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Race Against The Machine


By Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee.



Race Against The Machine
Book Description:

Publication Date: October 17, 2011.

Why has median income stopped rising in the US?
Why is the share of population that is working falling so rapidly?
Why are our economy and society are becoming more unequal?

A popular explanation right now is that the root cause underlying these symptoms is technological stagnation-- a slowdown in the kinds of ideas and inventions that bring progress and prosperity.

In Race Against the Machine, MIT's Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee present a very different explanation. Drawing on research by their team at the Center for Digital Business, they show that there's been no stagnation in technology -- in fact, the digital revolution is accelerating. Recent advances are the stuff of science fiction: computers now drive cars in traffic, translate between human languages effectively, and beat the best human Jeopardy! players.

As these examples show, digital technologies are rapidly encroaching on skills that used to belong to humans alone. This phenomenon is both broad and deep, and has profound economic implications. Many of these implications are positive; digital innovation increases productivity, reduces prices (sometimes to zero), and grows the overall economic pie.

But digital innovation has also changed how the economic pie is distributed, and here the news is not good for the median worker. As technology races ahead, it can leave many people behind. Workers whose skills have been mastered by computers have less to offer the job market, and see their wages and prospects shrink. Entrepreneurial business models, new organizational structures and different institutions are needed to ensure that the average worker is not left behind by cutting-edge machines.

In Race Against the Machine Brynjolfsson and McAfee bring together a range of statistics, examples, and arguments to show that technological progress is accelerating, and that this trend has deep consequences for skills, wages, and jobs. The book makes the case that employment prospects are grim for many today not because there's been technology has stagnated, but instead because we humans and our organizations aren't keeping up.

”We’re entering unknown territory in the quest to reduce labor costs. The AI revolution is doing to white collar jobs what robotics did to blue collar jobs. Race Against the Machine is a bold effort to make sense of the future of work. No one else is doing serious thinking about a force that will lead to a restructuring of the economy that is more profound and far-reaching than the transition from the agricultural to the industrial age. Brynjolfsson and McAfee have hit the ball out of the park on this one. It’s a book anyone concerned with either business, or more broadly, the future of our society, simply must read.” – Tim O’Reilly

“This is, quite simply, the best book yet written on the interaction of digital technology, employment and organization. Race Against the Machine is meticulously researched, sobering, practical and, ultimately, hopeful. It is an extremely important contribution to the debate about how we ensure that every human being benefits from the digital revolution that is still gathering speed. If you read only one book on technology in the next 12 months, it should be this one.” -Gary Hamel

“In social science inquiry, we badly need the right people asking, and answering, the right questions. That’s precisely what Brynjolfsson and McAfee do in this important treatise on the intersection of technology and the economy. Moreover, they’re tackling the most important question of the present and the future: where are the new jobs going to come from?” – Jared Bernstein

“This is an extraordinarily timely book – shedding important light on the biggest economic issue facing this country. Marshalling an impressive array of data, the authors discuss where and how IT is contributing to our unemployment crisis and increasingly uneven wealth distribution. More importantly, they provide a roadmap that will help us to turn this challenge into an opportunity. Anyone concerned about our future needs to read this eloquent perspective.” - John Hagel

“Race Against the Machine is a portrait of the digital world – a world where competition, labor and leadership are less important than collaboration, creativity and networks.” – Nicholas Negroponte

www.amazon.com/Race-Against-The-Machine-ebook/dp/B005WTR4ZI

Mercredi 12 Septembre 2012
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