Erik brynjolfsson and andrew mcafee

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erik brynjolfsson and andrew mcafee

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Creating Our Digital World with Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

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Digital technologies—with hardware, software, and networks at their core—will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives. Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds—from lawyers to truck drivers—will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die.

It is easy to be wowed by the technological advancements of our age — cars that can drive themselves, smartphones that listen to your voice and sometimes give you what you want, super computers that can diagnose illnesses. These are just the warmup acts. As co-founders of The Initiative on the Digital Economy at MIT, McAfee and Brynjolfsson argue for an urgent consideration for future planning as digital technologies rapidly replace cognitive tasks in the workforce. McAfee and Brynjolfsson discuss the need for tax reform, a revolutionized education system, and a guaranteed basic income for every American. In the book you talk about the Industrial Revolution as being in service to the labor economy.

The authors argue that after half a century of progress we are seeing leaps in machine intelligence. As computing power grows exponentially, computers are managing tasks deemed beyond reach a few years ago. In recent years, computers have learned to diagnose diseases, drive cars, write clean prose and win game shows. Advances like these have created unprecedented economic bounty but in their wake median income has stagnated and employment levels have fallen. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee reveal the technological forces driving this reinvention of the economy and chart a path towards future prosperity. Businesses and individuals, they argue, must learn to race with machines.

They argue that the Second Machine Age involves the automation of a lot of cognitive tasks that make humans and software-driven machines substitutes, rather than complements. They contrast this with what they call the "First Machine Age", or Industrial Revolution , which helped make labor and machines complementary.
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Erik Brynjolfsson

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

The two MIT professors believe this transformation will create abundance. But they warn that there may be a dark side: Though the pie will get bigger, not everyone will benefit equally. As computers get more powerful, companies have less need for some kinds of workers. That shift is contributing to a phenomenon the two academics call the Great Decoupling: For decades, per capita GDP, productivity, private employment, and median family income rose in almost perfect lockstep. But in the s, growth in income began to sputter and then began to drop. Adjusting for inflation, the median U. Job growth has also slowed.

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