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Publisher's Summary

"An Oxford economics professor, Susskind has a patient delivery that benefits from his authoritative voice and scholarly view of this speculative subject...an important and eye-opening audiobook." (AudioFile Magazine) 

This program is read by the author.

From an Oxford economist, a visionary account of how technology will transform the world of work, and what we should do about it.

From mechanical looms to the combustion engine to the first computers, new technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. For centuries, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. But as Daniel Susskind demonstrates, this time really is different. Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk.

Drawing on almost a decade of research in the field, Susskind argues that machines no longer need to think like us in order to outperform us, as was once widely believed. As a result, more and more tasks that used to be far beyond the capability of computers - from diagnosing illnesses to drafting legal contracts, from writing news reports to composing music - are coming within their reach. The threat of technological unemployment is now real.This is not necessarily a bad thing, Susskind emphasizes. Technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of humanity’s oldest problems: how to make sure that everyone has enough to live on. The challenges will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, to constrain the burgeoning power of Big Tech, and to provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the center of our lives. Perceptive, pragmatic, and ultimately hopeful, A World Without Work shows the way. 

©2020 Daniel Susskind (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

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    4 out of 5 stars

Technology deflation through the econ lens

Susskind, along with most economists is trapped by existing economic models, economics has a foundation of scarcity in it's models. What he doesn't say is that technology is both deflationary and exponential, he dodges this as an issue, if you look at the trends for Moore's Law, Swanson's Law, or the Cost of Genome sequencing you see cost curves that are accelerating. Susskind's Conditional Basic Income (CBI) doesn't address the accelerating nature of these factors and his dismissal of UBI doesn't address this either.

5 people found this helpful

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Curious look at the world of work in ~past, future

Listening to this in Audible is the best way to quickly digest what is pointed out in the book. I wished more material / speculation was dedicated to the last chapter, which was what intrigued me the most and decided to pick up Mr. Susskind's insightful work. Bravo!

2 people found this helpful

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nothing new, but it reinforced my conclusions

I grew up and continue to consume Sci Fi and my mind exists more comfortably in 20 years, 100 years, 1000 years in the future. This was an exploration by an academic of the same ideas the last century of Science Fiction has been screaming.

1 person found this helpful

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You change as you read!

Absolutely mindblowing, transformative comparisons, projections and conclusions about the future brought to the reader from a totally new perspectives and prisms... finding answers or pondering about their absence on how the world should prepare for technological unemployment, automation anxiety, providing evidence of how AI or AGI will effect every corner or sphere of our lives starting from remodeling of the societies, policy making, economy, social values, morale, education and even religions as we know them today and as we approach the world with less work for humans.
A MUST read not only for those in whose hands our future lives lay, but for every citizen on this planet by all means!

1 person found this helpful

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good listen , worth the time

great listen , sections may appear unstructured and repetitive for some parts but very throughly researched and facts about future of work drawing upon historical learnings and how to prepare for what is to come in the age of AI and Automarion and addressing a key aspect of work when it relates to ability to learn but meaningful work and how it would change.

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Brilliant.

I hope when you are not working you have the privilege to enjoy this book
Steven Lamm m.d

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating & Well Researched Ideas

An outstanding analysis of how the world might function, look, and act as automation begins to have a larger impact on national and international economics. Drawing on ideas from the big economists such as Smith, Kaynes, and Milton, the author makes a good argument for what he calls ‘Conditional Basic Income’. If you’re interested in economics of the future, then this is the book for you.

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I may not agree with the views, but the book was interesting

I do not agree with the framing of many of the issues set forth in the book, but it is well written and thought provoking. I think it is important to challenge our own view points and this book successfully did that for me. It has some Marxist undertones with slightly more refined arguments. That being said, it provided some novel perspectives for consideration. I don’t think the author is right, but he certainly has spent some time thinking about the consequences of automation.

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very good summation of current trends and thought.

for those who are all someone savvy to the questions in the space this book does not add a whole lot of new information. but it is well researched and well done. a lot of thought in this book is related to Keynesian economics and current global trends and robotics and automation. the first half of the book looks at historical arguments and generally provides a kind of lay of the land for the current state of affairs. second half of the book mostly deals with automation and economic arguments from the results of automation, detailing how humanity can cope with this future.