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Publisher's Summary

“While we need to rewrite the rules of the 21st-century economy, Kevin’s book is a great look at how people can do this on a personal level to always put humanity first.” (Andrew Yang)

“A clear, compelling strategy for surviving the next wave of technology with our jobs - and souls - intact.” (Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit)

The machines are here. After decades of sci-fi fantasies and hype, artificial intelligence has leapt out of research labs and Silicon Valley engineering departments and into the center of our lives. Algorithms shape everything around us, from the news we see to the products we buy and the relationships we form. And while the debate over whether or not automation will destroy jobs rages on, a much more important question is being ignored: 

What does it mean to be a human in a world that is increasingly built by and for machines? 

In Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation, New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose lays out a hopeful, pragmatic vision of how people can succeed in the machine age by making themselves irreplaceably human. He shares the secrets of people and organizations that have survived technological change and explains how we can protect our own futures, with lessons like:

  • Do work that is surprising, social, and scarce (the types of work machines can’t do).
  • Demote your phone.
  • Work near other people.
  • Treat AI like an army of chimpanzees.
  • Add more friction to your life. 

Roose rejects the conventional wisdom that in order to compete with machines, we have to become more like them - hyper-efficient, data-driven, code-writing workhorses. Instead, he says, we should let machines be machines and focus on doing the kinds of creative, inspiring, and meaningful things only humans can do.

This audiobook edition includes a downloadable PDF that contains the Appendix and Reading List from the book.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2021 Kevin Roose (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Engaging...Roose delves into this crisis with an accessible touch that nicely explains how AI is infiltrating every part of our society and workforce.” (The Times)

"Artificial intelligence - and robots themselves - can be terrifying, but Kevin Roose provides a clear, compelling strategy for surviving the next wave of technology with our jobs - and souls - intact. Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist about the future, Futureproof is the survival guide you need.” (Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

“While I think that Skynet is still going to send the Terminator back to try to kill humanity someday, it’s worth your time and attention - if that is still a thing in the addled Internet age - to read Kevin Roose’s bracing book now. Why? Because it’s a primer on the future and how to deal with the incoming today, from AI to automation to robotics and more, by using the tools of creativity and just being human. Whether the digital threat comes from a cybernetic organism from 2459 arriving in a big ball of lightning or from that innocent-looking mobile supercomputer in your hand, I do know that you need to prepare for the next tech age. And there’s no better way to do it than to futureproof yourself by letting Roose show you how.” (Kara Swisher, cofounder of Recode, host of the podcasts Recode Decode and Pivot, and a New York Times contributing opinion writer) 

What listeners say about Futureproof

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Author is not an expert on the subject

The author is a journalist with very clear biases towards conservatives.
While the author brings up some great points on the future of work, the book had entire sections on subject matter that has nothing to do with future proofing work. One section in particular talked about the author's struggle with cell phone addiction!
If you're wanting to read a real book from a real expert (Oxford economics professor) on the future of work I suggest reading Daniel Susskind's book a World Without Work

7 people found this helpful

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Ravings of a Luddite

Unfamiliar with the author I took this one on because it sounded interesting and particularly pragmatic. While the first half of the book did a decent job of framing the problem once the author ventured into his practical advice it was clear this book was nothing more than the ravings of a Luddite with a pollyanna-ish view on the future forged by humans. I dare say his advice borders on dangerous from a pragmatic perspective as it focuses on a world that he believes ought be and not the one that is.

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Enjoyable and Thought Provoking

This work is one that I will reflect on and share. The presentation is very well done, and the material is essential, especially for people who are advocates for a better future for youths.

We are at a point of development where it is easier for us to end life on Earth, than to provide a better future. The shortcomings of unregulated capitalism and technology are clear.

We need to work together to find & nourish the adjacent future that will provide a healthier physical, social, and spiritual environment. We need to emphasize the humanities, not tech as an end unto itself.

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Alarming and comforting all at once.

I’m a young truck driver. 23 years old and have had my CDL for a year. All I heard for years was “The trucking industry is short drivers” and “Truckers make good money” I feel like I’ve been sold a pipe dream, and went 6k$ into debt for a dying career. This book armed me with the knowledge and awareness to confidently take on the future.

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more of an anecdotal tale than a how to...

Consequential thinking on the digital age and automation

The book brings awareness to the digital conundrum without practical solutions.

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A must read with an open mind

Enjoyed this audible version. Brought so much light into the world of technology that I never knew existed of the work that went into technology, not just becoming a robot. Speaks volumes on what technology looks in our future can become.

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Well written but largely unoriginal

This book starts out strong and has some interesting insights. But too often it strays from its premise of how to be “Futureproof”.

The author is a good writer but I think too much content here is devoted to social/political topics rather than practical ways in which humans can become Futureproof.

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Good listen

It was read by an AI, right?? Was waiting for a referral at the end. Otherwise that’s what I think of the audiobook experience. Ironically robotic.

Book’s great though! Each of the tips are well argued and presented. Offers me some food for thought as to how I can stay relevant as technology creeps. I mostly love the empowering notions about how te future is not written and it’s humans who design the robots. For now.

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excelente!

i absolutely loved this book! amazing insight. This book direction in which we should move to cope with new technologies

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Thought Provoking

Lots of little things add up to a potentially big problem in the Future