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A World Without Work

Technology, Automation and How We Should Respond
Narrated by: Daniel Susskind
Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Summary

From mechanical looms to combustion engines to early computers, new technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. In the past, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. Yet in A World Without Work, Daniel Susskind shows why this time really is different. Advances in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk. 

Drawing on almost a decade of research in the field, Susskind argues that machines no longer need to think or reason like us in order to outperform us, as was once widely believed. As a result, more and more tasks that used to be far beyond the capability of computers - from diagnosing illnesses to drafting legal contracts - are now within their reach. The threat of technological unemployment is real. 

So how can we all thrive in a world with less work? Susskind reminds us that technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of mankind's oldest problems: making sure that everyone has enough to live on. The challenge will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, constrain the burgeoning power of Big Tech and provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the centre of our lives. In this visionary, pragmatic and ultimately hopeful book, Susskind shows us the way. 

©2020 Daniel Susskind (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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Provoking

I read this based on my appreciation of his previous work on the future of the professions. This book takes the same basis themes, but extends the scope significantly.
When we consider the unsustainability of current levels of inequality, and combine that with the impact of technology to erode, or replace, much of what we currently think of as work, this book provides a great thinking tool. You may or may not agree with his conclusions, but it’s wonderful to have his views to push against. An excellent read.

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A very important book

The book looks at why work will be replaced by machines and how we should cope with this change in the 21st century. It will happen... talk to about it, especially to your political representatives!