The Rise of the Robots
FT and McKinsey Business Book of the YearMartin Ford
Intelligent algorithms are already well on their way to making white collar jobs obsolete: travel agents, data-analysts, and paralegals are currently in the firing line. In the near future, doctors, taxi-drivers and ironically even computer programmers are poised to be replaced by ‘robots’. Without a radical reassessment of our economic and political structures, we risk the very implosion of the capitalist economy itself.
In The Rise of the Robots, technology expert Martin Ford systematically outlines the achievements of artificial intelligence and uses a wealth of economic data to illustrate the terrifying societal implications. From health and education to finance and technology, his warning is stark – all jobs that are on some level routine are likely to eventually be automated, resulting in the death of traditional careers and a hollowed-out middle class. The robots are coming and we have to decide – now – whether the future will bring prosperity or catastrophe.
'Ford paints his prediction that "the robots are coming" with certainty and his case is backed up by significant research'.
'The Rise of the Robots should come with a warning sticker saying: "This books will provoke a lot of soul-searching"'.
'What Ford does well…is take that deep-set historical techno fear, unpack it and play it back to us on the intellectual big screen, magnified and with plenty of hard-hitting stats thrown in to boost the special effects and make sure the volume is turned up to 11'.
'Alarming... surreal... it is time to be afraid, very afraid... For the moment there is no hope that the rise of the robots will not be accompanied by the fall of the humans'
'The elephant in the room of artificial intelligence is mass obsolescence of the human workforce it threatens to supplant. Ford stares the elephant in the face'.
‘Perhaps the clearest example of genre-hopping to be found in 2015 was the boom in books by journalists and technology writers on what has long been one of the central concerns of science fiction: the implications of artificial intelligence and automation… Few captured the mood as well as Martin Ford in The Rise of the Robots... which painted a bleak picture of the upheavals that would come as ever-greater numbers of even highly skilled workers were displaced by machines.’
'Frightening and important...the more people that read it, the better for all of us'.
'Packed with irresistible gee-whizz facts but...also anxious about what might happen next, especially to human employment...well worth reading'.
“Well researched and disturbingly persuasive.”
“Everyone concerned with the future of work must read this book.”
“[The Rise of the Robots is] about as scary as the title suggests. It’s not science fiction, but rather a vision (almost) of economic Armageddon.”