), nor of the current work of ‘process analysts’ (see section 6.8). Others argue that the most efficient future lies with machines and human beings working together. Human beings will always have value to add as collaborators with machines. This is one of the central arguments of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in The Second Machine Age,30 and is also in the spirit of Garry Kasparov, the former chess world champion, who claims that a strong human player with a modest laptop can beat an extraordinarily powerful supercomputer.31 This position also aligns with IBM’s work on Watson. They speak of a ‘new partnership between people and computers’.32 We accept the force of this position in 2015.


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The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, creative destruction, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, off grid, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

Part of the importance of the recent global integration of developing countries is that it has taken place exactly when it did: during a period of some of the greatest advances in technology in the last two hundred years. Just as the industrial revolution can be traced to James Watt’s invention of the steam engine, which drove innovations and changes across the economic landscape, much of the current technological revolution can be traced back to the semiconductor and the computer, a history that Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee recount in The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.14 There are multiple examples, but I will focus on technological advances in four areas that have been important to developing countries: transportation, agriculture, information, and health. MOVING GOODS, MOVING PEOPLE The most important development in integrating global trade during the last century was not the World Trade Organization (WTO) or global trade agreements or lower tariffs.

Just as China wants other countries to honor its legitimate interests, it must honor the legitimate interests of its neighbors and other countries in its border disputes, trade arrangements, military maneuvers, commercial negotiations, and other issues. Managing the peaceful rise of China will be one of the most important global challenges of the next two decades, with profound effects on global development progress. TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION We live in a period of some of the most dramatic technological changes in history—what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee called “the second machine age.”10 Many view the microprocessor as the single most important invention since the steam engine kicked off the industrial revolution. Advances in information technology, energy, transportation, health, and agriculture have propelled the world economy forward. Developing countries have not fully reaped the benefits of existing powerful technologies, not to mention those of the future.

Moran, “Foreign Investment and Supply Chains in Emerging Markets: Recurring Problems and Demonstrated Solutions,” working paper 14-12, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC, December 2014, www.iie.com/publications/wp/wp14-12.pdf. 13. The Growth Report: Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development (Washington, DC: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank on behalf of the Commission on Growth and Development, 2008), p. 2, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/6507/449860PUB0Box3101OFFICIAL0USE0ONLY1.pdf?sequence. 14. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014). 15. “History of Containerization,” World Shipping Council, www.worldshipping.org/about-the-industry/history-of-containerization. 16. Daniel Bernhofen, Zouheir El-Sahli, and Richard Kneller, “Estimating the Effects of the Container Revolution on World Trade,” working paper 4136, Center for Economic Studies and the Ifo Institute, February 2013, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2228625.


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The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

The Chapman University geographer Joel Kotkin has broken down what he calls this “new feudalism” into different classes, including “oligarch” billionaires like Thiel and Uber’s Travis Kalanick, the “clerisy” of media commentators like Kevin Kelly, the “new serfs” of the working poor and the unemployed, and the “yeomanry” of the old “private sector middle class,” the professionals and skilled workers in towns like Rochester who are victims of the new winner-take-all networked economy.81 The respected MIT economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, who are cautiously optimistic about what they call “the brilliant technologies” of “the Second Machine Age,” acknowledge that our networked society is creating a world of “stars and superstars” in a “winner-take-all” economy. It’s the network effect, Brynjolfsson and McAfee admit, reflecting the arguments of Frank and Cook—a consequence, they say, of the “vast improvements in telecommunications” and the “digitalization of more and more information, goods and services.”

But while all this technology might be novel, it hasn’t transformed the role of either power or wealth in the world. Indeed, when it comes to the importance of money and influence, Silicon Valley is about as traditional as those three thousand bottles of vintage wine in the Battery’s illustrious cellar. History is, in many ways, repeating itself. Today’s digital upheaval represents what MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee call the “second industrial revolution.” “Badass” entrepreneurs like Travis Kalanick and Peter Thiel have much in common with the capitalist robber barons of the first industrial revolution. Internet monopolists like Google and Amazon increasingly resemble the bloated multinationals of the industrial epoch. The struggle of eighteenth-century Yorkshire cloth workers is little different from today’s resistance of organized labor to Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb.

I also got lucky in early 2010 when I recieved a call from my friend Keith Teare, Mike Arrington’s cofounder at TechCrunch, who was setting up the TechCrunchTV network. Keith recommended me to Paul Carr and Jon Orlin at TechCrunchTV, and my show Keen On . . . was the first program on the network, running for four years and including over two hundred interviews with leading Internet thinkers and critics. In particular, I’d like to thank Kurt Andersen, John Borthwick, Stewart Brand, Po Bronson, Erik Brynjolfsson, Nicholas Carr, Clayton Christensen, Ron Conway, Tyler Cowen, Kenneth Cukier, Larry Downes, Tim Draper, Esther Dyson, George Dyson, Walter Isaacson, Tim Ferriss, Michael Fertik, Ze Frank, David Frigstad, James Gleick, Seth Godin, Peter Hirshberg, Reid Hoffman, Ryan Holiday, Brad Horowitz, Jeff Jarvis, Kevin Kelly, David Kirkpatrick, Ray Kurzweil, Jaron Lanier, Robert Levine, Steven Levy, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Andrew McAfee, Gavin Newsom, George Packer, Eli Pariser, Andrew Rasiej, Douglas Rushkoff, Chris Schroeder, Tiffany Shlain, Robert Scoble, Dov Seidman, Gary Shapiro, Clay Shirky, Micah Sifry, Martin Sorrell, Tom Standage, Bruce Sterling, Brad Stone, Clive Thompson, Sherry Turkle, Fred Turner, Yossi Vardi, Hans Vestberg, Vivek Wadhwa, and Steve Wozniak for appearing on Keen On . . . and sharing their valuable ideas with me.


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Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

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AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

Where exactly we draw the line is not all that important because, when we think about what work is threatened, it’s all of the above. Why Worry About Less Work? Machines are becoming so capable that, today, it is hard to see the higher cognitive ground that many people could move to. That is making some very smart people worry. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee, for example, in their acclaimed book, The Second Machine Age, note that the anticipated recovery in labor markets has been just around the corner for a long time. The persistence of high unemployment levels in Western economies might mean that the dislocation caused by the last wave of skill-biased technical change is permanent. Paul Beaudry, David Green, and Benjamin Sand have done research on the total demand for workers in the United States who are highly skilled.5 They say demand peaked around the year 2000 and has fallen since, even as universities churn out an ever-growing supply.

As Levy writes in a 2010 working paper for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it involves not only listening to the patient’s words, but also his body language, tone of voice, eye contact, and incomplete sentences. He notes, “The doctor must be particularly alert for the famous ‘last minute’ of an appointment when the patient, on his way out the door, looks over his shoulder and says ‘By the way, my wife says I should tell you about this pain I have in my stomach.’”6 Levy’s MIT colleagues Erik Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee agree with pattern recognition and complex communication as uniquely human traits, and they add a third: ideation. “Scientists come up with new hypotheses,” they write. “Chefs add a new dish to the menu. Engineers on a factory floor figure out why a machine is no longer working properly. Steve Jobs and his colleagues at Apple figure out what kind of tablet computer we actually want.

Learning from Freestyle Chess Several writers who touch on what we are calling mutual augmentation do so with reference to chess. It’s definitely a realm in which some humility on the part of humans is called for. In one-on-one matches, we know the best chess players are computers these days. Yet the trouncing isn’t so complete as you might have been led to believe. The economist Tyler Cowen (not surprisingly, a chess champion in his youth) and The Second Machine Age authors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee use the example of “freestyle chess,” in which human chess players are free to use as much help from computers as they wish.11 The two of us personally don’t play chess much (we like to get paid for thinking that hard), but we gather that under these rules, people often manage to beat the best programs. And although freestyle chess is a unique situation, the particulars of why that is true do seem to suggest possibilities for other forms of augmentation: • Different computer programs are good at different chess situations, so the humans can bring awareness of each program’s strengths and how to integrate them.


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The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

Young people, women, minorities, and those without a college degree disproportionally hold these positions and use them as a leg up in society. Currently youth unemployment in the United States is 12 percent, more than twice the nation’s overall average, and it is far higher in most of the rest of the world. If entry-level restaurant jobs are reduced or eliminated, how much harder will it be to get a first job? How about a second? There are earlier precedents for these types of job declines. MIT professor Erik Brynjolfsson calls it “the great paradox of our era. Productivity is at record levels, innovation has never been faster, and yet at the same time, we have a falling median income and we have fewer jobs. People are falling behind because technology is advancing so fast and our skills and our organizations aren’t keeping up.” In the previous wave of globalization, bank tellers were largely replaced by ATMs, airline ticket counter workers were replaced by electronic kiosks, and travel agents were replaced by travel websites.

As he explained in a 2012 New York Times article: John Markoff, “Skilled Work, without the Worker,” New York Times, August 19, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/business/new-wave-of-adept-robots-is-changing-global-industry.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. But wages in China: Keith Bradsher, “Even as Wages Rise, China Exports Grow,” New York Times, January 10, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/10/business/international/chinese-exports-withstand-rising-labor-costs.html?hpw&rref=business. During the recent recession: Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier, 2011). Two Oxford University professors: Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?” Oxford Martin School, 2013, http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf.

The Obama operation was about: Zac Moffatt, “Successes of the Romney and Republican Digital Efforts in 2012,” Targeted Victory, December 11, 2012, http://www.targetedvictory.com/2012/12/11/success-of-the-romney-republican-digital-efforts-2012/; “Inside the Cave.” And my dad looks at me: Dan Wagner, interview with Ari Ratner, May 28, 2014. And you can do that now: Ibid. Typically large data analysis: Michael Slaby, interview with Ari Ratner, December 2, 2013. Big data’s really just: Ibid. It examines small facts and aggregates: Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, “The Big Data Boom Is the Innovation Story of Our Time,” Atlantic, November 21, 2011, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/11/the-big-data-boom-is-the-innovation-story-of-our-time/248215/; Zeynep Tufekci, “Engineering the Public: Big Data, Surveillance and Computational Politics,” First Monday 19, no. 7 (2014), http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4901/4097.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Thank you, Joyce, for carrying through on a project that’s finally over. Family will always matter most. I thank my advisors at MIT: Erik Brynjolfsson, Chris Kemerer, Stuart Madnick, Thomas Malone, Wanda Orlikowski, and Lones Smith. The standards you set were remarkable. I also thank the MIT community for letting me be a part of it, for its openness, and for its joy in experimentation. There is a reason that Open CourseWare, edX, PET scans, RSA encryption, spreadsheets, and condensed soup sprang from people in this environment. It is one of the most grueling and at the same time one of the best intentioned and most rewarding places anywhere. I join Geoff in thanking the members of the great team at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, including Dave Verrill, Erik Brynjolfsson, Andy McAfee, Glenn Urban, Tommy Buzzell, and Justin Lockenwitz. Thank you Michael Schrage for good wine and deep thoughts.

I could not ask for a finer set of colleagues and friends. In the process of teaching and learning about platforms, I came to meet Tom Eisenmann, who has been a great friend and collaborator. His ideas have contributed significantly to this work. I was also fortunate to meet our coauthor Sangeet Choudary, who has worked at and consulted with numerous platform firms. His experience has been wonderfully complementary to my own. I thank Erik Brynjolfsson, Andy McAfee, Dave Verrill, and the great team at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE). The IDE has been instrumental in hosting the MIT Platform Summit and providing Marshall and me with the opportunity to work with multiple companies as part of our effort to bridge practice and academia. Peter Evans has inspired me with his insatiable curiosity and drive to measure the growing platform economy.


pages: 138 words: 40,787

The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things by Daniel Kellmereit, Daniel Obodovski

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, business intelligence, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Freestyle chess, Google X / Alphabet X, Internet of things, lifelogging, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, Paul Graham, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, software as a service, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator, yield management

By the time the rice grains filled the first half of the chessboard, the man had more than four billion rice grains — or about the harvest of one rice field. At that point the man was rich. By the time the servants got to the sixty-fourth square, the man had more than eighteen quintillion rice grains (18 x 1018), or more than all the wealth in the land. But his wealth and ability to outsmart the emperor came with a price — he ended up being decapitated. In their recent book, Race Against the Machine,1 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, referenced the fable of the chess and rice grains to make the point that “exponential increases initially look a lot like linear, but they are not. As time goes by — as we move into the second half of the chessboard — exponential growth confounds our intuition and expectations.” As a result, in the early stages of a project or a new technology, it’s very hard to discern whether or not something will experience exponential growth.

The space is ripe for further innovation and experimentation because it offers specific opportunities to be realized in the short term. In the following chapters we will look at specific examples and companies. We will also continue our discussions with industry experts about what is happening, what might happen, and what needs to happen to bring about the vision of the Internet of Things. 1 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier Press, 2011), p.297. 2 Nokia, Machine-to-Machine: Let Your Machines Talk (2004). http://www.m2mpremier.com/uploadFiles/m2m-white-paper-v4.pdf. 3 The observation that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years.


pages: 181 words: 52,147

The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

-endowed robots advance, inevitably emergent capabilities will result in things we have not expected. The extreme risk is apocalyptic: the robots become smarter than we are and take over the world, rendering humans powerless on their own planet. An equally troubling but less existential, and more realistic, risk is that the robots increasingly deprive us of our jobs. Some researchers, such as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, see the automatons inevitably gobbling up more and more meaningful slices of our work.9 Oxford University researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne caused a tremendous stir in September 2013, when they asserted in a seminal paper that A.I. would put 47 percent of current U.S. employment “at risk.”10 The paper, “The Future of Employment,” is a rigorous and detailed historical review of research on the effect of technology innovation upon labor markets and employment.

., “Autonomous weapons: An open letter from AI and robotics researchers,” Future of Life Institute, http://futureoflife.org/open-letter-autonomous-weapons (accessed 21 October 2016). 7. AJung Moon, “Machine Agency,” Roboethics info Database 22 April 2012, http://www.amoon.ca/Roboethics/wiki/the-open-roboethics-initiative/machine-agency. 8. Jason Kravarik and Sara Sidner, “The Dallas shootout, in the eyes of police,” CNN 15 July 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_shooting_of_Dallas_police_officers (accessed 21 October 2016). 9. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (rev.), W.W. Norton, 2016, http://books.wwnorton.com/books/The-Second-Machine-Age (accessed 21 October 2016). 10. Michael A. Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey, The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?, Oxford: University of Oxford, 2013, http://futureoflife.org/data/PDF/michael_osborne.pdf (accessed 21 October 2016). 11.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

That’s right—when I was running around in 2004 declaring that the world was flat, Facebook didn’t even exist yet, Twitter was still a sound, the cloud was still in the sky, 4G was a parking space, “applications” were what you sent to college, LinkedIn was barely known and most people thought it was a prison, Big Data was a good name for a rap star, and Skype, for most people, was a typographical error. All of those technologies blossomed after I wrote The World Is Flat—most of them around 2007. So a few years later, I began updating in earnest my view of how the Machine worked. A crucial impetus was a book I read in 2014 by two MIT business school professors—Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee—entitled The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. The first machine age, they argued, was the Industrial Revolution, which accompanied the invention of the steam engine in the 1700s. This period was “all about power systems to augment human muscle,” explained McAfee in an interview, “and each successive invention in that age delivered more and more power.

He believes all the big gains were made in the “special century” between 1870 and 1970—with the likes of automobiles, radio, television, indoor plumbing, electrification, vaccines, clean water, air travel, central heating, women’s empowerment, and air-conditioning and antibiotics. Gordon is skeptical that today’s new technologies will ever produce another leap forward in productivity comparable to that special century. But MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson has countered Gordon’s pessimism with an argument I find even more compelling. As we transition from an industrial-age economy to a computer-Internet-mobile-broadband-driven economy—that is, a supernova-driven economy—we are experiencing the growing pains of adjusting. Both managers and workers are having to absorb these new technologies—not just how they work but how factories and business processes and government regulations all need to be redesigned around them.

—Bumper sticker on a car in Silicon Valley Now that we have defined this age of accelerations, two questions come to mind—one primal, one intellectual. The primal one is this: Are things just getting too damned fast? The intellectual one is: Since the technological forces driving this change in the pace of change are not likely to slow down, how do we adapt? If your answer to the first question is “yes,” then let me assure you that you are not alone. Here is my favorite story in Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s book The Second Machine Age: The Dutch chess grandmaster Jan Hein Donner was asked how he’d prepare for a chess match against a computer, like IBM’s Deep Blue. Donner replied: “I would bring a hammer.” Donner isn’t alone in fantasizing that he’d like to smash some recent advances in software and artificial intelligence (AI). These advances are not only replacing blue-collar jobs but also supplanting white-collar skills—even those of chess grandmasters.


pages: 263 words: 75,610

Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

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en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, full text search, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, information retrieval, information trail, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, John Markoff, lifelogging, moveable type in China, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, RFID, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Market for Lemons, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Vannevar Bush

This may sound unintuitive. Why should it make sense to offer customers combined access to, say, a database of legal precedents together with a database containing the full text of leading newspapers and newswires? At least at first glance, lawyers searching for precedents and journalists researching stories seem to have little in common. But such a strategy is, as professors Yanos Bakos and Erik Brynjolfsson have shown, eminently sensible, and preferable to selling separately access to individual information sets.38 Their reasoning is straightforward: Information vendors do not know exactly what information their customers want, and the smaller and more focused an information set is, the harder it is to know whether it meets customer preferences. A larger bundle of information databases on the other hand will satisfy a larger set of customer preferences, and appeal to a broader market.

Baddeley, Alan. Human Memory: Theory and Practice. rev. ed. Hove: Psychology Press. 2003. Bacon, Francis. Essaies: religious meditations : places of perswasion and disswasion : seene and allowed. London: John Laggard. 1606. Baker, John C. et al. Mapping the Risks: Assessing the Homeland Security Implications of Publicly Available Geospatial Information. Santa Monica, CA: RAND. 2004. Bakos, Yannis and Erik Brynjolfsson. “Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits and Efficiency.” Management Science 45 (Dec. 1999): 1613–30. Balkin, Jack M. “The Constitution in the National Surveillance State.” Minnesota Law Review 93 (2008): 1–25. Bannon, Liam J. “Forgetting as a Feature, Not a Bug: The Duality of Memory and Implications for Ubiquitous Computing.” CoDesign 2 (2006): 3–15. Bayard, Pierre. How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Unwilling to give up on traditional American ideals like the free market, a capitalist economy and indeed the Protestant work ethic, he advocates a universal basic income of only $10,000 a year - a level low enough to leave the incentive to find work in place. Even so, he is pessimistic about the prospect of persuading his fellow Americans to adopt the idea: “a guaranteed income will probably remain unfeasible for the foreseeable future.” Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson As a pair of MIT professors[xxxiv], McAfee and Brynjolfsson bring academic credibility to their book on AI automation, “The Second Machine Age”. They have helped to validate the discussion of the possibility of technological unemployment. Their book (and their argument) is in three parts. The first part (chapters 1 to 6 inclusive) describes the characteristics of what they call the second machine age.

[cccxliii] It is not surprising to hear these arguments from executives in businesses which are transforming themselves into AI companies: they would presumably feel very uncomfortable if they thought their work was hastening an economic crisis. But while technology company executives sound breezy about the prospects for continued unemployment as machine intelligences get smarter, some of the academic authors who broadly agree with them sound more tentative. In chapter 3.1 we saw that in their book “The Second Machine Age”, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee believe that for many years to come, humans will be better than machines at generating new ideas, and complex forms of communication. They think that capitalism should be defended and retained, but they sound less confident about what will happen in the medium term. They argue for an overhaul of the US education system, but they don’t sound convinced that will be enough, and they speculate that a negative income tax may eventually become necessary.


pages: 589 words: 147,053

The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule the Earth by Robin Hanson

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8-hour work day, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, business process, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, experimental subject, fault tolerance, financial intermediation, Flynn Effect, hindsight bias, information asymmetry, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, lone genius, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nash equilibrium, new economy, prediction markets, rent control, rent-seeking, reversible computing, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, statistical model, stem cell, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

., David Wolf, Randall Pickett, Zack Davis, Tom Bell, Harry Hawk, Adam Kolber, Dean Menk, Randall Mayes, Karen Maloney, Brian Tomasik, Ramez Naam, John Clark, Robert de Neufville, Richard Bruns, Keith Mansfield, Gordon Worley, Giedrius, Peter Garretson, Christopher Burger, Nithya Sambasivam, Zachary Weinersmith, Luke Somers, Barbara Belle, Jake Selinger, Geoffrey Miller, Arthur Breitman, Martin Wooster, Daniel Boese, Oge Nnadi, Joseph Mela, Diego Caleiro, Daniel Lemire, Emily Perry, Jess Riedel, Jon Perry, Eli Tyre, Daniel Erasmus, Emmanuel Saadia, Erik Brynjolfsson, Anamaria Berea, Niko Zinovii, Matthew Farrell, Diana Fleischman, and Douglas Barrett. I have received no financial assistance for this book and its related research, other than the freedom that academic tenure has provided me. I deeply thank my GMU colleagues for granting me that unusual privilege. Contents Introduction I. Basics 1. Start Overview; Summary 2. Modes Precedents; Prior Eras; Our Era; Era Values; Dreamtime; Limits 3.

American Journal of Sociology 97(1): 169–195. Anderson, David. 1999. “The Aggregate Burden of Crime.” Journal of Law and Economics 42(2): 611–642. Angier, Natalie. 2005. “Almost Before We Spoke, We Swore.” New York Times, September 20. Anwar, Shamena, Patrick Bayer, and Randi Hjalmarsson. 2014. “The Role of Age in Jury Selection and Trial Outcomes.” Journal of Law and Economics 57(4): 1001–1030. Aral, Sinan, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Marshall Van Alstyne. 2007. “Information, Technology and Information Worker Productivity: Task Level Evidence.” NBER Working Paper No. 13172, June. Aral, Sinan, and Dylan Walker. 2012. “Identifying Influential and Susceptible Members of Social Networks.” Science 337(6092): 337–341. Armstrong, Stuart, and Kaj Sotala. 2012. “How We’re Predicting AI—or Failing to.” In Beyond AI: Artificial Dreams, edited by J.

Woolley, Anita, Christopher Chabris, Alex Pentland, Nada Hashmi, and Thomas Malone. 2010. “Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups.” Science 330(6004): 686–688. Wout, Félice van’t, Aureliu Lavric, and Stephen Monsell. 2015. “Is It Harder to Switch Among a Larger Set of Tasks?” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 41(2): 363–376. Wu, Lynn, Ben Waber, Sinan Aral, Alex Pentland, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Alex Pentland. 2008. “Mining Face-to-Face Interaction Networks Using Sociometric Badges: Predicting Productivity in an IT Configuration Task.” International Conference on Information Systems 2008 Proceedings. 127. Yang, Mu-Jeung, Lorenz Kueng, and Bryan Hong. 2015. “Business Strategy and the Management of Firms.” NBER Working Paper 20846, January. Yao, Shuyang, Niklas Långström, Hans Temrin, and Hasse Walum. 2014.


pages: 397 words: 112,034

What's Next?: Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy by David Hale, Lyric Hughes Hale

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversification, energy security, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global village, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, women in the workforce, yield curve

They also offer the potential for new types of democratic processes, such as direct voting online, and the scope for alternate views to be put forward outside of the mainstream. The downside to Web communities is that they can cause people to become more cut off from the rest of society. In their paper “Electronic Communities: Global Village or Cyber Balkans,” professors Marshal Van Alstyne and Erik Brynjolfsson said that “individuals empowered to screen out material that does not conform to their existing preferences may form virtual cliques, insulate themselves from opposing points of view, and reinforce their biases.… This voluntary Balkanisation and the loss of shared experiences and values may be harmful to the structure of democratic societies.”7 They warned that we should have no illusions that the Internet will create a greater sense of community.

See also Mark Henderson, “Media Multi-taskers Are in Danger of Brain Overload,” Times of London, August 25, 2009. 3. Nassim N. Taleb, The Black Swan (New York: Random House, 2007). 4. Paul Kedrosky, “The First Disaster of the Internet Age,” Newsweek, October 27, 2008, http://www.newsweek.com/2008/10/17/the-first-disaster-of-the-internet-age.html. 5. Quoted in Nicholas D. Kristof, “The Daily Me,” New York Times, March 19, 2009. 6. Ibid. 7. Marshal Van Alstyne and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Electronic Communities: Global Village or Cyber Balkans,” Sloan School of Management Working Papers, MIT Sloan School, March 1997. 8. Nate Anderson, “Online Oligarchy: Old Guard Dominates ’Net News Coverage,” Ars Technica, March 17, 2008, http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/03/online-oligarchy-old-guard-dominates-net-news-coverage.ars (accessed on November 19, 2010); PBS, “Democracy on Deadline: Who Owns the Media?”


pages: 309 words: 91,581

The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Timothy Noah

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assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, Branko Milanovic, call centre, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, manufacturing employment, moral hazard, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, positional goods, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Powell Memorandum, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, upwardly mobile, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War

A truck driver making a left turn on a busy city street, Levy and Murhane note, has to process visual and aural information about what’s happening on the street; tactile information about the truck’s probable speed once he hits the accelerator; and split-second calculations about probable trajectories for people and other vehicles. All this is well beyond the ability of a computer.8 Or so it seemed when Levy and Murnane wrote their book. In 2011 their MIT colleagues Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of the Sloan School of Management wrote that this conclusion had become obsolete by the end of 2010. In October of that year Google automated a fleet of Toyota Priuses and put them on the road (with human drivers behind the wheel as safety backups). The robocars navigated from Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters to its Santa Monica office, taking a detour along the way to wind down San Francisco’s Lombard Street (“the crookedest street in the world”).

Murnane, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 2004), 13–25; and Farhad Manjoo, “Will Robots Steal Your Job?,” Slate, Sept. 26–30, 2011, at http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/robot_invasion/2011/09/will_robots_steal_your_job.html. Levy and Murnane’s book grew out of a 2003 paper that they wrote with MIT’s David Autor. 9. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier Press, e-book, 2011), chap. 2; and Sebastian Thrun, “What We’re Driving At,” The Official Google Blog, Oct. 9, 2010, at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-were-driving-at.html. 10.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

But hiring refused to bounce back. While it’s not unusual for companies to wait until a recovery is well established before recruiting new workers, this time the hiring lag seemed interminable. Job growth remained unusually tepid, the unemployment rate stubbornly high. Seeking an explanation, and a culprit, people looked to the usual suspect: labor-saving technology. Late in 2011, two respected MIT researchers, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, published a short electronic book, Race against the Machine, in which they gently chided economists and policy makers for dismissing the possibility that workplace technology was substantially reducing companies’ need for new employees. The “empirical fact” that machines had bolstered employment for centuries “conceals a dirty secret,” they wrote. “There is no economic law that says that everyone, or even most people, automatically benefit from technological progress.”

Kennedy: Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1962), 721. 22.Stanley Aronowitz and William DiFazio, The Jobless Future: Sci-Tech and the Dogma of Work (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 14. The emphasis is Aronowitz and DiFazio’s. 23.Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era (New York: Putnam, 1995), xv–xviii. 24.Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Lexington, Mass.: Digital Frontier Press, 2011). Brynjolfsson and McAfee extended their argument in The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014). 25.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

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3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

Before we make it to point C – a world in which the benefits of the digital revolution are shared broadly and peacefully – we can expect difficulties. They have already begun. The subject of the future of work in a digital economy has been well covered – in serious magazines, including but by no means limited to my employer, The Economist, and in a growing number of important books. Worries and speculation have grown more intense and more common since 2011, when Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee published Race Against the Machine,19 which laid out in compelling detail how quickly the capabilities of clever software and robots were improving. Authors like Martin Ford, whose 2015 book Rise of the Robots20 described a vision of a post-work world, argue that robots and machine intelligence will create a world wholly different from anything that has come before, and that a techno-socialism of sorts will need to be adopted to keep society functioning.

In fact, some full-throated techno-optimists argue, information technology simply hasn’t been that impressive for most of the last half-century. Yet that, they say, should in no way convince us that future progress will be similarly disappointing. On the contrary, a long period of modest progress is precisely what we would expect to see from a technology improving in exponential fashion from a very modest starting point. In an influential 2012 book, Race Against the Machine, two MIT scholars of technology and business, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, argue that people aren’t very good at assessing the pace of exponential technological progress (for example, the repeated doubling in microchip power described by Moore’s law).11 They borrow a parable popularized by the futurist Ray Kurzweil.12 In the legend, a wise man invents the game of chess and presents it to his king. Pleased, the king allows the man to name his reward.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Certainly not the workers being paid less, the craftspeople whose skills are devalued, the consumers whose social ties are degraded, or the communities to whom costs are externalized. Yet we continue to optimize our businesses and our economy for growth, even as we transition toward an entirely different technological and social landscape—one with very different potentials. This is why the leading voices today are those that still treat the emerging digital economy as Industrialism 2.0 or, as Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee put it in the title of their respected business book, The Second Machine Age. It’s no wonder such ideas captivate the business community: for all their revolutionary bravado they are actually promising business as usual. Workers will continue to be displaced by automation, corporations will remain the major players in the economic landscape, and it’s up to people to keep up with the pace of technological change if they want to survive.

Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar (Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly Media, 1999). 2. Women of the late Middle Ages in Europe were taller than at any other period until the 1970s. Bernard Lietaer and Stephen Belgin, New Money for a New World (Boulder, Colo.: Qiterra Press: 2011). 3. Douglas Rushkoff, Life Inc.: How Corporations Conquered the World, and How We Can Take It Back (New York: Random House, 2009), 8. 4. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York, London: W. W. Norton, 2014). 5. Michael Hauben and Ronda Hauben, “Netizen: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet,” First Monday: Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet 3, no. 7 (July 6, 1998). 6. “Organization: Organic,” www.crunchbase.com/organization/organic#/entity. 7.


pages: 606 words: 87,358

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization by Richard Baldwin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, buy low sell high, call centre, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fragmentation, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, New Economic Geography, out of africa, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus

In a broad swath of service sectors, rich nation workers could find themselves in direct wage competition with poor nation workers providing their labor services remotely. But of course, this challenge to rich nation workers would be an opportunity for poor nation workers. To put these changes in perspective, it is worth drawing a parallel with the discussions of how disruptive Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be. According to Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, authors of The Second Machine Age, the near future will be marked by a very systematic use of AI to operate robots that replace humans in high-wage nations.6 The authors point out that this would have large effects for workers ranging from truck drivers to investment managers. I would suggest that “Remote Intelligence” (RI) could end up as at least as transformative. After all, why go for computer operators when remote human operators would be so much more responsive (especially after the language barrier is demolished by costless, simultaneous translation)?

Lewis, “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labor,” Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies 22 (1954): 139–191. 4. For details, see Richard Baldwin, and Javier Lopez-Gonzalez, “Supply-Chain Trade: A Portrait of Global Patterns and Several Testable Hypotheses,” World Economy 38, no. 11 (2015): 1682–1721. 5. See David H. Autor, Lawrence F. Katz, Melissa S. Kearney, “The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market,” NBER Working Paper 11986, National Bureau of Economic Research, January 2006. 6. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2014). Acknowledgments This book was a very long time in the making. The original idea came from a paper I wrote in late 2006 for the Finnish prime minister’s project “Globalization Challenges for Europe and Finland.” The notion that something about globalization had fundamentally changed caught on quickly—for example, the Economist devoted a full page to my Finnish paper in January 2007.


pages: 437 words: 105,934

#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media by Cass R. Sunstein

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, Donald Trump, drone strike, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, friendly fire, global village, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, prediction markets, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds

See also http://www.econlib.org/library/Mill/mlP.html (accessed August 23, 2016). 1. THE DAILY ME 1.See Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), 153. For a prescient discussion of “cyberbalkinization,” see also Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000), 177–79, which draws in turn on an illuminating earlier paper, Marshall Van Alstyne and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Electronic Communities: Global Village or Cyberbalkans?” (working paper, MIT Sloan School, Cambridge, MA, 1996), http://web.mit.edu/marshall/www/papers/CyberBalkans.pdf (accessed August 23, 2016). 2.In a provocative 2011 book, Eli Pariser popularized a theory of “filter bubbles” in which he posited that due to the effects of algorithmic filtering, Internet users are likely to be provided with information that conforms to their existing interests and, in effect, is isolated from differing viewpoints.

Martin and Ali Yurukoglu, “Bias in Cable News: Persuasion and Polarization” (working paper no. 20798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, December 2014), http://www.nber.org/papers/w20798.pdf (accessed September 2, 2016). 3.See Shanto Iyengar and Richard Morin, “Red Media, Blue Media,” Washington Post, May 3, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/03/AR2006050300865.html (accessed September 2, 2016). 4.Marshall Van Alstyne and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Electronic Communities: Global Village or Cyberbalkans?” (working paper, MIT Sloan School, Cambridge, MA, 1996), http://web.mit.edu/marshall/www/papers/CyberBalkans.pdf (accessed September 2, 2016). 5.For a fascinating discussion, see Ronald Jacobs, Race, Media, and the Crisis of Civil Society: From Watts to Rodney King (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). 6.David Schkade, Cass R.


pages: 118 words: 35,663

Smart Machines: IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing (Columbia Business School Publishing) by John E. Kelly Iii

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AI winter, call centre, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, demand response, discovery of DNA, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, global supply chain, Internet of things, John von Neumann, Mars Rover, natural language processing, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, smart grid, smart meter, speech recognition, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Traditional computing will become ever more capable while cognitive technologies will do things that were not possible before. Already, cloud, social networking, mobile, and new ways to interact with computing from tablets to glasses are fueling the desire for cognitive systems that will, for example, both harvest insights from social networks and enhance our experiences within them. Should we fear the cognitive machines? MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee warn in their book, Race Against the Machine, that one of the side effects of this generation of advances in computing is they are coming at the expense of existing jobs. We believe, though, that the most important effect of these technologies will be in assisting people to do what they are unable to do today, vastly expanding the problems we can solve and creating new spheres of innovation for every industry.


pages: 477 words: 135,607

The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger by Marc Levinson

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air freight, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, global supply chain, intermodal, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, oil shock, Panamax, Port of Oakland, post-Panamax, Productivity paradox, refrigerator car, South China Sea, trade route, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Even after a new technology is proven, its spread must often wait until prior investments have been recouped; although Thomas Edison invented the incandescent lightbulb by 1879, only 3 percent of U.S. homes had electric lighting twenty years later. The economic benefits arise not from innovation itself, but from the entrepreneurs who eventually discover ways to put innovations to practical use—and most critically, as economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Lorin M. Hitt have pointed out, from the organizational changes through which businesses reshape themselves to take advantage of the new technology.12 This book contends that, just as decades elapsed between the taming of electricity in the 1870s and the widespread use of electrical power, so too did the embrace of containerization take time. Big savings in the cost of handling cargo on the docks did not translate immediately into big savings in the total cost of transportation.

The seminal article along this line was Robert Solow, “Technical Change and the Aggregate Production Function,” Review of Economics and Statistics 39, no. 2 (1957): 65–94. On the problems of innovation, see Joel Mokyr, “Technological Inertia in Economic History,” Journal of Economic History 52 (1992): 325–338; Nathan Rosenberg, “On Technological Expectations,” Economic Journal 86, no. 343 (1976): 528; and Erik Brynjolfsson and Lorin M. Hitt, “Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation, and Business Performance,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, no. 4 (2000): 24. Electricity was first used in manufacturing in 1883; for discussion of its relatively slow acceptance in manufacturing, see Warren D. Devine, Jr., “From Shafts to Wires: Historical Perspective on Electrification,” Journal of Economic History 43 (1983): 347–372.


pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

CURE 13.PREDICTING AND PREEMPTING DISEASE 14.FLATTENING THE EARTH 15.THE EMANCIPATED CONSUMER Acknowledgments Notes Index SECTION ONE Readiness for a Revolution Chapter 1 Medicine Turned Upside Down “Every patient is an expert in their own chosen field, namely themselves and their own life.” —EMMA HILL, EDITOR, The Lancet1 “Health care will be less frustrating when the power shifts from sellers to buyers, and when the patients are more in charge.” —DAVID CUTLER, PROFESSOR OF APPLIED ECONOMICS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY2 “It is no exaggeration to say that billions of people will soon have a printing press, reference library, school, and computer all at their fingertips.” —ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON AND ANDREW MCAFEE, The Second Machine Age3 “Every aspect of Western mechanical culture was shaped by print technology, but the modern age is the age of the electric media . . . electronic media constitutes a break boundary between fragmented Gutenberg man and integral man.” —MARSHALL MCLUHAN, 19664 Way back in 1996, the Seinfeld TV show told the story of the “difficult” patient.5 Elaine Benes, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, developed a skin rash, but doctors kept refusing to see her.

With that foundation, we’re ready to use the data to fulfill the dream of preventing illness—far better than a cure. Chapter 13 Predicting and Preempting Disease “After spending time working with leading technologists and watching one bastion of human uniqueness after another fall before the inexorable onslaught of innovation, it’s becoming harder and harder to have confidence that any given task will be indefinitely resistant to automation.” —ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON AND ANDREW MCAFEE, The Second Machine Age1 “Over the next few years you are going to see predictive tech and intelligent assistants begin to appear everywhere. Not only will they be in most apps you use—they will also be in your car, in your living room, and in your office. They will also be inside the enterprise—helping doctors better treat patients.” —TIM TUTTLE, CEO, EXPECT LABS2 “Eventually, we won’t need the doctor.


pages: 524 words: 143,993

The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned--And Have Still to Learn--From the Financial Crisis by Martin Wolf

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air freight, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bonus culture, break the buck, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandatory minimum, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market fragmentation, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, very high income, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Among these are Robert Gordon of Northwestern University and Tyler Cowen of George Mason University.34 An important reason why the pace of innovation might be slowing is that many opportunities have already been exploited: the population of the high-income countries is already highly educated and highly urbanized; the economy has already exploited the most readily available natural resources; people have already enjoyed the fruit of many life- and economy-transforming innovations, such as running water and sanitation, inoculation, electricity, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, the internal combustion engine, civil aviation, telephony, the computer and the internet. While nobody knows what is still to come, it would have to be impressive indeed to match this record of past achievements. Yet, it should be stressed, this relatively pessimistic view is far from universally shared. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology argue, instead, not only that the measured decline in productivity growth in recent years is a product of a failure to measure output correctly, but that an age of accelerating technological progress is ahead of us, as intelligent machines and ‘big data’ transform our economy and our lives.35 At this stage, the only sensible thing to say is that we do not know what promise of a more productive future new technologies hold, though it seems likely that if it is as dynamic as some expect, it will also tend to generate even bigger increases in inequality of earnings and incomes between digital haves and have-nots.

See International Monetary Fund, Fiscal Adjustment in an Uncertain World, Fiscal Monitor, April 2013, Fig. 2, p. 6. 34. See Robert Gordon, ‘Is U. S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds’, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 18315, August 2012, www.nber.org; TylerCowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (London: Dutton/Penguin, 2011). 35. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2014), and Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Employment and the Economy (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier Press, 2011). 36. See Mariana Mazzucato, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Myths in Risk and Innovation (London: Anthem Press, 2013). 37.


pages: 494 words: 116,739

Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology by Kentaro Toyama

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active measures, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blood diamonds, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, global village, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, liberation theology, libertarian paternalism, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, Y2K

Today you can look up just about anyone online and call them on the move. In the 1970s, only the geek elite used email. Today everyone texts, tweets, and posts to Instagram. Yet none of this extra connectivity seems to be bridging the chasm between the political left and right. If anything, the gulf is widening. What is actually happening was predicted by MIT professors Marshall Van Alstyne and Erik Brynjolfsson as early as 1996 – two years before Google and eight years before Facebook. “Internet users,” they wrote, “can seek out interactions with like-minded individuals who have similar values” while minimizing interactions with those whose values differ.18 Van Alstyne and Brynjolfsson called this phenomenon “cyberbalkanization”; psychologists call it “selective exposure.”19 Online, you can find self-reinforcing groups of white supremacists on the one hand, and free-loving hippies on the other.

International energy statistics, www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.fm?tid=90&pid=45&aid=8&cid=regions&syid=2006&eyid=2010&unit=MMTCD. ———. (2014a). International energy statistics, www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=5&pid=5&aid=2&cid=CG5,&syid=2009&eyid=2013&unit=TBPD. ———. (2014b). Electricity monthly update with data for September 2014, Nov. 25, 2014, www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/update/. Van Alstyne, Marshall, and Erik Brynjolfsson. (2005). Global village or cyber-Balkans? Modeling and measuring the integration of electronic communities. Management Science 51:(6):851–868, http://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/mnsc.1050.0363. Veeraraghavan, Rajesh. (2013). Dealing with the digital panopticon: The use and subversion of ICT in an Indian Bureaucracy. Pp. 248–255 in International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2516604.2516631.


pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, lifelogging, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

‘Quiz show contestant’ may be the first job made redundant by Watson, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.” Soon after the well-publicized trouncing, IBM announced that one of its first “use cases” for Watson would be medicine. Sean Hogan, vice president for IBM Healthcare, told me that “healthcare jumped out as an area whose complexity and nuances would be receptive to what Watson was representing.” Andy McAfee, coauthor with Erik Brynjolfsson of the terrific book The Second Machine Age, agrees with Khosla that computers will ultimately take over much of what physicians do, including diagnosis. “I can’t see how that doesn’t happen,” McAfee, a self-described “technology optimist,” told me when we met for lunch near his MIT office. McAfee and Brynjolfsson argue that the confluence of staggering growth in computing power, zetabytes of fully networked information available on the Web, and the “combinatorial power” of innovation mean that areas that seemed like dead ends, such as artificial intelligence in medicine, are now within reach.

While specific technologies—a new jet engine, say, or a solar panel—can improve productivity, since the Industrial Revolution the technologies associated with the greatest productivity bumps have been so-called general-purpose technologies—technologies that transformed multiple industries and laid the groundwork for many new applications. The best-known examples are the steam engine and electricity, and so it’s fair to say that such technologies don’t come around very often, perhaps every 50 to 100 years. Information technology falls into the same category—in fact, in The Second Machine Age, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee call IT “the most general purpose of all.” Given the power and range of information technology, one would think that its implementation would rapidly and predictably lead to a sharp uptick in productivity. Yet, in the 1980s, economists began to notice something strange. Companies in industries ranging from manufacturing to accounting were fervently installing computers, but productivity appeared to be stagnant.


pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Recent work by Pol Antràs and others on trade, contracts, and industrial organization have also encouraged our thinking. In Europe, economists at the London School of Economics and the OECD have been valuable sources for our work, not the least on trade, wages, inequality, and productivity. There is plenty of interesting research on digital innovation and how it is reshaping some markets and economies. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee and their colleagues at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Center for Digital Business deserve a particular mention. Likewise, Robert Gordon’s stellar work on productivity and American prosperity – in some ways the antithesis to Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s work – has given us an extraordinary number of insights. Throughout the work on this book we have been reminded of the significance of many classical or political economists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

While there is a postcrisis trend of unusually high profit margins in some countries, the long-term trend for the US, the UK, France, Italy, Belgium, and other advanced economies is stable, prone to mean reversion, and not exactly ammunition for the Marxian view of capital using and abusing labor.50 Even in Germany, where profit margins accelerated remarkably fast in the decade leading up to 2005, there has lately been a corrective return to the mean. However, the decoupling thesis, or variants thereof, has received serious support. Brookings’ William Galston, for instance, has argued that “the Great Decoupling of wages and benefits from productivity, the biggest economic story of the past 40 years, shows no sign of ending.”51 In The Second Machine Age, economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argue that median hourly wages only increased by 0.1 percent annually from 1973 to 2011 at the same time as productivity increased by 1.56 percent annually.52 In The Rise of the Robots, Martin Ford uses a similar observation to argue that productivity gains are not matched by workers’ gains in terms of jobs and pay. The Economic Policy Institute, a think tank in Washington DC, has aggregated the differences between productivity and pay, and claims that, while productivity in the United States grew by almost 75 percent between 1973 and 2013, hourly compensation for workers only increased by slightly more than 9 percent.53 The debate on the other side of the pond is no different: in most advanced European economies, too, labor compensation is said to have moved away from productivity growth in a way that hurts labor.


pages: 193 words: 47,808

The Flat White Economy by Douglas McWilliams

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access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, correlation coefficient, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, George Gilder, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, knowledge economy, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, smart cities, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, working-age population, zero-sum game

Today Parliamentary debate (at least when in the public eye) is essentially point scoring against the other side and what passes for debate is in reality an overdose of cheap jibes. But you only have to go back to the 1960s to discover that there really was a Golden Age of Parliamentary debate. 4. ‘Understanding National Accounts’, François Lequiller and Derek Blades, 2016, Paris (www.oecd.org/std/na/38451313.pdf). 5. www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/Pages/iadb/notesiadb/capexp.aspx 6. The productivity paradox of information technology’, Erik Brynjolfsson, Communications of the ACM 36 (12), 1993, pp66–77. 7. ‘We’d better watch out’, Robert Solow, New York Times Book Review, 12 July, 1987, p.36. 8 scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?start=20&q=information+technology+as+an+enabler&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&as_vis=1 9. ‘Sources of Economic Growth, Trade and Investment Analytical Papers No 6 of 18,BIS/DFID, 2011, London. 10. www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32468/11–723-sources-of-economic-growth.pdf 11. 10 November 2014. 12. www.itpro.co.uk/mobile/23478/o2-ceo-how-the-digital-revolution-is-driving-the-uk-economy#ixzz3K5a452gr 13.


pages: 222 words: 53,317

Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Anton Chekhov, Apple II, Benoit Mandelbrot, citation needed, combinatorial explosion, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, digital map, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, HyperCard, Inbox Zero, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mandelbrot fractal, Minecraft, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Parkinson's law, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, software studies, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Therac-25, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Allenby and Daniel Sarewitz is a discussion of how to grapple with coming technological change and is particularly intriguing when it discusses “wicked complexity.” Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom explores the many issues and implications related to the development of superintelligent machines. The Works, The Heights, and The Way to Go by Kate Ascher examine how cities, skyscrapers, and our transportation networks, respectively, actually work. Beautifully rendered and fascinating books. The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee examines the rapid technological change we are experiencing and can come to expect, and how it will affect our economy, as well as how to handle this change. The Glass Cage by Nicholas Carr is about the perils of automation and the related technological complexity around us. Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford explores the importance of getting close to our technologies again, as part of the virtue of manual labor.


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Keynes was a great optimist, and he thought the problem was not unemployment per se, but how people would find meaning in lives of pure leisure. “To those who sweat for their daily bread, leisure is a longed-for sweet – until they get it.” This time it’s different? Some people argue that soon, people automated out of a job may not find new employment, thanks to the rapid advances in machine learning, and the availability of increasingly powerful and increasingly portable computers. MIT professors Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson have published two seminal books on the subject: Race Against the Machine, and The Second Machine Age. A report in September 2013 by the Oxford Martin School estimated that 45% of American jobs would disappear in the next 20 years, in two waves. (21) The first would attack relatively low-skilled jobs in transportation and administration. Some of this would come from self-driving vehicles, which are likely to appear on our roads in significant numbers from 2017.


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, call centre, carried interest, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, TaskRabbit, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

In America it dropped from an average of 2.7 per cent a year in the 1950s and 1960s to below 1 per cent in the last decade. As a result, income growth has also slowed. The median US household income in 2014 was $50,600. If we had maintained pre-1970 productivity growth, it would have been $97,300.63 We are already well into a slowdown that, in Gordon’s view, is likely to slow further. This is where his thesis becomes controversial. According to the optimists, such as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the future is accelerating and will generally bring happy results. Their book, The Second Machine Age, argues that intensifying automation will free up labour for more interesting pursuits – and leisure. Theirs is a vision of abundance. I recently heard a well-known Silicon Valley investor dismiss the doubters as ignoramuses. He pointed to the efflorescence of tech unicorns – private start-ups valued at more than $1 billion – that are working on virtual reality, artificial intelligence, gene-splicing medicine and the like.


pages: 237 words: 64,411

Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, bank run, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Brian Krebs, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute couture, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, information asymmetry, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, Satoshi Nakamoto, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Oops, forgot to mention the kids—Chelsea, Jordan, Lily, and Cami—hi, guys, guess what? I finished the book! Notes INTRODUCTION 1. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013). 2. For instance, they may execute a “short squeeze” by bidding up a stock that investors have sold short, forcing them to close out their positions at ever-higher prices to contain their losses. 3. Marshall Brain, Manna (BYG, 2012). 4. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: Norton, 2014). 1. TEACHING COMPUTERS TO FISH 1. J. McCarthy, M. L. Minsky, N. Rochester, and C. E. Shannon, A Proposal for the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence, 1955, http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/history/dartmouth/dartmouth.html. 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Rochester_(computer_scientist), last modified March 15, 2014. 3.


pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, lifelogging, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

It is quite possible, Tamanha writes, that this ratio will one day be remembered as the “good old days.” Indeed, it is quite conceivable to imagine a future in which law firms stop hiring junior and trainee lawyers altogether, and pass much of this work over to artificial intelligence systems instead. In keeping with this, a number of experts predict that there will be between 10 and 40 percent fewer lawyers a decade from now as there are today.10 As Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee suggest in their pamphlet “Race Against the Machine,” this is not so much the result of a Great Recession or a Great Stagnation, so much as it is a Great Restructuring.11 The new barometer for which jobs are safe from The Formula has less to do with the social class of those traditionally holding them than it does to do with a trade-off between cost and efficiency. Professions and fields that have evolved to operate as inefficiently as possible (lawyers, accountants, barristers and legislators, for example) while also charging the most money will be particularly vulnerable when it comes to automation.


pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell

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Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chris Urmson, digital map, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

NOTES CHAPTER 1: HUMAN, REMOTE, AUTONOMOUS a team of twelve engineers: This account is based on the author’s interviews with Mike Purcell, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, August 2011. “only one software upgrade away”: “Terminate the Terminators,” Scientific American 303, no. 1 (July 2010): 30. In the domain of work: Frank Levy, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (New York: Russell Sage Foundation; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004). Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier Press, 2012). Illah Reza Nourbakhsh, Robot Futures (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013). “this concept of keeping the human in the loop”: Peter W. Singer, Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century (New York: Penguin, 2009).

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

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8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

The first are micro in scope and focus on the personality traits and tactics that helped drive this trio’s rise. The second type of answers are more macro in that they focus less on the individuals and more on the type of work they represent. Though both approaches to this core question are important, the macro answers will prove most relevant to our discussion, as they better illuminate what our current economy rewards. To explore this macro perspective we turn to a pair of MIT economists, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, who in their influential 2011 book, Race Against the Machine, provide a compelling case that among various forces at play, it’s the rise of digital technology in particular that’s transforming our labor markets in unexpected ways. “We are in the early throes of a Great Restructuring,” Brynjolfsson and McAfee explain early in their book. “Our technologies are racing ahead but many of our skills and organizations are lagging behind.”


pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

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autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

Indeed, we place far too little emphasis on the huge amount of unpaid work that people already do. 56. She said this on Canadian TV. Watch the clip here: https://youtu.be/EPRTUZsiDYw?t=45m30s 4 Race Against the Machine 1. Categories of horse as reported by the Agricultural Census, A Vision of Britain through Time. http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/unit/10001043/cube/AGCEN_HORSES_1900 2. Quoted in: Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age (2014), p. 175. 3. Quoted in: Leeds Mercury (March 13, 1830). 4. Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney, “Trends,” The Milken Institute Review (Fall 2011). http://www.milkeninstitute.org/publications/review/2011_7/08-16MR51.pdf 5. Gordon Moore, “Cramming more components onto integrated circuits,” Electronics Magazine (April 19, 1965). http://web.eng.fiu.edu/npala/eee6397ex/Gordon_Moore_1965_Article.pdf 6.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

Google’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence system may have bested the world’s greatest Go player, but I’m not worried that it’s going to replace our greatest musicians, filmmakers, and authors, even though an NYU artificial intelligence laboratory has programmed a robot named Benjamin to be a screenwriter. And even if you believe that robots will be able to fill most jobs, MIT’s Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson have pointed out that “understanding and addressing the societal challenges brought on by rapid technological progress remain tasks that no machine can do for us.” When I ask myself what it means to be human, I think that having empathy and the ability to tell stories rank high, and I am not worried that those skills will be replaced by AI. A great artist’s ability to inspire people—especially to compel them to think and act—lies at the heart of political and cultural change.


pages: 400 words: 94,847

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen

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Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge

[243] Anita Williams Woolley, Christopher F. Chabris, Alex Pentland, Nada Hashmi, and Thomas W. Malone. Evidence for a collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups. Science, 330(6004):686–688, October 29, 2010. [244] World Health Organization. Influenza fact sheet number 211, March 2003. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/2003/fs211/en/. [245] Lynn Wu and Erik Brynjolfsson. The future of prediction: How Google searches foreshadow housing prices and sales. Presented at the 2009 Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (WISE 2009), 2009. http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~bakos/wise/papers/wise2009-3b3_paper.pdf. [246] Shirley Wu. Envisioning the scientific community as One Big Lab. One Big Lab (blog), April 14, 2008. http://onebiglab.blogspot.com/2008/04/envisioning-scientific-community-as-one.html


pages: 327 words: 103,336

Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts

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active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, East Village, easy for humans, difficult for computers, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, industrial cluster, interest rate swap, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, oil shock, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, urban planning, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

Advertising experiments, therefore, should not be viewed as a one-off exercise that either yields “the answer” or doesn’t, but rather as part of an ongoing learning process that is built into all advertising.21 A small but growing community of researchers is now arguing that the same mentality should be applied not just to advertising but to all manner of business and policy planning, both online and off. In a recent article in MIT Sloan Management Review, for example, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Michael Schrage argue that new technologies for tracking inventory, sales, and other business parameters—whether the layout of links on a search page, the arrangement of products on a store shelf, or the details of a special direct mail offer—are bringing about a new era of controlled experiments in business. Brynjolfsson and Schrage even quote Gary Loveman, the chief executive of the casino company Harrah’s, as saying, “There are two ways to get fired from Harrah’s: stealing from the company, or failing to include a proper control group in your business experiment.”


pages: 459 words: 103,153

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford

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Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize, zero-sum game

Army, 1993), chapter 1, and Tom Clancy, Armoured Cav (Berkeley Trade, 1994). 75 Examined large US firms from the mid-1980s throughout the 1990s: Raghuram Rajan & Julie Wulf (2003), ‘The flattening of the firm’, NBER Working Paper 9633. 76 To get the most out of that flexibility: Daron Acemoglu, Philippe Aghion, Claire Lelarge, John van Reenen & Fabrizio Zilibotti, ‘Technology, information and the decentralization of the firm’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 2007, and Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, ‘Beyond computation: information technology, organizational transformation and business performance’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 14, No. 4 (Fall 2000). 76 Didn’t have the authority to print his own propaganda: John Nagl, lecture at King’s College London, 2 February 2010. 76 He couldn’t tap into the massive USAID budget: Cloud & Jaffe, The Fourth Star, pp. 146–7. 76 Sean MacFarland’s men broadcast news from loudspeakers: Ricks, The Gamble, p. 70. 77 A careful statistical analysis later found: Eli Berman, Jacob N.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

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Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Larry Wall, late fees, Mark Shuttleworth, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, peer-to-peer, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux, yellow journalism

“A best-seller in 1990, Nicholas Negroponte’s Being Digital drew a sharp contrast between ‘passive old media’ and ‘interactive new media,’ predicting the collapse of broadcast networks in favor of an era of narrowcasting and niche media on demand: ‘What will happen to broadcast television over the next five years is so phenomenal that it’s difficult to comprehend.’ ” Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 5. 15. Chris Anderson, The Long Tail (New York: Hyperion, 2006), 23. 16. Alan Cohen, “The Great Race; No Startup Has Cashed In on the DVD’s Rapid Growth More Than Netflix. Now Blockbuster and Wal-Mart Want In. Can It Outrun Its Big Rivals?,” Fortune Small Business, December 2002–January 2003. “Media Center,” Netflix, available at link #61 (last visited April 1, 2008). 17. See Erik Brynjolfsson, Yu Jeffrey Hu, and Duncan Simester, “Goodbye Pareto Principle, Hello Long Tail: The Effect of Search Costs on the Concentration of Product Sales,” MIT Center for Digital Business Working Paper (2007); Paul L. Caron, “The Long Tail of Legal Scholarship,” Yale Law Journal 116 Pocket Part 38 (2006); Anita Elberse and Felix Oberholzer-Gee, “Superstars and Underdogs: An Examination of the Long Tail Phenomenon in Video Sales,” Harvard Business School No. 07-015 Working Paper Series; Indiana Resource Sharing Task Force, “Wagging the Long Tail: Sharing More of Less; Recommendations for Enhancing Resource Sharing in Indiana,” White Paper (2007); Anindya Ghose and Bin Gu, “Search Costs, Demand Structure and Long Tail in Electronic Markets: Theory and Evidence,” NET Institute Working Paper No. 06-19 (2006); Teruyasu Murakami, “The Long Tail and the Lofty Head of Video Content: The Possibilities of ‘Convergent Broadcasting,’ ” Nomura Research Institute, NRI Papers No. 113 (2007). 18.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

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3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, Lyft, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, women in the workforce, young professional

In his thought-provoking analysis, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Martin Ford remarks: ‘The threat to overall employment is that as creative destruction unfolds the destruction will fall primarily on labor-intensive businesses in traditional areas like retail and goods preparation while the creation will generate new businesses and industries that simply don’t hire many people.’10 In the words of MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, ‘Computers and other digital advances are doing for mental power … what the steam engine and its descendants did for muscle power’.11 The second half of the chessboard In 1965, Intel’s Geoffrey E. Moore conjectured that the processing power of semi-conductors would double roughly every two years and, to date, this has been an extraordinarily accurate prediction. As a consequence of this exponential growth, ‘Second Machine Age’ proponents argue that we are now in the ‘second half of the chessboard’.


pages: 502 words: 107,657

Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die by Eric Siegel

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, backtesting, Black Swan, book scanning, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, call centre, commoditize, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data is the new oil, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental subject, Google Glasses, happiness index / gross national happiness, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, lifelogging, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mass immigration, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, personalized medicine, placebo effect, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steven Levy, text mining, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Digital encodings certainly don’t capture the full dimension and innuendo of human experience—but that’s okay. Organizations record the aspects of our actions important to their function, so one extraordinarily elusive, daunting task has already been completed in the production of raw materials for PA: abstracting the infinite complexity of everyday life and thereby defining which of its endless details are salient. A new window on the world has opened. Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), compares this mass instrumentation of human behavior to another historic breakthrough in scientific observation. “The microscope, invented four centuries ago, allowed people to see and measure things as never before—at the cellular level,” said the New York Times, explaining Brynjolfsson’s perspective. “It was a revolution in measurement.


pages: 331 words: 104,366

Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins by Garry Kasparov

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, clean water, computer age, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, Freestyle chess, Gödel, Escher, Bach, job automation, Leonard Kleinrock, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nate Silver, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, rolodex, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

I’VE HAD twenty years to come up with a good way to describe what it’s like for a world champion chess player to play against a world-champion-level chess machine. I’m still not sure I’ve succeeded. Directly competing against a computer at the highest level of a human discipline is a unique experience. It’s not a video game against a computer AI or a metaphorical competition in the job market, the “race against” or “race with” the machines explained so capably by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in their books. John Henry competed with a steel-driving steam engine before a crowd of witnesses, his muscle and bone versus the implacable iron beast. Jesse Owens’s races against cars and motorcycles also boasted that same tragicomic asymmetry; it was exploitation and entertainment, not serious competition. If a person wins a footrace against a car, it’s funny. If he loses, what else could anyone expect?


pages: 372 words: 152

The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin

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banking crisis, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, cashless society, collective bargaining, computer age, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, general-purpose programming language, George Gilder, global village, hiring and firing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, pink-collar, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, Thorstein Veblen, Toyota Production System, trade route, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

In 1992 productivity soared to nearly 3 percent, the best performance of any year in more than two decades. 6 MIT's Sloan School of Management published productivity data collected over a five-year period from 1987 to 1991 for more than 380 giant firms that together generated nearly $2 trillion in output per 92 THE THIRD INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION year. The gains in productivity were impressive, suggesting that the vast amount of money invested in information technology for more than a decade had begun to payoff. The authors of the study, Erik Brynjolfsson and Lorin Hitt, found that between 1987 and 1991, return on investment (ROI) for computer capital averaged 54 percent in manufacturing and 68 percent for manufacturing and service combined. Brynjolfsson said that computers not only "added a great deal to productivity," but also contributed markedly to downsizing and the decline in the size of firms. 7 Morgan Stanley's Stephen Roach who, along with others on Wall Street, had raised the issue of a productivity paradox, dropped his earlier reservations, proclaiming that "The U.S. economy is now entering its first productivity-driven recovery since the 1960s, courtesy of efficiency gains being realized through the use of information technology."


pages: 404 words: 124,705

The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker

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assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, facts on the ground, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, old-boy network, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, Yogi Berra

Zeynep Ton, “Why ‘Good Jobs’ Are Good for Retailers,” Harvard Business Review 90, no. 1/2 (2012). 49. James Surowiecki, “The More the Merrier,” New Yorker, March 26, 2012. 50. Charles Duhigg, “What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know about You?” New York Times Magazine, May 17, 2009. 51. Alex Pentland, “To Signal Is Human: Real-Time Data Mining Unmasks the Power of Imitation, Kith and Charisma in Our Face-to-Face Social Networks,” American Scientist 98 (2010). 52. Sinan Aral, Erik Brynjolfsson, and M. Van Alstyne, “Productivity Effects of Information Diffusion in Networks,” Proceedings of the 28th Annual International Conference on Information Systems, Montreal, 2007; Sinan Aral and M. Van Alstyne, “Networks, Information and Social Capital,” paper presented at the International Conference on Network Science, New York, 2007. 53. Lynn Wu et al., “Mining Face-to-Face Interaction Networks Using Sociometric Badges: Predicting Productivity in an IT Configuration Task,” Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Information Systems, Paris, 2008 (ICIS: 2009); Mark Granovetter, “The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited,” Sociological Theory 1 (1983). 54.


pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

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3D printing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, off grid, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, zero-sum game

Total Recall, by Gordon Moore and Jim Gemmell (Dutton, 2009), explores the implications of digitally recording everything we do. The Naked Future, by Patrick Tucker (Current, 2014), surveys the use and abuse of data for prediction in our world. Craig Mundie argues for a balanced approach to data collection and use in “Privacy pragmatism” (Foreign Affairs, 2014). The Second Machine Age, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (Norton, 2014), discusses how progress in AI will shape the future of work and the economy. “World War R,” by Chris Baraniuk (New Scientist, 2014) reports on the debate surrounding the use of robots in battle. “Transcending complacency on superintelligent machines,” by Stephen Hawking et al. (Huffington Post, 2014), argues that now is the time to worry about AI’s risks. Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence (Oxford University Press, 2014) considers those dangers and what to do about them.


pages: 514 words: 152,903

The Best Business Writing 2013 by Dean Starkman

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Asperger Syndrome, bank run, Basel III, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, computer vision, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, fixed income, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, late fees, London Whale, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Parag Khanna, Pareto efficiency, price stability, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, the payments system, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, wage slave, Y2K, zero-sum game

But its chairman, Terry Gou, has publicly endorsed a growing use of robots. Speaking of his more than one million employees worldwide, he said in January, according to the official Xinhua news agency: “As human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache.” The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost. This year, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made the case for a rapid transformation. “The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications,” they wrote in their book, Race Against the Machine. In their minds, the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today.


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

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AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Larry Wall, Leonard Kleinrock, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs, zero-sum game

,” Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2001, B1. 31 Rheingold, You Got the Power. 32 Andy Oram, “The Value of Gnutella and Freenet,” Webreview (May 2000), at http://www.webreview.com/pi/2000/05_12_00.shtml. 33 Again, this is just relative. The claim is not that there is equal access to equally valuable data. Amazon.com is in a better position to market than tinybookseller.com. Likewise, it may well be that scale here makes all the difference. There have been suggestions that these architectures may reduce competition. See Yannis Bakos and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Bundling and Competition on the Internet,” Marketing Science, January 2000, available at http://ecommerce.mit.edu/erik/bci-final.pdf (finding that “economies of aggregation” for information goods could adversely affect competition). At this stage, however, I don't think we know enough to say. For a careful analysis mapping the path to concentration in distribution from the nature of IP rights, see Martin Kretschmer, George Michael Klimis, and Roger Wallis, “The Changing Location of Intellectual Property Rights in Music: A Study of Music Publishers, Collecting Societies and Media Conglomerates,” Prometheus 17 (1999): 163. 34 James Boyle, “A Politics of Intellectual Property: Environmentalism for the Net?


pages: 401 words: 119,488

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, digital map, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

In our study of mind wandering among pilots [Thoughts in Flight: Automation Use and Pilots’ Task-Related and Task-Unrelated Thought], we found that the pilot flying was thinking ‘task-unrelated thoughts’ about 30% of the time. The other pilot, the monitoring pilot, was mind wandering about 50% of the time. Why wouldn’t they? If you don’t give me something important or pressing to think about, I’ll come up with something myself.” people build mental models Sinan Aral, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Marshall Van Alstyne, “Information, Technology, and Information Worker Productivity,” Information Systems Research 23, no. 3 (2012): 849–67; Sinan Aral and Marshall Van Alstyne, “The Diversity-Bandwidth Trade-Off,” American Journal of Sociology 117, no. 1 (2011): 90–171; Nathaniel Bulkley and Marshall W. Van Alstyne, “Why Information Should Influence Productivity” (2004); Nathaniel Bulkley and Marshall W.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

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Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

—Tim Draper, Founder, Draper Associates, DFJ, and Draper University “Blockchain is a radical technological wave and, as he has done so often, Tapscott is out there, now with son Alex, surfing at dawn. It’s quite a ride.” —Yochai Benkler, Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies, Harvard Law School “If you work in business or government, you need to understand the blockchain revolution. No one has written a more thoroughly researched or engaging book on this topic than Tapscott and Tapscott.” —Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor at MIT; coauthor of The Second Machine Age “An indispensable and up-to-the-minute account of how the technology underlying bitcoin could—and should—unleash the true potential of a digital economy for distributed prosperity.” —Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus “Technological change that used to develop over a generation now hits us in a relative blink of the eye, and no one tells this story better than the Tapscotts.”


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

,” IEEE Spectrum, May 29, 2014. 27 “it can read”: Brandon Keim, “I, Nanny,” Wired, Dec. 18, 2008. 28 To help alleviate: Mai Iida, “Robot Niche Expands in Senior Care,” Japan Times, June 19, 2013. 29 Thousands of Paro units: Anne Tergesen and Miho Inada, “It’s Not a Stuffed Animal, It’s a $6,000 Medical Device,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2010. 30 One of the fastest-growing: “Your Alter Ego on Wheels,” Economist, March 9, 2013. 31 Robots such as the MantaroBot: Serene Fang, “Robot Care for Aging Parents,” Al Jazeera America, Feb. 27, 2014. 32 With the push of a button: Ryan Jaslow, “RP-VITA Robot on Wheels Lets Docs Treat Patients Remotely,” CBS News, Nov. 19, 2013. 33 Already Starwood hotels: “Robots Are the New Butlers at Starwood Hotels,” CNBC, Aug. 12, 2014. 34 A 2013 study: Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, “The Future of Employment,” Oxford Martin, Sept. 17, 2013, http://​www.​oxfordmartin.​ox.​ac.​uk/. 35 Those working in the transportation field: For an excellent discussion on the future of robots, automation, and work, see Kevin Kelly, “Better Than Human: Why Robots Will—and Must—Take Our Jobs,” Wired, Dec. 24, 2012; Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014). 36 News outlets such as: Francie Diep, “Associated Press Will Use Robots to Write Articles,” Popular Science, July 1, 2014. 37 Many believe that it is the growth: Paul Krugman, “Robots and Robber Barons,” New York Times, Dec. 9, 2012. 38 In mid-2014, a young woman: Lindsey Bever, “Seattle Woman Spots Drone Outside Her 26th-Floor Apartment Window, Feels ‘Violated,’ ” Washington Post, June 25, 2014. 39 “Air is a public”: Rebecca J.


pages: 828 words: 232,188

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of the printing press, iterative process, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, life extension, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, open economy, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, Port of Oakland, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, price discrimination, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Hacker and Paul Pierson, “Winner-Take-All Politics: Public Policy, Political Organization, and the Precipitous Rise of Top Incomes in the United States,” Politics and Society 38, no. 2 (2010): 152–204; Hacker and Pierson, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010). 11. See Raghuram G. Rajan, Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010). 12. See Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: Norton, 2014). 13. Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook, The Winner-Take-All Society (New York: Free Press, 1995). 14. See Fukuyama, Origins of Political Order, pp. 460–68. 15. I discuss the social and political consequences of life extension in Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002), pp. 57–71. 16.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

The Jetsons’ vertical commuting car/plane never happened, and in fact high fuel costs caused many local helicopter short-haul aviation companies to shut down.43 As Peter Theil quipped, “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.” THE INVENTIONS THAT ARE NOW FORECASTABLE Despite the slow growth of TFP recorded by the data of the decade since 2004, commentators view the future of technology with great excitement. Nouriel Roubini writes, “[T]here is a new perception of the role of technology. Innovators and tech CEOs both seem positively giddy with optimism.”44 The well-known pair of techno-optimists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee assert that “we’re at an inflection point” between a past of slow technological change and a future of rapid change.45 They appear to believe that Big Blue’s chess victory and Watson’s victory on the TV game show Jeopardy presage an age in which computers outsmart humans in every aspect of human work effort. They remind us that Moore’s Law predicts endless exponential growth of the performance capability of computer chips—but they ignore that chips have fallen behind the predicted pace of Moore’s Law after 2005.