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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK, more pamplet than book, 10 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Kindle Edition)
A relatively brief treatment, but then the price reflects this. The authors present some interesting data on labour trends, though it is all drawn from the USA and the book's focus is very much on the US economy.

To me, the big potential flaw in their thinking is that they infer linear or even exponential improvements in machine intelligence. Arguing, for example, that because computers can now do simple pattern recognition or win at Jepoardy, then the ability to solve more complex tasks is just around the corner. In many respects this book could have come out fo the late 1980's when Artificial Intelligence was booming and similar claims were made about chess-playing and robotics. In reality it has taken far longer than expected to produce robust, practical solutions. Natural Language recognition stands out as one of the few technologies that has made consumer-visible headway. Robots still struggle to vacuum a carpet reliably.

I bought the book because I though McAfee's Enterprise 2.0 thinking was interesting, but here I feel he's over-reached and the content is less thought-through. That's not to say that the book is bad, but I had hoped for much original insight.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jan 2014 07:04:04 GMT
"computers can now do simple pattern recognition or win at Jepoardy". It was very impressive that IBM could build a machine that would win at Jeopardy, very much beyond a trivial task to do.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 08:25:46 GMT
S. Marshall says:
Yes it was. So was Deep Blue when it won grandmaster-level chess games.
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