- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (18 Feb. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393239357
- ISBN-13: 978-0393239355
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.8 x 24.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies Hardcover – 18 Feb 2014
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Shorlisted for the Financial Times Book of the Year 2014
Although a few others have tried, The Second Machine Age truly helped me see the world of tomorrow through exponential rather than arithmetic lenses. Macro and microscopic frontiers now seem plausible, meaning that learners and teachers alike are in a perpetual mode of catching up with what is possible. It frames a future that is genuinely exciting! --Clayton M. Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, and author of The Innovator s Dilemma
From the Inside Flap
A New York Times Bestseller
A revolution is under way.
In recent years, Google's autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM's Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. 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.
In The Second Machine Age MIT's Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee-two thinkers at the forefront of their field-reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. 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. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar.
Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape.
A fundamentally optimistic book, The Second Machine Age will alter how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.
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Top Customer Reviews
The focus of the book concerns our impressive technological progress and explains why the scale and pace of digital technologies is bound to accelerate in the future. The centrality of the book relates to the two economic consequences of this progress namely bounty and spread. Bounty is the increase in volume, variety, and quality and the decrease in cost of the many offerings brought by modern digital technologies. Spread, the negative and troubling aspect of this progress is increasing wealth inequality, progressive unemployment, and reduction in social mobility. Spread has been demonstrated to increase in recent years. It is destined to accelerate in the second machine age unless we intervene. The book stresses that the economic goals should be to maximize the bounty while mitigating the negative effects of the spread. The choices we make will determine the world we are going to live in.
In order to understand why digital technologies are presently unfolding we have to obtain an insight into the nature of technological progress in the era of digital hardware, software, and networks. Its three key characteristics are exponential, digital, and combinatorial.
Exponential growth eventually leads to staggeringly big numbers which defy our intuition and imagination. The critical building blocks of computing - microchip density, processing speed, storage capacity, energy efficiency, download speed etc. have been improving at exponential rates for a long time and they presently are at an inflection point.Read more ›
Headache for clients
It is headache for our clients. For a while we thought it was awareness. Management teams not being aware of the technology changes. We were wrong. They are very aware. They just don’t know what to do with it.
That does not mean that the whole organisation is aware. There seems to be a massive gap between the awareness of the management team and the rest of staff. Which creates a lot of issues, particularly when you want your organisation to be fluid, agile and responsive.
Opportunity for SMEs
We do find that owner-managers of small companies are very unaware. In fact there is an element of head in the sand and hope it will go away. Which is a pity, because what small business have is agility and fluidity.
The books we use
Dependent on the angles we use a wide range of books. “What technology wants” is a classic. ‘Future files” is a classic. So is “Future minds”. “Future babble” which we use as the anti-book (you can’t predict the future) is a classic. I suspect “The future of the mind” (next on my reading list) will become a classic.
Speed of change
What we never seem to be getting across in our sessions, is the speed of change. Big companies actually think they have enough time to respond. They even get the need to disrupt their own business model. The just don’t get exponential part of change. And the need to react NOW. Which is why we introduced “The second machine age”.
We are on the second half of the chessboard.
Anyone that was taught chess has heard the story of the inventor of chess and the Persian king. He asked as a reward that, starting with one grain of rice, and it to be doubled every square.Read more ›
I was hoping for a book that explains more precisely how artificial intelligence, automations and robots will replace people in most jobs, and an in-depth analysis of what jobs will disappear soon and which ones will remain safe for the foreseeable future. I was looking forward to read about how the peer economy, 3-D printers and personal domestic robots will completely change the way we produce and consume. Unfortunately the book does not address any of these. The authors just explain, repetitively and in plain language, that machines will make consumer products cheaper while taking away people's jobs. But who doesn't already know that when it's been discussed countless times in the news?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
With evidenced based rationale, the Second Machine Age is brought to life for mere pedestrians like me. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Melanie Cook
Fantastic book that describes and explains the rapid changes around us. A must read book for everybody in work who wants to know what will be happening in the near future. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sue
Excellent discussion of the continuing rise of technology and both the opportunities and dangers it poses. Read morePublished 9 months ago by lynn
One could read 'The second machine age' as a rewrite on Freeman's Economics of Industrial Innovation where it is suggested that a total reshuffle of the deck of cards is taking... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Georgios Samakovitis
I highly recommend this to anyone that wants to learn more about the role of technological disruption in our world. Read morePublished 9 months ago by TFM
A fantastic and essential read for anyone interested in AI and automation!Published 11 months ago by zerr0ww
Liked it a lot. Easy to read and understand, interesting and thought-provoking. Good account of what is happening and suggestions for how to tackle the challenges technological... Read morePublished 11 months ago
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