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Automation: 3 Must Read Books

In the latest episode on the series, we explore the impact automation, artificial intelligence and robotics will have on the future of work.

Depending on where you get your information from, you could be fearing a jobless Blade Runner future or an abundant fulfilling one where energy is free, boring jobs are done by our robot slaves and nobody wants for anything.

During the research, we came across a variety of sources, but found these 3 to be the best in giving a diverse range in their views for the future and the impact technology will have on your job.

You can listen to some of the authors of these books on the episode which is out now on iTunes, Soundcloud and Podbean.

Also available here on the site.

1: Rise of The Robots – Martin Ford

Rise of the Robots Book If you want to terrify yourself into an early grave, read this book. Martin Ford’s Rise of The Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment takes you on a journey exposing the dangers to employment that the future of automation might bring.

It reveals not only the manufacturing jobs being lost to machines, but also the more traditionally human ones.

It’s packed with data from various government sources and economic think-tanks to make sure you fears are embedded nice and deep.

Here’s a short extract from the conclusion:

In 1998, workers in the US business sector put in a total of 194 billion hours of labour. A decade and a half later in 2013, the value of the goods and services produced by American businesses had grown by about $3.5 trillion after adjusting for inflation – a 42 percent increase in output. The total amount of human labour required to accomplish that was… 194 billion hours.

He goes on to show that more is being produced with the exact same amount of people, even though the population had increased significantly.

2: Driver in the Driverless Car – Vivek Wadhwa & Alex Salkever

Driver in driverless car bookStill acknowledging the worst might be possible, Driver in the Driverless Car How Technology Choices Will Create The Future explores the fantastic possibilities that are still a very real possibility too.

Along with the Mad Max nightmare future, the authors suggest a clear approach humanity needs to adopt if we are to avoid the worst and reap the rewards that technology will bring.

Exclusively speaking on the latest episode of Project 10, co-author Alex Salkever said:

“We were thinking about what kind of books we could write about the future of technology, initially it started out as almost a super positive book, talking about how everything would be wonderful and then as we dug into it, we realised we were feeling more and more uneasy.”

A good balanced approach outlining real concerns for the future, but providing numerous suggestions on how to avoid the worst and embrace the change.

It was also long-listed by the Financial Times & McKinsey Best Business Book for 2017.

3: What To Do When Machines Do Everything – Malcom Frank, Paul Roehrig & Ben Pring

what-to-do-when-machines-do-everything-bookWhat To Do When Machines Do Everything: How To Get Ahead In a World of AI, Algorithms, Bots and Big Data is the Yang to Martin Ford’s Ying.

It’s a much more positive book about the outlook for the future and challenge a lot of the numbers and data that has been used widely to flame the fears of automation.

The authors do acknowledge there will be some disruption – Chapter 3 is entitled “There Will Be Blood – but there is a much more pragmatic and less sensationalist approach.

Listen to a clip from Co author Paul Roehrig:

Any others worth reading? Drop a comment and let us know. And Remeber to subscribe to Project 10 on iTunes and wherever you get your podcasts from.

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