A World Without Work: Technology, Automation and How We Should Respond
Susskind (Daniel)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Inside Cover Blurb

  1. From mechanical looms to combustion engines to early computers, new technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. In the past, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. Yet, in A World Without Work, Daniel Susskind shows why this time really is different. Advances in artificial intelligence1 mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk.
  2. Drawing on almost a decade of research in the field, Susskind argues that machines no longer need to think or reason like us in order to outperform us, as was once widely believed. As a result, more and more tasks that used to be far beyond the capability of computers - from diagnosing illnesses to drafting legal contracts - are now within their reach. The threat of technological unemployment is real.
  3. So how can we all thrive in a world with less work? Susskind reminds us that technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of mankind’s oldest problems: making sure that everyone has enough to live on. The challenge will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, constrain the burgeoning power of Big Tech, and provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the centre of our lives. In this visionary, pragmatic and ultimately hopeful book, Susskind shows us the way.
  4. Daniel Susskind is the co-author of The Future of the Professions, named as one of the best books of the year by The Financial Times, New Scientist and The Times Literary Supplement. He is a Fellow in Economics at Balliol College, Oxford. Previously, he worked in the British Government - as a policy adviser in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, as a policy analyst in the Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street, and as a senior policy adviser in the Cabinet Office.

Back Cover Reviews
  1. 'A path-breaking, thought-provoking and in-depth study of how new technology will transform the world of work'
    → Gordon Brown
  2. ‘A superb and sophisticated contribution to the debate over work in the age of artificial intelligence2. Consistently wise and well-informed, this is the book to read to understand how digital technologies and artificial intelligence3 are reshaping the economy and labour market’
    → Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor at Columbia University and Director of the UN Center for Sustainable Development
  3. ‘This is the book to read on the future of work in the age of artificial intelligence4. It is thoughtful and state-of-the-art on the economics of the issue, but its real strength is the way it goes beyond just the economics. A truly important contribution’
    → Lawrence Summers, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus of Harvard University
  4. ‘Daniel Susskind offers an authoritative and hype-free perspective on how technology will change work. This eloquent and humane book deserves a wide readership - and wide influence'
    → Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and author of On the Future
  5. ‘A fascinating book about a vitally important topic. Elegant, original and compelling’
    → Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist
  6. ‘An important book on an equally important topic. Susskind’s conclusion is that ultimately there will be less paid work to go around. This will shake the foundations of our economy and our society. It will be a daunting challenge. We have to start thinking hard about it now’
    → Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator at The Financial Times

Contents
    Introduction – i
  1. PART ONE: The Context
    1. A History of Misplaced Anxiety – 13
    2. The Age of Labour – 29
    3. The Pragmatist Revolution – 45
    4. Underestimating Machines – 60
  2. PART TWO: The Threat
    1. Task Encroachment – 77
    2. Frictional Technological Unemployment – 98
    3. Structural Technological Unemployment – 112
    4. Technology and Inequality – 132
  3. PART THREE: The Response
    1. Education and Its Limits – 153
    2. The Big State – 169
    3. Big Tech – 197
    4. Meaning and Purpose – 215
  4. Epilogue – 237
    Notes – 239
    Bibliography – 295
    Acknowledgements – 313
    Index – 315

BOOK COMMENT:
  • Allen Lane (14 Jan. 2020)
  • Birthday present from family



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  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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