Summary of Humans Need Not Apply

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Humans Need Not Apply book summary

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  • Innovative


Today’s phenomenal acceleration in computing power and machine learning and the breakthroughs in sensor acuity herald an age of artificially intelligent systems and robotic devices. Futurist Jerry Kaplan sees both great promise and grave danger in these technologies. They give people free time for creativity and caring and offer prosperity, safer transport and easier living. Conversely, as its owners profit, machine intelligence threatens jobs and current skill sets. Kaplan envisions a future of legally constituted, asset-holding “artificial persons.” His clear, fast-paced and intriguing report is a cogent heads-up on smart automation. getAbstract recommends his timely evaluation of the gathering storm of synthetic intelligence to entrepreneurs, futurists, business professors and students, CEOs, managers, the self-employed, policy makers and opinion leaders.

About the Author

Entrepreneur, inventor and futurist Jerry Kaplan, PhD, worked at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and teaches ethics and the philosophy of artificial intelligence at Stanford. He also wrote the best-selling Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure.


Meet the Future

Beware of the transformational changes that artificial intelligence (AI) heralds for society. In certain areas, computers and machines already outperform people. A new breed of systems can learn and adapt based on experience. These fast-emerging systems are made up of “forged laborers,” complex, flexible assemblages of “sensors and actuators.” They sense their environment, interface with “synthetic intellects” and perform dexterous physical tasks. These diverse, distributed, sophisticated algorithmic systems defy total comprehension, even by their human makers. Using unimaginable amounts of data, they identify patterns, “predict” and act. For example, these systems include automatic trading programs, which contributed to the stock market “Flash Crash” of 2010.

Staggering change in this field will leave human workers behind, widening the inequality gap by making the wealthy, who control so many assets, even richer as they increasingly “substitute capital for labor.” Workers need to be able to obtain and control their own assets – future-ready, equitable, transparent financial instruments.

Moving from “Toy Problems” to “Cognitive Computing”

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