Summary of Rise of the Robots

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  • Innovative


Prepare for a roller-coaster ride as you see what’s coming and what’s already arrived in the form of robots, advanced machines and artificial intelligence (AI). Machines write many of the stories you read online and in print. They drive cars, perform surgeries, compose symphonies and build houses. You and your fellow diners soon might be the only humans in your favorite restaurant – the cooks and servers will be robots. And that’s only if you can afford to eat there, because you might lose your job to a robot as millions already have. Martin Ford’s carefully researched report fascinates, inspires and terrifies in equal measure. getAbstract recommends his insights and predictions to CEOs, CIOs, entrepreneurs, investors, designers, coders, retailers, wholesalers, and anyone attempting to make sense of the increasingly automated future. Look out ahead.

About the Author

Futurist Martin Ford runs a software firm in Silicon Valley.



The Good Old Days

The golden era for American workers – when new machinery and technology required employees to learn valuable skills – is gone. Today, workers can’t expect raises or advanced training when new technology appears. Instead, they should fear for their jobs.

Machines routinely defeat the world’s greatest chess players and Jeopardy champions. Smart artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms replace tasks performed by lawyers, radiologists and scientists. As machines learn more about predictable tasks, your risk of losing your job increases.

For example, at GM’s height in 1979, it earned $11 billion and employed 850,000 workers. In 2012, Google earned $14 billion – in 1979 dollars – with 38,000 employees. GM and other car manufacturers once generated millions of middle-class spinoff jobs. Tech companies such as Google and Amazon create part-time freelance work that hardly supports a single person still living in his or her parents’ home.

Industrial Robots

Until recently, industrial robots could only perform rigid movements and specific tasks. Being unable to perceive a landscape in three dimensions, robots could serve a meal or clean a home...

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