Artificial intelligence (AI) is overtaking our human ability to absorb and process information. Robots are becoming increasingly dexterous, flexible, and safe to be around (except the military ones). AI is our most powerful technology, and you need to understand it.
This new book from best-selling author Calum Chace argues that within a few decades, most humans will not be able to work for money. Self-driving cars will probably be the canary in the coal mine, providing a wake-up call for everyone who isn't yet paying attention. All jobs will be affected, from fast food McJobs to lawyers and journalists. This is the single most important development facing humanity in the first half of the 21st century.
The fashionable belief that universal basic income is the solution is only partly correct. We are probably going to need an entirely new economic system, and we better start planning soon - for the economic singularity!
The outcome can be very good; a world in which machines do all the boring jobs and humans do pretty much what they please. But there are major risks, which we can only avoid by being alert to the possible futures and planning how to avoid the negative ones.
©2016 Calum Chace (P)2016 Calum Chace
"Read The Economic Singularity if you want to think intelligently about the future." (Aubrey de Grey)
This piece of work was more focused than his previous work. This book was more practical and pointed then the other book; maybe it was because the discussed items directly impact me. It is more directed at economics and AI whereas the previous book was covering a broader set of material.
"The arrival of machine intelligence is also the arrival of a different kind of automation which spells the end of paid work for many or most people." ---Calum Chace
A concise, mostly accessible introduction to this topic that occasionally veers into dry text, or jargon-laden vocabulary (I almost gave up while reading sections in Chapter 3, but I'm so glad I didn't!) A bleak, frightening look into a likely future that is on the horizon. What happens when automation becomes so sophisticated (and cheaper, faster, and better) that it eliminates or fundamentally changes most of the jobs normally reserved for humans? We're not talking about low-level, physically repetitive jobs (these have already become automated: manufacturing, agriculture, some banking transactions), but all jobs throughout our society: lawyers, accounting, architects, journalists, doctors and nurses, financial consultants, teachers, TV presenters, bankers, psychiatrists, political speechwriters, etc., etc. It is not a question of if, but when, this will happen, and how quickly. Can society adapt on this scale by inventing new jobs to replace all the ones that are lost to technology? (the author is somewhat pessimistic on this score) Will the 1% that owns the A.I. help in "sharing the wealth?" (have they ever?) Will our society become a small elite of of tech gods, with the rest of us labeled as useless dead weight, struggling to eke out an impoverished existence without jobs or salaries?
To be fair, the author goes out of his way to present both sides of this issue, from "don't worry; be happy. Humans are adaptable during times of changing technologies" to "The Robots are coming! The Robots are coming!" He sites experts who claim we will live in a utopia (no work!) to ones who see a dystopian future (no money!). He does not argue that these trends toward mass automation will not come to pass; he wonders how humanity will cope/won't cope with this transition----and when: now or when the crisis is upon us.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from AudiobookBoom in exchange for an unbiased review. No robots were directly involved in the writing of this review.
First they came for the fast food workers, and I did not speak out - because I was not a fast food worker;
Then they came for the teachers, and I did not speak out - because I was not a teacher;
Then they came for the accountants, and I did not speak out - because I was not an accountant;
Then they came for the doctors, and I did not speak out - because I was not a doctor;
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me.
interesting for young people that want a perspective on the work of the future of our lives
it gives you a good perspective on the challenges to come and tools to help tackle them
10 years ago, smart phones did not exist. 25 years ago, webpages did not exist. The changes taking place in the upcoming 10 and 25 years will be dramatically more life changing. This book provides an entertaining, thought-provoking, and fairly objective description of what that journey might be like and what roles artificial intelligence may play in it. My personal thoughts are that paradoxically what is described in this book will happen both faster and slower than we expect.
Interesting ideas. Can lead to some excellent discussion. I did find it however, extremely Euro-Anglo-American-centric. There was no consideration of particularly third world population dynamics and the political impacts that may/will have. Also, highly focused on the technology to achieve the 'unemployability of most of the human race' and discussion of the implementation of a Universal Basic Income (UBI).
I felt the author failed to adequately address the larger moral and psychological issues. And a machine will NEVER have a soul. Author seemed to assume that all but the less than 10% who may descend into unhealthy addictions, will be perfectly content to just exist in their virtual reality chairs doing whatever self-absorbed activity they desire having no ability or desire to pursue anything better. Personally, I don't accept that. Perhaps it's time to reconsider distributism.
I do think the narrator did an excellent job. Appropriately smooth and kept me going.
Perhaps a read of C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength is worth considering or enjoy watching WALL-E to see what may happen to multi-generational couch potatoes.
Books books books
Among the nonfiction books on technology it's at the top.
The speculations, issues and projections in this book were so thought provoking I actually had to stop listening occasionally and think about what I just heard. Written in clear understandable language and narrated by the easy-to-listen-to Joe Hempel, this book is almost mandatory reading for anyone moving into the future, meaning, everybody! I was given a free copy of the audio book for an honest review. I'm pretty sure I would have bought this book anyway because the subject interests me and Joe Hempel rocks as a narrator.
His narration is extremely easy to listen to and follow, he never sounds boring, and his inflection makes all the content clear and understandable. He would be the best science teacher ever, the kind that everyone would want as their teacher.
No, it was too densely packed with ideas and concepts to take in all at once. It was not overly technical at all, but the economic implications of soon-to-be technology, the effect on jobs, income, education, and life style were awesome to think about.
For anyone interested in the what the near future and the more distant future will bring, who has a job that could be replaced by mechanical intelligence, or who has children that will need to prepare for the times to come, this book is a must read.
I listen for the sake of learning
Why would you read a book when you can have someone read it too you:)
Peek Horse, is an important concept that should give everyone pause. As it has to be reiterated time and time again, past performance is not proof of future performance.
A great reader, easy to listen to for hours.
"Artificial intelligence is anything a computer can't do." Some people might call that moving the goal post.
Of all his books I have listen too this is his best yet, and I am delighted I can give it a glowing review, I feel he has really developed as a writer, his voice and passion for the subject are clear, and the dedication to getting it right is evident in his adept handling of this subject. If you are knew to the subject this is a must read. If you want another lucid perspective on this important subject this is a must read.
Doesn't really establish a convincing linkage between the rise of AI and the death of capitalism.
"Predictions are very difficult, specially about the future" That said, Calum Chase makes a courages effort in predicting the effects of automation and AI on skilled jobs and the future of employment and the economy.
The author, sets assumptions and guides us through possible outcomes for the implications of AI displacing most of what are currently considered skilled jobs, even those considered safe from automation. Providing unbiased predictions from experts at both sides of the spectrum it is clear substantially less people will have jobs. While doctors and lawyers may still be needed, their jobs will change to supervising and analysing recommendations made by AI.
How this will impact society, and the global economics will depend on a future of scarcity or over-abundance. Either way, the current system is not prepared, and will have to change drastically to accommodate what will be a pandemic of purposeless and hopeless majority who will not be able to compete against Artificial Intelligence.
Good Book, recommended to those that want reasonable predictions on reasonable assumptions.
"Not bad but a bit of a slog at times"
The narrator is a bit hard work at times, slightly robotic but he does at least seem interested in the topic. The text is a bit hard going for an audio book and I did have to hit the rewind button a lot as I my mind ran off and tried to really come to terms with what I was hearing but there's some good stuff hear and it's worth it for those interested.
"Great work on the AI & Robot society choices ahead"
Quite likely, becuase of the details and nuances Chace considers within his scenarios and the neat way he summarises the positions of other writers in this field.
The pleasant realisation that this author would NOT duck the big question. We have heard enough from authors retelling the coming singularity message in different ways. The frustration is that so few have had the nerve to examine the ways in which societal choices and scenarios might actually have to play out. Bravo to Chace.
This is non-fiction work. Hemel does a perfectly serviceable and clear oration job. However this is one example of a book that might have been better voiced by its author. Alternatively a British English accented voice actor should have been chosen. There are times when the many UK example references the author makes and a few of the quirks of British English jar with the American accent. No criticism of Hempel here - it is the publisher's choice.
Chace gets as close as anyone to realising there might have to be a new paradigm shift to something beyond capitalism as we know it. I found myself almost willing him to reach for it and he says himself he's getting close. Despite his general intellectual bravery in examining the various social and political scenarios - he didn't get there.
A fantastic book. A genuine must read for anyone who needs to explore long term (20 - 30 year) scenarios for business planning or government policy.
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