Summary of Race Against the Machine

How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy

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Race Against the Machine book summary
A machine may soon take your job. How can you stay relevant in today’s workplace?


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The slogan of General Electric’s 2012 advertising campaign is “Brilliant machines are changing the way we work.” Instead, it could be “In the future, brilliant machines will do all the work.” As management professor Erik Brynjolfsson and scientist Andrew McAfee point out, this notion is not far-fetched. They speculate that, given the exponential increases in raw computer power, machines will do many jobs that humans perform today. The authors, who are not technophobes, offer 19 solid, if perhaps unrealistic, suggestions for steps government can take. getAbstract recommends this short, fascinating, but scary, treatise to those interested in the influence of advanced technology on the US labor market and to anyone wondering how government can keep people gainfully employed in future.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why new technology is increasingly replacing workers and
  • What to do about it.


Computers Join the Workforce
Computer technology is upending society and causing dramatic changes. Technology and machines have replaced workers and now do their jobs better, faster and cheaper. More workers will suffer the same fate, not just due to machines’ effectiveness but also because...
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About the Authors

Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, is chairman of the Sloan Management Review. Andrew McAfee is a principal research scientist and associate director at the MIT Center for Digital Business.

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