Erik Brynjolfsson

138 results back to index


pages: 339 words: 88,732

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

"Robert Solow", 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 cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, 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, G4S, 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, post-work, 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: 472 words: 117,093

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

"Robert Solow", 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, British Empire, business cycle, 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, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, 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, longitudinal study, 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, Mitch Kapor, 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 Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, 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: 159 words: 45,073

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, 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, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Johannes Kepler, 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: 375 words: 88,306

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

additive manufacturing, Airbnb, AltaVista, 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, 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, Ross Ulbricht, 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, uber lyft, 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: 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

"Robert Solow", Amazon Mechanical Turk, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, 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, 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: 239 words: 70,206

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

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business cycle, 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, Johannes Kepler, 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: 475 words: 134,707

The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health--And How We Must Adapt by Sinan Aral

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, hive mind, illegal immigration, income inequality, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multi-sided market, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, performance metric, phenotype, recommendation engine, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social software, social web, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra

—DAVID KIRKPATRICK, founder and CEO of Techonomy and author of The Facebook Effect “The most important book of the year! Our friendships, economy, and society now depend on billions of social media connections around the world and no one on the planet understands them better than Sinan Aral. In this lively, engaging masterpiece, drawing on his twenty years of pioneering research, Aral separates hype from reality, clarifies our most pressing challenges, and explains how we must respond.” —ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON, director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab and bestselling co-author of The Second Machine Age “In a sea of books about social media, this is the one to read. Sinan Aral understands the new social age like no one else, and The Hype Machine offers the single best examination of how social media works, what it does to us, and how we can make it better for consumers, citizens, and democracies.

In that moment, sitting in Dewey Library, I had an epiphany: Digital social networking was going to turbocharge how information, behavior, economic opportunity, and political ideology flowed between people. It was going to transform society as we knew it and affect everything from business to politics to public health. I remember running to the nearest Pine terminal (a computer program for sending email) and sending an email to my PhD adviser, Erik Brynjolfsson, to request a meeting. I met Erik the next day and explained that I wanted to focus my PhD dissertation on digital social networks. I told him that I thought these networks were going to be the next big thing in personal computing and that they were going to transform society. Now, Erik didn’t study social networks, and he hadn’t ever formally thought about graph theory. He was busy trailblazing research on the impact of information technology on firm productivity and economic growth.

Are social ads more effective for electronics products or fashion accessories? For running or for voting? Are we more likely to be swayed by the opinions of our friends when shopping for high-status goods, like a Rolex watch or a luxury car, or experience goods, like hotels and restaurants, which require us to experience the products or to hear about the experiences of others to evaluate them? To find out, Shan Huang, Jeffrey Hu, Erik Brynjolfsson, and I conducted an even larger, more comprehensive experiment in collaboration with WeChat, the largest social platform in China. We randomly assigned the number of social cues shown to 37 million WeChat users in their “moments” ads across seventy-one products in twenty-five categories and analyzed the differences in social advertising effectiveness across products. Did showing a social signal from a brand-affiliated friend increase the persuasive power of brands’ messages?


pages: 304 words: 82,395

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

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, 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, Joi Ito, 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, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, 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, Thomas Davenport, 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: 307 words: 88,180

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee

AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, ImageNet competition, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, new economy, pattern recognition, pirate software, profit maximization, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Y Combinator

suffer stagnant wages: Robert Allen, “Engel’s Pause: A Pessimist’s Guide to the British Industrial Revolution,” University of Oxford Department of Economics Working Papers, April 2007, https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/department-of-economics-discussion-paper-series/engel-s-pause-a-pessimist-s-guide-to-the-british-industrial-revolution. technologies that “really matter”: Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: Norton, 2014), 75–77. “the great decoupling”: Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, “Jobs, Productivity and the Great Decoupling,” New York Times, December 11, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/opinion/global/jobs-productivity-and-the-great-decoupling.html. doubled its share: Eduardo Porter and Karl Russell, “It’s an Unequal World. It Doesn’t Have to Be,” New York Times, December 14, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/14/business/world-inequality.html.

Some of them change how we perform a single task (typewriters), some of them eliminate the need for one kind of labor (calculators), and some of them disrupt a whole industry (the cotton gin). And then there are technological changes on an entirely different scale. The ramifications of these breakthroughs will cut across dozens of industries, with the potential to fundamentally alter economic processes and even social organization. These are what economists call general purpose technologies, or GPTs. In their landmark book The Second Machine Age, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee described GPTs as the technologies that “really matter,” the ones that “interrupt and accelerate the normal march of economic progress.” Looking only at GPTs dramatically shrinks the number of data points available for evaluating technological change and job losses. Economic historians have many quibbles over exactly which innovations of the modern era should qualify (railroads?

Lawrence Summers has served as the chief economist of the World Bank, as the treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, and as the director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council. In recent years, he has been warning against the no-questions-asked optimism around technological change and employment. “The answer is surely not to try to stop technical change,” Summers told the New York Times in 2014, “but the answer is not to just suppose that everything’s going to be O.K. because the magic of the market will assure that’s true.” Erik Brynjolfsson has issued similar warnings about the growing disconnect between the creation of wealth and jobs, calling it “the biggest challenge of our society for the next decade.” AI: PUTTING THE G IN GPT What does all this have to do with AI? I am confident that AI will soon enter the elite club of universally recognized GPTs, spurring a revolution in economic production and even social organization.


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

Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, cloud computing, commoditize, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, 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, Thomas Davenport

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.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, 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, Sam Altman, 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, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber 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: 345 words: 75,660

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, data acquisition, data is the new oil, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Google Glasses, high net worth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, information retrieval, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, performance metric, profit maximization, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

“AI is the most transformative technology of our era. Agrawal, Gans, and Goldfarb not only understand its essence but also deliver deep insights into its economic implications and intrinsic trade-offs. If you want to clear the fog of AI hype and see clearly the core of AI’s challenges and opportunities for society, your first step should be to read this book.” — ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON, MIT professor; author, The Second Machine Age and Machine, Platform, Crowd “ Prediction Machines is a must-read for business leaders, policy makers, economists, strategists, and anyone who wants to understand the implications of AI for designing business strategies, decisions, and how AI will have an impact on our society.” — RUSLAN SALAKHUTDINOV, Carnegie Mellon professor; Director of AI Research, Apple “I encounter so many people who feel excited but overwhelmed by AI.

In particular, we thank Abe Heifets of Atomwise, Liran Belanzon of BenchSci, Alex Shevchenko of Grammarly, Marc Ossip, and Ben Edelman for the time they spent with us in interviews, as well as Kevin Bryan for his comments on the overall manuscript. Also, we thank our colleagues for discussions and feedback, including Nick Adams, Umair Akeel, Susan Athey, Naresh Bangia, Nick Beim, Dennis Bennie, James Bergstra, Dror Berman, Vincent Bérubé, Jim Bessen, Scott Bonham, Erik Brynjolfsson, Andy Burgess, Elizabeth Caley, Peter Carrescia, Iain Cockburn, Christian Catalini, James Cham, Nicolas Chapados, Tyson Clark, Paul Cubbon, Zavain Dar, Sally Daub, Dan Debow, Ron Dembo, Helene Desmarais, JP Dube, Candice Faktor, Haig Farris, Chen Fong, Ash Fontana, John Francis, April Franco, Suzanne Gildert, Anindya Ghose, Ron Glozman, Ben Goertzel, Shane Greenstein, Kanu Gulati, John Harris, Deepak Hegde, Rebecca Henderson, Geoff Hinton, Tim Hodgson, Michael Hyatt, Richard Hyatt, Ben Jones, Chad Jones, Steve Jurvetson, Satish Kanwar, Danny Kahneman, John Kelleher, Moe Kermani, Vinod Khosla, Karin Klein, Darrell Kopke, Johann Koss, Katya Kudashkina, Michael Kuhlmann, Tony Lacavera, Allen Lau, Eva Lau, Yann LeCun, Mara Lederman, Lisha Li, Ted Livingston, Jevon MacDonald, Rupam Mahmood, Chris Matys, Kristina McElheran, John McHale, Sanjog Misra, Matt Mitchell, Sanjay Mittal, Ash Munshi, Michael Murchison, Ken Nickerson, Olivia Norton, Alex Oettl, David Ossip, Barney Pell, Andrea Prat, Tomi Poutanen, Marzio Pozzuoli, Lally Rementilla, Geordie Rose, Maryanna Saenko, Russ Salakhutdinov, Reza Satchu, Michael Serbinis, Ashmeet Sidana, Micah Siegel, Dilip Soman, John Stackhouse, Scott Stern, Ted Sum, Rich Sutton, Steve Tadelis, Shahram Tafazoli, Graham Taylor, Florenta Teodoridis, Richard Titus, Dan Trefler, Catherine Tucker, William Tunstall-Pedoe, Stephan Uhrenbacher, Cliff van der Linden, Miguel Villas-Boas, Neil Wainwright, Boris Wertz, Dan Wilson, Peter Wittek, Alexander Wong, Shelley Zhuang, and Shivon Zilis.

When we anticipate receiving a precise prediction, we can hard-code the judgment before the machine predicts. Ada does this for easy questions. Otherwise, it is too time consuming, with too many possible situations to specify what to do in each situation in advance. So, for the hard questions, Ada calls in the humans for their judgment. Experience can sometimes make judgment codifiable. Much experience is intangible and so cannot be written down or expressed easily. As Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson wrote: “[S]ubstitution (of computers for people) is bounded because there are many tasks that people understand tacitly and accomplish effortlessly but for which neither computer programmers nor anyone else can enunciate the explicit ‘rules’ or procedures.”1 That, however, is not true of all tasks. For some decisions, you can articulate the requisite judgment and express it as code. After all, we often explain our thinking to other people.


pages: 533

Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech by Jamie Susskind

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, Andrew Keen, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, British Empire, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, continuation of politics by other means, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google bus, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, lifelogging, Metcalfe’s law, mittelstand, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, night-watchman state, Oculus Rift, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, payday loans, price discrimination, price mechanism, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selection bias, self-driving car, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technological singularity, the built environment, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 30/05/18, SPi РЕЛИЗ ПОДГОТОВИЛА ГРУППА "What's News" VK.COM/WSNWS Notes 427 6. Piketty, Capital, 26. 7. Piketty, Capital, 22; Ryan Avent, The Wealth of Humans:Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2016), 119–20. 8. Avent, Wealth of Humans, 119–20. 9. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age:Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2014), 118. 10. Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, and Michael Spence. ‘New World Order: Labor, Capital, and Ideas in the Power Law Economy’, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2014 <https://www.foreignaffairs. com/articles/united-states/2014-06-04/new-world-order> (accessed 8 December 2017). 11. Robert W. McChesney, Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning The Internet Against Democracy (New York:The New Press, 2014), 134. 12.

Good Old-Fashioned Capital Good old-fashioned capital—land, shares, industrial machinery, and so forth—will be an important source of income in the digital lifeworld. The value of a particular item of capital will always depend on how productive and how scarce it is. The more productive and scarce it is, the greater the wealth it is likely to generate.8 In The Second Machine Age (2014) Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson suggest that in the future, production will depend less on physical assets and more on intangible ones like intellectual property, organizational capital (business processes, production techniques, and the like), and ‘user-generated content’ (YouTube videos, Facebook photos, and online ratings). They also emphasize the importance of so-called ‘human capital’.9 Elsewhere they suggest that ‘ideas’ will grow in economic importance, and the ‘creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs’, capable of generating ‘new ideas and innovations’ will reap ‘huge rewards’.10 I agree with McAfee and Brynjolfsson on the importance of intellectual property: patenting something lends it an artificial scarcity which, with a bit of luck, can send its value through the roof.

Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (London: Simon & Schuster, 2014), 184. 50. Susskind and Susskind, Future of the Professions, 157; Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Penguin, 2010), 166–7; Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business (London: John Murray, 2014), 5; Shanahan, Technological Singularity, xviii; Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (NewYork: W.W. Norton & Company, 2014), 49;Wendell Wallach, A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 67. OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 30/05/18, SPi РЕЛИЗ ПОДГОТОВИЛА ГРУППА "What's News" VK.COM/WSNWS Notes 375 51.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

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

"Robert Solow", 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, business cycle, 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, disruptive innovation, 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, 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, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, 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, uber lyft, 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

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, business cycle, 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, Johannes Kepler, 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, P = NP, 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.


pages: 667 words: 149,811

Economic Dignity by Gene Sperling

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, job automation, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, liberal world order, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, obamacare, offshore financial centre, payday loans, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, speech recognition, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Toyota Production System, traffic fines, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game

Korinek and Stiglitz, “Artificial Intelligence and Its Implications for Income Distribution and Unemployment.” 63. 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), 257. 64. Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo, “Artificial Intelligence, Automation and Work,” NBER Working Paper 24196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, 2018, https://www.nber.org/papers/w24196.pdf. 65. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, “Brynjolfsson and McAfee: The Jobs That AI Can’t Replace,” BBC, September 13, 2015, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34175290. 66. Erik Brynjolfsson, “Technology Is Changing the Way We Live, Learn and Work. How Can Leaders Make Sure We All Prosper?,” World Economic Forum, January 4, 2017, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/technology-is-changing-the-way-we-live-learn-and-work-how-can-leaders-make-sure-we-all-prosper/; and Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future (New York: W.

If we broaden and strengthen an economic dignity net and pass something like a UBI to Rise, we will be closer to what Korinek and Stiglitz described as a “first-best economy in which individuals are fully insured against any adverse impacts of innovation.”62 But beyond such policy measures to deal with the negative effects of technological change, we should ask what we can do to structure change. As Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee conclude in The Second Machine Age, “Technology is not destiny. We shape our destiny.”63 Economists Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo argue that automation and AI will take some tasks from workers and lower demand for some jobs—what they call “displacement” effects. However, they also believe that the creation of new tasks—“shaped by the decisions of firms, workers, and other actors in society”—in which labor has an edge over automation can provide a countervailing influence to the displacement effects.64 Notably, the process of creating those new tasks is Acemoglu and Restrepo’s framework thus underscores the fact that the decisions we make as a nation can have a powerful influence over what technological innovation means for our country.

These health coaches come from the communities that Iora serves and help patients stay healthy by teaching them about exercise and eating well, texting them about their health, and visiting patients at home.68 When a patient’s worry score is high, indicating the level of care a patient needs, the care team, which includes health coaches, reaches out to the patient every day.69 This creation of new meaningful jobs that strengthen health results for patients would not work if Iora followed an old-school model of getting paid by the number of services they provide as opposed to health outcomes. There would be little reason to create new health coach jobs in a fee-for-service model. It is only when health care is paid by virtue of value and results that there are more avenues for humans to add value beyond automation. Iora shows that smarter health policy could lead to more health jobs that leverage technology to create better care for patients. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee also highlight 99Degrees Custom, an apparel maker in Lawrence, Massachusetts, as an example of how technology can generate jobs. “99Degrees Custom embraces a highly engineered, partially automated production line to make highly customized textile products.”70 That approach has allowed 99Degrees Custom to create new jobs that are “more varied, more highly skilled, and better paid” than “the old [textile] factory jobs.”71 The Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development gave the company a $2.8 million tax credit provided that the company hire 350 additional workers by 2023.72 Why shouldn’t all states provide tax credits for such companies that marry dignified labor and new technology?


pages: 357 words: 95,986

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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, Kickstarter, 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, post-work, 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.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

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

"Robert Solow", 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, Mitch Kapor, 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.


pages: 245 words: 64,288

Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That's OK: How to Survive the Economic Collapse and Be Happy by Pistono, Federico

3D printing, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, future of work, George Santayana, global village, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, illegal immigration, income inequality, information retrieval, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, longitudinal study, means of production, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, patent troll, pattern recognition, peak oil, post scarcity, QR code, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Rodney Brooks, selection bias, self-driving car, slashdot, smart cities, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, women in the workforce

As if that was not enough, it turns out that only 58.1% of the population was working, the lowest level in nearly three decades.3 Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated that even if we could somehow create 208,000 new jobs per month, every month, for the foreseeable future, it would still take until 2023 to fill that gap.4 As of January 2012, thanks to massive efforts from both the private sector and the government, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3%.5 A very mild consolation, considering that people employed part-time for economic reasons, marginally attached to the labor force, discouraged workers, and long-term unemployment, changed very little over the year. To make things even worse, the labour force participation rate is 63.7%, its all time lowest since 1983, when women had not entered the work force in large numbers, and it is dropping consistently every year.6 MIT Economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee make a lucid analysis of this problem in their book Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy7, which deals with the current unemployment crisis and tries to offer some solutions, particularly by reforming education, the system of economic incentives, and by promoting entrepreneurship.

Why do we keep meaningless jobs alive, while desperately trying to create novel ways to keep us occupied? I had many discussions regarding the issue of technological unemployment, particularly during my Graduate Study Program at Singularity University, NASA Ames Research Center, where I had the opportunity to speak with some of the greatest minds on the field, including the authors of the book “Race Against the Machine” Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, founding executive editor of Wired magazine Kevin Kelly, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge. I stand by my thesis, that the economy will not abide in creating new jobs at the same pace with which technology destroys them. Many disagree with me, and we could have a discussion about that, but I think this is missing the point. I can envision a plethora of futures where everyone has a job.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/jobs-deficit-investment-deficit-fiscal-deficit/ 5 The Employment Situation, 2012. Bureau Of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf 6 Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000 7 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, 2011. Digital Frontier Press. http://raceagainstthemachine.com 8 The End of Work Website, Jeremy Rifkin. http://www.foet.org/books/end-work.html 9 The End of Work, Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_Work 10 A rough 10 years for the middle class, Annalyn Censky, 2011. CNNMoney. http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/21/news/economy/middle_class_income/index.htm. 11 22 Statistics That Prove That The Middle Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America, Michael Snyder, 2010.


pages: 344 words: 104,077

Superminds: The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together by Thomas W. Malone

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asperger Syndrome, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, clean water, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, gig economy, happiness index / gross national happiness, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Rulifson, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Occupy movement, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, prediction markets, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

It seems to me perfectly reasonable to define it—as we did in chapter 1—in a way that can include machines. Others argue that machines will never have general intelligence because the practical problems of achieving this are just so hard we will never solve them, or if we do, it will be far beyond the lifetimes of anyone alive today. Here there is clearly room for differing viewpoints. Some people, like my former student and now colleague Erik Brynjolfsson and his coauthor Andrew McAfee, suggest that continuing advances in computer hardware together with the surprisingly rapid progress in artificial intelligence make it likely that machines may possess general intelligence soon.10 Others, like artificial intelligence expert Rodney Brooks, say that it may take hundreds of years.11 In fact, progress in the field of artificial intelligence has been notoriously difficult to predict ever since its early days, in the 1950s.

In the early 1800s, as power looms eliminated jobs previously held by human weavers, industrial activists called Luddites burned factories and destroyed machinery in protest.1 In the 1960s, as computers eliminated large numbers of clerical jobs in the back offices of banks and insurance companies, President Lyndon Johnson created a National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress to study the problem.2 And in the 2010s, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (see here) have warned about the risks of artificial intelligence putting many humans out of work, not just in blue-collar and clerical jobs but in white-collar jobs, too.3 But people have consistently underestimated the ability of the superminds we call markets to adapt to changes like these. In every past case where technology destroyed jobs, markets eventually created even more new jobs.

Dreyfus, What Computers Still Can’t Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992); John R. Searle, “Minds, Brains, and Programs,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3, no. 3 (1980): 417–24. 8. Edsger W. Dijkstra, “The Threats to Computing Science,” presented at the ACM South Central Regional Conference, Austin, TX, November 1984. 9. Russell and Norvig, Artificial Intelligence, 1,021. 10. 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); Martin Ford, Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (New York: Basic Books, 2015). 11. Brooks, “Artificial Intelligence Is a Tool”; Rodney Brooks, “The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions,” MIT Technology Review, October 6, 2017, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609048/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-ai-predictions/. 12.


pages: 242 words: 245

The New Ruthless Economy: Work & Power in the Digital Age by Simon Head

Asian financial crisis, business cycle, business process, call centre, conceptual framework, deskilling, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, informal economy, information retrieval, medical malpractice, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, supply-chain management, telemarketer, Thomas Davenport, Toyota Production System, union organizing

Solow, and the MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity, Made in America: Regaining the Productive Edge (Cambridge, Mass., 1989), p. 48. 21. The Conference Board, HR Executive Review (New York) 3(1):2 (1995). 22. Timothy H. Bresnahan, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Lorin M. Hitt, "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm Level Evidence," National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, no. 7136, May 1999, p. i. 23. Paul A. David, "Understanding Digital Technology's Evolution and the Path of Measured Productivity Growth: Present and Future in the Mirror of the Past," in Understanding the Digital Economy: Data, Tools, and Research, ed. Erik Brynjolfsson and Brian Kahin (Cambridge, Mass., 2000), p. 54. 24. Quoted by Alan Greenspan in "Remarks at the 81st Annual Meeting of the American Council on Education," Washington, D.C., February 16,1999, p. 2.

In 1989 the MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity wrote of "new patterns of workplace organization" in U.S. manufacturing that required the "creation of a highly skilled workforce" and that was incompatible with "the ways of thinking and operating that grew out of the mass production model."20 In 1995 Louis Csoka, then research director for human resources/organizational effectiveness at the Conference Board, a leading corporate lobbyist, described how throughout the economy employees are "working in concert with others, [forming] work groups that become high performing teams through teambuilding, teamwork and interdependence."21 In 1999 human resource experts surveyed by economists Timothy Bresnahan, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Lorin Hitt also claimed that "IT use is complementary to a new workplace organization that includes broader job responsibilities for front line workers, decentralized decision making, and more self-managing teams."22 In 2000 economist Paul David of Stanford, now professor of economics at Oxford, wrote of the "process of transition to a new information-intensive techno-economic regime" with "new kinds of workforce skills" and "new organizational forms" that would "accomplish the abandonment or extensive transformation . . . of the technological regime identified with Fordism."23 Neither the plant and office-level evidence, nor the evidence of the trade literature, supports this vision of a newly skilled workforce empowered by information technology going about its business within autonomous, self-directed teams.


pages: 318 words: 77,223

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, break the buck, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, currency peg, disruptive innovation, 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: 267 words: 72,552

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

The question today is whether this will happen again. With a well-developed services sector that itself may face the challenge of increasing automation, what is there to employ the middle-class workers displaced in data-rich markets? Is this the advent of a “second machine age”—the neat phrase to describe the coming displacement through automation of white-collar jobs coined by MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee? It is likely, as we suggested in Chapter 6, that there will be less work for humans in the future; but no matter what happens to overall labor force participation, it is almost certain that the types of jobs available will be quite different from the jobs people hold today. The situation is actually even more dramatic when we look not just at the number of people participating in the workforce but also at the amount of the nation’s income allocated to worker and employee compensation.

It is the vision that humanity will soon overcome resource scarcity, and the belief that machines, and their seemingly infinite ability to accomplish complex tasks at low or practically no cost, will recycle the resources we have forever, essentially taking us into a true utopia. In it, humans, freed from daily chores, will enjoy life and have the means to live it to the fullest. The end of scarcity has been predicted before, perhaps most vocally in the 1970s by conservative economist Julian Simon. Now an expanded version of the idea is resurfacing. Erik Brynjolfsson, a business school professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Business and coauthor of an influential book about the consequences of artificial intelligence on human labor, seems sympathetic. “A world of increasing abundance, even luxury, is not only possible, but likely,” he suggests. Proponents of this view use the term “fully automated luxury communism” (conjuring images of Leonid Brezhnev wearing Gucci loafers) for the idea that we all can work less and still enjoy whatever we want.

middle-income desk jobs that… will disappear: Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi, “Where Machines Could Replace Humans—and Where They Can’t (Yet),” McKinsey Quarterly (July 2016), http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet. labor force has declined from its peak: The participation rate in 2017 was around 63 percent, down from over 67 percent in 2000, and below the level it had been in more than three decades; see U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Participation Rates, data sets and graphs available at https://data.bls.gov. forecast depressing employment figures: Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2016); Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation? (Oxford, UK: Oxford Martin School, September 17, 2013), http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of _Employment.pdf.


pages: 403 words: 111,119

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

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, 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, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, 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, Kickstarter, 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, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, 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: 437 words: 115,594

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

"Robert Solow", 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 pandemic, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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, standardized shipping container, 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.


pages: 138 words: 40,787

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

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: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 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, disruptive innovation, 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, Joi Ito, 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, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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.


pages: 301 words: 89,076

The Globotics Upheaval: Globalisation, Robotics and the Future of Work by Richard Baldwin

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer vision, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, future of journalism, future of work, George Gilder, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, post-work, profit motive, remote working, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, universal basic income

It will shift workers to service and professional jobs that are “sheltered” from telemigrants and white-collar robots. The three technological impulses that launched these are very different and thus had very different effects. Oversimplifying to make the point, the Great Transformation was launched by the Steam Revolution and all the mechanization that followed. This technology took the horse out of horsepower; it created better tools for people who worked with their hands as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee point out in their seminal 2014 book, The Second Machine Age.4 It was mostly about goods, and it shifted the masses from making farm goods to making manufactured goods. Office work grew more productive, but mostly due to the fruits of industrialization (office machinery, electricity, etc). The Services Transformation was launched, in 1973, by the development of computers-on-a-chip and all the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that followed.

Williams, “The Physics, Chemistry, and Dynamics of Explosions,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. 370, no. 1960 (2012): 534–543, http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roypta/370/1960/534.full.pdf. 3. Kevin Roose, “His 2020 Campaign Message: The Robots Are Coming,” New York Times, February 10, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/10/technology/his-2020-campaign-message-the-robots-are-coming.html. 4. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: Norton & Company, 2014). 5. Jack Welch and John Byrne, Jack: Straight from the Gut (Warner Business Books, 2001). PART I Historical Transformations, Upheavals, Backlashes, and Resolutions 2 We’ve Been Here Before: The Great Transformation Catherine Spence and her infant starved to death in the London Docklands.

What might seem strange about this widespread practice is that the digital products made of these free components are often insanely valuable. Varian’s law is thus: digital components are free while digital products are highly valuable. Innovation explodes as people try to get rich by working through the nearly infinite combinations of components in search of valuable digital products. In their breakthrough book, The Second Machine Age, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee point out the implications. A big difference between digital technology and traditional technology is that new products and components can be reproduced costlessly, instantly, and perfectly. Imagine how much faster the Industrial Revolution would have spread if Newcomen’s steam engine could have been reproduced costlessly, instantly, and perfectly. Self-driving cars are an example of Varian’s law.


The Limits of the Market: The Pendulum Between Government and Market by Paul de Grauwe, Anna Asbury

"Robert Solow", banking crisis, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, means of production, moral hazard, Paul Samuelson, price discrimination, price mechanism, profit motive, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, very high income

In the market system nothing prevents companies and consumers from generating external costs unless the government puts a stop to it. In other words, there is no internal regulator for the environment to put pressure on external costs. That regulator must come from outside the market system and can only be organized by the government. Technological progress, however, may be able to offer some relief. Digital technologies create unprecedented possibilities for increased productivity. This is strongly emphasized in Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s recent book.13 These authors see almost infinite new possibilities, which can also be used to tackle pollution. That is a very optimistic vision of the future: new technologies will save us from our downfall. If that is true, we are still left with the question I posed in Chapter , namely whether those technological revolutions will offer alternatives in time. Global warming continues unabated.

Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (London: Allen Lane, ). . Kenneth J. Arrow, ‘Gifts and exchanges’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, / (), pp. –. . Ronald Coase, ‘ The Nature of the Firm’, Economica, / (November ), pp. –. . See Frans de Waal, Our Inner Ape: The Best and Worst of Human Nature (London: Granta Books, ). See also Matt Ridley, The Origins of Virtue (London: Penguin Books, ). . 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, ). . Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky, How Much is Enough? The Love of Money, and the Case for the Good Life (London: Allen Lane, ). . Facundo Alvaredo, Tony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, The World Wealth and Income Database (WID), <http://www. wid.world>, and Tony Atkinson and Salvatore Morelli, The Chartbook of Income  NO TE S . . . . . . . . . . .


pages: 742 words: 137,937

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

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, 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, 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!, WikiLeaks, 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.


pages: 346 words: 89,180

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mother of all demos, Network effects, new economy, open economy, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, place-making, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, quantitative hedge fund, rent-seeking, revision control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Vanguard fund, walkable city, X Prize, zero-sum game

Countries are Austria (AT), Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), France (FR), Germany (DE), Italy (IT), Netherlands (NL), Spain (ES), Sweden (SE), UK (UK), USA (US). Source: authors’ calculations based on INTAN-Invest database (www.intan-invest.net). This raises an interesting question: Is it possible that the rise of intangible investment is nothing more than a consequence of improvements in IT? Is the intangible economy a sort of corollary of Moore’s Law or an epiphenomenon of what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee call the Second Machine Age? It is difficult to prove causality in technological change, but there are grounds to think it is a bit more complicated than that. It is certainly true that some intangibles operate through computers—indeed, for one category of intangibles, software, computers are a necessary precondition. And it seems more than likely that the market size for many intangible assets, such as entertainment, has been greatly expanded by IT.

In a sense, it was a technological revolution. But the gains were realized through organizational and business practice changes in a low-tech sector. Or, to put it another way, there were big synergies between Walmart’s investment in computers and its investment in processes and supply chain development to make the most of the computers. It’s a relationship that has been documented in detail by Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at MIT and a guru of the digital economy. Brynjolfsson’s research showed that organizational investment and tech investment were highly complementary; that is to say, the businesses that got the most out of their whizzy software were the ones that invested in organizational change too (Brynjolfsson, Hitt, and Yang 2002). Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen (2012) compared the productivity of American businesses that invested in IT to European ones and found that European ones didn’t get the same level of benefits from computers because they weren’t willing or able to change organizational and management practices as much.

And in the last years computers have gotten even smarter: issuing boarding passes, checking you out at supermarkets, and answering routine questions over the phone. As these computers have gotten cheaper and cheaper, it’s become more and more worthwhile for firms to replace low-skilled workers with computers. Demand for those workers has fallen and so, therefore, have their wages. More recently, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (2014) have warned that, because of the speed with which information technology improves, computers may start replacing humans much faster than we are used to. This “race against the machine” or “rise of the robots” could be expected to make poorer workers redundant, to the benefit of rich capitalists. It’s a story as old as the industrial revolution itself, and back then it gave rise to the mythical figures of Ned Ludd and Captain Swing.


pages: 372 words: 94,153

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

The iPhone was introduced in June of 2007, with no shortage of fanfare from Apple and Steve Jobs. Yet several months later the cover of Forbes was still asking if anyone could catch Nokia. Innovation is not steady and predictable like the orbit of the Moon or the accumulation of interest on a certificate of deposit. It’s instead inherently jumpy, uneven, and random. It’s also combinatorial, as Erik Brynjolfsson and I discussed in our book The Second Machine Age. Most new technologies and other innovations, we argued, are combinations or recombinations of preexisting elements. The iPhone was “just” a cellular telephone plus a bunch of sensors plus a touch screen plus an operating system and population of programs, or apps. All these elements had been around for a while before 2007. It took the vision of Steve Jobs to see what they could become when combined.

I call this situation one of superstars and zombies within an industry; the more common phrase for it within economics is winner take all or winner take most. Van Reenen writes, “Many of the patterns are consistent with a… view where many industries have become ‘winner take most/all’ due to globalization and new technologies rather than a generalized weakening of competition due to relaxed antitrust rules or rising regulation.” Erik Brynjolfsson and I agree with this view.I We argued in 2008 that concentration was increasing because of tech progress, and that it would continue to do so. We made a simple point supported by a great deal of historical evidence: it’s extremely difficult for companies, even well-managed ones, to understand and extract the full value of powerful new technologies such as the steam engine, electrification, the smartphone, or artificial intelligence.

At the Breakthrough Institute Ted Nordhaus, Alex Trembath, Linus Blomquist, and Rachel Pritzker were beyond welcoming. Back home at MIT my colleagues at the Initiative on the Digital Economy created an ideal environment for this work and lots of other research. David Verrill and Christie Ko kept the place running smoothly, Adjovi Koene took a lot of tasks off my plate, and Seth Benzel and Daniel Rock were great sounding boards for the work as it progressed. By this point it should go without saying that Erik Brynjolfsson, my frequent coauthor and collaborator, sharpened my thinking with every conversation. The research team that spun up around More from Less included three generations of MIT Sloan MBA students. Atad Peled led off, then passed the shared folders to Aya Suchi. She advanced the cause greatly, then handed off to the team of Maor Zeevi and Gal Schwartz, who worked with me to get things over the finish line before they graduated.


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

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 cycle, 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 pandemic, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, uber lyft, undersea cable, 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: 347 words: 97,721

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

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, disruptive innovation, 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, global pandemic, 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, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, longitudinal study, 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, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social intelligence, 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.


pages: 436 words: 98,538

The Upside of Inequality by Edward Conard

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

John Cochrane, “The Fed Needn’t Rush to ‘Normalize,’” Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fed-neednt-rush-to-normalize-1442441737. Chapter 6: The Myth That Progress Hollows Out the Middle Class 1. 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), 202. 2. Christopher Matthews, “How Silicon Valley Is Hollowing Out the Economy (and Stealing from You to Boot),” Time, May 7, 2013, http://business.time.com/2013/05/07/how-silicon-valley-is-hollowing-out-the-economy-and-stealing-from-you-while-theyre-at-it. 3. Erik Brynjolfsson, “The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine: A Hamilton Project Policy Forum,” National Press Club, Washington, DC, February 19, 2015, http://www.hamiltonproject.org/assets/legacy/files/download_and_links/2015_02_24_THP_Future_of_Work_in_Machine_Age_tran script_unedited.pdf. 4.

Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez, “The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 25, no. 4 (2011): 165–90, http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/diamond-saezJEP11opttax.pdf. 2. Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013). 3. Lawrence Summers, “U.S. Economic Prospects: Secular Stagnation, Hysteresis, and the Zero Lower Bound,” Business Economics 49, no. 2 (February 24, 2014), http://larrysummers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/NABE-speech-Lawrence-H.-Summers1.pdf. 4. 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), 202. 5. Alan Krueger, “Rise and Consequences of Inequality in the United States,” remarks at the Center for American Progress, January 12, 2012, https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/krueger_cap_speech_final_remarks.pdf. 6. Diamond and Saez, “The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations.” 7.


pages: 289

Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy by Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

"side hustle", active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Howard Zinn, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, low skilled workers, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, precariat, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, very high income, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

Instead of simply reporting for a several-hour shift, workers may find themselves picking up tasks or gigs here and there, the flexibility of scheduling inadvertently increasing their workload by more than they intended. Or the proliferation of outsourcing—of hiring others to do everything from walking dogs to cleaning homes to grocery shopping and chauffeuring—may further increase the “commodification of intimate life” and lead to additional pressure to make enough to pay for market services.28 Hiring workers off of platforms risks creating platform monopolies. As noted by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, when more and more people use a platform or tool, a “network effect” arises, which is economist speak for the idea that certain goods become more valuable as more and more people use them. The most frequently given example is that of a fax machine. If only one person has a fax machine, it’s not very useful. But as more and more people get fax machines, the tools become increasingly useful.

Additionally, earning a high wage for a gig or two doesn’t take into account the costs of benefits—sick leave, paid time off, unemployment or health insurance—that commonly equal 20 to 30 percent of compensation. As a result, the gig economy also raises issues related to inequality and stratification. Even though services market their platforms as bringing entrepreneurship to the masses, the real winners are individuals with capital to spare. In Race against the Machine, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee note that rapid technological change is destroying jobs faster than they are created, resulting in a “great decoupling” as productivity increases but employment decreases.59 Fellow economist David Autor disagrees with Brynjolfsson and McAfee about the robust increase in productivity but acknowledges that not all technological changes have been good. The movement of bank tellers into higher skill sales jobs is an illustration of the “polarization” and “hollowing out” of the middle class as growth occurs with low-level service jobs and high-paying jobs that focus on creativity and problem-solving skills.60 The old model of the labor market—whereby workers sell scarce labor to employers over the course of their career—is eroding.

“The Sharing Economy Boom Is about to Bust.” Time, June 27. http://time.com/2924778/airbnb-uber-sharing-economy/. May, Patrick. 2015. “Apple Says It’s Created 1 Million Jobs, App Store Is Going Gangbusters.” San Jose Mercury News, January 8. McAfee, Andrew. N.d. “The Great Decoupling of the US Economy.” Andrew McAfee (website). http://andrewmcafee.org/2012/12/the-great-decoupling-of-the-us-economy/. McAfee, Andrew, and Erik Brynjolfsson. 2017. Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future. New York: W.W. Norton. McKinney, K. (1994). “Sexual Harassment and College Faculty Members.” Deviant Behavior 15(2):171–91. McKinney, Sarah. 2013. “A Growing Segment of Sharing Economy Users? Entrepreneurs.” Forbes, November 9. Merton, Robert K. 1938. “Social Structure and Anomie.” American Sociological Review 3:672–82. Mettler, S. 1994.


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, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, longitudinal study, 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, Thomas Davenport, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, 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, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, paypal mafia, 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, Travis Kalanick, 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: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

An exabyte (EB) is 1024 petabytes, a zettabyte (ZB) is 1024 exabytes and a yottabyte (YB)—named after the Star Wars character Yoda—is 1024 zettabytes. 20 Statistics from the Library of Congress 21 According to Google Books software engineer Leonid Taycher, the actual figure was 129,864,880 books as of 2010. 22 Allowing for an average of 1 megabyte (MB) equivalent of storage required for each book, and accounting for approximately 9 zettabytes of content generated in 2014, we get the above figures. 23 “Michelle Phan: From YouTube Star to $84 Million Startup Founder,” Re/code, 27 October 2014. 24 You can check it out at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/chart-of-the-day-smartphones-us-saturation-2013-1. 25 Kate Dreyer, “Mobile Internet Usage Skyrockets in Past 4 Years to Overtake Desktop as Most Used Digital Platform,” comScore, 13 April 2015. 26 “Your Phone Loses Value Pretty Fast,” Priceonomics, February 2012. 27 Jeff Desjardins, “The Market has no bite without FANG stocks,” Visual Capitalist, 20 November 2015, http://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-market-has-no-bite-without-the-fang-stocks-chart/. 28 4.7 per cent in the United States and 8.6 per cent in the United Kingdom by 2014 29 Author’s own analysis from Business Insider, LinkedIn raw data/sources 30 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 (Richmond, VA: Digital Frontier Press, 2011). See also Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (London: W. W. Norton, 2014). Chapter 2 The Augmented Age “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law from Profiles of the Future (revised edition, 1973) We are closer now to 2030 than we are to the start of the new millennium (2000).

However, as highlighted above, the distribution of jobs and wealth from the digital age has tended to be centred more geographically and in more specific demographics (often also location biased). This is in stark contrast to previous booms like the manufacturing boom of the United States in the early 20th century, which was credited for being responsible for the broad creation of the middle class. The Internet, and with it broad technology automation, has created a more serious problem for employment. Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and his collaborator Andrew McAfee have been arguing for the last five years that advances in computer technology—from improved industrial robotics to automated translation services—are largely behind the sluggish employment growth of the last 10 to 15 years.30 Figure 1.11: Productivity changes related to employment and median family income (Credit: HBR) Brynjolfsson and McAfee analysed the last 70 years of employment data and found that while productivity has continued to improve, employment has not kept up pace in recent years.


pages: 626 words: 167,836

The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation by Carl Benedikt Frey

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, business cycle, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, Corn Laws, creative destruction, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, deskilling, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, factory automation, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, game design, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, oil shock, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social intelligence, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Turing test, union organizing, universal basic income, washing machines reduced drudgery, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

The computer inferred its own rules from a series of trials using a large data set. To learn, AlphaGo first watched previously played professional Go games, and then it played millions of games against itself, steadily improving its performance. Its training data set, consisting of thirty million board positions reached by 160,000 professional players, was far greater than the experience any professional player could accumulate in a lifetime. The event marks what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee have called the “second half of the chessboard.”5 As Scientific American marveled, “An era is over and a new one is beginning. The methods underlying AlphaGo, and its recent victory, have huge implications for the future of machine intelligence.”6 Deep Blue may have beaten Kasparov at chess. But ironically, at any other task, Kasparov would have won. The only thing Deep Blue could do was evaluate two hundred million board positions per second.

Realizing the productivity gains of computers required complementary organizational, process, and strategic changes. In the early days of automation, the training and retraining of employees often took longer than expected, and many companies did not fully appreciate the obstacles involved in getting machines, computers, and sophisticated software to work together effectively. In a number of studies, the economists Erik Brynjolfsson, Timothy Bresnahan, and Lorin Hitt consistently found that investments in computer technology contributed to firm productivity mainly when complementary organizational changes were made.68 In the 1980s, the computer revolution centered on productivity improvements in individual tasks, such as word processing and manufacturing operations control. Yet preexisting business processes remained intact for the most part.

Automobile companies can hire people who know how to build automobiles since that is part of their core competency. They may or may not have sufficient internal expertise to hire good data scientists, which is why we can expect to see heterogeneity in productivity as this new skill percolates through the labor markets.84 For these reasons, Amara’s Law will likely to apply to AI, too. Myriad necessary ancillary inventions and adjustment are required for automation to happen. Erik Brynjolfsson, who was among those investigating the role of computer technologies in the productivity boom of the late 1990s, thinks that the trajectory of AI adoption is likely to mirror the past in this regard. In a joint paper with Daniel Rock and Chad Syverson, two economists, he argues that as happened with computers back in the 1990s, the adoption of AI will require not only improvements in the technology itself, but significant complementary investment and plenty of experimentation to exploit its full potential.85 During this phase, history tells us, the economy goes through an adjustment process with slow productivity growth


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

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 cycle, 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, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

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, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, 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, uber lyft, 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: 263 words: 75,610

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

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, Joi Ito, lifelogging, moveable type in China, Network effects, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, 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, 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: 304 words: 80,143

The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines by William Davidow, Michael Malone

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, QWERTY keyboard, ransomware, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, trade route, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, urban planning, zero day, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Bundrick, “Top 10 Robo Advisors Ranked: Find the Best Automated Online Investing Services,” The Street, February 27, 2015, https://www.thestreet.com/story/13060011/2/top-10-robo-advisors-ranked-find-the-best-automated-online-investing-services.html (accessed June 27, 2019). 28. Charles D. Ellis, “The End of Active Investing?,” Financial Times, January 19, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/6b2d5490-d9bb-11e6-944b-e7eb37a6aa8e (accessed June 27, 2019). 29. William H. Davidow, Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet (New York: Delphinium Books,2011), 79. 30. Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, Machine Platform Crowd (New York: W. W. Norton, 2017), 171–174. 31. Ashlee Vance, “How Two Brothers Turned Seven Lines of Code into a $9.2 Billion Startup,” Bloomberg, August 1, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-08-01/how-two-brothers-turned-seven-lines-of-code-into-a-9-2-billion-startup (accessed June 27, 2019). 32. “Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm,” Bitcoin Wiki, https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Elliptic_Curve_Digital_Signature_Algorithm (accessed June 27, 2019). 33.

“Employent Outlook: 2010–2020,” Monthly Labor Review, January 2012, http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2012/01/art4full.pdf. 42. “Economic News Release,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2, 2019, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t17.htm. 43. “Fifty Years of Federal Deficits as Pct GDP,” U.S. Government Debt, https://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/spending_chart_2010_2020USp_19s2li011lcn_G0f_Fifty_Years_Of_Federal_Deficits_As_Pct_GDP-view (accessed August 15, 2019). 44. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014), 221. 45. Bill Snyder, “You’ll Never Get Google Fiber—But You Don’t Need It Anyway,” InfoWorld, December 6, 2012, https://www.infoworld.com/article/2616265/you-ll-never-get-google-fiber----but-you-don-t-need-it-anyway.html. 46. “Hyperloop,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop. 47. “The Rise of Suburbs,” Lumen, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/ushistory2ay/chapter/the-rise-of-suburbs-2/. 48.


pages: 554 words: 158,687

Profiting Without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All by Costas Lapavitsas

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, full employment, global value chain, global village, High speed trading, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market bubble, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, oil shock, open economy, pensions crisis, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Simon Kuznets, special drawing rights, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, union organizing, value at risk, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

For a global perspective on the interaction between part-time employment and women’s entry into the labour force, see Guy Standing, ‘Global Feminization Through Flexible Labor’, World Development 17:7, 1989; and Guy Standing, ‘Global Feminization Through Flexible Labor: A Theme Revisited’, World Development 27:3, 1999. 7 There is sizeable mainstream literature arguing that new technology has altered the nature of work by adding intangible organizational assets to the production process; see Erik Brynjolfsson and Lorin Hitt, ‘Beyond Computation’, Journal of Economic Perspectives 14:4, 2000; Brynjolfsson and Hitt, ‘Computing Productivity’, MIT-Sloan Working Paper 4210–01, 2003; Brynjolfsson, Hitt, and Shinkyu Yang, ‘Intangible Assets’, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity: Macroeconomics, vol. 1, 2002; Timothy Bresnahan, Brynjolfsson, and Hitt, ‘Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence’, Quarterly Journal of Economics 117:1, 2002; Marshall Van Alstyne and Brynjolfsson, ‘Global Village or Cyber-Balkans’, Management Science, 2004.

Brenner, Robert, ‘What Is Good for Goldman Sachs: The Origins of the Current Crisis’, new introduction to 2009 edition of Brenner, The Economics of Global Turbulance, London: Verso. Brenner, Robert, and Mark Glick, ‘The Regulation Approach: Theory and History’, New Left Review 188, 1991, pp. 45–119. Bresnahan, Timothy, and Manuel Trajtenberg, ‘General Purpose Technologies: “Engines of Growth?” ’, NBER Working Paper No. 4148, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1992. Bresnahan, Timothy, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Loren Hitt, ‘Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence’, Quarterly Journal of Economics 117:1, 2002, pp. 339–76. Brewer, Anthony, Marxist Theories of Imperialism, 2nd ed., London: Routledge, 1990. Brownbridge, Martin, and Charles Harvey, Banking in Africa, Oxford: Currey, 1998. Bruegel, Irene, and Diane Perrons, ‘Deregulation and Women’s Employment: The Diverse Experiences of Women in Britain’, Feminist Economics 4:1, 1998, pp. 71–101.

Usher, Abbott, ‘The Early History of Deposit Banking in Mediterranean Europe’, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1943. Usher, Abbott, ‘The Origins of Banking: The Primitive Bank of Deposit, 1200–1600’ in Enterprise and Secular Change, ed. Frederic Lane and Jelle Riemersma, Homewood, IL: Richard Irwin. Originally published in Economic History Review, 1934, IV, pp. 399–428, 1953. Van Alstyne, Marshall, and Erik Brynjolfsson, ‘Global Village or Cyber-Balkans: Modeling and Measuring the Integration of Electronic Communities’, Management Science, 2004. Van Els, Peter, Alberto Locarno, Julian Morgan, and Jean-Pierre Villetelle, ‘Monetary Policy Transmission in the Euro Area: What Do Aggregate and National Structural Models Tell Us?’, Working Paper No. 94, European Central Bank, December 2001. Van Werveke, Hans, ‘Monnaie de Compte et Monnaie Réelle’, Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire 13: 1–2, 1934, pp. 123–52.


pages: 589 words: 147,053

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

8-hour work day, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, business cycle, business process, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, 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: 309 words: 91,581

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

assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, Branko Milanovic, business cycle, call centre, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Erik Brynjolfsson, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, 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, longitudinal study, 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, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, rent control, 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: 374 words: 94,508

Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage, and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage by Douglas B. Laney

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, digital twin, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, linked data, Lyft, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, profit motive, recommendation engine, RFID, semantic web, smart meter, Snapchat, software as a service, source of truth, supply-chain management, text mining, uber lyft, Y2K, yield curve

htmlfid=IMC14702USEN&appname=wwwsearch. 15 Douglas Laney, “Methods for Monetizing Your Data,” Gartner Webinar, 22 August 2015, www.gartner.com/webinar/3098518. 16 Information variety represents a greater challenge than volume or velocity because it cannot be solved simply by scaling or swapping infrastructure. 17 Sue Hildreth, “Data+ Awards: Florida Youth Welfare Agency Pinpoints Aid with BI,” Computerworld, 26 August 2013, www.computerworld.com/article/2483944/enterprise-applications/data--awards--florida-youth-welfare-agency-pinpoints-aid-with-bi.html. 18 “Cashing in on Improved Profitability through Pattern Detection and Big Data Analytics,” emcien.com, 2015, http://emcien.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/NCR-Success-Story.pdf. 19 Denise Winterman, “Tesco: How One Supermarket Came to Dominate,” BBC News Magazine, 09 September 2013, www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23988795. 20 “Data Analytics Solution Used to Optimize Refrigerators and Reduce Energy Costs in Grocery Stores,” ibm.com, www-03.ibm.com/software/businesscasestudies/mx/es/corp. 21 “FleetRisk Advisors Helps Clients Reduce Accident Rates and Driver Turnover,” IBM, accessed 09 February 2017, http://presidionwp.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/FleetRisk.pdf. 22 IBM, “FleetRisk Advisors.” 23 Andrew McAffee, and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Big Data: The Management Revolution,” Harvard Business Review, October 2012, http://hbr.org/2012/10/big-data-the-management-revolution/ar/2. 24 Passur.com, accessed 09 February 2017, www.passur.com/success-stories-airlines.htm. 25 “IBM Enables Infinity Property & Casualty Insurance to Combat Fraud,” youtube.com, uploaded 05 May 2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoFYo60rlC0. 26 James Taylor, “Putting Predictive Analytics to Work at Infinity Insurance,” JT on EDM, 15 September 2009, http://jtonedm.com/2009/09/15/putting-predictive-analytics-to-work-at-infinity-insurance/. 27 Lyndsey Gilpin, “How an Algorithm Detected the Ebola Outbreak a Week Early, and What It Could Do Next,” TechRepublic, 26 August 2014, www.techrepublic.com/article/how-an-algorithm-detected-the-ebola-outbreak-a-week-early-and-what-it-could-do-next/. 28 Zoe Schlanger, “An Algorithm Spotted the Ebola Outbreak Nine Days before WHO Announced It,” Newsweek, 11 August 2014, www.newsweek.com/algorithm-spotted-ebola-outbreak-9-days-who-announced-it-263875. 29 “2016 Zika Outbreak,” healthmap.org, accessed 09 February 2017, www.healthmap.org/zika/#timeline. 30 “Case Study | Improving Forecast Accuracy with Prevederé Software,” prevedere.com, 2013, www.prevedere.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CaseStudy-ADS.pdf. 31 “Clinical Pathways,” openclinical.org, accessed 09 February 2017, www.openclinical.org/clinicalpathways.html. 32 “The Journey from Volume to Value-Based Care Starts Here,” ayasdi.com, accessed 09 February 2017, www.ayasdi.com/applications/clinical-variation/. 33 “The Science of Clinical Carepaths,” ayasdi.com, 11 February 2015, www.ayasdi.com/blog/bigdata/the-science-of-clincial-carepaths/. 34 Dr.

However, in the current information-driven society and increasingly digitalized world, sentiments are shifting from the economics of tangible assets to the economics of information—“infonomics”—and other intangible assets. I have relegated the examination of information economics toward the end of this book, not just because it is the “-nomics” in the “infonomics” portmanteau, but because it is opening a portal to an unexplored universe of ideas. Thought leaders like Barb Wixom and Erik Brynjolfsson at MIT have researched and taught on monetizing information and the information economy, and UCSD’s Jim Short is researching data valuation. Others like Gartner’s Andrew White, Alan Duncan, Alan Dayley, and Brian Lowans, along with practitioners including John Ladley, James Price, Tony Fisher, Thomas Redman, Kelle O’Neal, Danette McGilvray, Theresa Kushner, Maria Villar, and Rob Hillard, have been pushing the envelope on how to manage information more like an asset.


pages: 255 words: 92,719

All Day Long: A Portrait of Britain at Work by Joanna Biggs

Anton Chekhov, bank run, banking crisis, call centre, Chelsea Manning, credit crunch, David Graeber, Desert Island Discs, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, future of work, G4S, glass ceiling, industrial robot, job automation, land reform, low skilled workers, mittelstand, Northern Rock, payday loans, Right to Buy, Second Machine Age, six sigma, Steve Jobs, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, wages for housework, Wall-E

Henry Ford doubled his workers pay to $5 a day in 1914, the legend goes, so that his workers could afford what they made (Ford may also have been encouraging them to quit less often); Bob Crow used to ask how robots were going to be able to buy the cars they make. But who owns the robots? A new robot costs between £30,000 and £50,000. Who gets the robots’ share of a company’s profit? We might be happy to let robots heave car bonnets, but less so to have them looking after our children. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argue in The Second Machine Age (2014) that while robots can take on routine tasks, even writing simple share price reports successfully, they have trouble with non-routine tasks, both of thinking and doing. They’re not good hair-dressers, care workers, handymen, poets, financial analysts and cooks. They can’t write software, or come up with a scientific hypothesis, or sniff out a story.

The figures for workers at Swindon in 1965 were taken from an English Heritage Conservation Bulletin, the current figures from The Manufacturer, the ratio of robots to workers was drawn from articles in the Financial Times and The Manufacturer. Bob Crow shared his view on robots during a Lunch with the FT interview of 25 March 2011, and the price of a robot was taken from the FT. My account of what robots can and can’t do comes from Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAffee’s The Second Machine Age (Norton, 2014). The video introducing the idea of ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’ can be seen on Novara Media’s YouTube channel. Selling I’ve drawn my account of Belfast’s markets from the Belfast City tourism website and a short BBC archive film from 1959, ‘Roving Reporter: Smithfield Market’, available online. I took details of the Herring Moratorium of the late 1970s from an article in Fishing News of 12 February 1999 and the date of the Common Fisheries Policy from a European Parliament publication ‘The Common Fisheries Policy: A Practical Guide’.


pages: 606 words: 87,358

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

"Robert Solow", 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, Kickstarter, 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: 323 words: 90,868

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

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business cycle, 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, disruptive innovation, 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, 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, post-work, 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 Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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

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 and hold, 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, 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, Mitch Kapor, 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, uber lyft, 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: 324 words: 96,491

Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News by Clint Watts

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Manning, Climatic Research Unit, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Julian Assange, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

The best intentions and perceived outcomes shine bright with each advancement in information technology. The internet’s open system led to niche repositories for highly specialized information appealing to smaller audiences distributed around the world. Chris Anderson of Wired magazine famously detailed this phenomenon from a business perspective in his book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More. Building from the research of Erik Brynjolfsson, Yu (Jeffrey) Hu, and Michael D. Smith, Anderson explained how online access creates not just lower prices but increased product variety. In the pre-internet era, where traditional local markets offered only a small range of high-selling goods, the World Wide Web offered an opportunity for things like books, music, and homemade goods to be sold at lower volumes over an extended period. The “long tail” referred to a high-frequency power distribution.

The heading of one of his chapters was “The Paradise of Choice: We are entering an era of unprecedented choice. And that’s a good thing.” Anderson was right about the internet bringing us together, but his optimism about preference has not been borne out. Unlimited variety and choice have somehow divided us, made us angry for reasons we can’t explain and bitter toward our own countrymen, friends, and family who don’t share our preferences. Similarly, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, in their 2017 book Machine, Platform, Crowd, describe how modern crowds, empowered by smartphone technology, now contribute to the knowledge of society and can work together to identify solutions. They explain how, before barriers were lowered with the internet, societal elites and their institutions maintained collections of knowledge that they used to power their products and further their agendas.


pages: 379 words: 99,340

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Ayatollah Khomeini, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, business cycle, citizen journalism, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, dark matter, David Graeber, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, housing crisis, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, job-hopping, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, Port of Oakland, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, too big to fail, traveling salesman, University of East Anglia, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, young professional

A very different logic now seems to be at work – innovation has caused an atomization of demand, and atomized demand has driven ever faster rates of innovation in nearly all fields of economic activity. It is not an illusion that life today feels like a sequential wrestling with one new thing after another, in a vertiginous cycle of change. 6.5 Rate of adoption of new products, 1900-2005[146] In Race Against the Machine, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee conjectured that this frenzy of innovation has been a major reason for the stagnant economic growth since 2008. “The root of our problems is not that we’re in a Great Recession or a Great Stagnation, but rather that we are in the early throes of a Great Restructuring,” they argued. “Our technologies are racing ahead but many of our skills and organizations are lagging behind.”

[144] “74% want to audit the Federal Reserve,” Rasmussen Reports, November 8, 2013, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/general_business/november_2013/74_want_to_audit_the_federal_reserve, and “US investors trust financial adviser over Bernanke, survey finds,” SmartBrief, February 7, 2012, http://www.smartbrief.com/02/07/12/us-investors-trust-financial-advisers-over-bernanke-survey-finds#.UpNjicTkv75. [145] My photo. [146] Copyright: New York Times, Nicolas Felton, illustrator. [147] 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, (Digital Frontier Press, 2011), 9, 40. [148] Tony Elwin, “The Cost of Culture, a 50% turnover of the Fortune 500,” http://www.tobyelwin.com/ the-cost-of-culture-a-50-turnover-of-the-fortune-500/. [149] “Creative Destruction Whips Through Corporate America,” Innosight, Winter 2012, http://www.innosight.com/innovation-resources/strategy-innovation/upload/creative-destruction-whips-through-corporate-america_final2012.pdf


pages: 336 words: 95,773

The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials' Economic Future by Joseph C. Sternberg

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, centre right, corporate raider, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, job-hopping, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, unpaid internship, women in the workforce

Like any good upper crust, the creative class would feel a sense of noblesse oblige toward its inferiors: “To build true social cohesion,” Florida warned, “the members of the Creative Class will need to offer those in other classes a tangible vision of ways to improve their own lives by becoming part of the Creative Economy or, at the very least, by reaping some of its rewards.” More recently, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s influential 2014 book The Second Machine Age argued that the American economy inevitably will be characterized by a “bounty” of fabulous economic gains for workers and entrepreneurs with the right skills, but also a widening “spread” between those winners and the growing army of losers whose jobs will disappear under a tidal wave of technological change.32 That book won approving reviews or front-cover blurbs from public figures many Millennials have grown up respecting, such as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, and someone whose job title is “chief maverick” at Wired magazine.

Kahn, “The Long-Term Labor Market Consequences of Graduating From College in a Bad Economy,” Labour Economics 17, no. 2 (April 2010). 30. Philip Oreopoulos, Till von Wachter, and Andrew Heisz, “The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession,” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 4, no. 1 (2012). 31. Richard Florida, “Preface to the Original Edition,” in The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited (New York: Basic Books, 2012). 32. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: Norton, 2014). 33. Tyler Cowen, Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (New York: Plume, 2013). 34. Paul Beaudry, David A. Green, and Benjamin M. Sand, “The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks,” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 18901, March 2013. 35.


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

We offer this as a speculative example that imagines what Ayesha’s work would have looked like had she followed through on working with CrowdFlower. We hope this drives home the point that getting a sense of this labor is hard because of the constant churn among workers and the challenges of seeing and following the workers behind ghost work. [back] 9. 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); Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution (New York: Penguin, 2017); 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, 2012). [back] 10. Tarleton Gillespie, Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018), 18–19.


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

AI winter, call centre, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, demand response, discovery of DNA, disruptive innovation, 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, 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: 419 words: 109,241

A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, precariat, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor, working-age population, Y Combinator

Labor Market: Implications for Employment and Earnings,” Center for American Progress (April 2010); David Autor and David Dorn, “The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market,” American Economic Review 103, no. 5 (2013): 1553–97; and Maarten Goos and Alan Manning, “Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain,” Review of Economics and Statistics 89, no. 1 (2007): 119–33. 19.  For the 0.01 percent statistic, see Emmanuel Saez, “Striking It Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States,” published online at https://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/ (2016). For the “super-star bias,” see Erik Brynjolfsson, “AI and the Economy,” lecture at the Future of Life Institute, 1 July 2017. 20.  See Acemoglu and Autor, “Skills, Tasks and Technologies,” p. 1070, n. 25. 21.  The classic statement of the ALM hypothesis is David Autor, Frank Levy, and Richard Murnane, “The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 118, no. 4 (2003): 129–333.

TASK ENCROACHMENT   1.  David Deming, “The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 132, no. 4 (2017): 1593–1640.   2.  Aaron Smith and Janna Anderson, “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs: Key Findings,” Pew Research Center, 6 August 2014, available at http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/06/future-of-jobs/ (accessed August 2018).   3.  See, for instance, Erik Brynjolfsson and Tom Mitchell, “What Can Machine Learning Do? Workforce Implications,” Science 358, no 6370 (2017).   4.  John Markoff, “How Many Computers to Identify a Cat? 16,000,” New York Times, 25 June 2012.   5.  Jeff Yang, “Internet Cats Will Never Die,” CNN, 2 April 2015.   6.  Colin Caines, Florian Hoffman, and Gueorgui Kambourov, “Complex-Task Biased Technological Change and the Labor Market,” International Finance Division Discussion Papers 1192 (2017).   7.  


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, WikiLeaks

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: 401 words: 109,892

The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets by Thomas Philippon

airline deregulation, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, commoditize, crack epidemic, cross-subsidies, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, gig economy, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, intangible asset, inventory management, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, law of one price, liquidity trap, low cost airline, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, price discrimination, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

Remember the Silicon Valley adage given in Chapter 2: “If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.” We will dig deeper into the business models and growth contributions of Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft in Chapter 13. Nonetheless, the measurement of the digital economy is an active area of research, and we are likely to obtain better estimates in the near future. For instance, Erik Brynjolfsson and his co-authors (2019) have recently argued that properly accounting for Facebook’s free services could add between 5 and 10 basis points (0.05 to 0.1 percent) to our measure of growth for the US economy. Weak Investment and Weak Productivity The pattern of investment and productivity growth is inconsistent with the hypothesis of rising superstar firms, which holds efficiency gains to be the root cause of increasing concentration.

We find that the within contribution has collapsed while the reallocation contribution has become quite significant since the mid-1990s. Nonetheless, when we add them up, we get Figure 13.4: stars used to bring about seventy basis points of labor productivity growth each year (using the industry stars definition), but now it’s only forty basis points. Our results challenge the common wisdom about the stars of the new economy and shed light on the debate between Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (2014), who view digital technologies as “the most general purpose of all,” and Robert J. Gordon (2016), who is skeptical about the impact of recent innovations. Our results are perhaps less surprising for students of history. History students are well aware of biased thinking that today is different—to paraphrase Reinhart and Rogoff (2009)—and that our current stars are exceptional.


pages: 416 words: 112,268

Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Alfred Russel Wallace, Andrew Wiles, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, blockchain, brain emulation, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer vision, connected car, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, Gerolamo Cardano, ImageNet competition, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the wheel, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, positional goods, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, Thales of Miletus, The Future of Employment, Thomas Bayes, Thorstein Veblen, transport as a service, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, zero-sum game

Historically, most mainstream economists have argued from the “big picture” view: automation increases productivity, so, as a whole, humans are better off, in the sense that we enjoy more goods and services for the same amount of work. Economic theory does not, unfortunately, predict that each human will be better off as a result of automation. Generally, automation increases the share of income going to capital (the owners of the housepainting robots) and decreases the share going to labor (the ex-housepainters). The economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, in The Second Machine Age, argue that this has already been happening for several decades. Data for the United States are shown in figure 9. They indicate that between 1947 and 1973, wages and productivity increased together, but after 1973, wages stagnated even while productivity roughly doubled. Brynjolfsson and McAfee call this the Great Decoupling. Other leading economists have also sounded the alarm, including Nobel laureates Robert Shiller, Mike Spence, and Paul Krugman; Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum; and Larry Summers, former chief economist of the World Bank and Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton.

., “Artificial intelligence and life in 2030,” One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence, report of the 2015 Study Panel, 2016. 49. The media-fueled argument between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg: Peter Holley, “Billionaire burn: Musk says Zuckerberg’s understanding of AI threat ‘is limited,’” The Washington Post, July 25, 2017. 50. On the value of search engines to individual users: Erik Brynjolfsson, Felix Eggers, and Avinash Gannamaneni, “Using massive online choice experiments to measure changes in well-being,” working paper no. 24514, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2018. 51. Penicillin was discovered several times and its curative powers were described in medical publications, but no one seems to have noticed. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_penicillin. 52. For a discussion of some of the more esoteric risks from omniscient, clairvoyant AI systems, see David Auerbach, “The most terrifying thought experiment of all time,” Slate, July 17, 2014. 53.


pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, business cycle, 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, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, 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.


pages: 397 words: 112,034

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

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, 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, WikiLeaks, 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: 114,984

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

"Robert Solow", 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, disruptive innovation, 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, Kickstarter, 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: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

Back in 1995, astronomers in Chile: Public Information Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “Boomerang Nebula Boasts Coolest Spot in the Universe,” June 20, 1997. For the official NASA/JPL release, see: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/releases/97/coldspot.html. IBM’s Deep Blue: Luke Harding and Leonard Barden, “Deep Blue Win a Giant Step for Computerkind,” Guardian, May 12, 2011. Transistor power: Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age (W.W. Norton and Co., 2014), p. 49. Moore’s Law has been slowing down: Lieven Eeckhout, “Is Moore’s Law Slowing Down? What Next?, IEEE Micro 37, no. 4: 4–5. “Moore’s Law was not the first”: Kurzweil, “Law of Accelerating Returns.” Apple’s recent A12 Bionic: See: https://www.apple.com/iphone-xs/a12-bionic/. Rose’s Law: Tim Ferriss does a good job overviewing this idea and its history here: https://tim.blog/2018/05/31/steve-jurvetson/.

Dragon TV: Matt McFarland, “What Happened When a Chinese TV Station Replaced Its Meteorologist with a Chatbot,” Washington Post, January 12, 2016. consider the service economy: John Ward, “The Services Sector: How Best to Measure It?,” International Trade Organization, October 2010. forty-three different types of traffic signs: To track the progress in machine learning, Wikipedia has a useful chart here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_machine_learning. See also: Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, Machine Platform Crowd (Norton, 2017), pp. 66–86. AI-piloted drone: For a demo, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsfkGlSajHQ. AI assistant named Duplex: See: https://ai.googleblog.com/2018/05/duplex-ai-system-for-natural-conversation.html. Google’s Talk to Books: See: https://experiments.withgoogle.com/talk-to-books. Japan’s national literary: Chloe Olewitz, “A Japanese AI Program Just Wrote a Short Novel, and It Almost Won a Literary Prize,” Digital Trends, March 23, 2016.


pages: 144 words: 43,356

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

"Robert Solow", 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, hedonic treadmill, 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: 504 words: 126,835

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

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, American ideology, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, business cycle, 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, laissez-faire capitalism, 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 Rise and Fall of American Growth, 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, uber lyft, 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: 494 words: 116,739

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

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, longitudinal study, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

To some observers, like Peter H. Diamondis and Steven Kotler, there is no reason to worry: the digital revolution will solve capitalism’s crisis and soon re-create the system better than ever. “Within a generation,” they write, “we will be able to provide goods and services, once reserved for the wealthy few, to any and all who need them. Or desire them. Abundance for all is actually within our grasp.”18 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee make a more nuanced case that depends upon policy changes. Boiled down, though, the argument goes that while digital technologies may contribute to the current crisis of capitalism, they will also lead soon enough to a glorious future for capitalism, a “third industrial revolution.”19 They are correct that we have the technological and material capacity to do far better, both quantitatively and qualitatively, than we are currently doing.20 However, the notion that such improvements can be accomplished under really existing capitalism is, to be polite, unconvincing.21 It is here that one of Karl Marx’s greatest and most lasting insights moves to the fore.

Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds,” Working Paper #18315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Aug. 2012, nber.org/papers/w18315. 16. Compustat North America, Fundamentals Annual; Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), University of Pennsylvania (retrieved June 4, 2012). 17. Andrew J. Sherman, Harvesting Intangible Assets (New York: Amacom, 2012), xi. 18. Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (New York: The Free Press, 2012), 9. 19. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier Press, 2011), 76. 20. Jeremy Rifkin was on to this at the beginning of the digital era. See Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995). A recent book that takes a hard look at the revolutionary potential of technology for manufacturing is Peter Marsh, The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers, Globalization and the End of Mass Production (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012). 21.


pages: 477 words: 135,607

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

"Robert Solow", air freight, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, business cycle, 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, Jones Act, 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

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, disruptive innovation, 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, 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, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, 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: 462 words: 129,022

People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, greed is good, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, late fees, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, two-sided market, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, working-age population

I have been involved in a number of antitrust suits, trying to preserve competition in the American economy, and the insights of Keith Leffler, Michael Cragg, David Hutchings, and Andrew Abere have been invaluable. My understanding of the role these market imperfections have in labor markets has been enhanced by Mark Stelzner and Alan Krueger. The discussions of new technologies have been particularly influenced by my coauthor Anton Korinek; on artificial intelligence, by Erik Brynjolfsson, Shane Legg of DeepMind, Mark Sagar of Soul Machines, and a dinner on AI at the Royal Society after my lecture there on the subject of work and AI. Yochai Benkler, Julia Angwin, and Zeynep Tüfekçi have contributed to my understanding of the special issues posed by disinformation. As I return to the issues of globalization, I need to thank Dani Rodrik as well as Danny Quah, Rohinton Medhora, and Mari Pangestu; and on the role of globalization in tax avoidance, Mark Pieth and the Independent Commission for Reform of International Corporate Taxation, chaired by José Antonio Ocampo, on which I serve.

These experts believe there is a 50 percent chance of AI outperforming humans in all tasks in 45 years. See Katja Grace, John Salvatier, Allan Dafoe, Baobao Zhang, and Owain Evans, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (2018), arXiv:1705.08807. 5.See Carl B. Frey and Michael A. Osborne, “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 114 (2017): 254–80. Also see the book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race against the Machine (Lexington: Digital Frontier Press, 2011). 6.For one version of this story, see “Difference Engine: Luddite Legacy,” The Economist, Nov. 4, 2011. 7.See Stiglitz, The Great Divide, 393–403, based on earlier research by Domenico Delli Gatti, Mauro Gallegati, Bruce Greenwald, Alberto Russo, and me, “Mobility Constraints, Productivity Trends, and Extended Crises,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 83, no. 3 (2012): 375–93; and “Sectoral Imbalances and Long Run Crises,” in The Global Macro Economy and Finance, eds.


pages: 193 words: 47,808

The Flat White Economy by Douglas McWilliams

"Robert Solow", access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, 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, Kickstarter, 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: 204 words: 53,261

The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Z. Muller

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Chelsea Manning, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deskilling, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, intangible asset, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, performance metric, price mechanism, RAND corporation, school choice, Second Machine Age, selection bias, Steven Levy, total factor productivity, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

Connable, Embracing the Fog of War, p. 29. CHAPTER 12. BUSINESS AND FINANCE 1. http://www.simon.rochester.edu/fac/misra/mkt_salesforce.pdf. 2. Barry Gruenberg, “The Happy Worker: An Analysis of Educational and Occupational Differences in Determinants of Job Satisfaction,” American Journal of Sociology 86 (1980), pp. 247–71, esp. pp. 267–68, quoted in Kohn, Punishment by Rewards, p. 131. 3. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York, 2014). 4. Dan Cable and Freck Vermeulen, “Why CEO Pay Should Be 100% Fixed,” Harvard Business Review (February 23, 2016). 5. Madison Marriage and Aliya Ram, “Two Top Asset Managers Drop Staff Bonuses,” Financial Times, August 22, 2016. 6. Jeffrey Preffer and Robert I.


pages: 222 words: 53,317

Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman

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: 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: 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

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, business cycle, 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, 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: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Cars may have many more gadgets and comforts than they did in the 1970s, but congestion means that people do not travel any faster; the average speed of traffic in central London in 2015 was 7.4mph, on a par with a horse-drawn carriage in the 18th century.20 Aeroplane travel is cheaper than it used to be, but less comfortable (legroom is restricted), and the experiment with supersonic flight was abandoned. And there have been no new household gadgets in the last 40 years to rival the fridge, the vacuum or the microwave for convenience, not to mention the boost to human comfort and hygiene brought by indoor plumbing. A more optimistic view, taken by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT, is that the full benefits of the internet and other technologies such as machine learning, have yet to come through.21 Such is the speed of modern communication that 90% of all digital data was created in the last 24 months. Technology is reducing coordination costs through search engines, cheap communication networks and free information. That allows companies to outsource tasks to the cheapest and most efficient providers.

Adam Gale, “Will Mark Zuckerberg’s mobile-first strategy make Facebook bigger than Google?”, Management Today, July 28th 2016 18. Robert J. Gordon, “The demise of US economic growth: restatement, rebuttal, and reflections”, NBER working paper 19895 19. Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, op. cit. 20. Amie Gordon and Tom Rawstorne, “Traffic is slower than a horse drawn carriage”, Daily Mail, October 16th 2016 21. Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future 22. “DeepMind AI reduces Google data centre cooling bill by 40%”, https://deepmind.com/blog/deepmind-ai-reduces-google-data-centre-cooling-bill-40/ 23. Nathan Rosenberg, Exploring the Black Box: Technology, Economics, and History 24. Ami Sedghi, “Facebook: 10 years of social networking, in numbers”, The Guardian, February 4th 2014 25.


pages: 470 words: 148,730

Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems by Abhijit V. Banerjee, Esther Duflo

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, charter city, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, experimental subject, facts on the ground, fear of failure, financial innovation, George Akerlof, high net worth, immigration reform, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, land reform, loss aversion, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open economy, Paul Samuelson, place-making, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, smart meter, social graph, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, urban sprawl, very high income, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K

ONE FOR THE LUDDITES An increasing number of economists (and of those who comment on economics) worry that new technologies, such as AI, robots, and automation more generally, will destroy more jobs than they create, making many workers obsolete and causing the share of GDP that goes to pay wages to dwindle. In fact, these days growth optimists and labor pessimists are often the same people; they both imagine future growth will be primarily driven by the replacement of human workers by robots. In their book The Second Machine Age, our MIT colleagues Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee offer a bleak view of the impact of digitization on the future of employment in the United States.3 Digitization, they suspect, will make workers with “ordinary” skills increasingly redundant. As tasks from car painting to spreadsheet manipulation are done by computers or robots, highly educated workers who are adaptable and can program and install the robots will become more and more valuable, but other workers who can be replaced will find themselves without jobs unless they accept extremely low salaries.

Evidence from Randomized Variation of Sales Offers for Improved Cookstoves in Uganda,” Journal of the European Economic Association 16, no. 6 (2018): 1850–80; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Puneet Dwivedi, Robert Bailis, Lynn Hildemann, and Grant Miller, “Low Demand for Nontraditional Cookstove Technology,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, no. 27 (2012): 10815–20. 37 Rema Hanna, Esther Duflo, and Michael Greenstone, “Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves,” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 8, no. 1 (2016): 80–114. 38 Abhijit V. Banerjee, Selvan Kumar, Rohini Pande, and Felix Su, “Do Voters Make Informed Choices? Experimental Evidence from Urban India,” working paper, 2010. CHAPTER 7. PLAYER PIANO 1 Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1952). 2 Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965). 3 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2014). 4 David H. Autor, “Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 29, no. 3 (2015): 3–30. 5 Ellen Fort, “Robots Are Making $6 Burgers in San Francisco,” Eater San Francisco, June, 21, 2018. 6 Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi, “How Many of Your Daily Tasks Could Be Automated?


pages: 199 words: 56,243

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, cloud computing, El Camino Real, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, Jeff Bezos, longitudinal study, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple

Chapter 2: Your Title Makes You a Manager. Your People Make You a Leader. 1.Fariborz Damanpour, “Organizational Innovation: A Meta-Analysis of Effects of Determinants and Moderators,” Academy of Management Journal 34, no. 3 (September 1991): 555–90; Brian Uzzi and Jarrett Spiro, “Collaboration and Creativity: The Small World Problem,” American Journal of Sociology 111, no. 2 (September 2005): 447–504. 2.Nicholas Bloom, Erik Brynjolfsson, Lucia Foster, Ron S. Jarmin, Megha Patnaik, Itay Saporta-Eksten, and John Van Reenen, “What Drives Differences in Management,” Centre for Economic Performance Research discussion paper, No. DP11995 (April 2017). 3.Ethan Mollick, “People and Process, Suits and Innovators: The Role of Individuals in Firm Performance,” Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 9 (January 2012): 1001–15. 4.Linda A.


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, 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 pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, 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, reshoring, 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, telepresence, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, 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: 523 words: 61,179

Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI by Paul R. Daugherty, H. James Wilson

3D printing, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, friendly AI, future of work, industrial robot, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lyft, natural language processing, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, software as a service, speech recognition, telepresence, telepresence robot, text mining, the scientific method, uber lyft

From the manufacturing floor to the back office to the individual, Paul and James offer wonderfully approachable and actionable insight into the changing nature of work.” — GRADY BOOCH, Chief Scientist for Software Engineering, IBM Research; IBM Fellow “Human + Machine shines new light on our burning need to reinvent nearly everything about the way we work. Daugherty and Wilson have hands-on experience leading these changes, giving this book an exceptional level of credibility and insight. Have your whole team read it before your competitors do!” — ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON, Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; coauthor, The Second Machine Age and Machine, Platform, Crowd “A must-read for business managers who know AI should be a big part of their job but find the topic intimidating and confusing.” — MISSY CUMMINGS, professor, Pratt School of Engineering; Director, Humans and Autonomy Laboratory, Duke University “We are in an era of digital Darwinism, where technologies are evolving faster than businesses can adapt.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

They have to take responsibility for training the people they need for the jobs of the future. “If there’s going to be a competitive workforce,” he continued, “we need to be at the leading edge of who is going to create that.” The question is not whether there will be enough work to go around, but the best means by which to fairly distribute the proceeds of the productivity made possible by the WTF? technologies of what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee call “the second machine age.” Reducing working hours for the same amount of pay is one of the most fundamental ways that the benefits of rising productivity have traditionally been distributed more widely. In 1870, the average American (male) worked 62 hours per week; by 1960, that number was down to just over 40 hours, where it has roughly hovered since. Yet our material standard of living is far higher.

Benedict Evans, Margaret Levi, Laura Tyson, James Manyika, and Kevin Kelly—you also saved me from some egregious errors and omissions, and your challenges to my thinking clarified it. Jay Schaefer, Mike Loukides, and Laurent Haug, your close reading and comments strengthened both my ideas and my writing. Sunil Paul, Logan Green, Kim Rachmeler, Matt Cutts, Danny Sullivan, and Dave Guarino, you filled in critical details and context for key moments in this history. Satya Nadella, Reid Hoffman, Jeff Immelt, Peter Schwartz, Peter Bloom, Andy McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson, David Autor, Larry Katz, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Sebastian Thrun, Yann LeCun, Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, Mike George, Rana Foroohar, Robin Chase, David Rolf, Andy Stern, Natalie Foster, Betsy Masiello, Jonathan Hall, Lior Ron, Paul Buchheit, Sam Altman, Esther Kaplan, Carrie Gleason, Zeynep Ton, Mikey Dickerson, Wael Ghonim, Tim Hwang, Henry Farrell, Amy Sellars, Mike McCloskey, Hank Green, Brandon Stanton, Jack Conte, Limor Fried, Phil Torrone, Seth Sternberg, Palak Shah, Keller Rinaudo, Stephane Kasriel, Bryan Johnson, Patrick Collison, Roy Bahat, Paddy Cosgrave, Steven Levy, Lauren Smiley, Bess Hochstein, Nat Torkington, Clay Shirky, Lawrence Wilkinson, Jessi Hempel, Mark Burgess, Carl Page, Maggie Shiels, Adam Davidson, and Winnie King, you also gave me the gift of your time and insight during the research and writing that led up to this book.


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, 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, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, 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, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, 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: 237 words: 64,411

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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, bank run, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Brian Krebs, business cycle, 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: 235 words: 62,862

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

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, 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.


Work in the Future The Automation Revolution-Palgrave MacMillan (2019) by Robert Skidelsky Nan Craig

3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, anti-work, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data is the new oil, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, post-work, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, wealth creators, working poor

A minority will be able to race with the machines in the knowledge economy. But a substantial fraction will be ‘left behind’. What is to happen to them? Already, the ‘left behind’ symptoms, and reactions to them, can be seen in increasingly precarious employment, stagnant or even falling wages, and populist protests against both automation and one of its chief agents, globalisation. Even if these distempers are only temporary effects Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. 15 2 The Future of Work 21 of the displacement of labour, optimists themselves concede that the transition period may last decades. Thus, the idea that a supply shock like automation will automatically set in motion acceptable compensatory demand or complementary supply responses seems to me to be pure delusion.


pages: 265 words: 74,807

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

Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Chris Urmson, digital map, disruptive innovation, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, low earth orbit, 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).


pages: 280 words: 74,559

Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani

"Robert Solow", autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, computer vision, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, G4S, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, land reform, liberal capitalism, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post scarcity, post-work, price mechanism, price stability, private space industry, Productivity paradox, profit motive, race to the bottom, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, working-age population

Even with these growth areas in mind, however, the overall picture of job losses due to automation makes standing still seem wildly optimistic. The Future of Work Not everyone agrees that progress will lead to peak human in the Third Disruption as the steam engine and fossil fuels led to peak horse in the Second. Indeed, two of the leading voices in the field of work and technological change, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, believe value will instead increasingly derive from the generation of new ideas. So while anything repetitive may well be automated or significantly augmented by machines, the uniquely human skills of creativity and emotional connection will underpin the jobs of tomorrow. This may well prove the case in some areas but surely not for a world of nearly 10 billion people. No doubt some new professions will expand – like solar cell engineer and wind turbine technician – while uniquely creative vocations, like chef or interior designer, will abide longer than others.


pages: 264 words: 76,643

The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations by David Pilling

Airbnb, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Branko Milanovic, call centre, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Hangouts, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, off grid, old-boy network, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, performance metric, pez dispenser, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, science of happiness, shareholder value, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

An iPhone is not just a piece of equipment, but also a means of connecting to networks of friends and business associates and of accessing information. “I think the real value is many thousands of dollars per person,” says Gavyn Davies. “That’s a humongous mismeasurement of the value that the iPhone has brought to most human beings.” Most experts agree that, because of these technological upheavals, national accounts underestimate economic growth. But estimates differ widely—not to say wildly—as to how much. Erik Brynjolfsson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology noted in 2012 that the information sector accounted for the same official share of GDP in the US—about 4 percent—as it had done a quarter of a century earlier. This is implausible, to put it politely. Many people have taken a stab at calculating what we are missing in the official figures. Methods vary.6 They include attaching an hourly wage to the time we spend on the Internet, estimated at $22 in one Google study, since that was the average US wage at the time.7 Brynjolfsson and a colleague, JooHee Oh, conducted their own exercise.


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

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, disruptive innovation, 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, 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: 268 words: 75,850

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

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, disruptive innovation, 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, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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: 257 words: 76,785

Shorter by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

8-hour work day, airport security, Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, centre right, cloud computing, colonial rule, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, game design, gig economy, Henri Poincaré, IKEA effect, iterative process, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, means of production, neurotypical, performance metric, race to the bottom, remote working, Second Machine Age, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, women in the workforce, young professional, zero-sum game

Automation in radiology and surgery are the subjects of enormous literatures; for recent reviews, see Ahmed Hosny et al., “Artificial Intelligence in Radiology,” Nature Reviews Cancer 18 (August 2018): 500–510, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6268174; Brian S. Peters et al., “Review of Emerging Surgical Robotic Technology,” Surgical Endoscopy 32, no. 4 (2018): 1636–1655, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-018-6079-2. Likewise, the literature on automation, robotics, and the future of work is vast; Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: Norton, 2014) and Martin Ford, Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (New York: Basic Books, 2015) provide accessible introductions to the subject. The Spread of the Movement. Bob Baumhower is quoted in “Alabama’s Aloha Hospitality Launches 4-Day Workweek,” AL.com, March 28, 2019, www.al.com/press-releases/2018/10/alabamas_aloha_hospitality_lau.html.


pages: 286 words: 79,305

99%: Mass Impoverishment and How We Can End It by Mark Thomas

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, business cycle, call centre, central bank independence, complexity theory, conceptual framework, creative destruction, credit crunch, declining real wages, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, gravity well, income inequality, inflation targeting, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Own Your Own Home, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, wealth creators, working-age population

Some recent reports suggest that, nevertheless, there will be no shortage of jobs, at least not by 2030 – the extra wealth created by the robots will generate enough demand to employ everyone.28 This might be true if a) the extra wealth were to be spread amongst the entire population so that they could all contribute to increased demand, and b) the extra demand cannot be met by automated supply. Neither of these assumptions sounds robust, especially when we start looking out as far as 2050. As Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of The Second Machine Age, has pointed out: There’s no economic law that says, ‘You will always create enough jobs or the balance will always be even’, it’s possible for a technology to dramatically favour one group and to hurt another group, and the net of that might be that you have fewer jobs.29 It is more plausible that tens or even hundreds of millions of people will be unable to find work – and unless we change the system, they will be workless in a very hostile environment.


pages: 491 words: 77,650

Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy by Jeremias Prassl

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market friction, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Singh, software as a service, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two tier labour market, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, working-age population

Job losses would be concentrated at the bottom end of the labour market: ‘[C]omputerisation will mainly substitute for low-skill and low- wage jobs . . . most workers in transportation and logistics occupations, together with the bulk of administrative and support workers, and labour in production occupations, are at risk.’6 We have seen how the spread of the gig economy has affected a wide range of industries—but it’s clear that most platform-based work, from Uber drivers and Deliveroo cyclists to Turkers entering data and Taskers coming to clean your flat, is concentrated right in Frey and Osborne’s risk * * * The End of Work? 137 zone. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) agree that technological progress will have a starkly polarizing impact on the labour market: There’s never been a better time to be a worker with special skills or the right education, because these people can use technology to create and capture value. However, there’s never been a worse time to be a worker with only ‘ordinary’ skills and abilities to offer, because computers, robots, and other digital tech- nologies are acquiring these skills and abilities at an extraordinary rate.7 The predictions, then, seem clear: given the exponential growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the gig economy is but a transitional phenomenon, with the majority of low-skill platform-based work soon to be handed over to algorithms and robots.


pages: 266 words: 87,411

The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed by Carl Honore

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Broken windows theory, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, drone strike, Enrique Peñalosa, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Exxon Valdez, fundamental attribution error, game design, income inequality, index card, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, lateral thinking, lone genius, medical malpractice, microcredit, Netflix Prize, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty

Wang et al, “Contemplation and Conversation: Subtle Influences on Moral Decision Making,” Academy of Management Journal, Volume 55, Number 1 (2012), pp. 13–33. Chapter 4 – Think Holistic: Joining the Dots 10 per cent of US high schools produce nearly half the dropouts: “Turning Around the Dropout Factories: Increasing the High School Graduation Rate,” a 2012 report from the US Department of Education. For every dollar spent on new technology: Based on research by Erik Brynjolfsson, a productivity expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. Chapter 5 – Think Long: Tackling Tomorrow Today Recidivism rates in Norway, etc: William Lee Adams, “Sentenced to Serving the Good Life in Norway,” Time, 12 July 2010; Bouke Wartna and Laura Nijssen, “National Reconviction Rates: Making International Comparisons,” Criminology in Europe, Volume 5, Number 3 (December 2006), p. 14.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Ben Goldacre, ‘Foreword’, Bad Pharma: How Medicine is Broken, and How We Can Fix it Fourth Estate: London, 2013. 54. When a peer-reviewed survey of scientists . . . Daniele Fanelli, ‘How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data’, PLOS One, 29 May 2009. 55. Data was hailed as . . . ‘The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data’, the Economist, 6 May 2017; Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, ‘Big Data: The Management Revolution’, Harvard Business Review, October 2012. 56. In an excitable piece for Wired . . . Chris Anderson, ‘The End of Theory: the Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete’, Wired, 23 June 2008. 57. The bonus of big data is . . . Carlo Ratti and Dirk Helbing, ‘The Hidden Danger of Big Data’, in Dirk Helbing, ed., Towards Digital Enlightenment: Essays on the Dark and Light Sides of the Digital Revolution, Springer: New York, 2019, p. 22. 58.


pages: 389 words: 87,758

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, business cycle, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Great Moderation, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, Zipcar

By 2025, we estimate that the GDP of Tianjin will have risen to around $625 billion—approximately that of all of Sweden.12 The second disruptive force is the acceleration in the scope, scale, and economic impact of technology. Technology—from the printing press to the steam engine and the Internet—has always been a great force in overturning the status quo. The difference today is the sheer ubiquity of technology in our lives and the speed of change. In their bestseller The Second Machine Age, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology dubbed the current era the “second half of the chessboard.” Brynjolfsson and McAfee give a modern twist to an old story about the power of exponential growth. Pleased with the invention of chess, a Chinese emperor offered the inventor his choice of prizes. At the outset, the inventor asked the emperor for a single grain of rice to be placed on the first square of the chessboard, two on the second square, four on the third, and eight on the fourth.


Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hive mind, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, lone genius, Lyft, megacity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, performance metric, precision agriculture, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed

Luke Fletcher, Seth Teller, Edwin Olson, David Moore, Yoshiaki Kuwata, Jonathan How, John Leonard, Isaac Miller, Mark Campbell, Dan Huttenlocher, Aaron Nathan, and Frank-Robert Kline, “The MIT–Cornell Collision and Why It Happened,” Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics 56:509–548. 4. Michael Belfiore, “Three Teams out of the Running at Auto-Bot Race,” Danger Room, November 3, 2007, from Wired.com, archived from the original on November 6, 2007. 5. Daniel K, “What Is Machine Learning?” Stack Overflow, http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2620343/what-is-machine-learning 6. “Kasparov Wins,” TIME Magazine, Monday, February 19, 1996. 7. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2014). 8. During the 1980s and 1990s, several pioneering researchers devised self-driving car prototypes that could drive short stretches without a human. In 1977, Tsukuba Mechanical Engineering Lab in Japan developed a computerized driverless car that achieved speeds of up to 20 mph by using machine vision to follow white street markers.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

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

3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, 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, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Nelson Mandela, 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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, 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: 327 words: 103,336

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

active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, business cycle, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, 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, Laplace demon, 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, social intelligence, 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: 400 words: 94,847

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

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, Johannes Kepler, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social intelligence, 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: 360 words: 101,038

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax

Airbnb, barriers to entry, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, creative destruction, death of newspapers, declining real wages, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, hypertext link, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Minecraft, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

The only US technology company to even crack the country’s top twenty employers is Hewlett Packard (HP), and its workforce has shrunk drastically in the past few years. HP has laid off more than fifty thousand employees since 2013, the equivalent of everyone who works for Google. “There is no economic law that says that everyone, or even most people, automatically benefit from technological progress,” wrote economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in their groundbreaking 2012 book Race Against the Machine, which highlighted the growing gap between technological progress and job creation. “The threat of technological unemployment is real.” Brynjolfsson and McAfee are not technophobes gripped by a fear of progress. They point to previous disruptions in labor during the technological leaps of the industrial and mechanized ages, and show how these eventually led to greater middle-class wealth and job creation, as productivity increased.


pages: 337 words: 103,522

The Creativity Code: How AI Is Learning to Write, Paint and Think by Marcus Du Sautoy

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrew Wiles, Automated Insights, Benoit Mandelbrot, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flash crash, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Jacquard loom, John Conway, Kickstarter, Loebner Prize, mandelbrot fractal, Minecraft, music of the spheres, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Rubik’s Cube, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

Katherine, Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious, University of Chicago Press, 2017 Hofstadter, Douglas, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Penguin Books, 1979 , Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought, Basic Books 1995 , I am a Strange Loop, Basic Books, 2007 Kasparov, Garry, Deep Thinking: Where Artificial Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins, John Murray, 2017 McAfee, Andrew and Erik Brynjolfsson, Machine Platform Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future, Norton, 2017 McCormack, Jon and Mark d’Inverno (eds.), Computers and Creativity, Springer, 2012 Monbiot, George, Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis, Verso, 2017 Montfort, Nick, World Clock, Bad Quarto, 2013 Moretti, Franco, Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History, Verso, 2005 Paul, Elliot Samuel and Scott Barry Kaufman (eds.), The Philosophy of Creativity: New Essays, OUP, 2014 Shalev-Shwartz, Shai and Shai Ben-David, Understanding Machine Learning: From Theory to Algorithms, CUP, 2014 Steels, Luc, The Talking Heads Experiment: Origins of Words and Meanings, Language Science Press, 2015 Steiner, Christopher, Automate This: How Algorithms Took Over the Markets, Our Jobs, and the World, Penguin Books, 2012 Tatlow, Ruth, Bach and the Riddle of the Number Alphabet, CUP, 1991 , Bach’s Numbers: Compositional Proportions and Significance, CUP, 2015 Tegmark, Max, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Allen Lane, 2017 Wilson, Edward O., The Origins of Creativity, Allen Lane, 2017 Yorke, John, Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey into Story, Penguin Books, 2013 Papers For papers with references to arXiv visit the open access archive of papers at https://arxiv.org/.


pages: 337 words: 101,440

Revolution Française: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation by Sophie Pedder

Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bike sharing scheme, centre right, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, ghettoisation, haute couture, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, mittelstand, new economy, post-industrial society, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Travis Kalanick, urban planning, éminence grise

He argued that the country both needed to open up to innovators and embrace these changes, but also to put in place a proper regulatory framework. Macron spent a lot of time hanging out with tech types at the time. When I interviewed him in the autumn of 2015, I asked him what he had read recently on the subject. Most French ministers would have quoted a piece of French research, or more commonly a French government report. Macron cited The Second Machine Age, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. He had a good grasp of the pace and nature of technological change, as well as its implications for jobs and society as machines hollowed out the salaried working middle. French policymakers have long tended to favour producers over consumers, and to protect incumbents from newcomers to the market. This, he judged, made it difficult for tech innovators, and needed to change.


pages: 463 words: 105,197